Northern Dancer Sire Line in Japan Part1

2022-11-22 | By jpkeiba | Filed in: Sire Lines.

Northern Dancer Sire Line in Japan Part1

Posted in November 2022 – To be updated as needed (Latest update: November 2022)

  • Needless to say, the most prosperous in the world from the mid-1900s to the present are the Northern Dancer sire line.
    The stallions of Northern Dancer line have naturally continued to have a great impact on Japanese horse racing.
  • In Japan, Northern Taste is the only Northern Dancer stallion to have become a leading sire.
    There was a time when Northern Dancer line stallions such as Maruzensky were active in addition to Northern Taste.
    Northern Dancer have become an integral part of Japan.
    There are some great racehorses in Northern Dancer line, such as Kurofune and T.M. Opera O.
    However, since the arrival of Sunday Silence in Japan, Northern Dancer line has been completely outclassed by Sunday Silence line.
    Even in Japan, which is ridiculed as the “graveyard of bloodlines,” the demise of Sunday Silence line is hard to imagine.
    Even if Sunday Silence line were to die out, the sire line that would replace it as the leading sire would not be Northern Dancer line, but Roberto line or Mr. Prospector line.
    Nevertheless, more than 50 years have passed since the appearance of Northern Dancer, and there is a great possibility that a stallion from the Northern Dancer line with an aptitude for Japan will suddenly appear.
  • In Japan, the characteristics of Sunday Silence line are described in terms of “軽さ (lightness)” and “キレ (sharpness)”.
    Northern Dancer line is ” heavy” and “lacks quickness” in current Japanese tracks, especially for medium and long distance races on turf.
    Among Northern Dancer line, short-distance stallions that can also run on dirt tracks are in some demand, but they are never considered a mainstream line.

In Part 1, the following will be presented. 

Northern Taste sire line
Nijinsky sire line
Vice Regent sire line – Deputy Minister sire line
Sadler’s Wells sire line
Lyphard sire line – Dancing Brave sire line

In Part 2, the following will be presented.

Danzig sire line – Danehill sire line
Nureyev sire line

Storm Bird sire line – Storm Cat sire line
Topsider sire line
Try My Best sire line
El Gran Senor sire line
Secreto sire line
Fairy King sire line

Northern Jove, Northfields, Be My Guest, The Minstrel, Sovereign Dancer, Dixieland Band
Other Northern Dancer line stallions


Northern Taste sire line

  • Northern Taste is the representative of Northern Dancer line stallions in Japan.
    He is the greatest contributor to Shadai Group’s rapid progress and becoming a top breeding farm.
  • I wrote about his accomplishments as a sire in a separate post about “Northern Taste”.
  • The sire line continued with Amber Shadai – Mejiro RyanMejiro Bright, but did not continue beyond that.
    Although Northern Taste sire line has ceased to exist, the influence of his pedigree is still strong today.
    He is the great father of Japanese horse racing in the modern era.

Amber Shadai (by Northern Taste)

  • At that time, stallions born in Japan were still unfavorable, but he was one who did well.
  • Mejiro Ryan won the G1 race and connected his sire line.

Mejiro Ryan (by Amber Shadai)

    • Like Amber Shadai, Mejiro Ryan was one of the most active Japanese-born stallions at the time.
    • He sired Mejiro Dober and Mejiro Bright in his first year, but no G1 winners followed.

Nijinsky (Nijinsky Ⅱ) sire line

  • Maruzensky is the representative of Nijinsky line in Japan.
    Thanks to Maruzensky’s success, Japanese breeders have imported many Nijinsky line stallions.
  • Other good racehorses were often born from Nijinsky line.
    Like Nijinsky himself, many of these horses had magnificent bodies and elegance.
    However, as if to compensate for their magnificent bodies, many of them were often injured.
  • Thanks to its magnificent body, Nijinsky line still has a strong presence in the pedigree chart today, but as a sire line, it is on the verge of extinction in Japan.
    Nijinsky line is rapidly losing its power in the world as well.
  • His brother, Minsky, worked as a stallion in Japan.
    Minsky will be explained in Part 2.

Maruzensky (by Nijinsky)

  • Maruzensky had a great pedigree that was exceptional in the Japanese racing world at the time, and he had a great racing career as a racehorse.
    As a stallion, he showed great ability and was one of the leading stallions in Japan in the 1980s, along with Northern Taste , Tosho Boy and others.
  • Horisky, Suzuka Koban, Sakura Chiyono O, and Leo Durban are his sons who won G1 races (or big races before they became G1).
  • Suzuka Koban line is the only existing Nijinsky – Maruzensky line, but it will die out soon.

