Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Looking Back at Leading Sire Dubawi's Year

Dubawi winning the 2005 Irish 2,000 Guineas. (Courtesy of France Sire)

For Dubawi, a night in the desert on March 28 was a highlight of a spectacular season. The 14-year-old stallion, who sired Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner Prince Bishop and Group 2 UAE Derby winner Mubtaahij, led all European and North American sires in worldwide earnings on Thoroughbred Daily News’ (TDN) General Sire List.

Prince Bishop and Mubtahij took home about $7.3-million on Dubai World Cup night, helping his sire end the year with progeny earnings of $22,694,299. While beat by Galileo when it came to just European earnings and by Tapit when only European and North American earnings were included, Dubawi beat both of them by over $3.6-million (Tapit was second with Galileo $4.9-million behind Dubawi) in worldwide earnings.

But Dubai World Cup night was only a fraction of what made Dubawi the leading sire in 2015.

The fastest Thoroughbred to ever sire 50 group winners, Dubawi’s list of achievements in 2015 didn’t end there. Mubtaahij, who won three other races in Dubai earlier in the spring. Mubtaahij went on to finish eighth in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes in the United States. Earlier in the Meydan meet, Hunter’s Light (entering stud this year) won the Group 1 Jebel Hatta, one of the highlights of Dubawi’s non-Dubai World Cup night winners.


Mubtaahij before the Kentucky Derby
The meet at Meydan in the first few months of the year was just the beginning of a successful year for Dubawi. Racehorses by the sire won 11 Grade or Group 1 races in more than five different countries including Shamal Wind in Australia, the aforementioned Prince Bishop, Postponed in England, Dubday (also entering stud in 2016) in Qatar, Red Dubawi in Italy and New Bay in France.

In all, Dubawi had 23 stakes winners and 16 graded stakes winners in 2015 according to the TDN.

Perhaps the biggest upset pulled by one of Dubawi’s foals last year was the then-4-year-old Arabian Queen serving up Golden Horn’s first defeat. That came in the Group 1 Juddmonte International where the filly took on some of the best males in the country and beat them on ground that was labeled as good to soft.

From Meydan to Australia to England, horses such as Dubday, Al Kazeem, New Bay, Catkins, Erupt and Time Test kept their sire’s name in the lights all year on the track. The stallion was even the sire of a Grade 1 winner over jumps (not counted toward his earnings for this story) when Dodging Bullets won the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the prestigious Cheltenham Festival in March.  But that wasn’t the only place you could hear Dubawi talked about.


Time Test
Commercially, Dubawi was a name on everyone’s lips.

The stallion’s yearling colt out of Group 3 winner Pacifique (Montjeu) was sold to John Ferguson for a record-breaking €2.6 million (approx. $2,823,730US/£1,913,759) at the Arqana August Sale in France in mid-August. Two months later, his daughter sold for $2.1-million guineas at the Tattersalls October Sale. The filly out of a full sister to Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Yesterday and champion Quarter Moon sold to M.V. Magnier to become the most expensive yearling sold in 2015. In Book 2 of that sale, Dubawi broke another record as a colt by the stallion sold for 725,000 gns to break that book’s record of 525,000 gns brought by a yearling by Dubai’s son Poet’s Voice in 2014.

In November, the weanlings took the stage when a Dubawi weanling colt broke the Irish record for foal sold at public auction when he brought €1.1-million (approx. $1,194,631US/£809,667) at Goffs November Foal Sale

Dubawi’s reign continued in the ring in December when he had the top three lots at Tattersalls’ December foal sale with the three fillies selling for 800,000 gns, 720,000 gns and 625,000 gns, respectively. A few days later Hanky Panky led the Tattersalls December Mare Sale, bringing $2.7-million gns while in foal to Dubawi.

Hanky Panky's promotional video before the sale (Courtesy of Hill 'n' Dale Farm)

The stallion only had one yearling in Tattersalls December Yearling Sale (the colt sold for 75,000 guineas), keeping him from sweeping the three Tattersalls December Sales but it was obvious enough as the sale and the year ended that Dubawi is the hot sire in town.

With the support of Darley behind him, it should be no surprise that Dubawi is such a big hit.

The stallion is one of only 56 foals by the ill-fated European Champion Miler Dubai Millennium, who only sired one crop. But from those 56 foals, 35 started and 25 won with five making it to the winner’s circle in a stakes race for 14 percent strike rate of stakes winners from foals to race. Classic winning Dubawi headlined the crop but Dubai Millennium also sired Echo of Light and Belenus among others.



2000 Dubai World Cup (Courtesy of Ivy7496)

Dubawi’s dam Zomaradah (Deploy) was a highweighted mare who won the 1998 Group 1 Oaks d’Italia, Grade 2 E.P. Taylor, Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes and Group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio. As a 4-year-old she also finished third in the 1999 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf by a length to Soaring Softly.

All six of Zomaradah’s foals to race have won with Dubawi’s half-sister Emirates Queen (Street Cry) winning the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks and another half-sister winning an ungraded stakes race but producing two stakes winners. Zomaradah also visited Dubawi’s grandsire Seeking the Gold with the resulting filly winning one race.

Zomaradah’s dam is a half-sister to Group 1 Epsom Derby winner and highweighted horse High-Rise (High Estate) and stakes winner Supremacy (Vettori) with their half-sister Three Jewels (High Top) the granddam of two India stakes winners.

Under Dubawi’s fourth dam are more recognizable names with Group 1 winner High Hawk (Shirley Heights) producing Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf and highweighted horse In the Wings (Sadler’s Wells), Morozov (Sadler’s Wells), Hunting Hawk (Sadler’s Wells) and Hawker’s News (Sadler’s Wells).

Also under his fourth dam is highweighted Infamy (Shirley Heights) and multiple other group winners by Sadler’s Wells and his brothers, which makes it no surprise that Dubawi himself crosses well with mares from that line. Both Dubawi’s group 1 winning sons joining him at Darley this year (2,000 Guineas winner Night of Thunder and Group 1 winner Hunter’s Light) are out of Sadler’s Wells granddaughters in addition to many of his other successful offspring.

While the £225,000 (approx. $332,444US/305,681) fee for Dubawi is £100,000 more than his 2015 fee, no doubt some breeders are breathing a sigh of relief as the fee was announced in early November before the later part of Dubawi’s success in the European sales ring. The stallion will be standing at Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket in 2016 where his son Poet’s Voice joins him. Hunter’s Light is standing at Darley’s Haras du Logis in Normandy, France for 2016 while Night of Thunder is standing at Darley’s Kildangan Stud in Ireland.

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