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Death at 32 of broodmare superstar Reprocolor; BLOODSTOCK WORLD.

Byline: By Nancy Sexton

REPROCOLOR, a founding member of Meon Valley Stud's illustrious broodmare band, has died at the age of 32. A tree will be planted in her memory at the Hampshire stud, where her ashes have been buried.

The daughter of Jimmy Reppin was retired from duties in 2000 after producing 18 foals, half of them winners, and four of whom scored at stakes level. Equally successful at stud have been her daughters, who between them have bred champions Opera House, Kayf Tara, Stagecraft and Necklace.

"Reprocolor was a once-in-a-lifetime mare," said Mark Weinfeld, of Meon Valley Stud. "Her influence is very strong - for example, this year she is the fourth dam of Alessandro Volta. Of our 40 mares, 20 descend from her, including some from the fifth generation."

Reprocolor entered the Weinfeld fold in 1977 when purchased for 25,000gns by agent Richard Galpin at the Tattersalls December yearling sale. Between them, Galpin and Weinfeld also landed two other notable acquisitions that year in Galtres Stakes winner Odeon and 1,000 Guineas winner One In A Million. Like Reprocolor, both later became important foundation mares for the stud.

Although the daughter of an unfashionable stallion, Reprocolor could boast some high - class connections. Lavinia Lynam, daughter of Reprocolor's breeder HG (Tiger) Wells, said: "Her dam, Blue Queen, was a small, chestnut filly, with a dipped back and twisted foreleg, but it was around that time when her half-brothers and sisters began to distinguish themselves.

"Among them was champion sprinter Sandford Lad, winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes and Prix de l'Abbaye, and Greenhill God, winner of six races, including the Bunbury Cup. The family was on the up and up."

Blue Queen's conformation limited her to just one run, but she made up for her truncated racing career at stud by breeding four winners to modest stallions before producing Reprocolor.

"By 1975, it was clear to me that Blue Queen was worthy of much better nominations and could produce something really good if bred to a fashionable stallion," said Lynam.

"Imagine my disappointment when my father purchased a nomination to Jimmy Reppin for just 200gns at the Tattersalls sale of shares and nominations at the Berkley in London!"

It was soon evident, however, that the mating had been a success. Sent into training with Sir Michael Stoute, Reprocolor blossomed into one of the leading fillies of her generation, running third in the Somerville Tattersalls Stakes as a two-year-old before winning the Lancashire Oaks and Oaks Trial Stakes at three. She also finished third in the Yorkshire Oaks and fourth in the Oaks on unsuitably soft ground.

The 2,000 Guineas winner Tap On Wood, then standing his first season at stud, was chosen as the first mate for Reprocolor, and the resulting produce was Blue Seal Stakes winner Rappa Tap Tap. However, as talented as Rappa Tap Tap was, her achievements were swiftly overshadowed by her younger half-sisters Bella Colora and Colorspin. Bella Colora proved to be a tough filly, taking the Waterford Candelabra Stakes at two and the Prix de l'Opera and Lupe Stakes at three. The daughter of Bellypha also finished third in a tight finish to the 1,000 Guineas behind Oh So Sharp and Al Bahathri.

Colorspin, a daughter of High Top, made up for Bella Colora's narrow Classic defeat by winning the Irish Oaks a year later. She also ran in the Epsom and Yorkshire Oaks, finishing fourth in both. Those achievements earned Reprocolor the 1986 TBA broodmare of the year award.

Several years later, the mare hit the headlines again, this time as the dam of Cezanne, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes. Unfortunately, Cezanne proved to be infertile when retired to stud, so maintaining Reprocolor's line fell to her daughters.

"We used good stallions who we thought would nick well," said Weinfeld. "But as Reprocolor was a total outcross to Northern Dancer, we sent her to Warning, also an outcross, three times in the hope of getting a filly."

One of the results of those matings was Repeat Warning, who was placed once prior to producing the Group 1- placed pair Suez and Polish Princess during a short stud career.

However, with three champions under her name, it is Colorspin who has made the most impact as a broodmare.

Her first foal, Opera House, notched up three Group 1 wins before embarking on a stud career in Japan, where he has sired top-class horses such as T M Opera O.

British stallion ranks have the services of his brother, champion stayer Kayf Tara, who stands at Overbury Stud. Promising jumpers such as Carruthers and Venalmar have helped him launch a formidable reputation as a leading young jumps sire.

Colorspin also produced Prix de l'Opera winner Zee Zee Top to Zafonic, while another of her daughters, Spinning The Yarn, produced the Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Necklace. The 25-year-old was retired this year after producing a Montjeu colt.

