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Eljazzi clan goes from strength to strength

Kodiac

ELJAZZI’S status within Thoroughbred breeding grows stronger by the year as her grandsons Invincible Spirit and Kodiac continue on their upward trajectories.

Invincible Spirit, the 21-year-old patriarch of the Irish National Stud with 56 Group winners and counting to his credit, has wasted little time in making inroads as a sire of sires, as the likes of Lawman, I Am Invincible and the highly exciting pair Kingman and Charm Spirit attest.

Meanwhile, his three-parts brother Kodiac continues to shine – he already has 21 two-year-old winners to his name in Europe 43 stakes winners overall. Lest we forget that Kodiac didn’t even win a stakes race and stood for as little at €10,000 until 2015. His first expensive crop – bred off €25,000 – are two-year-olds and he stood the past season for €50,000 at Tally-Ho Stud, to whom he is a real credit.

While Invincible Spirit has long been off and running as a sire of sires, the first clutch of sons by Kodiac – Adaay, Coulsty, Kodi Bear and Prince Of Lir – didn’t enter stud until last year. They have had every chance, however, since it was revealed last autumn that breeders have sent over 400 mares between them to the quartet.

The pair were bred by Prince Faisal’s Nawara Stud out of his homebred Classic winner Rafha, a daughter of Kris and Eljazzi whose stud record comprised a remarkably versatile range of performers.

Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Rafha won the 1989 May Hill Stakes and 1990 Prix de Diane before foaling no fewer than seven stakes performers on the Flat.

Invincible Spirit, who scraped home from Malhub in the 2002 Haydock Sprint Cup on his swansong as a five-year-old, was the highlight but the list also includes the Group 2-placed sprinter Massara (by Danehill) alongside the talented 12f runners Acts Of Grace (Bahri) and Sadian (Shirley Heights). Another son, Aquarius (Royal Academy), ran third in the 2001 Queen’s Vase while Fnan, by stamina influence Generous, was useful over fences.

Asides from Invincible Spirit and Kodiac, this family has continued to flourish through Massara, the dam of this season’s leading three-year-old Gustav Klimt alongside Group 3 winner Wonderfully, Listed winner Cuff and the ill-fated Group 1-placed Mars. As that list shows, Massarra is well established as an excellent partner for Galileo, like so many of those good, fast Danehill mares. However, prior to her sale to Coolmore in 2009, she also foaled the 2011 Premio Gran Criterium heroine Nayarra to Cape Cross.

Thus the influence of their dam, Rafha, runs deeper in the Thoroughbred by the day. Yet the Kris mare isn’t furthering the Eljazzi torch alone. Far from it.

Pride Of Dubai

Granted, Rafha is the most accomplished of her daughters but another filly out of Eljazzi, Blandford Stakes winner Chiang Mai (Sadler’s Wells), has had her time in the sun as the dam of Pretty Polly Stakes winner Chinese White. El Jazirah, a sister to Rafha, bred Listed winner Mount Elbrus, in turn the dam of Listed winner Lava Flow and the Group 1-placed Strobilus for Darley. Then there is Al Anood, Eljazzi’s Listed-placed Danehill filly who is the dam of top Australian two-year-old Pride Of Dubai; he covered 158 mares during his first northern hemisphere season at Coolmore last year.

Recent months, however, have been all about the branch belonging to another daughter of Eljazzi in Wosaita. Foaled in 1995, the daughter of Generous showed little on the track during her own career yet today features as the granddam of James Garfield, the Greenham Stakes winner who broke the track record when successful in the Mill Reef Stakes, and Uni, a former French-trained filly who won the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont Park for Chad Brown.

Wosaista ran three times for John Dunlop, the last of which came when she was third over an extended 1m4f at Ripon to gain an official rating of 74. Deemed surplus to Nawara requirements, she was sold at the end of 1998 for 20,000gns to Charles O’Brien and then for 75,000gns to the BBA the following year.

So far, Wosaita has foaled no fewer than 18 foals, including a Cable Bay filly at the age of 23 this year. Eight of her ten runners are winners, headed by the Bill Gredley-owned pair Whazzis, successful in a Group 3 in Italy, and Listed scorer Whazzat.

Neither are by particularly successful stallions; Whazzis hails from one of the last Irish crops sired by the exiled Desert Prince while Whazzat showed remarkable precocity for a Daylami, winning the Chesham Stakes at the second time of asking.

Whazzat was retained as a broodmare by Gredley and the mare rewarded him early on as the dam of the Listed-placed miler The Shrew, by Dansili. James Garfield is her seventh foal and the best of four winners overall.

A tough and quick two-year-old, James Garfield also represents what we have come to expect from Exceed And Excel. The son of Danehill is about to embark on his 29th consecutive season for Darley in Australia, a fact that sums up his ongoing popularity in both hemispheres. His southern hemisphere record contains 80 stakes winners, including seven at the highest level. James Garfield, meanwhile, is one of 62 stakes winners for the stallion in Europe and one of three stakes-winning two-year-olds for the year alongside Lowther Stakes heroine Threading and the tough Group 3 winner Sound Of Silence. Overall, 28 of Exceed And Excel’s stakes winners in the northern hemishpere have scored in black-type company as juveniles.

As for Uni, she was bred by Haras d’Etreham out of the Dansili mare Unaided, the 2009 filly out of Eljazzi who was repatriated back to Europe following an unproductive racing career in Japan via a $230,000 sale at Keeneland.

Uni won the Prix Matchem at Maisons-Laffitte for Fabrice Chappet in May, after which she was sold to continue her career in the US. She swiftly justified that decision by placing in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes and Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational prior to her breakthrough win in the Sands Point Stakes. In the process, she became the 80th Group/Graded stakes winner for More Than Ready, another horse who has cracked it in both hemispheres, and the 17th stakes winner to be bred on the More Than Ready – Danehill cross.

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