The Mr. Prospector male line, which has proved highly formidable in providing winners of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), will be represented again this year by another strong crew intent on winning this year’s renewel. One of the more intriguing members in pursuit of Derby 137 is Mr. Prospector’s grandson Master of Hounds.
A Kentucky-bred colt, Master of Hounds made the trip over from Ireland for what will be his second start at Churchill Down. He is trained by Aidan O’Brien for Sue Magnier, wife of Coolmore Stud managing partner John Magnier.
Master of Hounds brings a well-traveled resume to Churchill, where he arrived May 3 and where he will be making his first start on dirt. Besides Kentucky, he has raced in Ireland, England, and Dubai. In last year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill, Master of Hounds ran a non-threatening sixth in the Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT). Also last year he ran third in the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) and finished first or second in three of his four Irish starts. In his sole race this year he was second in the U.A.E Derby (UAE-II) in March.
Master of Hounds figures to attract considerable attention in his Kentucky Derby pursuit because of his pedigree. He is by French champion miler Kingmambo out of an Irish group II stakes-winning daughter (Silk And Scarlet) of Irish great Sadler’s Wells. By Northern Dancer, Sadler’s Wells died April 26 of natural causes at age 30 at Coolmore. The combination of Kingmambo as a sire and Sadler’s Wells as a broodmare sire has resulted in several major runners, including Henrythenavigator, El Condor Pasa, Campanologist, Divine Proportions, and Virginia Waters. What should prove heartening is that many of the fivesome’s top efforts came as 3-year-olds. What might prove disheartening is that most their efforts came on grass.
Henrythenavigator was an Irish champion miler at 3 in 2008. His major wins that year included scores in two classics: the Boylesports Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and the Stanjamesuk.com Two Thousand Guineas Stakes (Eng-I). At the 1 1/4-mile Kentucky Derby distance, Henrythenavigator finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) in the fall of his 3-year-old season.
El Condor Pasa was voted Japan’s champion 3-year-old male after winning two group I stakes, including the Japan Cup for 3-year-olds and up. El Condor Pasa was even better at 4. He was named Japan’s Horse of the Year and champion older male and was voted a French championship. His efforts included a victory in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) and a runner-up effort in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (Fr-I).
Campanologist was an English group II winner at 3 in 2008. He also got better with age, winning a pair of German group I stakes at 5.
Divine Proportions and Virginia Waters were European classic winners. Divine Proportions won a pair of classics: the Prix de Diane Hermis (Fr-I, the French Oaks) and the Gainsborough Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, the French One Thousand Guineas). She was honored with a Cartier Award at 2 and 3.
Virginia Waters’ classic triumph came in England in the 2005 Ultimatepoker.com One Thousand Guineas. Virginia Waters was voted a championship in Ireland that year.
What also might bode well for supporters of Master of Hounds is that 10 male-line descendants of Mr. Prospector have won the Kentucky Derby: Unbridled (1990), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996), Real Quiet (1998), Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), War Emblem (2002), Funny Cide (2003), Smarty Jones (2004), Street Sense (2007), and Mine That Bird (2009).