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Lloyd Jackson looks at the influence of the mighty Pakistan II (GB)

Savaria (Savabeel[AUS]-Amathea) wins the G1 New Zealand Oaks in March
Savaria (Savabeel[AUS]-Amathea) wins the G1 New Zealand Oaks in March

Editorial commentary on recent stakes winners, their sires and families, is one of the many cogs of the bloodstock breeding industry's evolution. A sales catalogue page tells a limited story too, its focus being on the highlights (black type). It is, after all, a sales tool.

Deeper analysis (not the purpose of a sales catalogue page) can reveal some very interesting points - mostly historical, occasionally predictive and certainly quite interesting.

Take the result of the New Zealand Oaks, G1, run and won in mid-March by Savaria. She became the 7th Group One stakes winner (38th of now 39 stakes winners) for Savabeel and is from an O'Reilly grand-daughter of the great race mare and broodmare Soliloquy.

Without doubt, the Soliloquy family is one of the best in the stud book, consistently throwing top class racehorses, generation after generation.

The premise for this piece is a comment made by Waikato Stud's Garry Chittick during his "Off the Track" interview with Steve Davis. Garry was explaining that in his early days of establishing Thornton Park Stud he was at pains to convince (then) Wrightson Bloodstock that he was a serious player with clear ideas regarding successful bloodstock breeding. One of Garry's desires was to upgrade the quality of his breeding stock by ensuring that each of the mares' sires were top class. Garry wanted a mare by Pakistan II(GB) (Palestine [GB]-Tambara[IRE]), and they were charged with finding it.

Less than 175 fillies were ever foaled and they must have been in great demand, a demand that was perhaps led by Wrightson's Chief Auctioneer, Peter Kelly, who often highlighted Pakistan's ability to upgrade the quality of his mares. Wrightson's search took them all the way to USA where they had located Georgina Belle, now rightfully recognised as a Thornton/Waikato foundation mare.

Is this the why?

Pakistan II provides the linchpin to the outstanding qualities of the Soliloquy family, and historical facts support this contention.

NB: Without access to Arion Pedigree's data base and analysis reports (the nicks report is amazing), this article would have taken weeks to research. A big thank you Arion.

There have been 63 individual stakes winners descend from Soliloquy's great, great grandam (4th dam), Ann Acre (1931 mare by Acre [GB]), but only 12 had been foaled before Soliloquy. These numbers can easily be explained; with time, families multiply and expand.

Ann Acre proved to be a wonderful producer of four stakes winners (all by Foxbridge[GB]) including New Zealand Derby winner Al-Sirat. Her daughter, Chubin (Nizami [FR]), was named 1966 New Zealand Broodmare of the Year due to having foaled Prince Grant (Alcimedes [GB]), whose 14 wins included the AJC Derby and a Sydney Cup. Four years prior to Prince Grant, Chubin also produced Great Northern Oaks winner Catania (Pride of Kildare [IRE]) who, after export to the USA, won the listed Twilight Tear Handicap at Arlington Park.

Catania can claim great success as a producer in USA. Her daughter Corella (Roberto [USA]) is the grandam of dual G1 winner Brought to Mind (Ruthie's Native [USA]) and third dam of Japan Cup, G1 (Dirt) winner Kurofune (French Deputy[Usa]), a successful sire in Japan (and dam sire of recent stakes New Zealand winner Benzini).

Alcimedes [GB] (Alycidon [GB]) clearly "clicked" with the family. Cuban Fox, a Foxbridge [GB]half-sister to Prince Grant, produced the 1971 Melbourne Cup winner Silver Knight to Alcimedes, making them three-quarter blood brothers.

Enter ….Pakistan II

"Above average" might best describe Pakistan's racing ability. His sole outing at two resulted in a listed stakes third placing at Longchamp while his five starts at three brought three placings, the best effort being a second placing in the Group Three Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord at Chantilly. He twice won at four in England including open handicaps at Aintree and Leicester.

For most of the 20th century it was common for stallion imports to New Zealand to be modestly performed but well-bred. Pakistan easily fell into that category.

Palestine (Fair Trial[GB]), his sire, was bred and raced by the Aga Khan and made a huge impression at two and three. From 13 starts he won 11 (six at two); his premier performances being Group One Two Thousand Guineas, Group One Sussex Stakes, at Goodwood, Group Two Royal Ascot's St James's Palace Stakes, as well as the Gimcrack Stakes at York.

Tambara (Nasrullah[GB]), his dam, also scored at Royal Ascot (Coronation Stakes, Group Two) and dead-heated for second in the Group One One Thousand Guineas. Her half-brother and leading sire Turkhan (Bahram[GB]) took out the St Leger and the Irish Derby while her dam, Theresina (Diophon [GB]) was an Irish Oaks winning half-sister to the leading US sire Alibhai [GB] (Hyperion[GB])

Pakistan II was not the first son of Palestine to stand in New Zealand or Australia. That honour belonged to the Malcolm Brothers import El Mughar (sire of Railway Handicap winner Maria Mitchell). A number of studs followed Fairdale's Arthur Fell's lead but none had anything like the success that Pakistan enjoyed. The next most successful was WanderingEyes[GB] sire of 13 stakes winners.

