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Sunbride Descendant Proisir Groomed for Success

Rich Hill Stud's recent addition to their stallion roster, Proisir [AUS], has much to recommend him, with interesting bloodlines and a worthy race record.

His best winning performance was a win at Newcastle in the Gr.3 Spring Stakes -often a difficult race to win. His lead-up into the Spring Stakes was in a benchmark 69 1400 metre race at Rosehill in which he ran a slashing 1.22.71 and comfortably held future dual Gr.1 winner Norzita by more than two lengths. Two starts - two wins.

Well beaten into second place that day, Trophies (Casino Prince[AUS]) had been runner-up to Dear Demi in the Listed Fernhill Stakes the previous April. In third place was then twice stakes-placed Proverb (Commands[AUS]) who subsequently took out the Listed Dulcify Quality at Rosehill and the Gr.3 Gunsynd Classic at Doomben the following autumn. Fourth was Limes (also by Commands) who had finished third to Pierro in the Gr.1 Sires' Produce Stakes at Randwick. Limes would go on to score at listed level in the Hawkesbury Guineas, beating future star Boban.

Unbeaten in three starts Proisir was then thrown into the big time against It's a Dundeel in the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes. These two had the finish to themselves and although defeated Proisir was very brave and gave the winner a decent tussle right to the wire, going under by a neck.

In a huge vote of confidence from his champion trainer, Gai Waterhouse, Proisir was set for the white-hot atmosphere of the Gr.1 WS Cox Plate in just his fifth raceday appearance and although eighth over the line was not disgraced behind Ocean Park, All Too Hard and Pierro.

Given a short break, Proisir next appeared at Rosehill in the Gr.2 Hobartville Stakes lining up against the champion Pierro, the unbeaten Rebel Dane and his nemesis It's a Dundeel. Pierro scored narrowly from Rebel Dane but Proisir held out Its a Dundeel for third.

While Pierro bypassed the Gr.1 Royal Randwick Guineas (run at Warwick Farm) the race attracted each of the Hobartville placegetters and in a virtual repeat of the previous spring's Champion Stakes, It's a Dundeel and Proisir knuckled down again to fight out the finish. The margin was marginally larger this time - a half length.

Proisir's racing career was over - not that the connections knew that at the time. Seven starts - close to half-a-million dollars, three wins, and two superb group one placings earned him a very good international rating of 115.

In any other year Proisir might have two Gr1s to his name. He simply had the misfortune of being the same age as Pierro and (It's a) Dundeel.

An injury, a rest and a return to work saw the injury flare up again so the next chapter is now being written and the future looks more than promising.

Delving into his bloodlines reveals some interesting points, Proisir shares an almost identical blood pattern with Australasia's premier classic three-year-old Mongolian Khan.


Holy Roman



Northern Dancer


Pas de Nom

Admiral's Voyage


His Majesty


Spring Adieu


L'On Vite


Bold Ruler





Northern Dancer



Chop Chop




Better Boy

My Babu

Royal Suite





Rain Shadow

Todman (by Star Kingdom)


Three Legs




Hard Sauce

Regal Step

Imperial March






Danehill Dancer



Northern Dancer


His Majesty

Mira Adonde

Sharpen Up


Lettre d'Amour


Great Selection


Silly Season

Tom Fool

Great Occasion


Pensive Mood


Star Kingdom


Minor Portion

Prophet Jewel

Encosta de Lago

Fairy King

Northern Dancer


Fairy Bridge

Bold Reason

Shoal Creek

Star Way

Star Appeal


Mr Prospector




Better Boy



Imperial Bride

Imperial March




(Danehill over Centaine over Imperial March over Agricola)

Unlike Mongolian Khan, who excels over ground, Proisir was not tried beyond 2000 metres but it might have been interesting if he had been, against his own age-group at least. He certainly ran out the 2000 metres strongly enough.

It is more likely though that the Choisir influence might have been a little sharp given that Choisir himself was nothing short of brilliant, both in his native Australia and when he raided the premier English sprints during his foray to the northern hemisphere.

Of the more than 2300 races won by Choisir's stock, less than 100 have been at distances greater than 2000 metres. One exception is the 2014 Gr.1 South Australian Derby winner Kushadasi. Otherwise, his sixty plus stakes winners seem to prefer distances up to 1600 metres with a handful getting the extra 400 metres.

