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Horse Racing: Dutch Art makes good impression; Pedigree analysis Prix Morny winner belies his dam's dreadful racing record.

Byline: TONY MORRIS

THERE is enough evidence in the human race of children who differ widely from their parents, in looks, in temperament and in abilities, so we should never be surprised when the product of a stallion or mare turns out to exhibit qualities not associated with its parents.

But for an example of just how extreme those differences can be, there can be few to compare with the mare Halland Park Lass and her son Dutch Art.

Halland Park Lass, a daughter of Spectrum and a mare who was a champion in Germany, raced three times. On her debut, at Salisbury, she finished last of 17 in a modest juvenile maiden. On her second appearance, at Folkestone more than three months later, she contested another maiden and was again last home in a field of 13.

As a three-year-old she was given a final chance in a Windsor claimer, starting at 66-1, and she came back last of 20, a distance behind the 19th finisher.

That was her career - in three races she never beat another horse. It's hard to imagine any would-be athlete making quite such a poor fist of the job. And some would have said that she was just the sort of filly who ought not to be granted the opportunity to breed.

But her pedigree was not that bad, so she was given the chance - the chance to further pollute the thoroughbred population, one might have thought. Not so.

Her first produce raised 14,500gns when offered as a foal at Newmarket, then realised 16,000gns as a Doncaster St Leger yearling. Optimism abounds at bloodstock sales.

In this instance that optimism was justified. That colt is Dutch Art, whose career now consists of three starts. On his debut at Windsor he won readily in a field of nine, then went on to Royal Ascot and came away a Group 2 winner, beating ten others in the Norfolk Stakes.

On Sunday, in a competitive renewal of the Prix Morny, he triumphed again, collecting Group 1 honours at his earliest opportunity.

Three races, three victories, with something over pounds 180,000 already in the bank. Mother had a dubious claim to breed at all' son is now a prospective stallion. Thanks to her first-born, Halland Park Lass has become a valuable commodity - and a rare bargain at the 12,000gns she cost Trickledown Stud at last year's December Sales.

There is a Kyllachy filly-foal on the ground, and a Tobougg foal due in 2007.

Halland Park Lass is by no means badly bred, although when in training she could only be regarded as a poor specimen of a good breed. She was a creature of little substance, who never got the hang of what racing was about.

The start was problem enough, but then she would pull and throw her head in the air' teaching her to become competitive understandably proved a lost cause.

The mare hails from an eminently respectable family. Her fourth dam was Silken Glider, who failed by a whisker against the Queen's Carrozza in the Oaks, but won the Irish counterpart easily before turning in dull displays in the Yorkshire Oaks and Park Hill Stakes, and in more recent generations there have been good performers, delivered without the help of distinguished sires.

Silken Glider's daughter Gliding Gay, just a modest winner, was by Hill Gail, who got a 2,000 Guineas winner in Martial, but whose stud career was otherwise less than remarkable.

The next link in the chain was unraced Pasadena Lady, whose own sire Captain James left a Middle Park winner in Creag-an-Sgor and not much else before he was banished from Ireland. But Pasadena Lady managed to produce three stakes winners, each by an unfashionable sire, suggesting that there was still some merit in the family.

Her toughest product was the Neshad gelding Palacegate Jack, who chalked up 15 wins, three of them at Listed level, and was placed no fewer than 41 times. Another Episode, by Drumalis, had 11 victories to his name, one in Listed company, in addition to a second in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes.

Also by Drumalis, Palacegate Episode did better still, as she had a Group 3 win in Italy on her CV, along with placings in similar company in Britain, Ireland, France and Germany, and in 1994 she was named champion older female in Germany.

Having won 11 races in all, Palacegate Episode soon proved her worth as a broodmare, producing the Danehill colt King Quantas, a champion juvenile in Scandinavia, also successful in the Group 3 Polar Cup at Ovrevoll.

A COMPARISON of Spectrum's stud record with that of Danehill may seem sufficient to explain why Halland Park Lass was not the runner that her half-brother King Quantas was.

