The following post first appeared at Paulick Report earlier this week.
The breeding careers of full siblings are typically unequal, just like their levels of talent on the racetrack. Few are like Graustark, once-beaten and a top-ranked sire, and his full brother His Majesty, a major winner and a leading sire. They were by the unbeaten European champion Ribot out of the high-class Alibhai mare Flower Bowl, who also produced a champion filly in Bowl of Flowers (by Sailor).
More often, the results are like those of Mr. Prospector and his horde of full siblings, most of whom did not distinguish themselves on the racetrack or at stud.
A similar situation is that of European highweight and 1968 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Vaguely Noble (Vienna) and his full sister Viennese Rose. She was the opposite of her top-class brother, never starting in a race.
As a racehorse of exceptional class, Vaguely Noble was selected for the Gainesway Farm breeding operation of John Gaines, who purchased a quarter-interest in the colt for $1.25 million. Standing at Gainesway, Vaguely Noble became an international star at stud, siring 70 stakes winners, and his daughters were highly important producers of 165 stakes winners internationally.
The best progeny of Vaguely Noble include Dahlia, winner of the Washington D.C. International and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, as well as the Eclipse Award for best turf horse in the States.
Other racing stars by Vaguely Noble included English Derby winner Empery, Arlington Million winner Estrapade, Exceller (Hollywood Gold Cup, Canadian International, Coronation Cup, and Grand Prix de Paris), and Lemhi Gold (Jockey Club Gold Cup, Marlboro Cup, and Eclipse Award for 1982 leading older horse).
In stark contrast, Viennese Rose produced 14 foals, 10 runners, and six winners. None were stakes winners.
Six years younger than her famous brother, Viennese Rose was a desirable prospect from birth, and she became part of the stud of international breeder Raymond Guest, who raced Sir Ivor, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, English Derby, and second to Vaguely Noble in the Arc.
Among the other top horses campaigned by Guest were Preakness winner Tom Rolfe (Ribot) and his good half-brother Chieftain (Bold Ruler). As a member of Guest’s broodmare band, Viennese Rose was bred to Chieftain as a 5-year-old, and she produced Violet the next year in 1977.
Violet made one start, and after her abbreviated racing career, she went to stud, producing seven foals, six runners, and five winners. Such was the power of her near relations that Violet was bred to French and Irish Derby winner Assert and produced Star Guest as a 13-year-old in 1990.
By a stallion who was a high-class racer but a mediocre sire, Star Guest was one of Assert’s better offspring, and she was a massive improvement on the racing results of her dam and granddam. Star Guest raced 29 times in three seasons, winning four races with a dozen placings, and she earned $145,084. Her only black-type came in the listed Tanya Stakes at Belmont. That race tells us something about the company she was keeping too.
That positive trend continued at stud, as the solid racemare has become a very good producer. Although not a reliable foal-getter, with only eight foals over her long years at stud, Star Guest has three stakes winners among them, and the most recent is Asserting Bear (Bear’s Kid), who won the Coronation Futurity at Woodbine in Canada over the weekend.
The Futurity was the first stakes victory for the 2-year-old colt Asserting Bear, who is the first stakes winner for Bear’s Kid, a G2-winning son of champion Lemon Drop Kid and G1 winner Tap to Music (Pleasant Tap).
Foaled when his dam was 21, Asserting Bear had previously finished third in the G2 Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine and has earned $208,657.
Star Guest’s other stakes winners are G2 winner and Canadian champion Inish Glora (Regal Classic) and stakes winner Invitation Only (One Way Love). Also a winner at the G3 level, Inish Glora was a robust campaigner, with 32 starts in five seasons and nearly a million in earnings.
With Asserting Bear as her latest representative, Star Guest may have her best racehorse of all, and the colt is expected to be trained with a view to participating in the Canadian classics next season.