In a recent post, see it here, Sid Fernando details how one strain of Blandford survived exportation to become the only prominent surviving European strain of the most classic line.

During his lifetime, the once-beaten Blandford was the most powerful influence for classic quality in Europe. Although he lived to be only 16, Blandford sired four winners of the English Derby (Bahram, Blenheim, Trigo, and Windsor Lad), Arc de Triomphe winner Brantome, English Oaks winner Udaipur, 1,000 Guineas winner Campanula, 2,000 Guineas winner Pasch, and Mistress Ford, winner of the Prix de Diane and Prix Vermeille.

Blandford represented a step forward in quality from his big and rather late-maturing sire Swynford, who nonetheless was an outstanding influence for classic ability. Among Swynford’s best racers were Derby winner Sansovino, as well as the classic-winning fillies Tranquil, Saucy Sue, Keysoe, and Ferry.

American breeders profited most immensely from this line. They stood and bred outstanding racehorses from the best stallion son of Swynford (St Germans) and the best stallion son of Blandford (Derby winner Blenheim) and the best son of Blenheim (Derby winner Mahmoud).

The impact of this trio of stallions on mid-century American racing and breeding was immense, and the Swynford-Blandord juggernaut was reinforced with less consistent stallions who nonetheless sired some outstanding racers. Chief among these sires was Challenger, the sire of Horse of the Year Challedon and the great mare Gallorette.

This classic combo effectively swamped the “American” lines and diverted them into the internal lines of pedigrees, although this effect was compounded by Teddy’s sons Sir Gallahad III and Bull Dog.

Had anyone asked a pedigree commentator or adviser of the 1940s which lines would be the dominant ones in the coming decades, they would surely have chosen either of the above or both. But by the 1960s and 1970s, they were practically gone.

Swept aside by the tidal wave of Nasrullah and alternative Nearco, the Swynford and Teddy crowd were converted to the internal stalwarts of pedigrees.

One of the reasons that Swynford and Teddy fell from the top of the tree was that some of their sons or grandsons, such as Challedon and Citation, were utter catastrophes at stud. Citation did get two top-class racers (Silver Spoon and Fabius), and that was certainly not enough.

Also, the best Swynford line in America through St Germans bred on a virulent strain of infertility that nullified the stud career of classic winner Twenty Grand, St German’s grandson, Triple Crown winner Assault, and further descendants such as champion juvenile Top Knight.

Today, the only avenue for using Blandford in the male line is to get one from overseas. Just like 75 years ago.

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