By Andrew Caulfield
Dubawi‘s colourful story is a perfect reminder that attitudes–and prices–are constantly changing in the bloodstock world. Subject to the usual difficulties which face young stallions before their progeny prove themselves, Dubawi was priced at only £15,000 in his fourth year in 2009, having attracted no more than 91 mares in 2008. Even that substantial price cut (from €40,000) didn’t have the desired effect, with Dubawi’s book falling further in 2009, to only 68.
Then Dubawi’s first crop hit the track running, with the G2 victories by Poet’s Voice and Sand Vixen highlighting his considerable potential, and Dubawi began the restoration of his profile which ultimately saw him become Britain’s highest-priced stallion in each of the last four years.
As his profile rose, Dubawi began to receive more mares sired by the mighty Galileo. Among the first half a dozen foals that Dubawi sired from Galileo’s daughters was a chestnut colt out of the listed-placed Forest Storm. Conceived at £20,000, the colt made only 32,000gns as a yearling but then proceeded–as Night of Thunder–to win both his 2-year-old starts before becoming the only horse to defeat Kingman, in the 2000 Guineas of 2014.
A matter of days after Night of Thunder had become his sire’s second winner of that mile Classic, Dubawi was to cover Nightime, a mare who had become Galileo’s first Classic winner when she landed the Irish 1000 Guineas in 2006. By 2014 Dubawi’s fee had already reached £100,000 but that six-figure sum was still to prove a very sound investment on behalf of Nightime’s owners, the Weld family’s Springbank Way Stud. Nightime’s Dubawi weanling colt was consigned to the 2015 Goffs November Foal Sale, where he became the year’s highest-priced European foal at €1.1 million.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that the colt–Ghaiyyath–has now followed Night of Thunder’s example by becoming the second Group 1 winner to represent the Dubawi-Galileo combination. Already a Group 3 winner at two and three, Ghaiyyath received a rave review from his trainer Charlie Appleby in the Racing Post‘s stable tour in early April:
“A very exciting horse who was one of our big Classic hopes last year but had a setback just before the Dante,” Appleby explained. “We gave him plenty of time to get over that and he had just the one run–an impressive victory in a Group 3 over 1m2f at Longchamp in September. He’s another progressive Dubawi colt who has done all the right things at home and after a very pleasing victory in Group 2 company over 1m2f in the Prix d’Harcourt back at Longchamp last weekend, we’ll aim next at the G1 Prix Ganay at the same track on Apr. 28, with the Arc being the long-term target. I wouldn’t say he lacks a change of gear, but he’s a big, powerful horse and his biggest asset is that when he gets to the front he’s relentless and just keeps piling it on.”
Although the Prix Ganay venture didn’t go to plan, with Ghaiyyath finishing only third behind Waldgeist and Spirit of Man as the 1-2 favourite, the Arc target seems to be very much alive and kicking following the 4-year-old’s demolition of the opposition in Sunday’s Grosser Preis von Baden.
I suspect that Night of Thunder and Ghaiyyath are just the tip of the iceberg where Group 1 winners from the Dubawi-Galileo partnership are concerned. At present there are 10% black-type winners among the nick’s 42 foals of racing age, which include seven 2-year-olds of 2019. The nick’s other black-type winners are Dartmouth, now resident at Shade Oak Stud following his successes in the G3 John Porter S., G3 Ormonde S., G2 Hardwicke S. and G2 Yorkshire Cup, and the Listed winner UAE Jewel. The latter was unbeaten on his first two starts in the spring but hasn’t been seen out since. He holds Group 1 entries this autumn, but if he does reappear this year Ghaiyyath has shown it is possible to bounce back at four from an interrupted 3-year-old season.
Dubawi also has something like 18 yearlings with dams by Galileo, including youngsters out of the Group 1 winners Golden Lilac, Great Heavens, Nightime (dam of Ghaiyyath) and Romantica, as well as the Group 2 winners Gretchen and Secret Gesture. The partnership also has at least 19 foals. One is a filly out of the multiple Group 1 winner Alice Springs, while one of the colts is out of Kissed By Angels, a Group 3-winning sister to the magnificent Minding. As most of these youngsters are out of black-type earners, it seems fair to expect this cross to flourish over the coming years.
Ghaiyyath’s dam Nightime was not only Galileo’s first Classic winner, but also one of the first to demonstrate that Galileo often benefits from mares with plenty of speed in their backgrounds. Nightime’s first two dams, Caumshinaun and Ridge Pool, were respectively sired by the King’s Stand S. winners Indian Ridge and Bluebird, and her third dam, Casting Couch, was by another leading sprinter in Thatching. Daughters of Indian Ridge produced two further group winners by Galileo. One, Oh Goodness Me, was essentially a miler, as she was third in the Irish 1000 Guineas, but the other, David Livingston, won the G3 Rose of Lancaster S. over 10.5 furlongs, having taken the G2 Beresford S. over a mile as a 2-year-old.
Nightime’s stamina went unproven, as she failed to reproduce the form she had shown on heavy ground in the Irish 1000 Guineas. However, her broodmare career suggests strongly that she would have stayed quite well. Ghaiyyath is her second Group 1 winner, following the GI Man o’War S. winner Zhukova, who stayed a mile and a half well despite being a daughter of the sprinter Fastnet Rock. Nightime also produced a mile and a quarter winner to Oasis Dream and a mile and a half winner to Raven’s Pass.
Although Ghaiyyath’s second dam Caumshinaun was essentially sprint bred, she stayed a mile, as she showed by winning the Listed Platinum S. Ghaiyyath’s fifth dam, the speedy Drama, won the G3 Greenlands S. and went on to produce a pair of notable broodmares in the GIII winner Tycoon’s Drama and the listed-placed Last Drama. Last Drama was the dam of the Grade I-winning American turf performer King’s Drama and second dam of Dubawi’s son Move Up, who enjoyed group success over a mile and a half in Britain and Turkey.