By David Brasch
WHEN there’s a million bucks up for grabs, the line-up of finalists for such a race is one that certainly deserves attention, and analysis.
The Million Dollar Chase was run and won in October at Wentworth Park and all the world watched on with huge anticipation.
The first two runnings were won by royalty – Mystic Riot in 2018 by champion sire Barcia Bale from broodbitch great Ready To Riot, and Good Odds Harada in 2019 by champion sire Collision from broodbitch great Solar Pak.
An analysis of the eight finalists in 2020 certainly deserves attention. They are:
1 SHADOW MIST
(Dyna Double One-Diva’s Shadow by Cosmic Rumble)
The South Australian star turned two in February, but his pedigree was already proven when his standout dam Diva’s Shadow was mated to Barcia Bale, sire of Dyna Double One, to produce three Group performers.
There were Blue Shadows and Peppertide, both of them Group 1 class stayers, as well as the very nice dog Grey Ghost a Group 3 class galloper.
Diva’s Shadow, winner of 19 races and $90,000, is from the famed Wee Sal damline, the Hall of Famer, coming in as the fifth dam of Shadow Mist. Diva’s Shadow was always going to be an odds-on chance to become a fine producer. She was already in-bred to the sisters Sobbing Sal and Benji’s Babe 4×3.
The pedigree of Shadow Mist shows a duplication of Spiral Nikita 4×3 via sons.
The 3×3 cross of Go Wild Teddy and Spiritual Rumble is similar. Both are from the Brother Fox sireline from a daughter of Malawi’s Prince.
(Fernando Bale-Miss All Class by Where’s Pedro)
The dam won six races including one at Wenty and had produced a fairly smart dog by Swift Fancy called Winxette (11 wins, $36,000). She has upped the ante to Fernando with four highly promising types who turned two in May.
The dam has a saturated pedigree carrying four up close crosses of the Brother Fox/Osti Lee cross. A bitch bred on that sort of intensity was always going to need a virtual outcross mating and Fernando was always going to suffice.
Xerri’s pedigree does have a degree of similarity. It reinforces the Wheeler family’s famed Gail’s Beauty via Fernando’s direct damline and also through Handsomelee in Where’s Pedro’s damline. And, Head Honcho is balanced and so is his father Walkabout Sid.
3 FLYIING RICCIARDO
(Barcia Bale-Megalodon by Glen Gallon)
The dam was a class act winning 18 races and $60,000 and was 2nd in a Group 3, and her brother Glen Star won 21 races.
The Barcia Bale litter has been handy and also includes a number of winners, but Flying Ricciardo is the standout of course already winning the Group 2 Black Top in his 14 wins from 16 starts (before the MDC).
Lots to like about Flying Ricciardo’s pedigree in that his sire Barcia Bale and 2nd dam Blu Evening are bred on an almost identical cross of Head Honcho/Brett Lee/Malawi’s Prince all of them perfectly balanced.
Interesting to see the Qld influence in the dam who is by Qld great Glen Gallon from a daughter of Black Enforcer.
4 WAGING WAR
(Moreira-Someday Lady by Smooth Fancy)
The dam won 12 races and $52,000 and she comes from the legendary National Lass direct damline. Someday Lady is bred on a similar Brett Lee/Spiral Nikita/National Lass cross as Magic Sprite and Oaks Road.
Sire Moreira is getting great chasers and has been a high achiever for the limited opportunities he received when first going to stud. Waging War is easily his best progeny, but his litter also includes the handy Distant Star, West On Tiny and Inspire Us.
The pedigree of Waging War shows a 3×3 double to Collision, balanced via daughter and son, a 5×4 double and balance of Brett Lee, and common links to Fortress and Spiral Nikita.
In fact, Donna Ricca, dam of Moreira, is a perfect balance for Smooth Fancy the sire of Someday Lady.
(Black Magic Opal-Absolute Stunna by Bombastic Shiraz)
The dam won three races from 11 starts, but was royally bred and is one of those bitches who lived up to her pedigree and outperformed her racetrack performances. Before she went to Black Magic Opal to produce the MDC finalists Wallbanger, Absolute Stunna had already delivered her Kinloch Brae litter that included Group stars Ring The Bell, Bells Are Ringin and Blazin’ Bomber.
This is the very, very famous direct damline of Fitzroy Lass (6th dam of Wallbanger). The pedigree of Wallbanger shows a 4×5 cross of Head Honcho and his half-sister Skyline Miss. There are a number of Group stars bred on this cross including star stayer Lady Toy.
But, Wallbanger also brings in a 3×4 duplication and balance of Brett Lee and an absolute saturation of the blood of those famous sisters Zulu Moss and Riviera Moss.
6 AWESOME CATCH
(Fabregas-Veetee Express by Black Enforcer)
Interesting that Queenslander Black Enforcer also appears in the pedigree of another MDC finalist. He is damsire of Awesome Catch.
Dam, Veetee Express won 22 races and $48,000 in stakes including multiple Sandown and The Meadows wins. Her littermates Greysynd Jet (18 wins, $35,000) and Stay Warm, (17 wins, $25,000) could also run.
This is the direct damline of those great brothers Vapour Whirl and Rocky. Vapour Whirl is found in Sennachie and Oakvale Beauty etc.
Veetee Express is bred on the Token Prince/Big Daddy Cool cross that has worked exceptionally well when linked to Fabregas. Big Daddy Cool and Bearability (sire of Fabregas’ 3rd dam) are virtual brothers so close are their pedigrees.
Other pedigree matches in Awesome Catch include a strong double of Head Honcho and a 3×5 of the brothers Black Shiraz and Big Daddy Cool.
7 HANDSOME PRINCE
(SH Avatar-See Blue’s Girl by Magic Sprite)
The only MDC finalist by an import sire.
Yet another Qld contact with the MDC. Dam See Blue’s Girl won 12 races and $23,000 but was a finalist in the G1 Hobart 1000. She is bred on an identical cross to Qld champ Cyndie’s Magic, by Magic Sprite from a bitch by Surf Lorian and out of a daughter of Placard.
This bitch was bred through the influence of Pat and Brennan Ryan. Pat trained to G1 glory Wine Glass the 4th dam of Handsome Prince.
As Brennan told me … it is the first time this damline has had an outcross mating for many generations.
Three of this litter are putting together nice reputations. See Blue’s Girl has since produced a My Redeemer litter.
8 TOMMY SHELBY
(Fernando Bale-Serena Fly High by Bit Chili)
The dam won 20 races and $96,000 in stakes and was a finalist in the G3 WA Young Star Classic. She was the standout of her litter, but all 10 of that litter were winners. Sasha Fly High won 15 races.
Second dam Sky Fly High (18 wins, $68,000) is bred on the famous Just The Best/Token Prince cross that also included Greg Cannon’s champ Buckingham Chuck.
This is the famous damline of Frisky Red that has included a number of Group starts. More recent success includes the sisters Go Mini Mouse and Go Jessie’s Girl and recently crowed 2019 Qld GOTY Dam Slippery, as well as brilliant sprinter Pantera Nera.
Four of Serena Fly High’s litter are standouts, the others being Steve Monelli, Withers Monelli and Kirra Monelli.
Tommy’s pedigree brings in a double of Black Shiraz, a reinforcement of the Skipping Chick family, and a balance of New Tears.