Race of the Week 2017

Henrythenavigator Kingmambo's Successor?

Over 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.
HENRYTHENAVIGATOR burst 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.
Henrythenavigator 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.
Just 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 Ireland.
Surprisingly, 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.
As 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.
As a 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.
Sequoyah’s 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 Medaglia D’Oro.
Sadler’s 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 his career.
At 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.
Like 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.
Irish 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.
Henrythenavigator 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.  
So 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.
Obviously, 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. 
Henrythenavigator 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.
The $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.
In 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 feats.
By Laurie Ross, HRN Pedigree Expert 


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Older Comments about Henrythenavigator Kingmambo's Successor?...

Awesome analysis, Laurie. Henrythenavigator's babies are ones I have been excited about for some time. Its funny that you mention he should produce good dirt runners from strong dirt influenced distaff lines. There are a few new high successful dirt winning broodmares that quickly come to mind :)

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