Sakura Toko (by Maruzensky)

Green Dancer (by Nijinsky)

  • Green Dancer was not active as a stallion in Japan, Eishin Preston is his foal and was active in Japan.

No Attention (by Green Dancer)

    • Many of his foals were slow-growing stayers.
    • His foal, Super Creek, had an excellent career, winning three G1 races.

Yamaninsky (by Nijinsky)

  • Yamaninsky, like Maruzensky, is by the same sire, Nijinsky, and dam-sire, Buckpasser.
    Maruzensky’s success led to high expectations for him, but he did not do well as a racehorse due to injuries.
  • He was in much demand as a low stud fee stallion to replace Maruzensky.
    His foals have done well.
  • Yaeno Muteki and Light Color are his foals that have won G1 races.

Caerleon (by Nijinsky)

  • He was a very successful sire, becoming a leading sire in England and Ireland.
  • His foals were also successful in Japan, with Shinko Lovely, L-way Win, Fusaichi Concorde, Biwa Heidi, and Zenno El Cid winning G1 races.
  • He may be the stallion who contributed most to the prosperity of Nijinsky line.
    However, it is fair to say that almost all of his foals have failed as stallions.
    Caerleon line may be a symbol of the prosperity and decline of the Nijinsky line.

Fusaichi Concorde (by Caerleon)

    • Fusaichi Concorde may be the most successful Caerleon line stallion.
      His foals were quite successful, if not very successful, and he sired more than 1,000 mares.
    • His foal, Blue Concorde, won many G1 (JPN1) races.

Lucky Soverign (by Nijinsky)

  • Although none of his foals ever won a G1 race, many of his foals were successful in Japan.

Ile De Bourbon (by Nijinsky)

  • Ile De Bourbon was a stallion with good results in the UK, but he came to Japan.
    After arriving in Japan, high expectations were placed on him, but he did not do as well as they had hoped.

Russian Roubles (by Nijinsky)

  • Russian Roubles was a pretty good stallion.
    Isono Roubles was the only one of his foals to win a G1 race.

Nagurski (by Nijinsky)

  • Many of Nagurski’s foals have been successful in dirt racing, such as Hokuto Vega and Narita Hayabusa.

Ferdinand (by Nijinsky)

  • As a racehorse, Ferdinand won the Kentucky Derby, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and other races, and won the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.
  • He was a stallion in the U.S. and then in Japan from 1994.
    He did not do well in Japan as a stallion.
  • Barbara Bayer, an American journalist living in Japan, investigated and concluded that Ferdinand was very likely butchered in late 2002.
    This was reported in The Blood-Horse and became a worldwide issue.
    “Blood-Horse” Death of a Derby Winner: Slaughterhouse Likely Fate for Ferdinand
  • It is impossible for me, with my limited knowledge and English skills, to discuss this issue by comparing the situation in the world of horse racing, culture, and religious views of life and death in Japan and in the Western world.
    One thing I can say is that Americans are right to be upset that one of their country’s greatest racehorses met such an end in Japan.
  • There have been several occasions in the past when great racehorses have been slaughtered in Japan, and each time it has made a big splash.
    The issue of the remaining life of racehorses has been much discussed in Japan.
    Recently in Japan, good racehorses that have won graded races often meet a good end.
    Nevertheless, after winning four G2 races and earning more than ¥500 million, Super Hornet was likely to be slaughtered in 2019.
    The land and human costs for a single horse are very high, but at the very least, JRA should be aware of the current status of horses that have won JRA grade races, and JRA should take care of them when their remaining lives are in jeopardy.
    And the reality is that very few racehorses as a whole continue to have good endings.

Grand Opera (by Nijinsky)

  • Grand Opera’s dam is Glorious Song and his brothers are Rahy and Singspiel.
    He himself won only one race, but became a stallion in Japan.
  • He did not do very well as a stallion.
    His foal, Meisei Opera, was successful.
    In 1999 and 2000, after Meisei Opera became active, the number of breedings exceeded 100.
    However, Meisei Opera is his only foal to have won a G1 race.

Seattle Dancer (by Nijinsky)

  • Seattle Dancer is a brother to Seattle Slew, and Seattle Dancer was the highest priced horse in the world at the time.
    He was a stallion in Japan from 1997 to 2002.
  • His Ireland-bred foal, Taiki Fortune, won a G1 race in Japan.

