THERE was a family double of sorts on Oaks day at Epsom when Galileo’s half-brother, Sea The Stars (Cape Cross), sired the day’s other Group 1 winner, this being Hukum. The five-year-old was winning for the ninth time, the first at the highest level, but there was disappointing news in the aftermath of the race.
The Group 1 Coronation Cup winner returned home to Owen Burrows’ yard lame, and had to undergo surgery that may force him to miss the rest of the season. Should that be the case I hope that he finds a place at stud, as he has one of the most exciting pedigree about, being a full-brother to last year’s champion miler, and the still unbeaten, Baaeed (Sea The Stars). The latter hopes to stretch his winning run to eight at Royal Ascot this week.
In addition to his latest success, Hukum has won the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold Stakes, four Group 3 races including the Geoffrey Freer Stakes twice, and a listed race. He and Baaeed, a three-time Group 1 winner, are two of the three winners from the 13-year-old Aghareed (Kingmambo), a listed winner at Longchamp at the age of three. Among her youngstock are a two-year-old half-brother Naqeeb (Nathaniel), and a yearling half-brother by Night Of Thunder (Shamardal).
Forty years ago it was reported that Height Of Fashion (Bustino), owned and bred by Queen Elizabeth, was sold for £1.5 million to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. The filly was unbeaten at two, her three wins including what is now the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile, but was then a Group 3 contest. She was rated the joint best of her sex and age in Europe with Circus Ring and, at three, she won her first two starts in the royal colours, including the Group 2 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket.
The filly never won again, suffering bad luck in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot when she banged her head exiting the stalls. She then finished last in the Yorkshire Oaks. Her sale was something of a surprise at the time, and if the late Sheikh Hamdan felt that he had squandered his money, events at stud proved otherwise.
Height of Fashion went on to enjoy huge success as a producer, her eight winners all earning blacktype, and six of them becoming stakes winners. Her influence for Shadwell has been enormous. Baaeed has brought a branch of this family back to prominence, and now his brother has doubled up as a Group 1 winner.
Hukum is the 17th Group 1 winner for Sea The Stars (Cape Cross). The John Oxx-trained champion, who stands at Gilltown Stud, is a horse who has done well with mares by Kingmambo (Mr Prospector), and another Group 1 bred on that cross is Zelzal, now a promising young sire.
Back to Height Of Fashion. She was responsible for Nayef (Gulch), a four-time Group 1 winner, Group 1 sire and a successful broodmare sire. She also produced another four-time Group 1 winner and successful sire in Nashwan (Blushing Groom). He ended up winning the Derby, 2000 Guineas and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Height Of Fashion’s granddaughters include the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Coronation stakes winner Ghanaati (Giant’s Causeway), and she is third dam of Lahudood (Singspiel), the grandam of Hukum. That filly was useful when she raced in France, winning a listed race, but she blossomed in the USA where she added the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont and capped her career with victory in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
Lahudood presently has five winning offspring, the best of which is Aghareed who won the same listed race her dam did in France, but she did not follow in her hoofprints to the USA, instead heading to stud. This is a family that has served two royal households well, and how appropriate that it should be back in the limelight in Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee year.