Every so often a race sticks in your memory for all the right reasons.
The 2016 edition of the Group 2 Hawkes Bay Guineas was such a race, with Fastnet Rock colt Mongolian Falcon demolishing the opposition with a dominating performance. Like many good colts, he showed an affinity for making his own rules in front and then accelerating away to make a good field look second rate.
It’s certainly true that he found firmer tracks not as much to his liking in his subsequent starts but there’s no doubt that he was a top-class colt. As a stallion prospect, he appeals strongly, partly because of his pedigree and partly because at $3000 he gives all breeders a chance to upgrade their mares. What really appeals to me about his pedigree is that you can make a case for a wide section of the New Zealand broodmare population being well suited by Mongolian Falcon’s genetic make-up.
One bloodline that appeals is Storm Cat. His affinity with Fastnet Rock is already well-documented (Foxwedge, Awesome Rock and Irish Lights) and Galileo has also produced Group 1 winners out of Storm Cat mares (Churchill, Gleneagles, Misty For Me, and Decorated Knight). When a stallion is bred on a sensationally successful cross such as the Danehill x Galileo nick which produced Mongolian Falcon, breeders are faced with a “now what do I do” scenario. However, Storm Cat looks like being a very good place to start. In particular, mares by Tale of the Cat, Falkirk and Giant’s Causeway appear to have a lot to offer.
Another influence which has been the cornerstone of Southern Hemisphere racing success is Sir Tristram, (not to mention his champion son Zabeel). Although Fastnet Rock already has a Sir Tristram line in his pedigree via Marauding, inbreeding to the Cambridge Stud flagbearer has produced Group 1 winners Atlantic Jewel, Mosheen, Avantage and Planet Rock, to name but four. Interestingly, Galileo is also developing a degree of affinity with Sir Tristram. For example, Rip Van Winkle has three SWs out of mares with a Sir Tristram presence: Capella, Pendleton and Seraphim.
Having said that, it’s equally important not to forget that duplicating Northern Dancer and/or Mr Prospector is the bedrock of many Group 1 pedigrees. Multiple lines of Northern Dancer are nothing new (2007 Golden Slipper winner Forensics had five strains), but recent years have seen Mr Prospector triples become increasingly frequent.
Finally, let’s not forget Star Kingdom. One of my favourite crosses is Tudor Minstrel x Star Kingdom and, although Tudor Minstrel occurs back in the sixth generation of Mongolian Falcon’s pedigree, it’s an influence which keeps on giving, especially when Star Kingdom is also involved. Fastnet Rock has a Biscay line and it’s never a bad idea to have other Star Kingdom influences to complement him. Accordingly, mares by stallions such as Pins, Savabeel and Thorn Park are well worth sending to Willow Glen’s new stallion.
Article by Cloughmore Pedigrees