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Stallion Video: English Channel

English Channel, by Avalyn Hunter


2002 Smart Strike–Belva, by Theatrical (Ire)

Blessed with a strong turn of foot, English Channel captured graded turf stakes from nine to 12 furlongs, finishing off his career with an emphatic score in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT). Sired by one of Mr. Prospector’s best sire sons, he is from the female family of Bold Reasoning and Riva Ridge.

The link to Bold Reasoning suggests the latter’s great son, Seattle Slew, as a possible cross for English Channel, and there are more reasons than one for thinking this may work well. Both Mr. Prospector and Theatrical have worked well over Seattle Slew. In addition, the third dam of English Channel, Mistinguette, shares many genetic elements with both Bold Reasoning and Seattle Slew.

The male lines of Mr. Prospector and Nureyev have also done very well when crossed over Sadler’s Wells, so this seems a natural starting point when considering inbreeding to Northern Dancer through English Channel. From much lesser opportunities, Mr. Prospector and his male line have also had good results crossed over Fairy King, a full brother to Sadler’s Wells. The trio of Nureyev, Sadler’s Wells, and Fairy King are closely related as Nureyev is by Northern Dancer out of Special, by *Forli, while Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King are by Northern Dancer out of Fairy Bridge, a daughter of Special. Other possibilities for tapping into this potent genetic mix would be fillies from the families of the graded stakes-winning mares Number and Bound, both by Nijinsky II (by Northern Dancer) out of Special.

Other Northern Dancer-line horses who seem to have good prospects for crossing well with English Channel include Danzig, Nijinsky II, The Minstrel, and possibly Dixieland Band. Northern Dancer’s usual foil, Halo, may also be a possibility.

Among non-Northern Dancer lines, possible pedigree elements for favorable crosses with English Channel include Silver Hawk, Private Account, Riverman, Wild Again, and Lord At War (Arg). — by Avalyn Hunter