Caption: Mr Prospector
In 1975 Mr. Prospector retired to stud in Florida with the reputation of being a brilliantly fast, but unsound dirt sprinter. Forty years later, his influence has spread and diversified in a fashion that has transcended both geographic and aptitudinal boundaries.
That statement is underlined by a glance at the World Thoroughbred Rankings for the most recent year. The world leader for 2016 is the remarkable Arrogate, a spectacular US dirt runner by Unbridled’s Song, from the Fappiano branch of Mr. Prospector. Just 2lb below Arrogate, and officially rated as the world’s best runner on turf, comes Australia’s wonder mare Winx, a daughter of Street Cry, who in turn is by Mr. Prospector son, Machiavellian. The leading European horse, the three year-old Almanzor, is from the first crop of Wootton Bassett, who is by shuttler Iffraaj, a son of Zafonic, from the Gone West branch, and the leading older male in Europe was Postponed, by Mr. Prospector line stallion Dubawi.
In addition to being one of the world’s best sires, Dubawi owns a rather unique position in the development of the Mr. Prospector sire line, as he is the only representative at the highest level of the branch who comes down through one of Mr. Prospector’s most successful stallions sons Seeking the Gold. He is the only stallion by Seeking the Gold’s magnificent, but tragically short-lived son Dubai Millennium.
Despite being out of Zomaradah (by the Shirley Heights horse, Deploy), winner of the Italian Oaks-Gr.1 and also placed third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare-Gr.1, Dubawi came to hand early enough to go three-for-three as a juvenile, winning a six furlong maiden, the Superlative Stakes-Gr.3 and National Stakes-Gr.1. After a disappointing fifth as favourite in the 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 on his three year-old debut, Dubawi found redemption with a two length victory over Oratorio in the Irish 2000 Guineas-Gr.1. The Epsom Derby-Gr.1 exposed stamina limitations, although Dubawi did run creditably to take third behind Motivator, but his status as a top-class miler was confirmed by a 1.5 length victory in the Prix Jacques Le Marois-Gr.1. Favoured to end his career with another Gr.1, in the one mile Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-Gr.1, Dubawi turned in a good effort, but was outstayed by Starcraft, who beat him by three-quarters of a length.
From his first seven northern hemisphere crops, through three year-olds of 2016, Dubawi has sired 103 stakes winners, 64 Group/Graded, and 21 Gr.1. He opened with a first crop that had 15 stakes winners, 12 Group or Graded, followed up with a second crop that had 19 stakes winners, 13 Group or Graded, and has since also had crops of 17 and 21 stakes winners. His best include classic winners Makfi (2000 Guineas-Gr.1), Night of Thunder (2000 Guineas-Gr.1), New Bay (French Derby-Gr.1) and Waldpark (German Derby-Gr.1). Prince Bishop and Monterosso both captured the Dubai World Cup-Gr.1, and in addition to four-time Gr.1 winner Postponed, we might also mention co-Champion European Older Horse Al Kazeem, three time Gr.1 scorer Hunter’s Light, Hong Kong legend Lucky Nine, Erupt, successful in the Grand Prix de Paris-Gr.1 and Canadian International Stakes-Gr.1, and Arabian Queen, who upset Golden Horn in the Juddmonte International-Gr.1.
Dubawi only stood three shuttle seasons in Australia, and if not the sensation that he has been in Europe, where his standing is surpassed only by that of Galileo, he was more than accomplished. He left 20 stakes winners and 13 Group winners from 188 starters, including the Gr.1 winners Srikandi, Secret Admirer, Tiger Tees, Shamal Wind, and in South Africa, Happy Archer and Willow Magic.
One of the most unusual aspects of Dubawi’s career is the success that he, as a Mr. Prospector line stallion, has enjoyed when crossed back over Mr. Prospector line mares. So far at least 12 of his stakes winners are out of Mr. Prospector line mares, nine of them Group and Graded, and six Gr.1. The cross has succeeded with a wide variety of Mr. Prospector branches, including Zamindar and Zafonic (both by Gone West); Woodman (bred on the same cross as Seeking the Gold, the grandsire of Dubawi); Vettori, Street Cry and their sire, Machiavellian; Dubai Destination and King’s Best, both by Kingmambo; and Umatilla, a son of Miswaki (another three-quarter relative to Seeking the Gold). There is even a Gr.1 winner, Secret Admirer, out of a mare by Secret Savings, so inbred 3mx3m to Seeking the Gold, but also to Seeking the Gold’s dam Con Game and her half-brother Reviewer, the sire of the second dam of Secret Savings.
Another cross that has proved exceptional for Dubawi is that with Green Desert line mares, producing nine stakes winners, including Makfi and Lucky Nine. Green Desert is a Northern Dancer/Sir Ivor cross, like Shareef Dancer (broodmare sire of Dubai Millennium, the sire of Dubawi), and also rather similar to Dancing Brave (sire of the second dam of Dubawi). There is also a significant affinity for Danzig in general, with eight stakes winners out of Danehill line mares (and another out of a mare by Danehill’s brother Eagle Eyed), and from another branch of Danzig, two out of mares by Chief’s Crown, and another out of a mare by his son, Grand Lodge.
Even stronger has been the affinity of Dubawi for Sadler’s Wells line mares, which has produced no less than 23 stakes winners, 18 Group or Graded. In addition to Sadler’s Wells, this includes daughters of Barathea, Galileo, High Chaparral, Montjeu and Singspiel. There are also three stakes winners by Dubawi out of mares by Fantastic Light, and two out of mares by that horse’s sire Rahy; three, including Tiger Tees, out of mares by Gold Brose; and five out of mares by Storm Cat line stallions, three from daughters of Giant’s Causeway.
For all his remarkable success, the continuance of Dubawi’s influence is far from certain. Makfi did sire French 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 victor Make Believe, now at stud in Ireland, from three European crops, and the Australian Oaks-Gr.1 scorer Sofia Rosa, and Gr.1 winner Marky Mark from his first shuttle crop, but has been sold to stand in Japan. Poet’s Voice has six stakes winners from his first two crops, but nothing better than a trio of Gr.3 three winners, two of those in Italy. Stranger still than his record with his sire sons is the fact that Dubawi’s daughters have 125 starters and not one has scored at black-type level.
Still the story of Dubawi’s long-term impact is only in the initial chapters, and several other sons, including Al Kazeem, Hunter’s Light, New Bay and Night of Thunder, are only in the initial stages of their stud careers, with other good sons yet to retire. As far as his daughters, the best bred are from his later crops, and have yet to have substantial numbers of runners, so it’s likely we’ll soon see a dramatic rise in his fortunes in this role.
Published: March 2017