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another of 'The Magnificent Seven'

By Epsom Ace | 13 Jun 2008 | KOLKATA


Continuing our series of the seven sires who called the shots in the eighties and nineties, we look at another of 'The Magnificent Seven'. Common Land was no common stallion. His versatility took the racing fraternity of this country by storm. After the unmatched sire named Grey Gaston had triggered off the 'renaissance period' of the Indian breeding industry in the early eighties, it was left to Common Land to let his progeny do the talking.

The second of the seven brilliant stallions that ruled the roost in the two decades of yore, was none other the handsome brown sire known as Common Land. Sired by Klarion out of Short Commons, Common Land stood at the highly successful Usha Stud Farm in Haryana. The first couple of crops of this sire were dominated by short distance runners. Several of these crack sprinters went on to win the coveted Sprinters Cup. These were Klarion Gold, Fun of the Fayre, Icelandic, Bergamo, Calligraphy and Time and Place. Three of these hugely successful sprinters were under the care of that prolific trainer known as Rashid Byramji. These were Fun of the Fayre, Bergamo and Calligraphy. Bergamo eventually migrated to Calcutta, where, under the wings of Dallas Todywalla, he bagged the much sought after double comprising The Sprinters Cup and The Super Mile Cup. Just when the cognoscenti were wondering what kind of sprinter his next crop would bring forth, Common Land sprung a major surprise in the form of Almanac, yet another Byramji ward from the stables of J.P. Goenka. The latter was an extremely well known and successful owner of that era. The powerfully built Almanac notched up 18 wins including the prized treble consisting of the Indian 2000 Guineas, The Indian Derby and - surprise, surprise - The Indian St Leger run over a mile and three-quarter! As if that was not sufficient to prove his worth, he went on to drive home the point with another memorable success in the Turf Invitation Cup. It was the first time that a Common Land colt had 'got the trip' so to say. The immense success of Almanac brought the sire to the forefront of the racing industry and the Goenka yard produced another successful classic winner in the form of Aspirant, who had seven wins to his credit including the Calcutta Derby. Thereafter, Common Land progeny were a feared lot. Prima Facie ( nine wins including South India Oaks), Regal Star (nine wins including Calcutta Oaks), Twilight Lady (3 wins including Calcutta Oaks) and Cordon Rouge (five wins including South India Oaks) were all excellent fillies who enjoyed the mile-and-half trip and went on to keep alive the legend known as 'Common Land'