(Rudolpho Clix)

It’s a well known fact that the female line which spawned Northern Dancer in the early 60’s, has since produced a flood of great horses, including three world-class stallions, Danehill, Machiavellian and Halo. That they have proceeded to influence international breeding to a greater degree than any other family in thoroughbred history is probably beyond dispute, and it’s become a preoccupation among pedigree buffs to find ways of exploiting the potential that flows from line-breeding to these influences.

Most of the major breeding jurisdictions of the world, through their obsession with Northern Dancer, have a surfeit of the “Emperor’s” blood, and the challenge is to establish the optimal means of matching it. Finding the perfect outcross is one way of doing so, yet, for exponents of the art, line-breeding must be sorely tempting.

For those who have the blood of Northern Dancer among their broodmares, the use of either Danehill or Machiavellian-line stallions (both of whom carry at least two strains of the female line of Northern Dancer) is the obvious route, and it’s now becoming indelibly evident that the use of Danehill with Machiavellian has a potency which, whilst not necessarily apparent at first glance, must be irresistible in the light of recent results.

We all know Andrew Caulfield as one of the world’s great pedigree commentators, and in a recent article in the Thoroughbred Daily News, he alluded to this very point;

“These achievements can only have helped boost Danehill’s reputation in Europe, where eventually he became Champion sire in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Part of Danehill’s appeal as a stallion, from a pedigree viewpoint, was that he was inbred 3x3 to Natalma, one of three daughters of Almahmoud to have produced a Champion stallion. It is worth pointing out that the last few years have seen a flourishing partnership develop between Danehill and Machiavellian, another stallion with a parent inbred tO  Almahmoud through Cosmah and Natalma. Danehill sired four Stakes winners (40%) from only 10 foals out of Machiavellian mares and Machiavellian’s son, Medicean has two Group winners (25%) among his first eight foals out of Danehill mares”.

By the way, he said it: we didn’t.

The presence at Summerhill of three Danehills and three sons of Machiavellian is no coincidence. We’ve already seen the power of the cocktail between Kahal (by Machiavellian) and the Northern Dancer-line mares we have on the farm, in the outstanding achievements of horses such as Emperor Napoleon, Bold Ellinore, Galant Gagnant, Khebraat, Evening Attire, Bhekinkhosi, Emir, Tap Tap and Art Of War, all of whom were bred on that cross, and we’re only just at the beginning of this episode.

The permutations for the use of this genetic opportunity are endless, particularly as the Danehill and Machiavellian horses, as specimens, appear to be the perfect complement for their “Northern Dancer” mates. Of course, Danehill’s affinity for Northern Dancer is already legend, with the likes of Horatio Nelson, Peeping Fawn and Passage Of Time, among several other standards, accruing in rapid-fire fashion in recent seasons.

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