Pedigree Insights: Territories (Ire)



Despite the very considerable efforts of the Sadler's Wells male line, the leading sires list in Britain and Ireland is a forceful reminder that the most dominant force at present is the male line descending from the magnificent Danzig.

Thanks entirely to his sons Danehill and Green Desert, the legendary Claiborne sire has no fewer than eight grandsons among the top 18 stallions on the Racing Post's table, plus two in–form great grandsons in Mastercraftsman and Sea The Stars. While it is the Danehill branch which is responsible for five of the eight grandsons–Fastnet Rock, Danehill Dancer, Kodiac, Exceed And Excel and Champs Elysees–it has been Green Desert who has shone the brightest so far this year, with three sons in the top six.

Cape Cross–the eldest of the three at 21–ranks second to Galileo, thanks largely to his Derby-winning son Golden Horn, who is rated 2lb superior to American Pharoah on the latest Longines rankings.

The other two–fourth-ranked Oasis Dream and sixth-ranked Invincible Spirit–played their part in a Danzig-dominated few days of G1 action in Europe last week. It was Oasis Dream's 3-year-old son Muhaarar who won the July Cup, to reinforce his claim to being Europe's best sprinter.

A day later it was the turn of Invincible Spirit's son Territories, who stormed through from last to first in the Prix Jean Prat–winning impressively enough to suggest that a re-match with his 2,000 Guineas conqueror Gleneagles could be interesting. Even though Territories was a smart 2-year-old, it could be worth remembering that he has a May 7 birthday, which makes him nearly four months younger than Gleneagles. The possibility therefore exists that he could be the more progressive at this stage of the season (and he would need to be to make up the two lengths-plus by which he was beaten in the 2,000 Guineas).

Territories was the third stakes winner of the week for his sire, who had also scored with Arctic Gyr (Listed Prix de Saint-Patrick) and the 2-year-old Shalaa, who

won the G2 July S. with Elronaq, another son of Invincible Spirit, in third. It's worth mentioning that Shalaa's dam Ghurra is by the Breeders' Cup Mile winner War Chant, which means that this promising colt is inbred 3×3 to–you've guessed it–the mighty Danzig.

Interestingly, the third generation of Shalaa's pedigree also features the top-class brothers Kris and Diesis, so he is the product of two similarly-bred parents. Kris and Diesis also feature in the third generation of another of Invincible Spirit's accomplished 2-year-old sons, Vale of York. This 2009 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner possibly provided some of the inspiration for the 2011 mating which resulted in Territories. Another motivator may well have been Our Jonathan, a dual group winner at two years in 2009 who was inbred 3×4 to Danzig and 3×4 to Kris. More recently we have seen a G3 success by Rawaaq, a filly with Kris and Diesis in her third generation.

Shalaa isn't Invincible Spirit's only good 2015 winner inbred 3×3 to Danzig, another being Muthmir. This gelding, who followed up his win in the G2 Prix du Gros-Chene with a close third in the G1 King's Stand S., is out of a Danehill mare.

Territories is another reminder that Invincible Spirit does well with mares from the Mr Prospector male line. For example, his best son, 2014's Horse of the Year Kingman, is out of a mare by Mr Prospector's grandson Zamindar

Invincible Spirit has achieved some notable statistics with daughters of Machiavellian. Some 26 daughters of 1989's champion European 2-year-old have produced 36 foals to Invincible Spirit. Twenty-four of the 31 starters have won and as many as six–17%–have become black-type winners. These six feature that fast filly Hooray (G1 Cheveley Park S.), Conquest (G2 Gimcrack S.) and Lockwood (a speedy dual Group 3 winner). Machiavellian also crops up as the sire of the second dam of Charm Spirit, who won last year's Prix Jean Prat before taking two of Europe's most prestigious mile contests, the Prix du Moulin and Queen Elizabeth II S. And it is Machiavellian's son Medicean who ranks as the broodmare sire of Local Time, winner this year of the UAE 1,000 Guineas and G3 UAE Oaks on dirt.

I could add that Invincible Spirit is by no means the only son of Green Desert with a spectacular record with Machiavellian mares, as Oasis Dream has the Group 1 winners Goldream and Naaqoos among his 18 foals.

Invincible Spirit also thrived with daughters of Gulch. This combination produced only 12 foals, but among them were the top-class Lawman, an impressive winner of the 2007 Jean Prat after winning the Prix du Jockey-Club, and Tawhid, a Group 3-winning juvenile.

In the wider picture, crossing Green Desert's sons with Mr Prospector line mares has also yielded the formidable Golden Horn and his fellow Derby and Eclipse winner Sea The Stars, plus that very good Oasis Dream filly Midday.

I have pointed out recently that Territories' broodmare sire, Machiavellian, occupies the same position in the pedigrees of those very successful stallions Shamardal and Dark Angel, as well as the exciting first-crop sire Zoffany. Incidentally, Shamardal will be represented in tonight's Grand Prix de Paris by the Royal Ascot Group 2 winner Balios, while Dark Angel and Zoffany both enjoyed Group 2 juvenile success at last week's July meeting, courtesy of Birchwood and Illuminate respectively.

Territories' credentials as a future stallion also extend to having an impressive female line. Sheikh Mohammed has the added satisfaction of not only having bred Territories under the Darley banner, but also the colt's first three dams, Taranto, Magna Graecia and Grecian Slipper, who respectively achieved Timeform ratings of 111, 112 and 102. Considering that Magna Graecia was a Group 3 winner over nearly two miles, it is understandable that Taranto stayed quite well for a daughter of Machiavellian.

Arguably even more important is the fact that Territories' fourth dam is the Irish Oaks winner Helen Street. This daughter of Troy visited Machiavellian to produce the highly successful stallion Street Cry and the useful Helsinki, who has provided Darley with another highly successful stallion in Shamardal.

I imagine that Darley's advertising copywriters can hardly wait for Territories' stallion career to begin.

Sunday, Chantilly, France

PRIX JEAN PRAT-G1, €400,000, CHY, 7-12, 3yo, c/f, 8fT, 1:36.12, gd.

1–&TERRITORIES (IRE), 128, c, 3, by Spirit (Ire)

1st Dam: Taranto (GB) (SP-Eng), by Machiavellian
2nd Dam: Magna Graecia (Ire), by Warning (GB)

3rd Dam: Grecian Slipper (GB), by Sadler's Wells

O-Godolphin SNC; B-Darley (IRE); T-Andre Fabre;

J-Mickael Barzalona. €228,560. Lifetime Record:

G1SP-Eng, 7 starts, 3 wins, 4 places, €518,990.



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