the last couple of months, one freshman sire has quietly racked up three
winners from twelve starters, two of whom have placed in a listed and graded
stakes. This particular stallion is currently fourth on the First Crop Sire
List in terms of money won, but with the Saratoga and Del Mar meets fast approaching,
he is poised to steal the spotlight. I’m
referring to Henrythenavigator who raced only once in the U.S., but stands at
Ashford Stud America for a fee of $25,000, which may turn out to be a deal in the
future if he can fill the void left by his sire Kingmambo’s retirement.
upon the racing scene in early May of his two year old season. He recorded a seven
length victory over maidens going seven furlongs at Gowran Park in Ireland. A
month later, the dark bay colt appeared at the illustrious Ascot Meet in the six
furlong Group 2 Conventry Stakes, narrowly beating nineteen other runners by ¾ length. In his final two races of the season, the son
of Kingmambo would finish second by a length in the Phoenix Stakes (Ire-1) to
the good filly Saoirse Abu and just two weeks later, placed third in the E.B.
F. Futurity Stakes (Ire-3) behind New Approach, who would later be named Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.
kicked off his three year old season turning the tables on New Approach in the prestigious
English Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-1), beating that rival by a nose after encountering
difficulty during the race. The Aiden O’Brian
trainee racked up three consecutive Group 1 victories; the Irish Two Thousand
Guineas, Sussex Stakes and St. James’s Palace Stakes all against New Approach
and the top runner Raven’s Pass. Henrythenavigator
was handed his first defeat as a three year old facing older horses in the Prix du
Moulin (Fr-1) at Longchamp, bested two lengths by the Champion Mare
Goldkova. Henrythenavigator was bothered
during the race and finished fifth, but was moved up to fourth place.
two weeks later, Raven’s Pass, a colt Henrythenavigator
had beaten three times, would take his revenge in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
(Eng-1) beating Henrythenavigator by a length. Henrythenavigator’s season wasn’t
quite over. In the final race of his
career, the miler journeyed to Santa Anita for a showdown with his adversary Raven’s
Pass and the US Champion Curlin in the Breeders’
Cup Classic. Attempting 1 ¼ miles over
a synthetic track, two new experiences for the classy colt, Henrythenavigator
rallied from off of the pace to claim second place, 1 ¾ lengths behind his old
rival Raven’s Pass. Henrythenavigator completed his racing career with a
11-6-3-1 ($2,766,763) record and earned Champion Three Year Old Colt honors in
Henrythenavigator was sent to stud in the United States instead of Ireland. Henrythenavigator (Kingmambo - Sequoyah (IRE), by Sadler's Wells)
was sired by one of the most influential stallions of modern times. Kingmambo
was a top European miler. The son of Mr. Prospector won the St. James’s Palace
Stakes, but was also successful in the Prix du Moulin, Poule D'essai Des Poulains (Fr-G1), Prix Djebel
and placed in five other group stakes races.
Kingmambo has been a fixture on the leading sire
lists, both domestic and internationally. He’s considered one of the best stallions in
the world and has sired six champions and over 100 stakes winners. Upon his
retirement in 2010, Kingmambo was designated as a Classic/Solid Chef-de-race, certifying
that he infuses his progeny with stamina.
While Kingmambo’s offspring win at distances shorter than a mile, the
majority are best between eight and 14 furlongs. Most of Kingmambo’s progeny
find themselves at home over the lawn. However, he has sired eight dirt stakes
winners including his best US son the Champion Lemon Drop Kid, winner of the
Belmont, Travers Stakes, Woodward and Whitney Handicaps. Other dirt runners
include Pacific Classic hero Student Council, the Japanese horse Star King Man
and Count Fleet (G-3) winner Top Commander.
a juvenile, Henrythenavigator’s dam Sequoyah won the Moyglare Stud Stakes
(Ire-1) at seven furlongs and placed in the Debutante (Ire-2) and Railway
(Ire-3), both six furlong events. She was named Highweight Two Year Old Filly
on the Irish Handicap List. At three,
Sequoyah placed fourth in both the Irish One Thousand Guineas and Irish Oaks. She retired with a 9-2-1-1 ($150,825) record.
broodmare, Sequoyah bore five foals. Her firstborn Queen Cleopatra, a full
sister to Henrythenavigator, failed to win as a juvenile. At three, she won the
Irish One Thousand Guineas Trial Stakes (Ire-3) and placed in the Irish One
Thousand Guineas (Ire-1) and Prix de Diane Hermes (Fr-G1), all at a mile. Two additional
foals of Sequoyah have raced, but haven’t earned blacktype. She has a three year old full daughter, Sail
Away Home, stabled with the top Irish trainer, Aiden O’Brian who has yet to
make her initial start.
