by Alan Porter
The weekend saw an impressive victory for a classic winner whose pedigree has Danzig close up, and has been upgraded by some clever inbreeding. We’re talking about Big Brown, right? Wrong. Although Big Brown fits the bill, the horse we have in mind is Jay Peg (SAF), the South African-bred star who landed the Singapore Airlines International Cup (Sin-I) and distinguished him as having captured group I events in three different countries.
Jay Peg started his career in his native country, where he won eight of 13 starts as a 2- and 3-year-old, including a string of five consecutive victories. Among those triumphs were two classic events, the Bloodstock South Africa Cape Guineas and Investec Cape Derby (both SAf-I). This year, following a 13-month layoff, Jay Peg began the campaign in Dubai. He failed to win in his first three starts at Nad Al Sheba, although he did appear to be racing his way into shape, taking second in the Nayef Jebel Hatta (UAE-II) on the third of those outings. However, it still came as something of a shock when Jay Peg — who was dismissed at odds of 50-1 — overcame all comers to take the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I). Starting for the first time since that upset, Jay Peg proved that his Dubai victory was no fluke with a decisive 1-1/4 lengths tally over an international field in Singapore.
Jay Peg’s sire, Camden Park, a son of A.P. Indy and the Danzig mare Danzig Island, was foaled in the U.S. He started six times, all as a 3-year-old, with both his wins — a maiden at the Fair Grounds and an allowance race at Churchill — coming on turf. Exported to South Africa, Camden Park was the leading freshman sire in that country, but unfortunately died in June 2007. In addition to Jay Peg, Camden Park’s first crop also included South African graded winner I Do (SAF), and from his third crop, currently Southern Hemisphere 2-year-olds, he is represented by the recent Kenilworth Fillies Nursery (SAf-III) winner, Consensual.
Jay Peg’s dam, Laptop Lady (SAF), is by another American-bred horse, Al Mufti. A son of Roberto, Al Mufti was initially trained in England. He was three times group- and stakes-placed in that country at 3, and took second in the Gerling Preis (Ger-II) in Germany at 4. Exported to South Africa, Al Mufti advertised his merits with a second in the Rothmans July Handicap (SAf-I), South Africa’s most prestigious race. Like Camden Park, Al Mufti was leading freshman sire in South Africa, and has gone on to capture titles as leading sire and leading sire of 2-year-olds.
Also dam of stakes-placed Cabernet Kid (SAF), Laptop Lady is out of Ladies Game (SAF), a daughter of the Lyphard stallion Elliodor (GB). Ladies Game is half-sister to South African stakes runner Let Kiss (SAF) and closely related to stakes-placed Leopard Strike and Loofah (one by Elliodor out of Let Kiss, and the other by Elliodor out of a daughter of Let Kiss). Another daughter of Elliodor and Let Kiss, Love On the Run (SAF), is dam of the Bloodstock South African Fillies’ Nursery (SAf-II) winner Dash For Gretna (SAF) and graded-placed Moneycantbuymelove (SAF).
Jay Peg’s third dam, Leucothea, a daughter of Cornish Prince, was bred in the U.S. and sent to South Africa after running at 2 and 3 in France. In the U.S., the family would be most recognizable through Leucothea’s half-sister Statue, who appears as granddam of the Illinois Derby (gr. II) winner Natural Selection and third dam of Lexington Stakes (gr. III) winner Sharp Impact. Although it availed her little on the racetrack, Leucothea had an interesting pedigree with the closely-related Mumtaz Begum (FR) (dam of Nasrullah) and Mahmoud 4 x 3; the half-sisters Adargatis and La Troienne 5 x 4; and linebreeding to Fairy Gold (dam of Man o’ War’s sire, Fair Play).
Jay Peg is rated A++ by TrueNicks on the basis of the A.P. Indy/Roberto cross that has also produced A.P. Indy graded stakes winners Gradepoint and Parade Queen. As mentioned in the introduction to this article, however, Jay Peg’s pedigree is also upgraded by some clever inbreeding. This is because his broodmare sire, Al Mufti, is a half-brother to Weekend Surprise, the dam of A.P. Indy, so giving Jay Peg a 4 x 3 cross of their dam, Lassie Dear. It’s not the first time that inbreeding to this family has produced an outstanding runner for the A.P. Indy male line: champion 2-year-old Stevie Wonderboy — by A.P. Indy’s son Stephen Got Even — is out of a mare by Summer Squall, a half-brother to A.P. Indy, and so is inbred 3 x 3 to Weekend Surprise.