BEST VALUE AMONG YOUNG SIRES - COMPLACENT
By John Richardson / The Informant
The second of the two fine young stallions from the Godolphin team that are standing at Mapperley in the coming season is COMPLACENT, who I believe may well represent the best value among younger as yet unproven stallions available to breeders in the coming season.
At first in the Peter Snowden stable, Complacent was not produced until the last two weeks of his juvenile season when running close seconds at Hawkesbury and Warwick Farm. Six weeks later, he left maidens at Hawkesbury over 1400 metres and was then swiftly upped in class to contest the Gr. 3 Gloaming Stakes, where he opened his Group account by defeating Savvy Nature and Drago.
He then made it three on the trot, quite comfortably putting away a classy field for the Gr. 1 Spring Champion Stakes over Randwick’s 2000 metres. He settled third or fourth before bursting through impressively to defeat Criterion and Savvy Nature.
Next up in the Gr. 1 Victoria Derby Complacent got a long way back before being rushed up wide around the turn and looking for a moment like the winner, but Polanski, who got clear at the top of the straight, did not stop. The big-striding brown colt had to be content with second place, with Thunder Fantasy and Criterion behind.
Shortly afterwards, tendon troubles meant that Complacent would not be seen on the racecourse for 22 months, and it is testimony to the colt’s courage and temperament that when he did, for the John O’Shea stable, he performed at his best.
On his return he was badly interfered with when a rival broke down in the Gr. 2 Warwick Stakes, then he caught punters unawares when he defeated a star-studded field in the Gr. 2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600 metres. Beaten runners included Kermadec, Royal Descent, Hartnell, Junoob, Pornichet, Who Shot Thebarman, Precedent, Preferment, and Hawkspur – not a bad collection of scalps, putting to bed any suggestion that he needed more than a mile over which to excel.
Two weeks later Preferment, the Victoria Derby winner, got his revenge when he and Magic Hurricane put Complacent back to a close third in the 2000-metre Gr. 2 Hill Stakes, with such as Who Shot Thebarman, Bohemian Lily and Moriarty unplaced. Over the same Randwick track a fortnight later in the Gr. 3 Craven Plate he was back in the winner’s stall, narrowly beating Hauraki and I’m Imposing with Moriarty and Foreteller among the beaten lot.
Everything went wrong in Winx’s Cox Plate, being virtually pulled up, and Complacent was not seen out on raceday again.
This supremely talented, scopy, athletic individual had five wins (four Group) and four placings from 11 starts, earning A$913,225. He was rated at 124 by Timeform, and featured on the World Thoroughbred Ratings at 115 as a five-year-old and 113 as a three-year-old.
It will not have escaped the notice of breeders just how closely he is related to Tavistock, and it could be argued he was the superior racehorse of the pair. It may well set up some interesting matings in the future.
His sire is the champion European three-year-old Authorized (Derby, Racing Post Trophy, York International Stakes), one of a whole tribe of Derby winners sired by Montjeu. His dam is by a son of Rainbow Quest out of a three-quarter-sister to Green Dancer, all of which makes her a very close relative of Quest For Fame, a fact of considerable significance as we shall see.
Since going to stud in 2008, Authorized has spent his time dodging around all over the world, having stood in England, Ireland, Australia, Chile and France, and this makes it extremely difficult for any horse to really make his mark as a major sire – indeed very few have managed to. This is particularly true of staying sires, and Authorized is certainly, like his own sire, a strong stamina influence. Nevertheless he has done quite well with 27 stakes winners including Hartnell (The BMW), Ambivalent (Pretty Polly Stakes), Seal of Approval (British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes) and Maygrove (Wellington Cup).
The damsire Quest For Fame, a son of Arc winner Rainbow Quest, was generally considered to be a sub-standard Derby winner, although he won another elite race, the Gr. 1 Hollywood Turf Invitational in California as a five-year-old. At stud in America and Australia he did well with 43 stakes winners (seven Group One) including champion Australian two-year-old Dracula (AJC Champagne Stakes, George Main Stakes, QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes), Viscount (champion Australian two-year-old and three-year-old colt – AJC Champagne, Sires’ Produce & George Main Stakes), Sarrera (AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Doomben Cup), Unworldly (Flight Stakes), Famous Digger (Del Mar Oaks), Tributes (VRC Oaks) and De Beers (Rosehill Guineas).