full sister Listen is also a Group 1 winning miler and a half-sister, Oyster
Catcher, is Group 3 Stakes placed. Henrythenavigator’s fifth dam is the blue
hen Prayer Bell. The Whitney family-bred mare’s descendants include 1969 U.S. Champion Two Year Old Colt Silent Screen, English Highweighted Juvenile
Mujahid, Highweighted Sprinter Dolphin Street, Group/Grade 1 winners Saffron
Walden, Insight, Beethoven, Malibu Prayer, Ron The Greek and the sprint
specialist Musket Man. Another branch of
this distaff family produced multiple Grade 1 winner and prominent sire
Wells, the damsire of Henrythenavigator, was named 1982 Champion Miler in
France, although he only won two Group races at a mile, including the Irish
2000 Guineas. He did capture three prestigious races at 1 ¼ miles including the
Phoenix Champion and Eclipse stakes. He also placed in three others Group 1
races. Overall, Sadler’s Wells raced 11 times and was out of the money once in
stud, Sadler’s Wells is recognized as a foundation stallion for most of Europe.
He was leading sire in England for 11 years, ten of them consecutive. His
influence is so widespread that he has been established on the leading
broodmare sire lists in the US and Australia. Sadler’s Wells’ bloodlines are
prevalent throughout England, Ireland, Europe, Japan, Australia and Dubai. He
is a Classic/Solid Chef-de-race and he imparts stamina to his offspring.
Kingmambo, Sadler’s Wells is represented as a broodmare sire by mostly turf
runners. His daughters have produced handful of dirt and synthetic stakes
winners, including multiple Grade 1 winner Music Note, the Argentinian, Verbena
Rak and 2004 Sham stakes winner Master David.
River, Henrythenavigator’s second damsire, was a Champion Juvenile and Champion
Miler in France. As a broodmare sire, he’s represented by 64 stakes winners,
including Breeders’ Cup Classic shocker Arcangues, multiple stakes winners
Mubtaker and Stream Cat. His daughter’s progeny don’t have distance limitations.
has Rasmussen Factor inbreeding (inbred to a superior female within five generations)
to the blue hen Special through Nureyev, the damsire of Kingmambo, and Nureyev’s
half-sister Fairy Bridge, the dam of Sadler’s Wells. Inbreeding to Special isn’t unusual in
European breeding, given the dominance of Northern Dancer bloodlines through
Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells in Europe. Henrythenavigator is bred on a tried and
true bloodline cross. The
Kingmambo/Sadler’s Wells cross has produced 90 starters, 51 winners and ten
stakes winners, including two-time English Champion filly Divine Proportions.
There are 112 foals in Henrythenavigator’s first North American crop. Many are highly
anticipated blue-bloods and progeny report reads like a who’s who in
racing. Slated to hit the track this
year are as three year olds next year are half-siblings to Kentucky Derby
winners Big Brown, Smarty Jones, Champions Zenyatta, Halfbridled, plus the top
runners Officer, Persistently, Eddington, Hamazing Destiny, Harlan's Holiday, A.P.
Valentine, Tres Borrachos, and Voodoo Dancer. Henrythenavigator has had dates
with the likes of Champions Rags to Riches, Jewel Princess, Fiji, G-1 winners Versailles
Treaty, and Ticker Tape, to name a few.
what can we expect from Henrythenavigator’s foals? Emulating his sire, Henrythenavigator
competed as a miler, although he proved in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that 1 ¼ miles
wasn’t beyond his scope. With the bloodlines of two Classic Chef-de-race
stallions coursing through his veins, Henrythenavigator should be a much-needed
shot in the arm for American pedigrees bereft of classic stamina. His offspring
can win at sprints, but they will be best at a mile and longer.
Henrythenavigator’s progeny should be monsters over turf. He already has three
Irish winners. His daughter Infanta Branca placed in a five furlong listed
stake at the Curragh and his son Cristoforo
Colombo (out of stakes mare La
Traviata) was recently third, beaten a
bare neck in the Group 2 Conventry Stakes at Ascot.
was a close second over Pro-Ride in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, that
surface was in a class by itself, neither similar to dirt like Cushion Track,
nor playing like Polytrack. His sire
Kingmambo has few runners over synthetics, but they include two graded stakes
winners, Student Counsel and Kinglet. Henrythenavigator’s babies should handle
most types of synthetic surfaces.
$25,000 question is how his offspring will handle the dirt. Both Kingmambo and
Sadler’s Wells have produced runners over dirt, but only when bred to mares
with dirt attributes (or in Sadler’s Wells case as a broodmare sire, his
daughters were bred to stallions with predominately dirt influences). Henrythenavigator
will likely produce some winners over the main track, especially if the individual’s
distaff families have strong dirt influences.
summary, Henrythenavigator is poised to become a versatile stallion who will
pass along stamina to his babies. He’s been given every chance by his owners to
succeed, both through numbers and quality. If he is up to the task, this young
stallion could become an international sensation, duplicating Kingmambo’s
By Laurie Ross, HRN Pedigree Expert