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Horse Racing: Kingmambo chosen suitor for two of last three Oaks winners; BLOODSTOCK DESK.

Byline: AMY BENNETT

WHEN a Classic winner retires to stud, hopes are always high that the horse will pass on the best of its genes to the next generation. While the odds are generally against, stallions at least can play the numbers game: by covering books of 100-plus mares per season, they have more opportunities for success. Mares, however, have just one chance a year, and in fact very few Oaks winners have replicated their own talent in their progeny.

But when it comes to breeding racehorses, hope springs eternal. The last four winners of the Oaks have yet to have a runner, and below we take a look at the stallions to whom they have been sent in their early broodmare years in the hopes of producing another Classic winner - 2004 winner Ouija Board is still running at the highest level.

Casual Look, owned and bred by William S Farish, the former US ambassador to Britain and owner of Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, was always likely to be covered by one of the many outstanding stallions Farish stands at Lane's End. Although plans at the time of her retirement were for the daughter of Red Ransom to be bred to Mineshaft, she foaled a colt by one of Lane's End's premier sires, Kingmambo, in 2005. She delivered a colt by Mineshaft this April.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Mineshaft, who was also bred and raced by Farish, was retired to Lane's End at the same time as Casual Look. Voted Horse of the Year and Champion Older Male at four, he is an extremely well-bred son of another Lane's End resident, A.P. Indy, and won six Graded stakes races over nine furlongs and a mile and a quarter at four. He was retired after suffering a bone chip and entered Lane's End at $100,000 (pounds 53,340), a fee he has commanded during each of his three seasons at stud.

CASUAL Look was a very smart juvenile for Ian Balding before she was transferred - on the latter's retirement - to his son Andrew for her Classic season. After winning a mile maiden at Bath by eight lengths, the daughter of Red Ransom was second to Soviet Song in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile and was also second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.

She managed only sixth in the 1,000 Guineas, but returned in the Oaks to defeat the Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Yesterday by a neck. Although that was her final victory, Casual Look turned in another great performance in the Irish Oaks when finishing third, a length behind Vintage Tipple.

She made her final racecourse appearance in the US when unplaced in the Mrs Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs, having finished a close third behind Film Maker in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Out of the Manila mare Style Setter, Casual Look is a sister to Grade 1 placed Shabby Chic and a half-sister to Grade 2 placed American Style.

The 2002 winner Kazzia scored her biggest victories for Godolphin, who purchased her at the end of her juvenile season. A versatile globetrotter, she showed excellent form from seven furlongs up to a mile and a half on all types of going.

Her most important victory at two was in the Group 3 Premio Dormello in Italy, a win that led to her recruitment to Godolphin. The acquisition paid off when she prevailed in a tight finish to the 1,000 Guineas and then made all to land the Oaks.

A disappointing fourth place in the Yorkshire Oaks was followed by a trip to the States, where she triumphed in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes at Belmont before finishing a close-up sixth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Arlington Park.

Stamina was never an issue for Kazzia, as shown by her front-running heroics at Epsom. Her siblings have won in Germany at up to a mile and a quarter and her dam is from the family of the German St Leger winner Kamiros II.

Darley selected its sire Singspiel, another ultra-tough performer who won nine times in four different countries, to be Kazzia's first mate. With horses such as the Dubai World Cup winner Moon Ballad, Ascot Gold Cup winner Papineau, Del Mar Oaks heroine Singhalese and this season's 1,000 Guineas runner-up Confidential Lay representing him, Singspiel has made his mark in several countries. Since entering stud at Dalham Hall in 1998, his fee has ranged from pounds 15,000 to pounds 50,000, and is currently pounds 35,000.

Kazzia's two-year-old Singspiel colt, named Eastern Anthem, will gain a full sibling next year as the daughter of Zinaad has been bred again to Singspiel, having slipped to Sadler's Wells last year.

MUCH was made of the fact that last year's Oaks winner Eswarah was a daughter of Midway Lady, who won the race in 1986, and owner-breeder Sheikh Hamdan must be hopeful of repeating the formula.

Unraced at two, Eswarah made a winning debut over a mile and a quarter at Newbury last April, and followed up over course and distance a month later in the Listed Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial Stakes. Despite her relative inexperience, Eswarah beat Something Exciting at Epsom by a length and a half, the duo finishing well clear.

Subsequently disappointing in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes and the Yorkshire Oaks, Eswarah was retired after suffering a knee injury. The daughter of Unfuwain was covered in March by Kingmambo, a -old son of Mr Prospector whose $300,000 (pounds 160,056) fee is matched by A.P. Indy and Giant's Causeway, and bettered only by Storm Cat's $500,000 (pounds 266,760) fee.

Kingmambo missed almost of last year's eeding season through a combination of a leg injury, arthritis in his neck and a suspected infection with Equine Protozoal Myelitis. Although he is back in business this season, the injuries and illnesses may have served to remind breeders that he will not be available indefinitely.

Incidentally, while Eswarah has just embarked on her oodmare career, that of her Oaks-winning dam has ended. Midway Lady was retired after delivering her 13th foal on May 22. Her foal, a filly by Alhaarth, is a three-parts sister to Eswarah.

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Eswarah: last year's Oaks heroine was covered by Kingmambo
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2006
Words:1061
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