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The only son of Japanese Triple Crown winner and nine-times Champion Sire Deep Impact (Sunday Silence) standing in South Africa, the Mauritzfontein Stud-based Danon Platina, received a boost when Japanese-breds had multiple success at the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday.

This included Deep Impact’s son, the Hideaki Fujiwara-trained four-year-old colt Shahryar, winning the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic over 2410m.

The export of Deep Impact’s Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Breeders Cup Classic-winning father Sunday Silence (Halo) to Japan has turned out to retrospectively one of the great coups in thoroughbred history.

Japanese breeder Zenya Yoshida had acquired a 25% interest in Sunday Silence early in his four-year-old season and bought out the other partners for $7.5 million in 1991.

He had attracted little support by breeders in the United States.

However, he went on to be Leading Sire in Japan on thirteen occasions, surpassing the previous record of ten titles by Northern Taste.

Although the relatively insular nature of Japanese racing at the time meant Sunday Silence’s success was initially restricted to his home territory, his descendants have in recent years won major races in Australia, France, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and in the UAE. 

Deep Impact himself was a hot favourite for the world’s probable most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, although he only finished third.

On Saturday the importance of Japanese thoroughbred breeding on the world stage and the importance of both Sunday Silence and Deep Impact’s influence was emphasised..

The Group 2 Godolphin Mile was won by Bathrat Leon, who is by Deep Impact sire Kizuna.

The Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup over 3200m was won by Stay Foolish, who is by Sunday Silence sire Stay Gold.

The Group 2 UAE Derby was won by the Crown Pride, whose sire Reach The Crown is by Sunday Silence sire Special Week.

The Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen runner up Red Le Zele’s grandam is by Sunday Silence sire Fuji Kiseki. His sire line is through Kingmambo Japanese-bred sire King Kamehameha. 

The Group 1 Dubai Turf runner up Panthalassa is also from the King Kamehameha sire line.

However, the third-placed Vin De Garde is by Deep Impact.

Authority, who finished half-a-length plus a neck behind his Japananese countryman Shahryar in the Sheema Classic is by Orfevre, who is by Stay Gold (Sunday Silence).

The Dubai World Cup third-placed Chuwa Wizard is by King Kamehameha and his dam sire is Durandel (Sunday Silence).

These phenomenal results for Japan and the descendants of Sunday Silence might well have been the subject of a toast at Mary Slack and Steven and Jessica Jell’s Wilgerbosdrift and Mauritzfontein Stud farms on Saturday evening.

Another interesting connection to Mauritzfointein Stud was that the Dubai World Cup-winning sire Tonalist (Tapit), sire of Country Grammer, comes from the same female line as a former stallion based at Mauritzfontein many years ago, Plugged Nickle (Key To The Mint). 

Plugged Nickle’s dam Toll Booth (Buckpasser) is Tonalist’s  third dam.

Plugged Nickle (1977), a Grade 1 Florida Derby winner who also stood for a bit in the USA, produced twenty stakes winners according to wikipedia. Two of these were Mauritzfontein Stud-bred half-sisters to the great Horse Chestnut including Rawl Plug, who produced the Grade 3 Fillies Mile winner Close The Gap (Fort Wood) (pictured) as well as twice Grade 2 Gerald Rosenberg winner Cork Wood (Fort Wood) and also Ponal (Ideal World), who is the dam of Grade 1 SA Derby runner up Pamushana’s Pride.

Above Picture: Close The Gap winning the Grade 3 Fillies Mile. Her damsire Plugged Nickle comes from the same female line as Tonalist, sire of Dubai World Cup winner Country Grammer. 

Main Picture: Danon Platina (Mauritzfontein Stud).