Arrowfield Mating Insights #3: Castelvecchio

Champagne Stakes G1 & Rosehill Guineas G1 winner Castelvecchio has returned home to Arrowfield to begin his stud career in 2020. (PHOTO: Joan Faras)

First season sires present a great opportunity and a special challenge for breeders – a challenge because we have no current progeny or previous matings to refer to, and an opportunity because there is usually a buzz of excitement about a stallion’s first crop foals that lasts through the sale-ring to their racing debuts. 

The buzz is especially loud when a stallion has built a strong profile based on a terrific race record in elite company, as Castelvecchio did. Arrowfield also has the advantage of standing his sire Dundeel whose results provide valuable information about the types of mares that can give Castelvecchio the best chance of early stud success.

Our Bloodstock Manager Jon Freyer and Pedigree Analyst Peter Jenkins offer insights to four first-crop matings with the dual Group 1 winner:

Jon: CASTELVECCHIO-ASPEN SUMMIT (by Fastnet Rock) – for the Arrowfield Jungle Pocket joint venture
“Aspen Summit is a full sister to Group 1 winner Irish Lights, dam of the top class Omei Sword (by High Chaparral). So we know the family has nicked well with the High Chaparral line of Dundeel, and Aspen Summit already has an outstanding rising 2YO colt by Dundeel.

Aspen Summit, whose grand-dam is a half-sister to the celebrated US matron Fall Aspen. (PHOTO: Arrowfield)

“Additionally, her grand-dam is by Affirmed by Exclusive Native who hails from the same family as Dehere’s sire Deputy Minister, that of Good Example. Good Example herself is line-bred to the dam of Man O’ War’s sire Fair Play.

“Aspen Summit is not overly big, but Castelvecchio should bring enough size and strength to the mix.”

Peter: CASTELVECCHIO-NEVER FADE (by Dansili) – for Arrowfield
“Sometimes we can over-complicate matters when it comes to breeding strategies. One look at the mare’s pedigree page and the answer for her best match might be staring you right in the face!

Never Fade has already produced this attractive, now rising 2YO colt by Castelvecchio’s sire Dundeel. (PHOTO: Georgie Lomax)

“It’s well-known that certain families nick particularly well with certain sirelines – think Eight Carat and the affinity her family enjoyed with Sir Tristram, his sons and grandsons.

“Never Fade is a British-bred daughter of the outstanding Danehill sire Dansili (144 SWs). She’s also a half-sister to French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon, a serious international performer who was also Group 1-placed in Dubai and Hong Kong, and to Spanish Sun, a Group 2 winner at Royal Ascot. Both of these stakes-winning siblings are by El Prado, a son of the great Sadler’s Wells, the paternal grandsire of Dundeel, Castelvecchio’s sire.

“But wait, there’s more! When we delve into the pedigree we find Never Fade’s grand-dam Bourbon Girl, the ancestress of no fewer than 5 stakeswinners sired by Sadler’s Wells or his male line descendants, including Enable (by Galileo’s son Nathaniel), currently the world’s most best racemare and a winner of 10 Group 1 contests to date.

“It’s not rocket science, just simply following an already successful pattern. And why does the Sadler’s Wells line work so well with Bourbon Girl’s descendants ? The pedigree buffs can search for a little-known stallion named Limelight (Nasrullah-Nova Puppis by Hyperion-Carpet Slipper) on Bourbon Girl’s damline. Therein lies the answer.”

Jon: CASTELVECCHIO-WECANSAY MAK (by Starcraft) – for Arrowfield
“Wecansay Mak is a mare we bought modestly off the track, and her second foal is the Group 1-placed stakeswinner Missile Mantra by Smart Missile.

Flit (centre), Missile Mantra (outside) & Southbank (inside) fought out the finish of the 2019 1000 Guineas G1. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

“We’ve since mated her to Dundeel and the resulting filly, now a yearling, is very pleasing. Castelvecchio, a son of Dundeel, has Group 1 winner Maid of Heaven (by Smart Missile) as his half-sister. So there’s already good evidence to support this mating.

“The presence of both Nureyev and Val Du Fier on the female side should further enhance the match. Wecansay Mak is a big, plainish mare who has benefited from a quality stallion and Castelvecchio brings that to the table in spades.”

Peter: CASTELVECCHIO – PERISTROPHE (by Your Song) – for the Arrowfield Jungle Pocket joint venture
“When trying to plot the likely compatibilities for a new stallion the logical starting point is his own sire. In the case of Castelvecchio, we hope that Dundeel will give us some clear clues about the mares that will suit him best.

“As predicted when Dundeel went to stud, mares from the Danehill sire-line have proved a very successful match for him producing four stakeswinners to date including Group 1 winners Atyaab and Super Seth.

Dundeel’s Group-winning son Global Exchange encourages the inclusion of Sunday Silence in the pedigrees of mares visiting Castelvecchio. (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

“Peristrophe, a stakes-placed daughter of the Fastnet Rock sire Your Song from a half-sister to international Group 1-winning sprinter Ortensia, fits this profile, but there is more to her likely affinity with Dundeel and his sons.

“Your Song is out of a daughter of the Sunday Silence sire Fuji Kiseki. Dundeel’s only two runners to date from mares carrying a line of Sunday Silence are both winners, including multiple Group 2 winner Global Exchange, out of a mare by Keep The Faith, a son of Sunday Silence.

“Dundeel’s third dam Sweet Violet is by the excellent French-bred stallion In The Purple, stood in New Zealand by Norm Hawthorne, father of leading bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorne. Duplicating In The Purple has worked well for Dundeel with 3 winners from as many to race bred on this pattern, including Group 3 winner Irukandji and stakes-placed Total Power. Irukandji’s dam is by General Nediym who features In The Purple on his damline.

“Peristrophe’s dam is also by General Nediym and therefore her Castelvecchio foal will feature the same line-breeding pattern to In The Purple. It’s not re-inventing the wheel, it’s just learning from what has gone before.”

Read the rest of the series:
Arrowfield Mating Insights #1: The Autumn Sun

Arrowfield Mating Insights #2: Pariah

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