Danehill's Value Underscored in Stradbroke

Private Steer's soft win in the $1 million (Australian funds) Stradbroke Handicap (Aust-I) on June 7 again underscored the long-term value of the recently deceased Danehill.

The first 3 year-old filly to win the major 1,400 meters sprint since Dane Ripper is by Danehill Dancer, one of more than 60 southern sire sons of the soon-to-be seven-time Australian champion sire by earnings. Choisir, also from Danehill Dancer's first southern crop, won the Lightning (Aust-I) early in the fall.

Partnered by Glen Boss, Private Steer won her Stradbroke easily as a 9-4 favorite -- by 2 1/4 lengths. Danehill was on the wrong end of this result, but his son Diamond Dane prevailed over Into the Night (by Rhythm) by a nose in the battle for second. The 1:21.6 was 1.4 seconds outside Toledo's record on a track softened by rain.

Private Steer is trained by John O'Shea. Her sixth win in 10 starts advanced her earnings by almost $400,000 to more than a $1 million. As a yearling, her breeder took her to a country sale at Tamworth, and had to take her home again with bidding stalled on $18,000.

Danehill's Dane Ripper snapped a long losing streak for 3-year-old fillies in the 1997 Stradbroke and parlayed that success into one in the W.S. Cox Plate (Aust-I). Private Steer's crew have the same lofty aspirations.

Danehill is certain to gain posthumous success by general earnings. His $6.6 million is $250,000 ahead of the also deceased Serheed. The season's rich races have been decided with seven weeks to the close on July 31. Dehere is assured of third with $5.4 million, a million ahead of Octagonal.

Danasinga, another Stradbroke winner by Danehill, supplied the final group I of the season when his first crop son, Piachay, won the $500,000 Brisbane Cup on June 9. One race earlier, former UK shuttler Piccolo gained his initial Graded winner in the south when his first generation son Picaday won the T.J. Smith for 2-year-olds.

The Stradbroke was the final start of dual Hong Kong Sprint (HK-II) winner Falvelon and Royal Academy's best southern son Bel Esprit before they embark on stud careers at Glenlogan Park and Eliza Park. The multi-millionaire earners were unsuited by the softish track and finished in midfield.