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Rothesay and Fastnet Rock - Glimpses into what was to come

Here is a piece I wrote after the first win of Rothesay a few years ago know.  He was by an emerging stallion in Fastnet Rock, so I guess I got it right.  It is important to us that pedigree analysis has to be grounded in reality.  You need to be able to accurately predict what a horse is likely to do on the track, otherwise you are just guessing.


A seemingly ordinary 2yo race last Saturday at Rosehill highlighted one of the greatest current families in Australia, as well as stamping perhaps a couple of future stars. 

Rothesay won impressively over 1100m and is by Fastnet Rock out of Schiaparelli, a daughter of Woodman.  Schiaparelli had 10 starts and won a Maiden at Wyong, but is notable in that she is a half sister to stakes winners, Causeway Lass and Astute Angel.  Astute Angel has gone on to produce Al Jameel by Tale Of The Cat while the three mares also have a half brother called D’Cash who is at stud now in NZ, and has produced stakes winners Strapped For Cash and Udiditagain.  While these may not all be household names, the dam of these is none other than Canny Lass, the multiple Group 1 winning full sister to Canny Lad. 

Canny Lad and Canny Lass would have to be close to the best performed full siblings that we have seen, certainly in the recent future.  Canny Lad was Australia’s Champion 2yo in 1989/90 having won the Group 1 Golden Slipper and VRC Sires’ Produce, as well as five other races at that age.  These included setting a course record in winning the Listed Maribyrnong Plate Trial over 900m.  His only defeat as a 2yo came in the Group 1 Blue Diamond behind the NZ bred daughter of Biscay in Mahaasin.  As a 3yo, Canny Lad won only two of his eight starts, in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes and the Group 3 Tattersall’s Stakes, a race known for many years as the Autumn Stakes.  Oddly, he is perhaps best known as a 3yo for his third place to Better Loosen up in the 1990 Cox Plate. 

As a sire, Canny Lad has become noted as one of Australia’s best for many years.  He has sired 41 stakes winners since going to stud in 1991.  Canny Lad has produced almost 600 individual winners of over AUD$40 million in prizemoney.  Among his best performers are Dodge, Accomplice, Republic Lass, Ancient Song and He’s No Pie Eater.  While he has sons like Dodge and Planchet at stud, his continuing influence in the Australian thoroughbred appears set to be as the damsire of Champion sire, Redoute’s Choice.  As a broodmare sire, Canny Lad has excelled producing 26 stakes winners to date including not only Redoute’s Choice but also Desert War and Mnemosyne among a growing list. 

Canny Lad was the younger brother of Canny Lass, who had been an outstanding racemare before her successful stud career.  Rather surprisingly given the Champion 2yo status of her young brother, Canny Lass won only one race as a 2yo, although she was second in the Debutante Stakes at that age.  As a 3yo, Canny Lass continued her good form with placings in the Australasian Oaks, VRC Oaks and SA Oaks and also winning the Group 2 Veuve Cliquot at Moonee Valley.  Canny Lass then went on to win the Group 1 Elder’s Mile, Marlborough Cup and William Reid Stakes. 

Both siblings were by Champion Sire, Bletchingly, out of the Lunchtime mare, Jesmond Lass.  Their pedigrees are notable for the two lines of Hyperion that appear within the first five generations.  Hyperion of course is found as the grand sire of Star Kingdom, himself the grand sire of Bletchingly, Biscay’s best sire son.  Hyperion is also found as the grand damsire of Lunchtime.  We also see three lines of Fair Trial appearing though Bletchingly as both the sire of Newtown Wonder, and also the damsire of his second dam, Last Judgement.  Fair Trial, a son of Fairway and Lady Juror, is also found as the grand sire of Coeur Volant, the damsire of Jesmond Lass.  We should also note that there is a sex balanced duplication of a stallion called Colorado in the sixth generation.  Colorado was a son of the legendary Phalaris, and is also notable in that his pedigree carries close up duplications of St Simon, Hampton, Isonomy and five lines of Stockwell within six generations.  Colorado was bred and raced by the famed Lord Derby, and won nine of his sixteen starts including six races that would now be considered Group 1 races such as the Eclipse Stakes, Coventry Stakes, Prince Of Wales and Two Thousand Guineas.  He was also third in the Derby and died after only two seasons at stud, yet retains a remarkable influence as we see in the pedigree of Canny Lad and Canny Lass. 

Rothesay, while being passed in on a relatively modest reserve of $150,000, is by the son of Danehill in Fastnet Rock who is emerging as one of that stallion’s leading sire sons.  Fastnet Rock was a winner of the Group 1 Lightning Stakes, and out of the Royal Academy mare, Piccadilly Circus, who incidentally was a winner of the Blue Diamond Prelude.  In turn, Piccadilly Circus was out of the Marauding mare, Gatana who also produced the stakes winning full brother to Piccadilly Circus in Raheeb.  Marauding of course, was a Golden Slipper winning son of Sir Tristram.  Gatana is out of a Twig Moss mare called Twigalae, so perhaps the strength of the stallions close up in the pedigree of Fastnet Rock play a critical role in his recent success.  Rothesay has a pedigree that features a duplication of Buckpasser, a son of Tom Fool, through his daughters Spring Adieu, the grand dam of Danehill, and Playmate, the dam of Woodman.  Buckpasser is often an influence that is underestimated in Danehill’s pedigree.  Bred by another legendary breeder in Ogden Phipps, Buckpasser won 25 of his 31 starts from two to four years of age.  He won six stakes races as a 2yo, and was crowned US Champion 2yo and then went on to become Champion 3yo Colt and Horse of the Year, and then Champion Handicap Male as a 4yo.  Buckpasser at one point won 15 consecutive races, and was inducted into the US Hall Of Fame in 1970.  At stud, he made his greatest impact as a Broodmare sire, four times winning the US Champion Broodmare Sire title during the 1980’s.  Buckpasser is by Tom Fool who we also see as the grand sire of Lunchtime, the dam of Canny Lass.  The other most noted duplication in the pedigree of Rothesay is that of Biscay who we see not only as the sire of Bletchingly, but also the damsire of Marauding in the pedigree of Fastnet Rock. 

In terms of dosage, we see that Rothesay has a profile that reads [0.82/3.22].  Given this, it would not be surprising to see the colt perform at least up to a mile, although with the influences in his pedigree, it is also possible that he might well be competitive in some of the classic races of his 3yo season.  I suspect that Rothesay may prove to be well above average, and if he inherits more than a modicum of the talent of his famous ancestors, then the sky is the limit for this exciting 2yo.

Just for the record, here is Rothesay's race record.  Did I say he was likely to perform up to a mile?  Well yes I did.


Rothesay race record

(in Australia)






At 2 :
STC Blackberry 2YO H. (1100m)

At 3 :
BRC Queensland Guineas, Gr.2 (1600m beating Launay and Fifteen Carat)
Lord Mayor's Cup, Gr.3 (1600m beating Our Lukas and Hadaaf)
STC Myboycharlie H. (1200m)
3d Gosford Guineas, L (1200m to Latin News and Flowerchild)
4th AJC Roman Consul S., Gr.2 (1200m)

At 4 :
2d STC Theo Marks H., Gr.2 (1400m to More Joyous and beating Drumbeats)


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