Without Parole Bolsters Gunthers' Stallion Record

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Tanya Gunther and Without Parole after his victory in the G1 St James's Palace Stakes | racingfotos.com

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John and Tanya Gunther's Glennwood Farm produces stallions at a rate which must be the envy of some of the larger operations in the business. On its roll of honour the names of ten sires are inscribed, led of course by the Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), now ensconced on Coolmore's American roster. In 2021, the international wing of the Gunthers' operation can add a British-based stallion to its list with the return of Without Parole (GB) to his birthplace of Newsells Park Stud.

The son of Frankel (GB) provided his breeders with a treasured Royal Ascot victory in their own colours in the G1 St James's Palace S. just ten days after the unbeaten Justify became the 13th winner of America's Triple Crown, leading to John Gunther being recognised with the Eclipse Award for outstanding breeder. While the majority of the family's mares reside at their Glennwood Farm in Kentucky, the Canadian breeders also board a select band at Newsells Park Stud. It is primarily a commercial concern, but the horses retained to race are campaigned in Britain and France, as well as America.

During a midwinter Covid lockdown there can be few things more cheering than reflecting on that golden summer of 2018 while finalising this year's matings plans in support of a new stallion.

“It was such a crazy period,” says Tanya Gunther. “Justify had just won the Triple Crown and the odds of having the Triple Crown winner and then Without Parole winning at Ascot seemed too much. I just thought to myself 'It can't happen', and it really wasn't until he made his move in the stretch and got to the lead that I believed he might just do this.”

Just a week after Without Parole was born, his half-brother Tamarkuz (Speightstown), the eldest of Without You Babe's offspring, had won the G2 Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night for Sheikh Hamdan, and his subsequent switch to America led to his GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile victory the following year. Their family has been further enhanced by the dual winner and Grade 3-placed She's Got You (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and though Without You Babe was herself unraced, she is a half-sister to the dual Grade 1 winner and former Coolmore stallion Stay Thirsty (Bernardini).

Their Darley-bred dam Marozia (Storm Bird) was bought by John Gunther at Keeneland in 2003 and had been trained in Britain by John Gosden, who also oversaw the first half of Without Parole's racing career before he switched to Chad Brown in America. Remembered by Gosden as “a very sound and tough colt, and incredibly good natured”, Without Parole didn't add another win to his four British successes but he accrued plenty more black type with placed finishes in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile and G1 Shoemaker Mile in California, as well as the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland.

“Tamarkuz we bred in the U.S. and he was bought by Shadwell and he went around the world,” says Gunther. “Without Parole has also travelled all over the world and I'd like to think breeders give that some credit as we all know how difficult it is when they don't have the right mind. Frankel himself didn't travel but Without Parole went everywhere, more than what it would appear on paper because he flew back and forth across the U.S. several times and the U.S. is huge.”

She continues, “My dad had always envisioned him starting at stud in England. For European breeding, England, Ireland and France are all big but our operation is based in England so it was always in the back of our mind to have him back there. I do think that in America turf racing is becoming better regarded but for some bizarre reason they don't value turf stock as highly as dirt at the sales. While that bias is diminishing, it's still very much there past the top level.

“We tried to price him competitively hoping that he would appeal to breeders so he can get sufficient mares to be able to prove himself. Obviously for me it's hard to look at him objectively but it seems to me to be a pretty good deal for a Group 1-winning son of Frankel with his pedigree—it's a pretty choc-a-block female line.”

The return of Without Parole has been understandably well received by the team at Newsells Park Stud. General manager Julian Dollar says, “To say that we've been following this horse since the day he was born is, obviously, literally true. We very much kept an eye on him and have been talking to John and Tanya about the idea of him retiring to Newsells Park Stud for some years. We foaled and reared him and I think that's been really important to the guys here. You know, a lot of the people on the staff remember him as a foal. He was always a standout out foal and standout yearling. To have him back after a successful racing career is very special.”

He continues, “We always like to support our stallions and we are sending seven or eight of our nice mares to him. And the Gunthers are getting right behind him with the majority of their European mares. John and Tanya are about as passionate owner/breeders as it's possible to be. When Tanya comes to see her horses, which unfortunately in the last year has been difficult for her with COVID restrictions, the one thing I take away is just how much she loves the horses. And John is absolutely passionate about Frankel, always has been, and this horse Without Parole especially. So they have really got behind him with with some of their very best European-based mares and there's some very shrewd breeders who are coming in behind him, buying the breeding rights that are available, which is great. He's filling up well.”

Among the mares which the Gunthers plan to send to Without Parole are Beyond The Sea (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a winning half-sister to GI American Oaks winner Competitionofideas (Speightstown), who has a Kingman (GB) yearling and is back in foal to the Juddmonte stallion. Mama Tembu (Street Cry {Ire}), a half-sister to Justify's dam Stage Magic (Ghostzapper), is also on the list, while listed South Beach S. winner Atomic Blonde (Scat Daddy) will be shipped from Glennwood Farm to be covered.

