THE Vain Stakes-Gr.3 winner Jukebox, a brilliant son of champion sire Snitzel, is covering his first mares on $11,000 at Aquis in the Hunter Valley this season and has a remarkable mare at the heart of his pedigree. That mare is Dancing Show (GB), who appears 4fx4m, and her impact on Australian breeding has been immense.
Her grandson, multiple Gr.1 winner and champion sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) features here as sire of Snitzel, while her Gr.1-winning son Umatilla (Miswaki), born in NZ but conceived in the US, is the sire of Jukebox’s second dam Umatune, herself no slouch on the racetrack. The double of Dancing Show (Nijinsky-Show Lady by Sir Ivor) within five generations and through different individuals means Jukebox is bred, like so many good ones including Winx (Natalma 5fx5m), on the Rasmussen Factor, a theory devised by and named after US thoroughbred writer and pedigree student, the late Leon Rasmussen.
Dancing Show has the remarkable mare Best in Show (Traffic Judge-Stolen Hour by Mr Busher) as her second dam and this mare is a noted influence for excellence. Mares featuring her descendants, including her grandsons El Gran Senor and Try My Best (sire of Last Tycoon), from her daughter Sex Appeal (Buckpasser); her noted broodmare daughter Monroe (by Sir Ivor and dam of Xaar), a sister to Dancing Show’s dam Show Lady, to Minnie Hauk, and the sire Gielgud (USA), who stood in South Australia; and Kentucky Oak-winning daughter Blush With Pride (Blushing Groom) should all click with Jukebox.
Dancing Show also left the Blue Diamond-Gr.1 hero and sire Hurricane Sky (Star Watch) and Shantha’s Choice (Canny Lad), both by sons of Bletchingly, and Show Dancing (Don’t Say Halo), dam of the Gr.1 winner and sire Al Maher (Danehill) at stud. Shantha’s Choice became dam of three Gr.1 winners Redoute’s Choice and his brother Platimum Scissors and Manhattan Rain (Encosta de Lago) and she is also second dam of Gr.2 winner and young sire Rubick (Encosta de Lago) and dual Gr.1 winner Shoals (Fastnet Rock).
While Dancing Show looms large in this pedigree, Jukebox has much more to brag about in his family tree. For a start his sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice-Snippets’ Lass by Snippets), an Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 (1100m) winner, commands a fee of $220,000 this season at Arrowfield following back-to-back honours as Australia’s Champion Sire by earnings. His runners have earned more than $110m, a record $29m plus in 2017-18 alone when he had The Everest hero Redzel and the Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab. Snitzel has more than 620 winners (72%) and 13 Gr.1 winners among more than 80 stakes winners. Those elite winners include promising young sires like Sizzling and Shamus Award and horses yet to have runners like Russian Revolution, Wandjina and Invader (who also retired to Aquis this season, while the stud also has Gr.2 winner Spill the Beans in Queensland) and the still-racing Trapeze Artist. Horses produced by his daughters include another Slipper winner in Mossfun. This is of course the all-conquering Danehill (Danzig-Razyana by His Majesty) line, the nine-times Champion Australian Sire whose descendants dominate the Australian racing and breeding scene.
While Danehill hails from the US and won his Gr.1 sprint in the UK, Rory’s Jester, the dam sire of Jukebox, is an Australian speed star winning the Golden Slipper and being a grandson of Slipper winner Baguette, although his dam Rory’s Rocket (GB) was a Gr.2 winner at two at Royal Ascot and her sire Roan Rocket won five of his 12 starts including the Sussex Stakes-Gr.1. Digressing for a moment, Roan Rocket is a son of speed horse Buisson Ardent and
is inbred 4mx4m to Mah Mahal (a daughter of the flying Mumtaz Mahal) through sons Pherozshah and Mahmoud and is a grandson of Relic (dam sire of Bletchingly), whose sire War Relic is a son of Man o’War. Intentionally, who is 6mx6f in this pedigree, is also a grandson of War Relic and carries his sire Fair Play 4mx4m (Man o’War/Discovery) while Best in Show’s dam Stolen Hour is by Traffic Judge (dam by Discovery) from a mare by Mr. Busher, a son of War Admiral (Man o’War) and from Baby League, a daughter of La Troienne. Man o’War (1917-1947) won 20 of his 21 starts and was Champion Sire in the US in 1926 despite restricted books. He left just 381 live foals (62SW) but still remains a force in modern pedigrees with Jukebox being a great example of this.
