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The following post was first published earlier this week at Paulick Report.

Very few top-class racemares equal their acclaim on the racecourse with their success as producers. One of those who did, however, was the great Nureyev mare Miesque, who was euthanized due to infirmities of old age on Jan. 20 at the Oak Tree division of Lane’s End outside Lexington.

So this week, rather than focusing on a pedigree from a current racing result, the spotlight is on a mare whose headlines and accomplishments transcended a generation of racing.

Born in 1984, Miesque was the first foal of her dam, the Prove Out mare Pasadoble. By the unsuccessful stallion Prove Out, whose best racing victory was the 12-furlong Woodward Stakes over Secretariat, out of the unraced mare Santa Quilla, whose pedigree was stocked with classic-distance performers, Pasadoble had bags of speed.

In addition to winning a pair of listed stakes, Pasadoble had enough speed and class that she was used as the pacemaker for her top-class stablemate River Lady.

Put to stud, Pasadoble knocked the lights out when she foaled Miesque.

The bay filly was a clear superior to her dam as a racer and was arguably even better than her great sire Nureyev. The dashing bay son of Northern Dancer never finished behind a horse on the racecourse, but the stewards disqualified Nureyev from his most important victory, the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

The brilliant racehorse became a stallion of great international importance, and Miesque seemed to match her sire for racing ability and clearly exceeded him in terms of sturdiness in temperament and body.

From three seasons of racing, the bay filly won a dozen of her 16 races, 10 at G1 level. All four of her losses, three seconds and a third, were also in races at the top level. The bay’s consistency was exceeded only by an astonishing turn of foot, which allowed her to accelerate past her competition time after time.

Following her second victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, Miesque retired to stud and began a career as a producer that has rivaled her fame as a champion racehorse.

Bred and raced by Stavros Niarchos, Miesque produced all her foals for the Niarchos family. As she was Pasadoble’s first foal and best produce, Miesque followed that pattern with her own producing career.

To put everything in perspective, however, Miesque’s first two foals were classic winners. A mare simply cannot do any better than that.

Kingmambo was the mare’s first foal, born in 1990, and the bay son of Mr. Prospector won the French classic for colts at a mile, the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, then the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot, and defeated older horses in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. All three victories were in Group 1 races, and they established Kingmambo as a very high-class animal.

The escalating demand for sons of Mr. Prospector at stud joined with the élan of being a classic winner out of a top-class champion to make Kingmambo an exceptional stallion prospect. He went to stud at Lane’s End for the 1994 breeding season, and with nearly the facility of his mother’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs, Kingmambo became a stallion of great international significance.

Although now pensioned from breeding, Kingmambo has sired 77 stakes winners to date, including such outstanding international champions as Lemon Drop Kid, Henrythenavigator, King Kamehameha, El Condor Pasa, Divine Proportions, and Russian Rhythm.

Miesque’s second foal was the high-class filly East of the Moon (by Private Account). The scopy bay won the French fillies’ classics, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Prix de Diane, as well as winning the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard and running second in the Prix du Moulin.

The mare’s next two foals were both stakes winners. Miesque’s Son (a full brother to Kingmambo) won the G3 Prix de Ris-Orangis, was second in the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest and Prix de la Foret.

Moon Is Up (by Mr. Prospector’s high-class son Woodman) won a listed stakes.

Miesque’s later foals included G3 stakes winner Mingun (by A.P. Indy) and stakes-placed Inventing Paradise (also by Mr. Prospector). A full sister to Inventing Paradise and Kingmambo, Monevassia, produced G1 winner Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill), and Miesque has young daughters by Storm Cat whose best producing years may yield more performers of significance.

On the course and in the paddocks, Miesque showed exceptional character and consistency through her long life. For a generation and more, she has served as a yardstick of quality and accomplishment in Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

A great racemare and a great producer, Miesque made the game look easy.

 

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