“We have two mares leaving this week from America and there's another we're looking at at the January Sale,” Gunther says. “We don't go crazy buying a bunch of expensive mares but we think we have some good mares within our own stock and we're going to utilise them. We have eight pencilled in so far. For us that's a huge number as our broodmare band is not that big so the vast majority of our European mares will go to him. But we're not just throwing everything at him, we want to breed the right horse.”

Without Parole's first book will also have rarity value in the inclusion of Newsells Park Stud's Date With Destiny (Ire), the sole offspring of George Washington (Ire) who was listed-placed herself and is the dam of Group 3 winner Beautiful Morning (GB), who is by Without Parole's grandsire Galileo (Ire).

His arrival augments the Galileo blood already on offer at Newsells Park Stud via its proven stallion Nathaniel (Ire). To refer to the latter merely as the sire of Enable (GB) is to do Frankel's old sparring partner a disservice as he also has the Group 1 winners God Given (GB) and Channel (Ire) to his credit, as well as a growing number of group winners in Australia as well as a burgeoning reputation of classy National Hunt stock.

“He's been so genuine and consistent. I've got a big soft spot for him,” says Dollar of the 13-year-old. “Nathaniel was a mile and a quarter, mile and a half horse, and he's definitely throwing that stamina influence, whereas, I think Without Parole really did have a turn of foot. He was electric as a 3-year-old coming into St. James's Palace Stakes. I mean, he had a Timeform rating of 117 on his second run, which was almost unheard of. He won the Heron Stakes, and then went on to win the St. James's Palace. He's a proper miler and he comes from a great American speed family as well. So I think he's got much more of an influence for speed than maybe some other sons of Frankel.” 

Within the 1,200 acres of the Royston-based Newsells Park Stud, Without You Babe remains a permanent boarder, and her yearling this year is a full-brother to Without Parole. 

“She's a lovely producer, a very consistent producer,” says Dollar. “She had Tamarkuz with her first foal and she just seems to be one of those that hits a home run with with every one of her babies. She's got a super temperament and she seems to have passed on to Without Parole.”

For the Gunthers, Without Parole is the latest name on the list of stallions from their boutique breeding operation which, along with the aforementioned Justify, Tamarkuz and Stay Thirsty, includes GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner Vino Rosso (Curlin)—another from that extraordinary crop of 2015—as well as Mo Town (Uncle Mo) and First Samurai (Giant's Causeway).

Tanya Gunther says, “We had our first Justify foals last year and we'll have our first Vino Rosso foals this year, then Without Parole next year. It's really a very exciting time.”

 

A selection of mares being sent to Without Parole by Glennwood Farm and Newsells Park Stud:

Dawn To Dance (Ire) (Selkirk): dam of Group 3 winner and 2021 Classic contender Policy Of Truth (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}).

Mama Tembu (Street Cry {Ire}): half-sister to the dam of Justify, currently in foal to Kingman.

Beyond The Sea (Sea The Stars {Ire}): half-sister to G1W Competitionofideas (Speightstown), currently in foal to Kingman.

Atomic Blonde (Scat Daddy): stakes winner, maiden mare travelling from America.

Church On Time (Honor Code): half-sister to G1W Competitionofideas, maiden mare travelling from America.

Cubit (GB) (Bated Breath {GB}): recent December Sale purchase from Juddmonte, a half-sister to G3W Monarchs Glen (GB) (Frankel {GB}) from the family of G1 Prix de Diane winner Nebraska Tornado (Storm Cat).

Don't Cry For Me (Street Cry {Ire}): dual winner and black-type producer.

Pretty Paper (Medaglia d'Oro): half-sister to G1-placed Bookrunner (Tiznow) from family of dual GIW Good Magic (Curlin).

As Good As Gold (Ire) (Oasis Dream {GB}): half-sister to Eminent (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) from the family of Quarter Moon (Ire) and Yesterday (Ire), she has a Frankel yearling and is in foal to Zoustar (Aus).

Date With Destiny (Ire) (GeorgeWashington {Ire}): stakes-placed dam of G3W Beautiful Morning (GB).

Dynaforce (Dynaformer): dual GIW and dam of listed winner Aljezeera (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

Lady Eclair (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}): listed winner and dam of listed winner Al Malhouf (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}).

My Special J's (Harlan's Holiday): G2W and dam of stakes-placed Main Street (GB) (Street Cry {Ire}) and 94-rated My Frankel (GB) (Frankel {GB}).

Skrei (Ire) (Approve {Ire}): listed winner from the family of G1W Lumiere (GB) (Shamardal).

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