Winx Adds To The Street Cry Legacy
Monday, October 26, 2015
Street Cry arrived at Darley’s Northwood Park Stud in Victoria in 2005 with a better-than-average record as a racehorse behind him and an unknown future as a stallion ahead. By the time he died prematurely in September 2014, Street Cry had become one of the best, and most versatile, dual-hemisphere stallions of all time. His notable performers included the Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and the 13-time Group 1 winner Zenyatta in America. In Britain he’d produced the very good filly Lyrical Light and the multiple stakes winner Carlton House and in Australia the Blue Diamond winner Pride Of Dubai and the Melbourne Cup winner Shocking. In Melbourne on Saturday his star filly Winx added the WS Cox Plate to a list of personal credits that already included a pair of Group 1 wins, as well as enhancing Street Cry’s contribution to the Australian thoroughbred industry. Winx’s crowning success came on a weekend when one Australian-bred star renewed his bid for the title of world’s best sprinter and another returned to racing with explosive impact in Hong Kong. Chautauqua finished last season close on the heels of the best short-course runners, but he has caught and passed them this time around and on Friday night at Moonee Valley he claimed his second Group 1 title, adding the Manikato Stakes to the TJ Smith Stakes he won at Randwick in April. The Son of Encosta De Lago is shaping as the heir-apparent to the sprinters’ crown – so long as Hong Kong’s champion miler Able Friend doesn’t challenge him. As emphatic as Winx, Able Friend resumed racing at Sha Tin on Sunday, coming from last to beat Hong Kong’s best sprinters in the Group 2 Premier Bowl. But for all that Chautauqua and Able Friend achieved, the weekend revolved around the Cox Plate victory of Winx and the enduring story of her sire Street Cry. A racehorse who produced his best at middle distances, as by his 2002 Group 1 Dubai World Cup win at 2000m, Street Cry has produced the full range of offspring. And he’s done it in both the northern and southern hemispheres. In North America he got horses of his own style, like Street Sense and Zenyatta. But he also produced the champion sprinter Street Boss. In Australia that versatility went further to include a Group 1-winning two-year-old at one end of the age and distance range, to a Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner at the other. As Darley Australia general manager Henry Plumptre points out, Street Cry had the uncanny ability to get the best out of his Australian mates. “What we found – as much by accident as design – is that he crossed very well with our mares,” Plumptre said. “He turned out to be a great match for those strong indigenous lines that are peculiar to Australia. The ones with a bit of Star Kingdom in them, and he also worked very, very well with Danehill mares.” The racehorses at either end of Street Cry’s Australian Group 1 spectrum – the Blue Diamond winner Pride Of Dubai and Melbourne Cup winner Shocking – are both out of Danehill mares. Other Australian stakes winners by Street Cry out of Danehill mares include Gallatin, Solicit and Chivalry. In England the same cross produced, among others, the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Princess Highway and in Ireland Falls Of Lora, winner of the Group 3 UAE Oaks. Other notable performers in Australia are the outstanding Group 1 middle-distance performers Whobegotyou and Long John who both won the Caulfield Guineas and Stay With Me who this month won the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield and, of course, Winx. Such is the esteem in which Street Cry is held in Australia that Darley has taken a share in one of his best credentialed grandsons, Hallowed Crown, a son of Street Sense. “We realised the enormous significance of Street Cry as a stallion both here and in North America and we needed a performance horse that could carry that legacy forward,” Plumptre said. “So we took the opportunity to take a share in Hallowed Crown who we now have standing in New South Wales.” Coolmore have also recognised the value of his sire line, last year acquiring the rights to stand Pride Of Dubai when his racing career ends. Plumptre acknowledges that Street Cry’s potential wasn’t initially recognised. “I don’t think anyone thought after his first couple of years of covering in Australia that he was going to as successful as he was,” he said. “He came out in 2005 and 2006 and was a foundation stallion at Northwood Park and he stood for $15,000.” Street Cry entered stud in America in 2003 and stood for nine seasons in Australia and in a reflection of the esteem he gained during that time, his service fee had been posted at $110,000 before he died last spring. His record as a stallion is accordingly reflected in the sales ring. Among Street Cry’s most recently-offered yearlings have been three in Australia of $1 million or more, one in England who sold for 800,000 pounds, another at US$1.4 million in Kentucky. Winx, a $230,000 yearling purchase who is among Street Cry’s 18 individual Group 1 winners, is raced by Peter Tighe’s Magic Bloodstock, Debbie Kepitis and Richard Treweeke. For Kepitis, the youngest daughter of Bob Ingham, the win had an added sentimental significance. The daughter of Bob Ingham, who with his brother Jack established Australia’s biggest racing stable, said she now shared a piece of racing history with her father. “It is 20 years since Dad and Jack won the Cox Plate with Octagonal,” Kepitis said. “Now I’ve done it with such a beautiful mare like Winx.” Winx’s mother Vegas Showgirl has three more foals on the ground, an unraced 3YO colt by Fastnet Rock, called Win Win Leader who is trained by Dennis Yip in Hong Kong, and a 2YO Snitzel colt raced by her breeder John Camilleri and who is in training with Gai Waterhouse. She also has a yearling colt by Snitzel and was bred back to him this season but is not in foal.