Lammtarra (by Nijinsky)

  • Lammtarra was known as the Miracle Horse.
    He became a stallion after an excellent racing career.
  • A Japanese company, JS Company, scraped together the money to purchase him for the price of $30 million.
    (JS COMPANY is a company that handles the affairs of the business, such as monetary transactions for breeding farms in the Hidaka region.
    It is like a joint company of farms in the Hidaka region.)
    This price was the highest in Japanese horse racing history.
    His arrival in Japan was big news not only in the horse racing-related media but also in the general media.
  • He was a stallion with great promise, but his foals were not very successful.
    He is treated as a “representative of failed imported stallions” and a “symbol of the downfall of the Hidaka region.
  • One of the most often mentioned reasons for his failure is that he is an inbred Northern Dancer, 2 x 4.
    Many of the good broodmares in the Hidaka region at that time were by Maruzensky.
    Breeding Lammtarra with a good mare from the Hidaka region was avoided because the Northern Dancer and Nijinsky inbreds were too strong.
    (It also begs the question of why they purchased Lammtarra in the first place.
    Although they claimed that they were not hostile to Sunday Silence, I believe that they would have been aware of the rivalry against imported stallions such as Sunday Silence managed by other organizations.)
    Some believe that he simply wasn’t a good stallion based on the performance of his foals during his year as a stallion in Europe.
  • In 2006 he was bought back for $240,000 and treated with great care by Sheikh Mohammed and the Godolphin staff.

Royal Academy (by Nijinsky)

  • Bullish Luck, born in the U.S. and active in Hong Kong, also won a G1 race in Japan.

Vice Regent sire line – Deputy Minister sire line

  • In Japan, Vice Regent – Deputy Minister line is almost French Deputy sire line.
  • First of all, about the Vice Regent line other than French Deputy.
  • Vice Regent’s brother, Viceregal, was a stallion in Japan after working in Canada.
    Viceregal will be introduced in Northern Dancer sire line Part 2.

Deputy Minister (by Vice Regent)

  • Deputy Minister is a great stallion who has made the Vice Regent line prosperous.
  • His foal Toyo Seattle was successful in Japan.
  • One of his foals, French Deputy, became a successful stallion in Japan.

Soto (by Dehere)

  • Soto was a stallion active in the United States.
    Among Soto’s foals, Suni won the JPN1 races.

Park Regent (by Vice Regent)

  • Park Regent was a stallion in considerable demand.
  • Regent Bluff won the JPN1 race.

And then came the French Deputy.

French Deputy (by Deputy Minister)

  • Nobo Jack and Kurofune came to Japan as foals when French Deputy was in the U.S. and were very active.
    In particular, Kurofune’s run like a monster in another dimension attracted many people.
  • Perhaps moved by Kurofune’s performance when he was only two years old, Shadai Group purchased French Deputy, Kurofune’s sire, and Blue Avenue, Kurofune’s dam, and brought them to Japan.
    At that time, both Nobo Jack and Kurofune had yet to win a graded race.
  • French Deputy’s foals after his arrival in Japan were also successful.
    His foals Eishin Deputy, Admire Jupiter, Friendship, Pink Cameo, Reginetta, and Sound True have won G1 or JPN1 races.

Kurofune (by French Deputy)

    • Kurofune may be the most successful sire of the Northern Dancer line in recent years.
      His foals have been successful and he was once second in the leading stallion ranking.
    • Of his mares, Sleepless Night, Curren Chan, Whale Capture, White Fugue, Aerolithe and Sodashi won G1 or JPN1 races.
    • Of his foals, the colts are less active than the mares.
      Fusaichi Richard won a G1 race as a 2-year-old, Up to Date won a J・G1 steeplechase, and Clarity Sky won the NHK Mile Cup, a G1 race, but those wins were not highly regarded.
    • Fusaichi Richard retired from stallion work without much success, and Clarity Sky did not become a stallion.
      Currently, T M Jinsoku and Oken World are the successors to the Kurofune line, but both are breeding less than 10 horses per year.
      Whale Capture’s younger brother, Pax Americana, is also slated to be a stallion starting in 2023, but it is not known if he will attract broodmares.

Sadler’s Wells sire line

  • It is often said in Japan that the Sadler’s Wells line is not compatible with Japanese tracks.
    This is not wrong, but it is somewhat overemphasized.
    The reason why this is said to be more emphatic than the fact is probably because of the impression that Galileo’s foals have not shown any success in Japan, which is a big impression.
    Galileo’s foals have not won a G3 race in Japan, or even an OP race, one level below G3 race.
  • It is true that the Sadler’s Wells line has produced some great racehorses such as T.M. Opera O, Meisho Samson and Logotype.
    I hope that Sadler’s Wells line will be connected in Japan, just like El Prado, which has built up a huge power even though it was said that Sadler’s Wells was not a good fit in the U.S.

