Time Warp again! Lanwades-bred superstar shines at Sha Tin
Son of Archipenko has three instances of Special in his pedigree
British breeding, in particular bloodlines nurtured by Kirsten Rausing's Lanwades Stud, were to the fore at Sha Tin on Sunday as Time Warp, the impressive winner of the Hong Kong Cup in December, doubled his Group 1 tally with an all-the-way victory in the Hong Kong Gold Cup.
The Tony Cruz-trained five-year-old defeated last year's winner Werther, a New Zealand-bred son of Tavistock, by half a length in course record time, with recent Stewards' Cup scorer Seasons Bloom, an Australian-bred Captain Sonador gelding, in third.
The notoriously capricious Pakistan Star – a German-bred by Shamardal – fly-jumped the start and had a troubled passage before sticking on into fourth.
Time Warp was a dual Listed winner in France when trained in Newmarket by Sir Mark Prescott before being sold to Martin Siu in Hong Kong in a deal brokered by Sackville Donald.
He is one of three top-level winners sired by Archipenko, a son of Kingmambo who struck in Hong Kong himself in the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, before standing at Lanwades Stud until his untimely death aged 13 in December. The others are Madame Chiang, a homebred winner of the British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes for Rausing, and Forty One, a star in Argentina where the sire used to stand in a shuttle role.
In all, Archipenko has supplied nine Group winners and six Listed scorers from limited chances at stud.
The sire is inbred 4x2 to Special, famed as the dam of Nureyev and granddam of Sadler's Wells, and Rausing deliberately introduced more of the blue hen's blood to the mating that produced Time Warp when she sent her broodmare Here To Eternity – whose sixth dam is Special – to the sire.
Time Warp's breeding contains enough to keep a pedigree fan entertained for hours, as the 7f winner Here To Eternity is by Stormy Atlantic, who is descended in the tail-female line from Special's maternal granddam Rough Shod.
Rausing said: “Time Warp was always an outstandingly good-looking individual. He was a more than useful two-year-old, winning four times including a Listed race in France. He then opened his three-year-old career with another Listed race win in Paris for Sir Mark, before being sold to Hong Kong, where the rest is history.
“Time Warp is of course line bred to the great broodmare Special, who appears three times in his pedigree. This pattern has previously been successful with another Lanwades-bred offspring of Archipenko’s, Ascot Group 1 winner Madam Chiang.
“Time Warp’s dam and granddam were also bred by Lanwades and are still here. His dam has a now four-year-old own brother, Glorious Forever, twice a winner for Ed Walker and highly rated but now in Hong Kong, where he has recently arrived.
“The mare’s three-year-old Jack Crow was second in his both starts at two for Eve Johnson Houghton and her now two-year-old Heatwave, a filly by Leroidesanimaux, has been retained and is with Sir Mark Prescott. She has no yearling but is due to foal to Oasis Dream.
"Time Warp’s second dam, stakes winner Heat Of The Night, has a yearling three-quarter brother to him. He is a magnificent testament to his late, much lamented sire Archipenko, whose untimely loss in December last is still very keenly felt. From limited opportunities he has so far sired three individual Group 1 winners.”
Although Archipenko's early death was tragic, we can at least look forward to plenty of his progeny running in the seasons ahead as he covered 86 mares at Lanwades in 2015, 80 in 2016 and 46 last year.