Await The Dawn
(Photos : Summerhill Archives)

“…the secret will only be revealed at the tail end…”

For those who, like us have been “pricked” by the imminent arrival at Summerhill of Giant’s Causeway’s highly performed son, Await The Dawn, this article is of prime interest, but we’re afraid the secret will only be revealed at the tail end. Why?

Alastair Nicolson - At the onset of the hostilities of World War Two, film mogul Laudy L Lawrence made the wise decision to ship his prized mare Cosquilla, in foal to Prince Rose, from France to Ireland. Others, including Prince Rose himself, were less fortunate. One, a little yearling filly by Sickle out of Minnewaska, was captured by the invading Nazi forces in the dark spring of 1940. Small but redoubtable, she survived her journey well enough to win two races in Germany at three.

At the end of the War, The Squaw was repatriated and soon thereafter crossed the Atlantic, the property of Prince Dmitriy Jorjadze of Georgia, for a date with his pride and joy, the son of Prince Rose and Cosquilla who, as Princequillo, had carried his colours to victory in such prestigious events as the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Saratoga Cup. Prince Dmitriy loved life in the fast lane, powering his Mercedes-Benz SSK to victory in the 1931 Spa 24 Hours Grand Prix, covering 1,580 miles at an average of almost 66mph. By contrast, Herman B Delman’s designs were of a less speedy nature. Ladies’ shoes to be precise. But in 1949, his world was to change. Overlooking his previous limited success with forays into thoroughbred ownership, the ever optimistic Delman purchased the Prince’s yearling filly by Princequillo out of The Squaw. Having had second thoughts about selling her at Saratoga, Delman named the filly How and sent her into training with Princequillo’s former tutor, Horatio Luro. Expectations were distinctly low as she made her debut in a $6,000 claiming event at Saratoga against opposition with such inspiring names as Futile. Yet, everything had changed by the end of the year, when, with three wins from four starts, How was assessed joint top juvenile filly on the Experimental Free Handicap despite being untested in Stakes company. The following season, nine of her ten races were in Stakes, the highlights easy victories in the Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks, while, at four, she added the Ladies Handicap.

How produced her first foal on the 19th February 1955 at Normandy Farm, Lexington. Sadly, Delman lived to see her for only a few months before his death that October. By Sir Gallahad’s speedy son Roman, the filly was offered for sale at Keeneland the following summer and was purchased for $36,000 by Raymond Guest, the future owner of Larkspur and Sir Ivor who at that time raced under the moniker of Powhatan. The chief soon became so attached to his little one that he christened her Pocahontas. She soon displayed her precocity and class, rewarding him with a game victory in Saratoga’s Schuylerville Stakes over five and a half furlongs. Of the seven fillies rated above her on the Experimental Free Handicap was How’s full-sister Sequoia, who finished behind her cousin in the Schuylerville but gained revenge in emphatic style in the Spinaway Stakes. Indeed, another full-sister, Cherokee Rose, had by this time emulated How with victory in the 1954 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Pocahontas produced nine foals for Guest before her death in 1972. Five became Stakes winners. The most distinguished was a small, well balanced colt by Ribot aptly named Tom Rolfe, who earned the title of US Champion Three-Year-Old of 1965 with victories in the Preakness Stakes, American Derby and Arlington Classic and audaciously contested that year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, finishing five places behind the imperious Sea-Bird. By Bold Ruler, Pocahontas’ second foal, Chieftain, won 13 of his 36 starts, garnering prestigious scores in a division of the Cowdin Stakes at two, the Governor’s Gold Cup at three and the Arlington Handicap at four. By Larkspur, Wenona won the Blandford Stakes for Vincent O’Brien, while Pocahontas’ final two foals, the Sir Ivor filly Lady Rebecca and the Reindeer colt Ahdeek were also Stakes winners, the former taking the Gr.3 Prix Vanteaux. Tom Rolfe and Chieftain both became high-class sires.

The former’s 665 foals numbered 48 Stakes winners, these featuring the 1970 US Champion Juvenile Hoist The Flag and the US Champion Turf Horses Bowl Game and Run The Gantlet. The sire of Alleged, Hoist The Flag developed into an outstanding stallion, as did Run The Gantlet, whose best were fine indeed: April Run, Ardross, Commanche Run, Providential and Swiftfoot. Chieftain sired 43 Stakes winners from his 491 foals, notably the US Champion Older Mare Cascapedia, the Kentucky Oaks heroine Lucky Lucky Lucky and the admirable millionaire Fit To Fight.