Opera House (by Sadler’s Wells)

  • Opera House represents Sadler’s Wells line stallions in Japan.
    His foals are not very fast, but they are characterized by excellent stamina, smartness, and sturdiness.
    Perhaps because of these characteristics, his foals are strong in steeplechase races, and some people refer to him as “the Sunday Silence of steeplechase.
    (His younger brother Kayf Tara is also treated like a stallion exclusively for steeplechase racing in Europe.)
  • His foals often run in many races and earn prize money, but he sometimes sires foals that win graded races.
    And he sired two big names, T.M. Opera O and Meisho Samson.
    In addition to those two horses, Nihon Pillow Jupiter won a dirt G1 (JPN1) race, and Spring Ghent and Majesty Bio won steeplechase J・G1 races.
  • In terms of the survival of the sire line, there is nothing we can do but fantasize about what would have happened if T.M. Opera O had joined Shadai Stallion Station as originally planned.
    Meisho Samson worked as a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station but did not sire a strong colt.
    The only way for the sire line to survive is for the owners of “T.M. (T M )” and “Meisho” and those who are close to them to continue the line in a small way.
  • There is anecdotal information that the number of breeding inquiries for Opera House increased when Meisei Opera was successful.
    Meisei Opera’s sire is Grand Opera, as mentioned above, so, it is a misidentification based on the names.

Shingun Opera (by Opera House)

    • Shingun Opera was a private stallion but sired Shingun Michael, who was successful in steeplechase racing.

In the Wings (by Sadler’s Wells)

  • His foal, Singspiel, won the Japan Cup.
  • In the Wings’ brother Hunting Hawk became a stallion in Japan.
    Hunting Hawk did not do well as a sire, but he did sire a G2 winner, Hot Secret.

Singspiel (by In the Wings)

  • His foal, Asakusa Den’en, won the G1 race Yasuda Kinen.
  • In addition, Lohengrin also won the G2 races in Japan.

Lohengrin (by Singspiel)

    • Lohengrin was rumored to be a favorite of Teruya Yoshida of Shadai Farm.
      He became a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station and then moved to Lex Stud.
    • His foal Logotype, bred at Shadai Farm, won three G1 races.
    • Logotype was also a favorite of Teruya Yoshida and became a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station.
      However, Logotype is struggling as a stallion.
      As I write this post, it has been decided that Logotype will be moved from Shadai Stallion Station to Rex Stud.

Frankel (by Galileo)

  • Frankel is an undisputed great racehorse and stallion.
    As mentioned above, Galileo’s foals are not successful in Japan at all, but several Frankel’s foals are successful in Japan.
  • At this time, Soul Stirring, Mozu Ascot, and Grenadier Guards are his foals that have won G1 races in Japan.
  • Frankel’s brother Noble Mission began his stallion career in Japan in 2021.
  • Mozu Ascot became the successor stallion.
    Other stallions by Frankel include Ask Peter Pan, by Straight Girl, and Tanino Frankel, by Vodka.
    Ask Peter Pan and Tanino Frankel have quite a few people paying attention to them because their dams are famous.

Lyphard sire line – Dancing Brave sire line

  • Lyphard was a great stallion who was a leading sire in France and the United States.
    The Lyphard line is, to put it nicely, characterized by the mare’s distinctive features and overall high level of quality; to put it badly, it is uncharacteristic.
  • Today, the Lyphard line is on the verge of global extinction.
    The decline of the Lyphard line may be partly attributed to Japan, which even brought Dancing Brave’s successful European foals, White Muzzle and Commander in Chief, to Japan.
  • Sweep Tosho, Deep Impact and Meisho Samson are horses whose dams-sires are Lyphard line stallions.
    Recently, many of the horses whose dam-sire is King Halo have also been successful, and King Halo’s reputation as a dam-sire has become very high.
  • The most famous Lyphard’s foal to have made a success in Japan was Ski Paradise, who was born in the U.S. and trained in France.

