The great Danzig was highly regarded for siring consistent horses that could race on dirt and turf, and at sprint or classic distances. Jack Werk described the Danzig sireline as ’the most influential worldwide,’ largely because of Danehill’s (USA) influence in both Europe and Australia, Green Desert’s (USA) influence in Europe, and now War Front’s influence in America and Europe.
The announcement of U S Navy Flag (USA) to shuttle to Valachi Downs in New Zealand this breeding season provides breeders with access to another exceptional sprinter from the Danzig-sireline.
His sire War Front has established his reputation as one of the world’s most active sires. His sky-high international status is a result of the plentiful Group/Grade 1 triumphs on both sides of the Atlantic as well as top-level success in both Hong Kong and Australia.
He has showed himself to be capable of producing horses suitable for different racing conditions around the world and his effectiveness at instilling precocity into his stock. This is highlighted by War Front’s feat of siring two Dewhurst winners within three years – despite not being based in Europe, and not to mention numerous other notable juvenile triumphs.
War Front’s tally of Group/Grade 1 winners has kept climbing. Four of his sons scored at the highest level in 2018, including U S Navy Flag, and last month his total of individual Group 1 winners increased to 21 when War Of Will (USA) gave the stallion his first win in a US Triple Crown race by taking the Preakness Stakes. Despite his sire’s dominance on turf sprints, War Of Will once again demonstrated the adaptability of the sireline being a dirt Classic winner.
War Front’s first-season stud fee in 2007 was $US12,500, and his meteoric rise to stardom can be gauged by its rapid ascent: up to $US60,000 in 2012, to $US80,000 in 2013, to $US150,000 in 2014, to $US200,000 in 2016. For the past three seasons he has stood for a quarter of a million dollars, twenty times the fee he commanded at the outset.
But he is not the only son of Danzig to make waves globally, with Danehill and Green Desert (largely through Volksraad, Cape Cross and Invincible Spirit) leaving an incredible legacy in Australasia.
Although dual-hemisphere sire Danehill died in 2003, 16 years later he’s still the most influential force in the pedigrees of Australia’s Group 1 winners. In the 2018-19 season, 55% of the Australian Group 1 winners carried Danehill in their pedigrees in some capacity.
Danehill’s champion sons Redoute’s Choice, Fastnet Rock and Exceed and Excel all sired Group 1 winners in their own right last season and importantly, they achieved Group 1 success with their sire sons.
The Green Desert branch of the Danzig sireline produced five Group 1 winners in the 2018-19 season and is being seen worldwide as a growing influence through the deeds of champion sire Invincible Spirit (IRE) and his sire sons who include I Am Invincible, the most successful Group 1 sire in Australia this season with four individual Group 1 winners.
Southern hemisphere breeders will now have the opportunity to tap into this sireline, with U S Navy Flag a great exemplary of the speed and precocity that both War Front and Danzig have developed.
U S Navy Flag will be the most talented son of War Front to have shuttled, not only because he won the Group 1 July Cup last year, but as a two-year-old in 2017 he had become only the second horse in the modern era to complete the double of England’s most prestigious juvenile races, the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes.
After covering a full book in his maiden season at Coolmore Ireland, U S Navy Flag will shuttle to Valachi Downs to commence the 2019 season at a fee of $20,000 + GST.