(Photo : Summerhill Stud)


Statisticians and racing intellectuals spend their lives accumulating data on everything and anything related to our sport. When Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud was searching for a proven sire a few seasons back, some of the game’s most accomplished gurus were engaged to find the best prospects. The one horse whose name kept recurring was Kahal, no doubt for the numbers he was spewing out. Fortunately (for us), Kahal is the property of an unusually wealthy man, and so the thought of disposing of a possession as prized as a top class stallion, was not on the table. Remember, in Arab lore the signature of victory in any tribal conflict was the seizure from the heart of the sultan’s encampment, of the prized stallion, and disposing of an animal of rare genetic potential is unthinkable.

Let’s face it, Kahal is a good stallion by any standards, and he gets good runners from a variety of mares. However, he was the right horse for Summerhill, and Summerhill was the right place for him, as he’s displayed an unusual affinity for the daughters of our late and much-lamented stallion, Northern Guest, and our other members of the same tribe. Visit the results, and you’ll see a stream of genuine stand-outs carrying this cross. Bold Ellinore, Emperor Napoleon, Bhekinkhosi, Evening Attire, Khebraat, Fenerbahce, Art Of War, Galant Gagnant, and now Vangelis, victor on the weekend in the Memorial Mile (Listed). If you search long enough, you’ll find the affinity reaching other strands from the Northern Dancer line. It is true, when we put our hand down this seam of genetic potential, we picked up a handful of diamonds, and pedigree scholars will tell you it’s no coincidence.

You see, Kahal’s sire, Machiavellian, carries two strains of the female line which produced among others, Northern Dancer himself, his famous grandson Danehill, as well as the American champion sire, Halo. The combination of Kahal with members of the Northern Dancer tribe forges an irresistible union of these spectacular elements, as does any combination with a Danehill or Halo (and for us, Sunday Silence through Admire Main).

So there’s strategy in the fact that today at Summerhill, we have several leading members of the Northern Dancer tribe, as well as the Machiavellians, Danehills and a son of Sunday Silence.