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Pedigree that's hard to predict; National Stakes hero Sinndar boasts rare mixture of speed and stamina.

THE first wheel came off the Ballydoyle juvenile juggernaut at the weekend, when Bernstein ran himself into the soggy Curragh ground in the Group 1 National Stakes. The Storm Cat colt ran too freely and did not get home, but it was just a blip, not an expression of his true form, and his promise remains intact.

The chief beneficiary of the favourite's defeat may have been fortunate that it was not Bernstein's day, but he did come into the race as a highly-regarded winner of his only start, he impressed in looks and attitude, and it might be a mistake to underestimate the merit of his effort.

Sinndar was not there just to support a race sponsored by his owner-breeder. He had behaved like a class act at home, he had won his maiden in fetching style, and he would have started favourite but for the presumed invincibility of the Ballydoyle team.

The transition from a maiden on firmish ground, in which he barely needed to become competitive, to Group 1 company in the mud in the space of two weeks was understandably not easily accomplished. He was under pressure a long way out and it took him time to appreciate what his rider's urgings were all about. When the penny dropped, his response was resolute.

Sinndar will have learned much from the experience, but it would hardly be surprising if he were to be granted the rest of the season off. It was a gruelling contest for a green colt, and with the 2,000 Guineas his priority, an outing in the Grand Criterium or the Racing Post Trophy might prove counter-productive.

But what will his targets be next year? Far from supplying easy answers, Sinndar's pedigree makes it seem surprising that he has achieved what he has in 1999.

Check the annals of breeding and you discover that matings involving parents from opposite ends of the distance spectrum do not generally result in a happy medium. Caro, a 10-furlong star by sprinter Fortino out of stayer Chambord, ranks as the prime exception to a rule that says one factor will tend to dominate the other.

Sinndar comes from the second crop of Grand Lodge, a champion two-year-old (albeit a sub-standard one) whose only win at three came in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, and is out of Sinntara, who was unraced at two, but was a Listed winner over two miles in her last start at three.

Was it Grand Lodge's speed and precocity or Sinntara's dour stamina that got Sinndar home in the National Stakes? Will Grand Lodge determine how far he stays, or will Sinntara mean he will lack speed? Might he even be another of those rare exceptions with a blend of genes enabling him to excel at middle distances?

It is a pedigree which might be compared to that of Grundy, the son of a miler (Great Nephew) who could stretch his stamina to 10 furlongs and of a mare (Word From Lundy) who stayed all day and lacked class. But Word From Lundy was not typical of her family; Sinntara, representing stamina on stamina, decidedly is.

Although Grand Lodge did not win beyond a mile, he did have high-class form at 10 furlongs, notably when runner-up in the Champion Stakes. At the March supplementary stage he was even entered in the Derby, and though he did not contest it, another son of Chief's Crown - Erhaab - won it.

It is too early in Grand Lodge's stud career for us to be definite about the qualities he imparts. But there is nothing to say he will inhibit the expression of stamina in his offspring.

The Aga Khan once famously remarked that when taking over a successful stud, one acquires the expertise of people who got things right, and though one may not always understand what it was, that accumulated wisdom, manifested in the stock they produced, will continue to bear fruit.

The Aga acquired three long-established studs, and they are all conspicuous in Sinntara's background. Her sire Lashkari came from a line developed by his father and grandfather. Her dam's sire, Top Ville, sprang from the Dupre stud. And her dam's mother originated from one of the most prolific Boussac families.

BUT perhaps not the least significant aspect of Sinntara's pedigree is that she is by a son of Mill Reef. The Aga has long professed a deep appreciation for Mill Reef's qualities, and his stud now contains much of what is best of the great horse's legacy, including the best sire (and broodmare sire) from the line, Darshaan. He must be eagerly anticipating the opportunity to welcome Daylami back into the fold.

What makes the Aga different from other breeders is that he keeps faith with horses that others discard. Lashkari sired only one Pattern winner and was never broodmare sire of a Pattern winner until Sunday. Most would have weeded out such an influence.

Similarly, in Sinntara's female line: Tourzima was responsible for a host of celebrities through her daughters by Pharis, but the dire sire Coaltown poisoned the Boussac breed and few would have tolerated his presence in a pedigree. It has taken the Aga a while to obtain a reward for his obdurate persistence, but now Coaltown's daughter from Tourzima is the fourth dam of a Group 1 winner.

Commercial breeders, tied to fashion and the market-place, can never operate like the Aga Khan. But it is no wonder that they clamour to buy his culls. All that accumulated wisdom and expertise!

SIRE: GRAND LODGE

Bred by the late Lord Howard de Walden. Won 4 (6-8f) of 13 races, viz. 3 (inc. Dewhurst S.-Gr1) out of 4 at 2 years, 1

(St James's Palace S.-Gr1) out of 9 at 3 years. Also 2nd in 2,000 Guineas, Champion S., 3rd in Sussex S., Irish Champion S. Timeform 120p at 2 years, 125 at 3 years. Earned pounds 429,512.

Tall, lengthy, well-made sort, good mover, game and consistent, effective up to 10f in top company and on any going except heavy.

By an impeccably bred, top-class racehorse, also sire of Be My Chief and Erhaab, but an under-achiever considering his chances. Out of an unraced daughter of outstanding parents - by champion miler, major sire and broodmare sire, out of winner of Cheveley Park and Coronation S.

Stands at Coolmore Stud, Fethard, Tipperary, at a fee of Ir12,500gns (Oct. 1). Sire of 2 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Raise A Grand (Gr3), Sinndar (National S.-Gr1).

DAM: SINNTARA

Bred by H H Aga Khan. Ran only at 3 years, won 4 (12-16f) of 6 races, inc. Irish Cesarewitch and Listed Giolla Mear S. Turform 103. Earned Irpounds 25,757.

Strongly progressive form without aspiring to Pattern calibre. Seemingly acted on any ground, best form on soft. Lacked acceleration, but a relentless galloper who stayed two miles well.

By a well-bred, top-class racehorse whose stud record was poor. Out of a four-time winner (10-12f) who was half-sister to Sadjiyd (Gr2 winner, Gr1-placed). Grand-dam sister to Gr3-calibre Abgal.

Next dam half-sister to notable broodmares Corejada (dam of Macip and Apollonia), Gloriana (3rd dam of Acamas, Akarad and Akiyda) and Albanilla (4th dam of Darshaan, 5th dam of Daliapour).

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Sirinndi (1994 c by Shahrastani; winner), Sinndiya (1996 f by Pharly; placed), Sinndar (1997 c by Grand Lodge; Gr1 winner). She has a yearling colt by Priolo, a filly-foal by Persian Bold, and is in foal to Ashkalani.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Morris, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 23, 1999
Words:1258
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