Five times Urban Sea and Miesque combined in pedigrees to great effect
What happened when descendants of the two great mares were matched
Recent top-class action on the track has reaffirmed the brilliance of the late outstanding racemares and producers Miesque and Urban Sea.
Miesque, who was born five years before Urban Sea in 1984, was the superior racemare with ten Group/Grade 1 victories to her name for owner-breeder Stavros Niarchos and trainer Francois Boutin.
The daughter of Nureyev's haul included the 1,000 Guineas, Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and two renewals each of the Prix Jacques le Marois and Breeders' Cup Mile.
She passed on her brilliance to her offspring at stud, producing the Classic winners Kingmambo and East Of The Moon with her first two foals and following up with stakes scorers Miesque's Son, Moon Is Up and Mingun.
Nine elite-level winners are descended from Miesque in the distaff line and there are many more who claim her as an ancestor through other strands, thanks in large part to the success of Kingmambo as a stallion.
In the space of a week the Niarchos family homebreds Alpha Centauri (out of Alpha Lupi, a daughter of East Of The Moon) and Study Of Man (out of East Of The Moon's half-sister Second Happiness) landed two Classics – the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Prix du Jockey Club – to put Miesque back centre stage.
As if that weren't enough, Miesque also brought her influence to bear on last month's Prix d'Ispahan winner Recoletos, who is by Whipper – a son of Miesque's Son whose name advertises his relation to the illustrious mare.
Urban Sea might not have displayed the consistent quality that Miesque did on the track, but she did beat the colts White Muzzle and Opera House to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 1993 for owner David Tsui and trainer Jean Lesbordes.
She boasts the better progeny record – no disgrace to Miesque, as Urban Sea is surely one of the best broodmares in thoroughbred history – with eight stakes winners to her name headed by the Derby heroes Galileo and Sea The Stars and fellow Group/Grade 1 scorers Black Sam Bellamy and My Typhoon.
Urban Sea features in pedigrees of Pattern winners week in, week out, with Galileo siring high-class horse after high-class horse and Sea The Stars also supplying more than his fair share. Not to mention Galileo is now already established as one of the most important damsires around.
Even by Urban Sea's own exceptionally high standards she was in a rich vein of form for last week's Epsom Classics. Forever Together, a daughter of Galileo, was the seventh Oaks winner in a row to boast Urban Sea as an ancestor, while Masar, triumphant in the Derby, is inbred 3x4 to Urban Sea as he is by Galileo's son New Approach and can claim the daughter of Miswaki as his fourth dam.
Urban Sea and Miesque are extraordinary mares, but what happens when they collide? Unsurprisingly, several breeders have combined the ingredients in a mating and here are five of the more spectacular results...
Ruler Of The World
8yo ch h Galileo-Love Me True (Kingmambo)
The most prolific combination of Urban Sea and Miesque is likely to have been through matching Galileo with mares by the earlier sire Kingmambo.
There are 19 representatives of the cross on the Racing Post database and the group numbers four stakes winners including Derby hero Ruler Of The World, a half-brother to Duke Of Marmalade who is represented as a sire by his first two-year-old runners in 2018.
Also by Galileo out of a Kingmambo mare is last year's dual Group 1 winner Ulysses, with the Niarchos family's homebred son of their Oaks heroine Light Shift having commenced his career as a stallion at Cheveley Park Stud this year.
Cloth Of Stars
5yo b h Sea The Stars -Strawberry Fledge (Kingmambo)
Another cross combining the powers of Urban Sea and Miesque that is likely to be mined more and more by breeders is that of Galileo's half-brother Sea The Stars over Kingmambo mares.
Nine runners by Sea The Stars out of daughters of Kingmambo have found their way onto the Racing Post database and all have won, including Cloth Of Stars and Zelzal, who scored at the highest level, and two other stakes winners in Chemical Charge and Sivoliere.
Cloth Of Stars, winner of the Prix Ganay and runner-up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last year, is closely related to Ulysses as his dam is a sister to Light Shift.
Prix Jean Prat winner Zelzal, meanwhile, embarked on his second career at Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy this year.
7yo b m Galileo-Rumplestiltskin (Danehill)
Tapestry was bred in partnership by Coolmore and the Niarchos family just like her dam Rumplestiltskin, with the Irish organisation supplying one of their blue-chip stallions in both cases.
Rumplestiltskin is by Danehill out of Monevassia, a daughter of Mr Prospector and Miesque and thus a sister to Kingmambo. She was sent out by Aidan O'Brien to win five races including the Prix Marcel Boussac and since being retired to stud she has been mated exclusively with Galileo.
Tapestry, Rumplestiltskin's third foal, took the scalp of Taghrooda when she won the Yorkshire Oaks and was also second in the Irish Oaks and Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Tapestry's first offspring is a yearling colt by War Front.
Wonder Of Wonders
10yo b m Kingmambo-All Too Beautiful (Sadler's Wells)
No filly descended from Urban Sea in the distaff line has yet won the Oaks but plenty have gone close. Her first daughter, Melikah (the great granddam of Masar), finished third while later daughters All Too Beautiful and Cherry Hinton were second and fifth.
Cherry Hinton's daughter Bracelet did not run in the Oaks at Epsom but won the Ribblesdale Stakes and the Irish equivalent, while All Too Beautiful's granddaughter Alluringly was third in the Classic in 2017.
However, none of Urban Sea's distaff-line descendants went closer in the Oaks than Wonder Of Wonders, a daughter of Kingmambo and All Too Beautiful who failed by just three quarters of a length to reel in the game front-runner Dancing Rain to finish second in 2011.
Wonder Of Wonders has produced three winners from three runners, though none of them are black-type performers on the Flat, and she has a two-year-old colt by War Front named Antilles and a yearling filly by the same sire.
21yo b h Kingmambo-Allegretta (Lombard)
Bit of cheat, this one, as King's Best is by Kingmambo but he is not descended from Urban Sea and is instead a half-brother to the legendary blue hen.
He nevertheless neatly demonstrates the magic that arises when the two families come together as he put up one of the most stunning displays in the 2,000 Guineas in the new millennium, finding trouble in running but putting in a remarkable late burst of speed to nail no less than Giant's Causeway by three and a half lengths.
King's Best did some sterling work at stud, supplying the likes of Derby and Arc hero Workforce and other Group 1 winners Creachadoir, Eishin Flash, King's Apostle, Proclamation, Royal Diamond and Sajjhaa.
A few mare owners even tried inbreeding to King's Best and Urban Sea's dam Allegretta by giving King's Best the chance to cover Galileo mares, although it has not produced conspicuous success with Kempton maiden scorer Queen's Novel the only winner from three runners bred on that cross on the Racing Post database.
Another who was not quite descended from both Urban Sea and Miesque but had elements of both in his pedigree was the much-missed Permian, winner of the Dante Stakes and King Edward VII Stakes, and just touched off in the Grand Prix de Paris before being fatally injured in action at Arlington last year.
He was by Galileo's son Teofilo out of Tessa Reef, whose maternal granddam Massaraat was a sister to Miesque.
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