THIS week’s final of the 515m Harrison-Dawson (group 1) at Sandown Park will see half the field sired by the former champion racer Fabregas. That is, by any definition, an impressive achievement.
In box order, the four Fabregas representatives are Dundee Osprey (box 2), Tiggerlong Await (box 5), Soda Man (box 6) and Aston Bolero (box 8).
You would think for a single sire to have half the field in a group 1 race would be a rarity, but in fact it’s happened a little more than might be imagined.
It’s certainly not uncommon for three finalists in a major race to be sired by the one stud dog. You only have to go back as far as this year’s Silver Chief Classic where Turanza Bale produced Marley Bale (third), Ernest Bale (fourth) and Aeroplane Bob (eighth).
As far as I’m aware, the record for a group 1 race run since the start of the Group Racing era (that is, 1995 and beyond) is the 1999 Brisbane Cup where five of the eight finalists were by Credibility. The five, in finishing order, were Faithful Hawk (second), Questions (third), Skipper’s Credit (fifth), Just The Best (sixth) and Look Down Phil (eighth).
That feat has been equalled outside of the group era in what is now a group 1 race, namely the Australian Cup. The 1968 final had five finalists sired by the great Black Top: Swanston Lass (first), Rokoko (second), Miami Moss (third), Red Elk (seventh) and Sam’s Top (eighth).
The 2013 Australian Cup had four finalists sired by Bombastic Shiraz: Spud Regis (first), Oomoo (fifth), Cintiarna (sixth) and Hello Good Bye (eighth).
In the same year, the Dapto Megastar had four of the eight runners sired by Where’s Pedro: Peter Rocket (first), Double Twist (sixth), Zulu Zeus (seventh) and Mexico City (eighth).
In 2011, the final of the National Sprint Championship was run over 520m at Albion Park and Collision was the sire of the winner Metz Magic (from Queensland), fourth-placed Point Two Over (from South Australia), fifth-placed Maybe Elite (also Queensland) and last-placed Bogie King (also Queensland). Admittedly, that National Championship final was marred by the scratchings of Pedrosa and Tonneli Bale, but it’s worth pointing out that Tonneli Bale was also sired by Collision.
In 2008, at what was the last running of the Gleeson & Tonta Trophy (now the Super Stayers), four of the finalists were sired by Token Prince: Just Friends (first), Gunnadoo Magic (second), Lyn’s Daisy (fifth) and Kulu Spirit (sixth).
Outside of group 1 class racing, the 1997 Chairman’s Cup, run over 720m at Wentworth Park, saw Worthy Reward as the sire of five of the finalists: Thoma Di (second), Worthy Gal (fifth), Ibrox Park (sixth), Worthy Warlock (seventh) and Chuka Tantrum (eighth).
A couple of races worth mentioning which pre-date the group era but are great examples of how dominant the former super sprinter Brother Fox happened to be at stud are the 1988 Young Star Classic and 1989 National Derby.
Brother Fox sired half the field in both those races, collecting first, second and third in the Young Star Classic and first and second in the National Derby.
Group 1 Harrison-Dawson – betting market
Box 1 – One For Me – $6.50
Box 2 – Dundee Osprey – $17
Box 3 – Blazin’ Bomber – $2.85
Box 4 – Dalgetty – $3.60 with Crownbet.com.au
Box 5 – Tiggerlong Await – $26
Box 6 – Soda Man – $34
Box 7 – Invictus Rapid – $11
Box 8 – Aston Bolero – $7
1st Res – Zambora Brockie – $6
2nd Res – Both Sides Now – $41