Although Bella Colora never produced a Group 1 winner, she did produce a champion in Stagecraft, later a successful sire in Chile. And through daughters such as Hyabella, the granddam of Alessandro Volta, and Balalaika, her influence remains strong.

"All Reprocolor's offspring were good-natured and easy to handle, but they were also tough," says Weinfeld. "They all had a very good walk, like herself, and were generally very good-looking individuals.

"She gave us a huge amount of pleasure and was a true founding member."


Dam of nine winners from 13 runners and 18 foals of racing age

1981 RAPPA TAP TAP (f Tap On Wood) won 3 races, inc. Blue Seal SL; dam of Pick Of The Pops (f High Top), 2nd Fillies' Mile-Gr2, granddam of SANTA ISOBEL (Listed winner); Oriane (f Nashwan), 3rd Garnet S-L

1982 BELLA COLORA (f Bellypha) won 3 races, inc. Prix de l'Opera-Gr2; Lupe Stakes-Gr3; 3rd 1,000 Guineas-Gr1; dam of STAGECRAFT (c Sadler's Wells), champion older horse in Europe 1991, won Prince of Wales's Stakes-Gr.2, sire; HYABELLA (f Shirley Heights), Atalanta S-L, granddam of FRANCE (Gr3), ALESSANDRO VOLTA (Gr3);

BALALAIKA (f Sadler's Wells), Dahlia S-L, dam of ALKHAADEM (Gr3, sire); MULLINS BAY (c Machiavellian), Strensall S-Gr3; sire; Panache Arabella (f Nashwan), dam of MAIDAAN (Listed winner)

1983 COLORSPIN (f High Top) won 3 races, inc. Irish Oaks-Gr1; 3rd Musidora S-Gr3; dam of OPERA HOUSE (c Sadler's Wells), champion older horse in Europe 1993, won Eclipse S-Gr1, King George-Gr1, Coronation Cup-Gr1, sire; KAYF TARA (c Sadler's Wells), champion older stayer in Europe 1998, 1999, 2000, won Gold Cup (twice)-Gr1, Irish St Leger (twice)-Gr1, sire; ZEE ZEE TOP (f Zafonic), Prix de l'Opera-Gr1; Spinning The Yarn (f Barathea), dam of NECKLACE (champion-Gr1)

1984 Sistabelle (f Bellypha) unraced; dam of TORCH ROUGE (c Warning), Arlington H'cap-Gr2; Sistadari (f Shardari), dam of SIR WARREN (Gr2), SIMONAS (Gr2), SYRAKUS (L)

1985 Classic Connection (c Mill Reef) unplaced

1986 Colorvista (f Shirley Heights) unraced; dam of Christian Name (f Cadeaux Genereux); Mudeer (c Warning), 2nd Racing Post Trophy-Gr1

1987 Colorsnap (f Shirley Heights) unraced; dam of PHOTOGENIC (f Midyan), Debutante S-L; CROESO CARIAD (f Most Welcome), Prix Novella-L; MONA LISA (f Giant's Causeway), Give Thanks Fillies' S-L

1988 Retrotopper (f High Top) unplaced; died in training

1989 CEZANNE (c Ajdal) won 16 races, inc. Irish Champion S-Gr1; Spreti-Rennen-Gr3

1990 Colorful Ambition (c Slip Anchor) won 3 races; also won 4 races over hurdles

1992 Colour Code (g Polish Precedent) won 2 NH Flat races; also winner over hurdles

1993 Lafitte The Pirate (g Sadler's Wells) 2nd Seneca H'cap-Gr3; also won 3 races over hurdles, inc. Joe Aitcheson Novices' Hurdle

1994 Pierre (c Sadler's Wells) unraced; sire

1995 Global Warning (c Warning) unraced due to injury

1996 Repeat Warning (f Warning) placed; dam of SUEZ (f Green Desert), Dick Poole Fillies' S-L; POLISH PRINCESS (f Polish Precedent), 3rd Easter H'cap-Gr1

1997 General Alarm (g Warning) won 5 races over jumps

1998 Street Colour (c Mark Of Esteem) placed

1999 Compton Drake (g Mark Of Esteem) won 6 races; also winner over hurdles


Dual Gold Cup winner Kayf Tara (centre) is out of Reprocolor's Group 1-winning daughter Colorspin; Alessandro Volta, a great-grandson of Reprocolor, is the latest family star
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Aug 11, 2008
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