Rory’s Jester, who left the winners of more than $50m (76SW), has 78SW (7Gr.1) as a broodmare sire, notably the successful sires Not a Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice) and Reward for Effort (Exceed and Excel), both by Danehill-line sires. His brilliant sire Crown Jester won six of seven starts, all at two, and is by another champion two and three year-old, the Golden Slipper/Newmarket Handicap winner in Baguette (Rego (GB)-Dark Jewel by Star Kingdom (IRE)) and from the Champagne Stakes-Gr.1 winner Anjudy, by another champion sire in Wilkes (FR).
Jestatune, dam of Jukebox, parlayed this speed heritage to win four races including the WATC Gimcrack Stakes-LR and Magic Millions Perth 2YO Classic at two.
Her dam, Umatune, followed a similar path in WA winning the Listed Crystal Slipper and her five winners also included the Gr.1 winner Ihtsahymn (Ihtiram), winner of eight races and more than $1m including the Kingston Town Classic. Her sire Umatilla is by Miswaki (also broodmare sire of Galileo and Sea the Stars) one of Mr. Prospector’s best sire sons. Inbred 4mx4f to Nasrullah (a grandson of Mumtaz Mahal), he is out of a mare by Buckpasser, whose dam Busanda is bred on the War Admiral/daughter of La Troienne cross. Buckpasser is also sire of the second dam of Danehill and is 6fx6f in the pedigree of Jukebox. Umatilla won the Karrakatta Plate-Gr.1 at two, when runner-up in the Blue Diamond.
He trained on to be runner-up in the Lightning-Gr.1 and third in the VRC Newmarket-Gr.1, two of Australia’s major sprint contests.
The speed influence continues as God’s Tune, third dam of Jukebox, is by Robert Sangster’s English Sprint Champion Godswalk (Dancer’s Image-Kate’s Intent
by Intentionally), winner of eight of his 11 starts including the King’s Stand Stakes-Gr.1 at Royal Ascot and a leading sire. His brilliant daughter Pure of Heart became the dam of Lion Hunter (Danehill), dam sire of champion sprinters like Chautauqua and Star Witness (whose daughters look good for Jukebox). Neptune Princess (Sea Prince (IRE)), fourth dam of Jukebox, counted the Bloodhorse Breeders’ Stakes-Gr.2 among her six wins (three at two), a race also won by her dam Lady Freux (Affreux-Ivy Rose by High Peak (GB)). This family came to Australia in the early 1900s with the importation of Totolo (GB) (Sainfoin-Cerasi by Orvieto), family 27a, this branch descending via a granddaughter Tena Kora (Woorak), winner of the SAJC Morphettville Plate.
Jukebox, a $200,000 buy for Ciaron Maher, was in the first three in six of his eight starts, winning on debut at two over 1100m at Geelong (1.25 lengths) on January 12, 2017 and then winning the rich Inglis Premier-RL (1200m) at Caulfield next time out on February 4, beating Coppergate by two lengths with Perast third. They were his only starts as a juvenile as he was scratched on the eve of the Blue Diamond. One of the race favourites, he was ruled out by vets as he had soreness in a foreleg.
His trainer choose a tough race as his first assignment at three and he came from fifth at the 400m to dispatch his 11 opponents in the $150,000 Vain Stakes-Gr.3 (1100m) at Caulfield on August 19. Previous winners include Russian Revolution, Sepoy, Toorak Toff, Starspangledbanner and Haradasun. He was beaten
by three-quarters of a length next time out at Flemington on September 16, running second (three-quarters of a length) to the previous season’s Blue Diamond-Gr.1 winner Catchy in the Danehill Stakes-Gr.2 (1200m).
He won an 800m trial on October 9 before a narrow second to Formality in the $350,000 Blue Sapphire-Gr.3 (1200m) at Caulfield on October 18 and was then unplaced in the Coolmore (Ascot Vale) Stakes-Gr.1 behind Merchant Navy, both starts for temporary trainer Aaron Purcell.
Off the scene until a 800m trial win on May 7 this year, he was third first-up on July 14 behind Voodoo Lad in the John Monash-Gr.3 (1100m) and retired after being unplaced behind to that horse in the Bletchingly Stakes-Gr.3 on July 28.
“His work leading into the Blue Diamond was sensational and we were as sure as you can be that he would win a Gr.1,” Maher’s now co-trainer David Eustace said. “He is the best natural athlete I have ever worked with, both in Australia and in England and it was a huge disappointment when he had to be scratched
on the eve of the Blue Diamond.”
Ciaron Maher echoed those sentiments, calling Jukebox “the best two year-old we have had, early, sharp and natural. I can’t wait to train his progeny,” he said. n