Nureyev remains a potent factor in SA thoroughbred
The late, great Nureyev was one of the greatest stallions of the modern era, and one of Northern Dancer’s very best sire sons. The sales topping yearling at the 1978 Keeneland Yearling Sale (where he fetched $1.3 million), Nureyev was never beaten by another horse on the racetrack. He finished first in all three of his outings, but was disqualified after winning the 1980 2000 Guineas, and placed last.
Nureyev became an even more successful stallion than he was a racehorse. Champion sire in France in 1987 (when his offspring won both the French 1000 and 2000 Guineas), Nureyev became a legend in the thoroughbred world, siring champions of both sexes, and siring Grade One winners from 1000m-2400m.
From 786 foals, the fertility troubled stallion was represented by 136 (17%) stakes winners. Among Nureyev’s stakes winners, there were no fewer than 12 official champions including Theatrical, Zilzal, Peintre Celebre, Miesque, Sonic Lady, Fasliyev, Soviet Star, Reams of Verse and Stravinsky.
While his male line has seemed at times to be faltering, Nureyev has left a strong influence on the South African thoroughbred.
Among his sire sons here were the recently deceased Caesour, who left behind more than 40 black type performers, and six Grade One winners.
Among Caesour’s stars were the record breaking international G1 winners Perfect Promise, Irridescence and Dane Julia, and top sprinters O Caesour and Tobe Or Nottobe. The latter is now a prolific winner producing sire.
Himself a successful broodmare sire (Dancewiththedevil, Goat, Emerald Cove, et al), Caesour is also the sire of current unbeaten filly Dolomiti.
Two other Nureyev sons produced Grade One winners in South Africa – Call The Guard and Truely Nureyev. Call The Guard sired the ill-fated champion Military Muse, while Truely Nureyev sired Cape Guineas winner Little Ballerina and is the broodmare sire of Gr1 winners Sarabande and Grande Jete.
Another son of the sire, Russian Revival, while banished to Kenya, sired the top-class international miler Imbongi, and is the broodmare sire of Fillies Guineas winner Festival of Fire.
Champion miler Zilzal, one of Nureyev’s greatest sons, was, like his sire, not a very fertile horse, but he became a successful broodmare sire. Zilzal is the broodmare sire of one of South Africa’s top sires, Var – who is the sire of dual Horse of the Year Variety Club and champion filly Val de Ra.
Another outstanding son of Nureyev was Arc winner and Horse of the Year Peintre Celebre. A successful sire himself, Peintre Celebre has two sons at stud in South Africa, Jam Alley, and the superbly performed Byword. The latter, a half-brother to multiple G1 winner Proviso, stands his first season this year.
Polar Falcon himself was a high-class performer, but he is best known as the sire of the magnificent stallion Pivotal. The latter, whose 100 plus stakes winners include over 20 Grade/Group One winners, is the sire of dual Guineas winner Noordhoek Flyer – whose first crop are yearlings in 2013-2014.
Nureyev himself was an outstanding broodmare sire, whose daughters have produced over 188 stakes winners.
Among the best horses produced by Nureyev mares were the world leading sires Kingmambo and Zabeel. Both Kingmambo and Zabeel are well represented by a number of sons at stud.
Kingmambo’s sons include the likes of Gr1 sire Parade Leader (sire of champions Laverna and Pierre Jourdan), promising young sire Ashaawes, the blue blooded young horse Ideal World, and the Travers Stakes runner up Mambo In Seattle. The latter, a three parts brother to champion Lemon Drop Kid, will have his first runners this year.
Another son of Kingmambo, Malhub, is the sire of one of last season’s top juvenile fillies – Virgo’s Babe, who caused a huge upset when she won the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery. Kingmambo is also the paternal grandsire of the Group One winning sprinter King’s Apostle, whose first crop race this season.
Kingmambo’s half-brother, Judpot, was awarded with an Equus Award for his outstanding achievement of producing two Gr1 winners in his first crop. Judpot’s first crop included Equus Champion Along Came Polly, and the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe hero Forest Indigo.
One of the most exciting and promising sires at stud in South Africa, Judpot is out of the legendary Nureyev mare, Miesque.
The latter’s son Miesque’s Son is himself the sire of champion and prolific winner producing Miesque’s Approval, who stands at stud in KZN.
Zabeel, produced by the Nureyev matron Lady Giselle, himself is one of the greatest sires ever to stand in the Southern Hemisphere. The sire of more than 40 G1 winners (and three Melbourne Cup winners), Zabeel is the sire of the promising young sire Oracy (whose first crop fetched up to R400 000) and the proven sire Greys Inn. The latter is the sire of SA Derby dead-heater Royal Bencher and classy Cape colt, King of Pain.
Nureyev is also the broodmare sire of the well bred Just As Well, whose first crop are yearlings sell this season. A Grade One winning son of A P Indy, Just As Well is out of the Group one winning mare No Matter What – a half-sister to Breeders Cup sire E Dubai.
A legendary son of a legendary sire, Nureyev’s influence shows no sign of abating soon!