Among the new sires to the New Zealand breeding industry this season is the best son of War Front, Champion Sprinter U S Navy Flag (USA), who has joined the roster at Valachi Downs.
The three-time Group 1 winner is the epitome of the Danzig-line sprinter, renowned for colossal speed and precocity on the racetrack and evidenced by the countless Group 1-winning descendants.
With U S Navy Flag’s prominent sire line currently being continued through his sire War Front (USA), the sire of 85 stakes winners to date, it is interesting to look at what sire lines complement this sire line and have already proven to work well.
War Front’s best nick is with Danehill Dancer (IRE) where two Group 1 winners have emerged from just 10 runners. Brave Anna (USA) won the Newmarket Cheveley Park Stakes while her full brother Hit it a Bomb (USA) claimed victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Danehill Dancer’s line lives on through his sire sons and two of those who are popular to the southern hemisphere are Choisir (AUS) and Mastercraftsman (IRE). Choisir is the sire of 11 individual Group 1 winners in both hemispheres, including Olympic Glory (IRE) and Starspangledbanner (AUS), while Mastercraftsman has sired 13 international Group 1 winners, including recently crowned New Zealand Champion Middle Distance Horse Danzdanzdance (AUS) and Thee Auld Floozie.
This particular line opens up a good number of the broodmare population, with any Choisir or Mastercraftsman mare a lovely cross for U S Navy Flag.
Similarly to Danehill Dancer, Be My Guest (USA) is another branch of Northern Dancer and has produced two Group 1 winners from 23 runners who carry the combination with War Front.
New Zealand breeders would be familiar with his sire son, the great Pentire (GB), who produced New Zealand Horse of the Year (King) Mufhasa and Group 1 Melbourne Cup winner Prince of Penzance among his 16-strong contingent of individual Group 1 winners.
Known Fact (USA) also nicks well with War Front having produced two Group 1 winners from 16 runners. Lancaster Bomber (USA) won the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Data Link (USA) succeeded in the Keeneland Mile Stakes.
Former Haunui Farm shuttle sire Showcasing (GB) descends from Known Fact through his dam line and has been a dominant force in the New Zealand juvenile scene topping the Leading 2YO Sire by Winners list the last four consecutive seasons.
A particularly successful nick is with War Front and Red Ransom (USA) where two Group 1 winners have been produced from 39 runners in Dewhurst Stakes winner War Command (USA) and Homesman (USA), and with 25% stakes winners to runners this sire line is another option that breeders should consider for U S Navy Flag.
Red Ransom’s line has continued through his sire sons including Roc de Cambes, sire of Group 1 Toorak Handicap winner (He’s) Our Rokkii and Group 1 New Zealand Derby winner Vin de Dance. Therefore, any mares from Roc de Cambes would cross well.
Strong figures have also been found when Woodman (USA) is combined with War Front. Dual Group 1 winner Avenge (USA) and Group 1 French galloper Olmedo (FR) headline the 46 runners bred on this cross.
Perfectly Ready (AUS) is a descendant from Woodman through his sire line and the Leading New Zealand First Season Sire has since gone on to sire Group 1 Telegraph Handicap winner Signify. He has a good string of broodmare daughters that should complement U S Navy Flag.
Providing even further diversity to the sires that have crossed well with War Front is Seeking The Gold (USA). A Champion 2YO Colt in Europe and Ireland, Air Force Blue (USA) won the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, National Stakes and Phoenix Stakes, while Fog of War (USA) and Omaha Beach (USA) also scored at the highest level.
Seeking the Gold is prevalent in New Zealand through his great grandson Makfi (GB) and grandson Swiss Ace (AUS). Three-time Group 1 winner Bonneval, who was voted New Zealand Horse of the Year among several other awards, is one of four Group 1-winning progeny by shuttle sire Makfi who now stands in Japan, while Swiss Ace has sired four Group 1 performers and Group 2 winners Swissta.
Excitingly for New Zealand and Australian breeders, U S Navy Flag is free of Danehill (USA) and Zabeel, making way for a versatile pedigree that will suit a large selection of mares.
Granddaughters of Danehill have already shown success with Group winners Fun Fact (AUS) and Vigor Winner (AUS) bred to U S Navy Flag’s sire line.
Contact Gareth Downey on 027 205 6687 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your mating plans.