Two close relatives were given an opportunity to cash in on Pakistan's popularity and success: Azemann [GB] (St Crespin III[GB]), out of a half-sister to Pakistan II, stood at Kinross Stud (home of Summertime[GB]) and sired half a dozen stakes winners including Sydney Cup winner Azawary. Meanwhile, Jim Morris (Rodmor Stud) imported Athalia (GB) (whose dam was a half-sister to Pakistan II) in foal to Bold Lad (IRE). The resulting foal, Bold Venture, didn't make much of an impression. Neither did Importune (Imposing), his well performed half-brother.

A further pearl of wisdom from Garry Chittick was his comment about a sire's true worth - the percentage of stakes winners to runners. Anything higher than 10% is exceptional. The great Zabeel is running at about 10.7%. Pakistan sired 43 individual stakes winners from just 326 runners, or 13.2%. Exceptional.

In his second season (1964) he covered Gabardine, an unraced Gabador [FR] daughter of Green Gables (Vermeer [GB]), in turn a daughter of Ann Acre. At that time there was nothing, nothing at all, happening in that branch of the family. The result: Princess Patine, who won twice as two-year-old including a nice race at Ellerslie.

She was member of a golden 1965 crop of just 31 foals which included 10 individual stakes winners, Rajah Sahib being the standout. After scoring the Ellerslie Championship Stakes at two and being named Champion New Zealand two-year-old Colt he took Australia by storm the following season winning the Caulfield Guineas/WS Cox Plate double. Two seasons later he scored another double - the Doncaster and Stradbroke Handicaps. A notch below Rajah Sahib were super sprinter-milers Sharif, Count Kereru and Sharda.

Golden, but tough too, was the class of '65. Count Kereru raced as a 13-year-old, winning 25 times. Sharda (21 wins), Ayub Khan (20 wins), Sharif (13 wins) and Honda (17 wins) all raced as 10-year-olds. Royal Tudor was an exception, ending his career at 4 years but won 14 times. All were foaled in Princess Patine's crop.

Following crops included the outstanding miler Triton, classic fillies Prepak and Wood Court Inn, top-class milers Purple Patch and Tiptoe plus brilliant sprinters Ajasco and Zambari.

Pakistan II…..the "why"

That 1964 Pakistan-Gabardine mating was a major event in the evolution of the Anne Acre family. Without doubt, she and her daughters were already among the better class of broodmares prior to 1965. However, it seems eminently clear that Pakistan added the "X" factor.

Sixty-three stakes winners descend from Ann Acre. Twelve were foaled before Soliloquy.

Of the remaining 51, 29 (or 57%) descend directly from Princess Patine.

At Group One level, the Pakistan II influence takes on even greater significance. A total of 16 Group One winners descend from Ann Acre - three being foaled before Soliloquy. Ten of the remaining 13 trace directly to Princess Patine.

They are:

Soliloquy (Sobig): Waikato RC Lion Brown Sprint, G1

Solveig (Imposing): New Zealand Oaks, G1

Gallic (Zabeel): AJC Sydney Cup, G1

Cross Swords (Grosvenor): AJC Sydney Cup, G1

Fiveandahalfstar (Hotel Grand): Victoria Derby, G1

Culminate (Elnadim): Otaki Maori RC WFA S, G1

Eileen Dubh (Storm Creek): Levin RC Levin Classic, G1

Captivate (Stravinsky): New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' S, G1

Master O'Reilly (O'Reilly): MRC Caulfield Cup, G1

Savaria (Savabeel): New Zealand Oaks, G1

Despite such a small representation (compared to modern foal numbers) Pakistan's blood features in the pedigrees of many outstanding gallopers.

His daughters produced 53 SWs (28 GWs/10 G1 SWs), chief among them the brilliant Golden Slipper/Blue Diamond winner Courtza (Pompeii Court), her brother, triple Group One winner Our Pompeii and the flying Railway Handicap winner Silver Liner (Sovereign Edition[IRE).

His grand-daughters have produced 59 stakes winners 30 group winners 10 of which were Group One. The best, by a country mile, is Super Impose (Imposing), the wonderful campaigner who won 20 races including eight Group Ones, and more than $5.6 million in earnings. His wins included the WS Cox Plate, two Doncaster Handicaps, two Epsom Handicaps and two Chipping Norton Stakes. Two honourable mentions are: Golden Slipper and VRC Newmarket Handicap winner Belle du Jour (Dehere [USA]) and recently deceased champion New Zealand sire O'Reilly (Last Tycoon[IRE]).

At this juncture, keen observers will have noted that our original subject, Savaria, is out of the O'Reilly mare, Amathea, and is therefore bred 4x4 to Pakistan (and on a similar pattern to Caulfield Cup winner Master O'Reilly).

His great grand-daughters have produced 76 stakes winners, 42 group winners of which 11 were Group One. This group is headed by four-time Group One winner Divine Madonna (Hurricane Sky[AUS]), three-time Group One winner Miltak (McGinty), the South African champion Hoeberg (Maroof[USA]) plus dual Group One winners Dignity Dancer (Zabeel), Kimba (Abel Prospect[USA]) in Peru, Vision and Power (Carnegie [IRE]) and Glamour Puss (Tale of the Cat[USA].

Why Pakistan II?

Truly, we really don't know why, but with hindsight we most certainly know that Pakistan II made a huge difference to many New Zealand thoroughbred families. His first crop was foaled 50 years ago and his career was all too short - just nine seasons - but you can still find his name in modern pedigrees. When you do, you can be fairly sure that the family has strongly benefitted from his presence.

- Lloyd Jackson


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