Furthermore, Pocahontas’ unplaced son by Sea Hawk, War Hawk was New Zealand’s Champion Sire in 1981. By Reindeer’s sire Santa Claus, the unraced Santa Paula produced Vaguely Noble’s Gr.1 Premio Roma hero Noble Saint and is grandam of Selkirk’s Gr.1 Matriarch Stakes and Gr.1 Beverly Hills Handicap heroine Squeak, but it is Lady Rebecca who has had the most enduring influence of Pocahontas’ daughters. By Lyphard, her son Alzao won the Gr.3 Premio Ellington before siring 93 Stakes winners in an honourable stud career, these including the Classic heroines Matiya, Shahtoush and Winona, the dual Gr.1 Champion Stakes queen Alborada, the fine miler Second Set and Deep Impact’s Gr.1 Rheinland-Pokal-winning dam Wind In Her Hair. Rated 101 by Timeform, Alzao’s full-sister Light Of Hope produced the Listed-placed pair Happy Heart and Maria De La Luz to the half-brothers Exit To Nowhere and Machiavellian. In turn, Happy Heart is the dam of two leading Australian fillies in Danehill Dancer’s Gr.1 VRC Oaks heroine Arapaho Miss and Hussonet’s Gr.1 MRC 1,000 Guineas runner-up Heartsareforlove, while Maria De La Luz’s regal daughter Minakshi continued her rise to stardom by becoming Giant’s Causeway’s son Footstepsinthesand’s fourteenth Graded and Group winner with success in Woodbine’s Gr.2 Canadian Stakes eleven days ago. Both Maria De La Luz and Happy Heart are inbred to Pocahontas via Lady Rebecca and Tom Rolfe, the latter’s son Hoist The Flag being the sire of Raise The Standard, grandam of Machiavellian and Exit To Nowhere.

In turn, Happy Heart’s fine daughter Heartsareforlove is inbred to Hoist The Flag. Indeed, Maria De La Luz is closely related to the Gr.2 American Derby ace Evolving Tactics, himself one of just five foals by Machiavellian out of daughters of Alzao. Alzao’s nine foals from mares by Hoist The Flag’s son Alleged feature three Stakes winners, notably the Gr.1 Beverly D Stakes and Gr.1 Diana Handicap heroine Angara, while his Gr.2 Grand Prix de Deauville victor Epistolaire and Gr.3 Grand Prix de Vichy scorer Bailador are out of granddaughters of Alleged. By Alleged out of a granddaughter of Chieftain, the Gr.1 Premio Vittorio di Capua hero Jurado set the ball rolling for the success of combining Tom Rolfe with Chieftain.

This has become a major factor in the success of the stallion career of Giant’s Causeway, whose third dam is Chieftain’s Stakes-winning daughter Imsodear. Eleven of  Giant’s Causeway’s Graded and Group winners are inbred to Pocahontas in this way, including the Gr.1 La Brea Stakes heroine Book Review, the Gr.1 Spinster Stakes queen Carriage Trail, the Gr.1 Norfolk Stakes hero Creative Cause, the dual Chilean Classic ace Giant’s Steps and the European Champion Juvenile Shamardal, the latter one of his 17 foals of racing age from Machiavellian mares. Further, Giant’s Causeway’s two Stakes winners from nine foals of racing age from daughters of Alzao feature the Queen’s Plate ace Mike Fox. Thus Minakshi’s astute owner/breeders, Amelie and Robert Ehrnrooth of Haras de Bourgeuville, sent their beloved Maria De La Luz to Giant’s Causeway’s unbeaten Gr.1 2,000 Guineas hero Footstepsinthesand. Minakshi’s birth in Normandy on 3rd February 2008 was her family’s return home. The rest is now glorious history.

Editors note: This story raises all kinds of possibilities for the mating of daughters of Mullins Bay and Kahal (both sons of Machiavellian) with Await The Dawn.

Extracts from European Bloodstock News