THE mighty Danzig (by Northern Dancer) sire line has never achieved the sort of dominance in National Hunt circles as it has done on the flat, although a growing number of its representatives are getting graded winners over hurdles and fences and Westerner (by Danehill) is close to becoming the eighth stallion to hit the £1 million in earnings this season.

Sunday’s Grade 2 totepool National Spirit Hurdle over two miles, three furlongs at Fontwell was another success for that male line, but rather than being a horse bred for the winter game, this winner is by a leading US sire and from the immediate family of a horse whose best offspring include a recently retired classic and Breeders’ Cup hero.