Two new additions to Australasian breeding barns have highlighted the need to look closely at just what breeders down here are doing. Both stallions are well bred enough to justify a trip to the barn, but both, sadly, are by Danehill.
It brings to 71 the number of sons of Danehill at stud in Australia and New Zealand. That is going to cripple the gene pool beyond anyone's expectations in days to come, especially as sons of Danehill average about 55 mares each.
Te Runga Stud's Wayne Larsen is grinning from ear to ear nonetheless following the announcement that Danehill's Irish-bred son Chianti will join the farm's roster for 2004. English group II placed Chianti is a brother to triple group I winner and sire Desert King (sire of Melbourne Cup, Aust-I, winner Makybe Diva) and to deceased top sire Maroof. It is blood that has worked superbly in Australasia in the past. And now that Desert King, strangely, does not shuttle to Australia anymore, Chianti's arrival is timely in one sense. Chianti's dam, Sabaah (by Nureyev), has produced six winners. And of course, Danehill has sired 58 individual group I winners and 237 individual stakes winners. He has been Australian champion sire seven times, champion Australian 2-year-old sire six times, and European champion 2-year-old sire four times. Chianti will stand for a fee of NZ$3,500 (after being purchased by a partnership of Australian and Kiwi breeders).
The other horse is Conatus, a magnificently bred son of Danehill. Newly developed Darling Downs stud in Queensland, Plaintree Farms, will stand 5-year-old Conatus (a member of the prepotent Denise's Joy's family) this season Conatus, owned by syndicate, is a full brother to the classy 2-year-old filly World Peace. During his track career, Conatus recorded four wins from 1,000 to 1,400 meters. His dam, group II winner Light Up The World (by Rory's Jester), recorded eight wins. Conatus will stand at AUS$5,500 (including GST).
There is a desperate need for Northern Dancer outcross stallions in Australia and New Zealand now.