But the family had survived - and to some extent thrived - on matings with less than distinguished sires, and there was always the chance that a stallion of some real consequence might raise it to a higher level again.

Nothing was known of Medicean's merit as a sire when Halland Park Lass visited him at Cheveley Park in 2003, but we have learned plenty since then, enough to indicate that he ranks among the very best young stallions at stud in England.

No doubt we should have expected nothing less from a horse who was the best son of Machiavellian on the racecourse, with the possible exception of Street Cry.

What we didn't necessarily expect from Medicean was that he would get precocious stock, because he was himself unraced at two and really came into his own only as a four-year-old, when he collected Group 1 wins in the Lockinge and the Eclipse, with a first-rate performance under his penalty in the Queen Anne (then Group 2) in between.

But Medicean is conspicuously getting stock who can run early to some effect' Dutch Art is his second juvenile Group 1 winner, after Nannina in last year's Fillies' Mile, when Alexandrova was her runner-up.

Medicean's fee was raised from pounds 10,000 to pounds 17,500 as a result of his first crop's showing at two, and it may now be due for further upward revision.

The three-year-olds have done their sire proud, with Nannina winning a second Group 1 at Royal Ascot and Almerita notching a Classic success in the Preis der Diana, while Dutch Art's performances will surely result in keen demand for Medicean's eight catalogued yearlings at Doncaster's St Leger Sale next week.

SIRE MEDICEAN

Bred by Cheveley Park Stud Ltd in England. Won 6 (8-10f) of 12 starts, viz. unraced at 2 years, 3 (Celebration Mile S.-Gr2) out of 8 at 3 years, 3 (Lockinge S.-Gr1, Queen Anne S.-Gr2, Eclipse S.-Gr1) out of 4 at 4 years. Also 3rd in St James's Palace S., Sussex S., York International S. 4th in Queen Elizabeth II S. Timeform 121 at 3, 128 at 4. Earned pounds 547,055.

Strong, well made 16.1hh. Fine mover. Honest consistent performer, effective on any ground. Made good physical progress to become top-class from 8-10f at 4 years.

Well bred. Among the best by his sire, a champion 2-y-o who was Classic-placed at 3, also responsible for Street Cry, Storming Home, etc. Dam precocious Listed winner, thrice Gr3-placed, half-sister to Italian Gr1 winner Sanam (by Golden Act) and South African Gr2 winner Shaybani. Grand-dam unraced half-sister to 8 winners (3 Listed), from the family of tip-top performer and Classic sire Caro.

Stands at Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, at a fee of pounds 17,500. Sire of 2 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Abigal Pett (Gr3), Almerita (Preis der Diana-Gr1), Nannina (Fillies Mile-Gr1, Coronation Stakes- Gr1), Dutch Art (Prix Morny-Gr1), Regional Counsel (Gr3).

DAM HALLAND PARK LASS

Bred by Swettenham Stud in Ireland. Finished last in 2 maidens at 2 and one claimer at 3. No earnings. Timeform - at 2 and 3.

Sparely made, poor performer who tended to pull hard and carry her head high.

Half-sister to King Quantas (by Danehill' Gr3 in Norway) and 2 other winners. Dam won 11 races, inc. Gr3 in Italy, champion older mare in Germany, sister to York Listed winner Another Episode, half-sister to multiple Listed winner Palacegate Jack (by Neshad).

Grand-dam unraced half-sister to 5 winners, out of a winning daughter of Silken Glider (Irish Oaks, 2nd in Oaks).

To stud at 4 years, and dam of: Dutch Art (2004 c by Medicean' Gr1 winner). Not covered in 2004, sold 12,000gns Tattersalls 2005 December Sales, she now has a filly-foal by Kyllachy, and is in foal to Tobougg.

CONCLUSIONS

Speedy, progressive individual whose pedigree gives him licence to get a mile in due course.

CAPTION(S):

The Royal Ascot Norfolk Stakes winner Dutch Art lands the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville in good style
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2006
Words:1474
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