Dancing Brave (by Lyphard)

  • Dancing Brave is the most famous of Lyphard’s foals and is often described as the strongest horse in Europe in the 1980s.
  • He developed Marie’s disease, an incurable disease, in the fall of 1987 when he began his career as a stallion at Dalham Hall Stud.
    Due to the poor performance of his first yearlings and the difficulty of handling the disease, Dalham Hall Stud sought a buyer for Dancing Brave in 1991.
    The JRA considered purchasing him, and there was some controversy over concerns about his disease, but in the end the JRA purchased him and donated him to the JBBA.
  • Later, his European foals included the successful Commander in Chief and White Muzzle.
    Because of this, the decision to sell Dancing Brave was often criticized.
  • He continued to stud in Japan, although he suffered from a disease that prevented him from breeding many more.
    His foals were successful, and Erimo Chic, Kyoei March, King Halo, and T.M. Ocean won G1 races.
  • He died on August 2, 1999, after a sudden change in health.
    It is said that at the end of his life, he died a spectacular death, remaining standing on his four legs, as if he had realized that he could no longer stand up once he was lying down.
    It is an episode that shows his great spirit of perseverance and his inherent vitality.
  • In addition to King Halo, as mentioned above, Commander in Chief and White Muzzle came to Japan from Europe to succeed him.
    King Halo, Commander in Chief and White Muzzle have been successful as stallions, but the survival of the sire line has been grim.

Commander in Chief (by Dancing Brave)

    • He became a stallion at Yushun Stallion Station.
      His foals were successful and he remained a favorite stallion until his death in 2007.
      His half-brother Warning was also a successful stallion in Europe and Japan.
    • He was a versatile stallion for turf or dirt, short or long distance, fast or slow growth.
    • His foals Ein Bride, Regular Member, and Meiner Combat won G1 or JPN1 races.

White Muzzle (by Dancing Brave)

    • White Muzzle has a similar background to Tony Bin, having been owned by Luciano Gaucci and later working as a stallion at Shadai Stallion Station.
      He had a bacterial infection in his second year as a sire that resulted in a 9% fertilization rate, and even after that his fertilization rate was low, around 55%.
      Yet he remained in demand as a stallion despite his low fertilization rate.
      He is reported to have by far the lowest fertilization rate of all the stallions in Japan who have been bred more than 500 times.
    • His foals Ingrandire, Smile Tomorrow, Asakusa Kings, and Nihonpiro Ours have won G1 or JPN1 races.
      Shadow Gate, who was successful in Japan and won a G1 race in Singapore, is also by him.

King Halo (by Dancing Brave)

    • King Halo is the result of a dream breeding between the best European stallion and the best American mare in the 1980s.
      He was a successful racehorse and stallion.
    • His foals Kawakami Princess, Laurel Guerreiro, and Medeia won G1 or JPN1 races.
    • In 2022, his successors Laurel Guerreiro and Kitasan Mikazuki are active but in almost no demand.

Lyphard line stallions other than Dancing Brave line.

Lypheor (by Lyphard)

  • Lypheor was a stallion in the U.S. for one year and then in Japan.
    The success of his U.S. foals led to him being bought back to the U.S. after a four-year period of activity in Japan, 1980-1983.
    After he returned to the U.S., his foals were very successful in Japan, mainly in short-distance races.
  • His foal Nippo Teio won several G1 races and was the best sprinter in 1986 and 1987 and the best old colt in 1987.
    If Lypheor had remained in Japan after Nippo Teio’s success, he might have produced some better foals.
  • Nippo Teio did pretty well as a stallion but failed to sire a G1 winner.

Mogami (by Lyphard)

  • Mogami was produced in France by Mr. Wada of Symboli Stud and later co-owned by Mr. Kitano of Mejiro Stud.
    As a racehorse, he did not do well in France, but became a stallion in Japan.
  • Many of his foals were unable to debut as racehorses for reasons such as their rough temperaments.
    Many of his foals that were able to make their debut were not successful, except for “Symboli” and “Mejiro”.
    For these reasons, some breeders other than Symboli and Mejiro hated him, labeling him a “cursed blood” or ” dirty blood”.
  • His foals showed aptitude mainly at middle and long distances.
    Some of his foals had success in steeplechase races.
    He was one of the reasons why Symboli and Mejiro were strong in steeplechase racing.
  • His foals Sirius Symboli, Mejiro Ramonu, Legacy World, and Buzen Candle have won G1 races.
  • Symboli Kriens, a champion steeplechase horse, is another well-known foal by him.
    Symboli Kriens won the 1992 Nakayama Daishogai (Spring) by 8.6 seconds and about 50 lengths over second place. (Google video search “Symbli Kriens Nakayama Daishogai Spring”)
    Symboli Kriens (シンボリクリエンス) was also often referred to later as a bit of a talking point for its name’s close resemblance to Symboli Kris S (シンボリクリスエス).

Other Lyphrd line stallions include Lively Mount’s sire Green Mount, Twin Turbo’s sire Lyra Ridge, and others.
Deep Impact’s dam-sire, Alzao, can be said to have played a major role in modern Japanese horse racing.


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