(With three of the country’s leading stallions having passed away in quick succession, it is imperative that the void left by the three ‘giants’ be filled by the new string of stallions scattered across the country. Here’s a look at some of the new arrivals who appear to have the potential to cater to the best of India’s thriving thoroughbred market.) Any racegoer worth his salt will realize that by the passing away of three of the country’s leading sires in quick succession, a void of considerable proportions has been created in the breeding industry.
We are of course referring to Razeen, Placerville and Glory of Dancer. All three were prolific, with Razeen from the Usha Stud farm holding the pole position. There is no doubt that in the past two or three decades, the country’s breeding industry has been revolutionized by the likes of Riyahi, Malvado, Sovereign Silver, Common Land and later Razeen. Perhaps, the ball started to roll when the late Major PK Mehra imported the wonder stallion called Grey Gaston. The Poonawallas followed suit with those three champion sires named above, in the early nineties. Thereafter, there has been no dearth of top-drawer colts and fillies in this country. Kunigal Stud too has seen its fair share of success, what with the likes of Burden Of Proof producing high-quality thoroughbreds at regular intervals – Full Speed and Fantabulous King to name a couple.
This series, however, is not one meant for nostalgic old-timers. Rather, it looks to the future with some of the new names among the stallions who are likely to dominate the ongoing decade. The first on our list of names is one called ‘Rebuttal’. He has already produced Calcutta’s best three-year-old this year, a colt named Dandified out of the broodmare Dandoona. Rebuttal is currently standing at the Hazara Stud in Ambala, Haryana. Presently aged nine, the sire appears to have a bright future in this country. While his performance graph is nothing to write home about (having won two races from 10 starts at the age of 2 years and 4 years), it’s his impeccable bloodline which attracts one’s attention.
The powerful Mr Prospector line is highly conspicuous on both sides of his bloodline. Rebuttal’s well-performed sire Mr Greeley is a direct descendant of America’s champion sire of 1987 and 1988. Mr. Prospector's sire was Raise A Native, a son of the immortal Native Dancer. He was out of the mare Gold Digger, a daughter of Nashua who was sired by Nasrullah. ‘Mr. P’, as he came to be known, has a most remarkable feat to his name - siring one winner of each of the Triple Crown races, a feat his grandson, Unbridled, has also accomplished. In India, the Native Dancer line has been hugely popular and immensely successful in the breeding industry. One of the most prolific sires of the seventies was Mighty Sparrow, who was by Native Dancer out of Kampala. Native Dancer has the enviable record of winning 21 out of 22 starts.
Ironically, his losing start was the Kentucky Derby where he finished runner-up. Mr Greeley, incidentally, was an extremely successful sire. His dam Long Legend was the granddaughter of America’s champion sire Bold Ruler for eight consecutive years (between 1963 and 1968). Rebuttal’s dam Reboot was a winner of four races and produced seven winners. She too has Mr Prospector on her sire’s side. Reboot’s grand dam Flag of Leyte Gulf has produced several fine winners and is the immediate family of the great Secretariat. Incidentally, the Secretariat line also has a certain amount of influence on Mr Greeley. Having already made his mark with Dandified, there’s no doubt that more will be heard of Rebuttal in the near future. So all you racegoers and serious punters, keep a lookout for his progeny.