As a broodmare sire Quest For Fame proved successful with 52 stakes winners (six Group One) including Tavistock, Norzita (champion Australian three-year-old filly) and champion French three-year-old sprinter African Rose, also champion Irish miler Famous Name (20 stakes wins; 2nd French Derby). His influence is for stiff milers.
Sire of the granddam Kaoru Star (Star Kingdom – 36 stakes winners, seven Group One), proved a champion sire and broodmare sire. He sired such as Luskin Star, Full On Aces, Marceau, Mighty Avalanche, Planet Ruler, Zasu and crack New Zealand filly Kate’s Myth.
The next sire on the damline is the Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes winner Lunchtime, who did well at stud in Australia siring Snippets and Street Café and being damsire of Canny Lad and Choisir, and he is followed by the French Guineas winner Adamastor, whose dam Alora also doubles as third dam of Quest For Fame.
The female line is that of the No. 2 family tracing to Yorkshire Oaks victress Charm and came to Australia in the 1920s via the unraced seventh dam of Complacent, Medmenham. She left stakes winners Hesione (Maribyrnong Plate) and Ajax, an iconic Hall of Famer in the 1930s with 36 wins (18 consecutively) from 46 starts.
Medmenham was balanced 4/5 x4 St. Simon, also to Galopin and Isonomy. Hesione’s sister Hecuba was second in the Gr. 3 AJC Gimcrack Stakes, left four winners and established a dynasty of stakes winners with her daughter non-winner Snow Lily being dam of Snowing (Flight Stakes Sandown Guineas). From her descend major winners like Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily.
Hecuba’s best was Lady Pirouette (Champagne Stakes), the fifth dam of Complacent, and she was dam of Kilshery (AJC All-Aged Stakes twice, Stradbroke Handicap, Oakleigh Plate).
Lady Pirouette’s daughter Waltz won at two and had four foals including multiple stakes winner Paravane and stakes producer The Mover. Her Lunchtime daughter Party won three in Sydney and became dam of Telegraph Handicap victor Festal and AJC Galaxy winner Masked Party.
Party’s daughter La Bamba left four stakes winners including Wandjina (Australian Guineas) and Inspiration (Hong Kong Sprint), while her once-raced daughter Awards Ceremony, Complacent’s granddam, left three stakes winners including the aforementioned Dracula.
The dam of Complacent, Insouciance, won in Sydney and Melbourne at 1600 metres and all her seven runners are winners, two of them stakes-placed.
The chart shows Authorized bred on a double Northern Dancer/Rainbow Quest cross, with his granddam and sire both Northern Dancer/Val de Loir nicks. It ought be noted that his granddam Vallee Dansante is by a son of Northern Dancer from Green Valley and therefore a three-quarter-sister to Green Dancer. He is balanced to Nearco, Native Dancer, Hyperion and Val de Loir.
The distaff side soon reveals how carefully this pedigree was planned with Quest For Fame being by Rainbow Quest out of a Green Dancer mare the classic-winning Aryenne, who herself is a granddaughter of Alora who appears again in the bottom quadrant as dam of Adamastor.
The granddam is by Kaoru Star, whose granddam is by Ajax out of a mare by Brueghel, whilst Complacent’s sixth dam Hecuba is a half-sister, by Brueghel, to Ajax. Kaoru the dam of Kaoru Star and Lady Pirouette are also very closely knit.
This a beautifully balanced and patterned pedigree which will afford him every chance of stud success.
A quick flick through some of the younger broodmare sires suggests that many will suit the new horse, and obviously in the fullness of time the likes of Tavistock, Burgundy and others may enter the equation.
Zabeel and those sires by him or out of his daughters should suit, also sires like Darci Brahma, Fast ’n’ Famous, Golan, High Chaparral, One Cool Cat, Civics, Fully Fledged and Strategic Image all caught my eye, and I thought Pins and his son El Hermano might do the job well.
It was noticeable too that a wide range of Australian sires have gelled well with this female family, with Flying Spur, Al Maher, Encosta de Lago, Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel and Stratum to the fore.