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The English page: Monsun - the never ending story

Masterstroke, now based at Yorton Stud. Foto: Yorton Stud


David Conolly-Smith


Ausgabe 656 vom Freitag, 19.02.2021

We have already written twice this year about Monsun´s excellent N.H. record and this story is still ongoing. There are winners almost every day sired by his sons or out of his daughters. Particularly successful this week have been Shirocco, one of Monsun´s best sons who defeated Malinas (Lomitas) to win the 2004 German Derby and went on to win the Breeders´ Cup Turf for Baron Ullmann and trainer André Fabre, and Sea The Moon (Sea The Stars), whose dam Sanwa was not only a daughter of Monsun but also a full sister to Samum and Schiaparelli, who are also previous winners of the German Derby which Sea The Moon himself won in 2014. The above-mentioned Malinas, closely related to Monsun, is also having a great run as a sire of N.H. performers, as are Samum and Schiaparelli. None of these stallions stand in Germany, but that is hardly surprising as there is little market here for N.H. horses but plenty of money to be made with the right ones in Ireland, France and the U.K.

This week can be regarded as fairly typical and the winners have been coming thick and fast. Shirocco, who stands at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland has had no fewer than three “bumper” winners – Thunder Rock at Exeter on Sunday, Dream Over at Carlisle on Tuesday and Pressure Sensitive at Wetherby on Wednesday. Shirocco is also the sire of the nicely-named Velvet Elvis, a winner over hurdles at Thurles on Monday, as well as Orkan, a winner the same day over hurdles at Warwick. Shirocco, like Maxios, another son of Monsun who has frequently figured here, is one of the few sires with both a Group One on the flat to his credit (Windstoss, another German Derby winner) as well as over jumps (Annie Power in the Champion Hurdle.

Hereford on Monday also saw Herbiers (Waldpark, also a Hamburg hero) win over hurdles with Equus Dreamer (Getaway, perhaps the most successful Monsun son as a N.H. stallion) in second. To be honest, these races are all relatively minor events, but experience has shown us that bumper winners can often develop into real stars when racing over jumps and of course one of the positive features of German-breds is that they not only keep their form but can also improve with age.

However the victory of Allmankind (Sea The Moon) was of a totally different caliber. The race he won at Warwick was not only a Grade Two but also a clear pointer to Cheltenham Allmankind was a decent hurdler, winning three of his five starts, but his form over fences is far better; he is now unbeaten in three chases and is clearly one of the best novice chasers around. His next race is likely to be the Arkle Chase at Cheltenham, for which he is a clear third favourite. Sea The Moon is making a name for himself as a N.H. stallion – he is also doing very well as a flat stallion, with his first Group One winner last year, and he has also had a bumper winner this, Mexico, who like himself was bred by Gestüt Görlsdorf.

These successful results are by no means limited to Britain and Ireland. Last week La Danza (Masked Marvel) won a listed chase at Pau. Masked Marvel (Montjeu), who won the St. Leger at Doncaster in 2011 only a few weeks after his very close relation Waldpark on the German Derby, does not have a German-sounding name but he is fact a member of the celebrated Ravensburg “W” family. He was bred by the Jacobs family-owned Newsells Park and sold to Bjorn Nielsen as a yearling for 260,000 euros; he now stands at Haras d´Etreham for 5,000 euros, while Waldpark (Dubawi), whose dam Wurftaube (Acatenango) is Masked Marvel´s second dam, costs 3,000 euros at Haras d´Annebault.

The word has certainly got out about the prowess of German-breds, and especially those with Monsun close up in their pedigrees, and this week we saw a 4yo half-bred gelding by Masterstroke top Arqana´s Vente Mixte de Fevrier at Deauville when selling for 250,000 euros. Masterstroke is another son of Monsun and was a smart performer for Godolphin, winning the Grand Prix de Deauville and finishing third in the Arc; he started his stud career in France but is now based at Yorton Farm on the Welsh border. Yorton Farm, owned by the Futter family, is one of the few U.K. studs specializing in the N.H. horses. They stand six stallions, four of them with a German background; apart from Masterstroke, they have Gentlewave, another son of Monsun, Arrigo, by Shirocco as well as Scalo (Lando), sire of the 2019 German Derby winner Laccario. Yorton Farm also have several German-bred mares, many of them bought at BBAG.

Two recent results which may have gone under the radar are the listed Torney Night Cup last Friday evening at Moonee Valley, in which horses with Monsun close up took the first three places. The winner was Starcaster (by Dansili out of a Shirocco mare), while Stars of Carrum (Fiorente) was runner-up and Vadiyaan (by Footstepsinthesand out of a Monsun mare) finished third. Fiorente, one of three sons of Monsun to have won the Melbourne Cup, stands at Sun Stud, one of the top farms in Australia, and is regarded as a likely top sire down under and has some very smart winners to his credit. Incidentally, the only Monsun stallion currently standing in Germany is another Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, who had his first runners last year and is also expected to do extremely well.

The second race to be mentioned is more exotic: an 1100 metres event at Casablanca, Morocco, which was won by the Röttgen-bred Navega (by Lope de Vega out of a Monsun mare). Monsuns of course will over all distances, but mainly from 2500 metres up (e.g. Melbourne Cup, Ascot Gold Cup); a winner over 1100 metres is a rarity indeed.

The flat season proper in Europe will not be starting for another couple of weeks, and N.H. racing will remain at the centre of attention at least until Cheltenham in mid-March. We confidently predict many more winners in the coming weeks for German-bred stallions, and especially those by Monsun.

David Conolly-Smith



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