From an £8,000 opening fee to one of the most influential sires around
Martin Stevens looks at the record of Dansili as he is retired from covering
Unlike his racing contemporary Giant's Causeway, whose death was announced on Tuesday, Dansili - who has been pensioned from stud duty - did not get off to a flying start as a stallion.
Both horses, first and second in the millennium Sussex Stakes, were represented by their first two-year-olds in 2004. But while the Iron Horse supplied five Group/Grade 1 winners in his first crop, including the champion two-year-old and Classic winner Shamardal and 2,000 Guineas hero Footstepsinthesand, Dansili managed none.
And yet, despite that less flamboyant start and having the inferior racing record – no top-level wins but six placings – as well as a much lower introductory covering fee – just £8,000 at Banstead Manor Stud – Dansili has been equally as influential at stud.
Dansili is responsible for 20 Group/Grade 1 winners including a world champion in Harbinger, a Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner in Rail Link and other greats Dank, Flintshire, Foreteller, Miss France, Proviso and The Fugue.
He also sits at the head of a burgeoning sire-line with son Zoffany having fielded three Royal Ascot two-year-old winners and the Group 1 scorer Ventura Storm from his first crop. Zoffany has more expensively, better-bred runners in the pipeline.
Harbinger is faring well as a stallion in Japan, where his early runners have included the Grade 1 winners Deirdre, Mozu Katchan and Persian Knight, while Dansili's studmate at Banstead Manor, Bated Breath, has got off to a bright start with his first representatives who include Beckford.
Flintshire has been strongly supported by a well-connected group of investors, including Juddmonte, China Horse Club and SF Bloodstock, as well as Hill 'n' Dale Farms where he stands in Kentucky, so his first foals arriving on farms this year will have been given every chance to succeed.
Daughters of Dansili have also excelled at stud, having produced Group/Grade 1 winners Astaire, Capla Temptress, Chicquita, Ice Breeze and Nezwaah, as well as the exciting three-year-old Expert Eye.
Dansili is one of three stallion sons of Danehill and late blue hen Hasili to have recorded Group/Grade 1 winners along with Champs Elysees and Cacique.
He should have the material to accumulate a good few more, with 106 mares covered in 2015, 78 in 2016 and 62 last year.
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