Haradasun - Australian Champion at Ascot

Haradasun - Australian Champion at Ascot
Photo: Trevor Jones
Queen Anne Stakes' winner Haradasun
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by Alan Porter

The achievements of such Australian standouts as Choisir (AUS) and Takeover Target (AUS) have taught Royal Ascot regulars to have a healthy respect for the form down under. That lesson was underlined when Haradasun (AUS) captured the first race of the 2008 Royal Ascot carnival, the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-IT).

The well-bred Haradasun first turned heads when he took his only juvenile outing by 10 lengths. In his first start at 3, he took the 5 1/2-furlong Vain Stakes with an amazing finishing burst. Despite that impressive display, it then took Haradasun a little time to gain a prize commensurate with his obvious ability. After a second in the six-furlong H. D. F. McNeil Stakes (Aus-IIIT), beaten a short head by star filly Miss Finland (AUS), he added the six-furlong Zeditave Stakes and seven-furlong Wellington Racing Club Stakes, but was then second in the Schweppervescence Cup Autumn Stakes (Aus- IIIT) and fourth in the Cadbury Guineas (Aus-IT).

What really established Haradasun as a star, however, were back-to-back victories in the Cathay Pacific George Ryder Stakes and Emirates Doncaster Handicap (both Aus-IT), achieved in the space of just 10 days. Only five days after the latter win, Haradasun was back in action against the “war horse,” Desert War (AUS), and although he found the indomitable older horse just too tough, he acquitted himself well on his first try at 10 furlongs, finishing second. These outstanding efforts earned Haradasun a title as Australia’s champion 3-year-old colt and a successful bid from Coolmore for a half interest in the horse, with an Australian-record valuation of A$45 million on his head.

Haradasun returned for a frustrating Australian 4-year-old season, one in which he demonstrated considerable consistency and versatility but could never get his head in front when it counted. Second to the brilliant sprinter Apache Cat (AUS) in the six-furlong Taralye Foundation Bletchingly Stakes (Aus-IIIT), he occupied the same position behind Miss Finland in the Memsie Stakes (Aus-IIT), and then missed by just a nose in the one-mile Dato Tan Chin Nam John F. Feehan Stakes (Aus-IIT). Over 10 furlongs, he took third to Devil Moon (AUS) in the Turnbull Stakes (Aus-IT), and third to El Segundo (NZ) in the Tattersall’s Cox Plate (Aus-IT). An uncharacteristically poor effort followed in the L’Oreal Paris Mackinnon Stakes (Aus-IT), where Haradasun went unplaced.

Sent to Europe and the stable of Aiden O’Brien for a change of scenery, Haradasun made his Northern Hemisphere debut in the Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes (Eng-IT) in May. In a race run at a muddling pace, Haradasun was checked at a vital juncture and finished sixth, beaten just over three lengths. At Royal Ascot, Haradasun was able to track a pace-setting stablemate, and in the sprint to the line, he held too many guns for last year’s classic-winning fillies Darjina (FR) and Finsceal Beo (IRE). Cesare (GB), who had finished in front of Haradasun when beaten about a length in the Lockinge Stakes, took fourth here, beaten 1 1/4 lengths by the winner.

Haradasun is from the second Southern Hemisphere crop sired by Fusaichi Pegasus  . A Kentucky Derby (gr. I)-winning son of Mr. Prospector, Fusaichi Pegasus was never tested on turf, but since his dam is by Danzig and his second dam by Halo, he always looked as if he would have a shot making his mark with his runners on grass. His Southern Hemisphere crops have, in addition to Haradasun, produced the brilliant Hong Kong performer Floral Pegasus (AUS), and other Australian-bred graded winners Flying Pegasus, Tipungwuti, Just Dancing, Pure Joy, and Yuro. From his first four Northern Hemisphere crops, Fusaichi Pegasus is sire of 19 stakes winners, including grade I  winners Roman Ruler and Bandini; and group/graded winners Andromeda’s Hero, Ravel, Race for the Stars, and Fifty Oner.

Haradasun is half-brother to another Australian who made an impact on the world stage in Elvstroem (AUS) (by Danehill, a son of Fusaichi Pegasus’s broodmare sire, Danzig). A four-time grade I winner in Australia, Elvstroem also captured the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT), took third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-IT) at Royal Ascot, and placed in the Prix d’Ispahan (Fr-I) in France.

Haradasun and Elvstroem are out of Circles of Gold (AUS), a top- class runner who won the AJC Australian Oaks (Aus-IT), Coongy Handicap and Adrian Knox Stakes (both Aus-IIIT), and Ansett Australia Stakes, and was also second in the Foster’s Caulfield Cup, Queensland Oaks, and Fruit ‘N Veg Stakes (all Aus-IT). She is a daughter of Marscay (AUS), a Golden Slipper (Aus-I) winner who was subsequently leading sire and leading sire of 2-year-olds in Australia. Circles of Gold is herself a half-sister to Barathea (IRE)’s graded-winning daughter Gold Wells (AUS). The second dam, the New Zealand-bred Olympic Aim, a daughter of Zamazaan (FR) (a high-class French stayer, and subsequently a leading sire and leading broodmare sire in New Zealand), is half-sister to two black-type winners, the most notable of which was Bit of a Skite, who was victorious in the George Adams Handicap and All Aged Stakes (both Aus-I). The third dam, Gold Vink, is also third dam of the Golden Slipper heroine Polar Success (AUS), who like Haradasun is out of a Star Kingdom (IRE)-line mare. For good measure, in the fourth generation, Gold Vink traces to that most famed of New Zealand tap-roots, Eulogy (GB).

Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Haradasun is a product of the Fusaichi Pegasus/Star Kingdom cross that has also produced graded stake winner Yuro and grade one placed Johnny (AUS). The cross of Mr. Prospector-line stallions over mares by Marscay has produced eight other stakes winners including grade I scorers Eremein and St. Basil (NZ) (by a son of Machiavellian, a horse who combines Mr. Prospector and Halo, as does Fusaichi Pegasus). It is worth noting that although Marscay is by Biscay (AUS), an Australian-sired son of Star Kingdom, he is out of the U.S.-bred Heart of Market, a daughter of To Market, who has many strains in common with Raise a Native and Gold Digger, the sire and dam of Mr. Prospector.

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