As a sire of sires, Choisir has made a flying start, headed by a fellow Northern Hemisphere raider Starspangledbanner, who also scored a major sprint double against England's best. Although hampered with fertility problems, Starspangledbanner is making a big name for himself. His first crop in England has resulted in two group winners including Gr.1 stakes winner The Wow Signal while in Australia, Of the Brave went into the Gr.1 Blue Diamond Stakes unbeaten, having scored at group three and listed level.

For Proisir to sire a derby winner he may need the plentiful stout blood that will now be available to him in New Zealand.

His Encosta de Lago dam Prophet Jewel scored at two in Sydney and added further wins in Sydney and Brisbane among her total of six, while his grandam, New Zealand-bred Factor, a daughter of Centaine, also claimed a city victory at Moonee Valley.

There exists a notable Te Parae presence in Proisir's lineage not the least of which is that his great-grandam, Imperial Bride, was foaled at Te Parae. Her sire, Imperial March, had huge shoes to fill following leading and champion sires Sabaean, Agricola and Oncidium, a task that was nigh on impossible. Nonetheless, as a Gr.3 Royal Ascot winner, Imperial March had a fine race record backed with some excellent bloodlines, being by the champion Forli out of a Northern Dancer mare from a truly wonderful family. For all that, he sired a disappointing seven stakes winners from some of the best families that New Zealand had to offer.

Despite that, the Imperial March-Agricola cross may well be the "x" factor that explains Mongolian Khan's superiority at the derby distance.

Blood will nearly always prevail however and Imperial Bride's dam Bridesmaid represents royalty itself, being a sister to multiple Gr.1 winner General Command; a three-quarter sister to 1973 NZ Broodmare of the Year Dicidiana (dam of Dayana) and half-sister to Melbourne Cup winner Straight Draw, Caulfield Cup winner Ilumquh and Our Love, the dam of near champion Terrific.

The story of Sunbride, the great matriarch, is worth repeating. From a modest background (her grandam, May Bride, won twice in India and her dam, Graceful Bride, was an only foal) and offered by tender, Sunbride was secured by Te Parae's Mrs A C (Nancy) Williams and, it would be fair to say, was not immediately successful as a producer. Her first foal, Our Love, was unplaced. Her second, Dusky Bride, was a daughter of the mighty Foxbridge. This mating would seem to have been a match made in heaven but after winning her maiden Dusky Bride proved to be the least successful producer of all of Sunbride's daughters.

At about this time Nancy was advised by a bloodstock specialist to consider selling Sunbride but she persevered, saying that even if the farm went bust she and Sunbride would walk down the road together.

What she did not know at the time was that on the other side of the world Sunbride's baby half-sister, Easter Bride, was about to become one of England's foremost sprinters, taking out the prestigious King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Her faith in Sunbride was soon rewarded; a mating with Faux Tirage produced Straight Draw in 1952, winner of the Melbourne Cup, Sydney Cup and Metropolitan Handicap. Three years later, to Sabaean, Sunbride dropped Caulfield Cup winner Ilumquh, who also finished second and third in the Melbourne Cup.

Dayana's grandam, Myrrh, also by Sabaean, followed in 1957. In 1959 she foaled Annie Oakley, a sister to Straight Draw and ultimately the grandam of Queensland Oaks winner Triumphal Queen.

Sydney Cup, Metropolitan Handicap and Queen Elizabeth winner General Command (by Agricola) was foaled in 1963 while two years later his sister and Sunbride's last foal, Bridesmaid, (the branch Proisir represents) was born. Due recognition was conferred upon Sunbride with two Broodmare of the Year titles.

With time, families expand and catalogue pages are limited in their space to detail some of the historical events and connections between different branches of the same family. Many might be surprised to learn that three of Easter Bride's daughters (Easter Rock, Easter Rocket and Watch It) all found their way to Australasia.

Easter Rock is the ancestress of 26 stakes winners (seven at Gr.1 level) including Ethereal, Darci Brahma and Stony Bay. This branch has become one of the most desired families in the New Zealand Stud Book.

Easter Rock can claim eight, of which four succeeded at group one level including the international Hollywood star Happyanunoit.

Watch It's descendants include eleven stakes winners, Victoria Derby, Gr.1 winner Blackfriars being the standout and who is currently one of the dominant sires in Western Australia.

Proisir has much to recommend and also much to live up to. His racetrack performances were tantalizing and it is a shame he wasn't able to show his, perhaps, obvious true worth.

His bloodlines and female line are fascinating. The writer has high hopes that he will make good and do Sunbride proud, once again.

(Statistics and pedigree data courtesy of Arion Pedigrees)

- Lloyd Jackson


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