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The Potent Partnership: A.P. Indy On Mr Prospector 13 April, 2012
- Lisa Barrett

Mr Prospector

One of the most successful equine partnerships in recent times has been that of A.P.Indy on daughters of Mr. Prospector.

Many of those partnerships have then gone on to sire a phenomenal number of Group winners themselves. You need only think of Pulpit (sire of Sky Mesa, Tapit, and Stroll), Malibu Moon, Flatter, and leading first-crop sire Congrats.

A.P.Indy himself was a multiple Group One winner, winning 8 of his 11 starts and earnings of nearly $3 million before being retired to stud where his brilliant legacy began. His story begins with the influence of Bold Ruler and the brilliant mare, Somethingroyal, and filters down through the iconic Secretariat to Weekend Surprise, who also produced the 1990 Preakness winner, Summer Squall as well as Tiger Ridge, who stands at Wilgersbosdrift in the Cape. Thanks to his dam's double copy which she inherited from her damsire Buckpasser and sire Secretariat, this has no doubt contributed to A.P Indy's ability to produce a wide range of off-spring that could run over any distance and surface.

Through his winning combination with Mr. Prospector daughters this has changed the racing landscape forever.

One of the most prominent and well known sons of this cross is Bernardini (via Fappiano: Mr.Prospector ex Killaloe). Bernardini certainly did his sire justice, with some amazing victories: the Preakness by 5 ΒΌ lengths, following that with a 7 length victory in the 10-furlong Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the Travers Stakes by 7 1/2 lengths. His greatest battle came though in the 2006 Breeders Cup Classic, at Churchill Downs, where despite his valiant attempts to hold off Invasor, he was beaten into second place in a thrilling duel. His connections decided that he'd given his best to racing and he was retired to stud, where he quickly gave notice that he is one hottest young sires.

His first crop produced Travers Stakes winner and Belmont Stakes runner-up Stay Thirsty, Group I stakes winner Biondetti, Grade I winners A Z Warrior and To Honor and Serve, and graded stakes winner Theysken's Theory.

His second crop seems to have been even better than his first, with the likes of the champion colts Algorithms, winner of the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr3), and Alpha 1st Withers Stakes (Gr.3), 1st Count Fleet Stakes. Not to be outdone, his daughters have also shown that they are more than capable, with Gamilati (GB) winner of the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas and UAE 1000 Guineas Trial being the most impressive. Bernardini's ability to sire champions has attracted some top class females, the most prominent of these is the champion mare Zenyatta, who recently gave birth to a lovely strapping colt, very much in his father's mould. There are high hopes that these mating can in the future, replicate some of that world-class form for which his sire was so famous. This year Zenyatta is being sent to another of A.P.Indy's off spring, his phenomenal grandson, Tapit. The imposing son of Pulpit, who has 33 Stakes winner and 8 Group One winners from every one of his crops, and earnings of $30 million from these crops, is an excellent choice for this mare. Tapit's ability to sire champions on every surface should provide a winning combination.

A.P. Indy

Another son of that fortuitous partnership has been Pulpit. Out of a daughter of Mr.Prospector, Preach, herself a Group One-winning mare. Pulpit has rapidly become one of A.P.Indy's best sons at stud with 10 Group One winners, 60 Stakes winners (17%) for lifetime earnings of $51 million. His yearlings have averaged $216 000 at sales. Of Pulpits own sons at stud, Sky Mesa, has been the most successful of them, managing to sire Group One winners on every surface from dirt to grass, and his progeny in return, have averaged over $3 million for four consecutive years.

One cannot leave North American shores without mentioning one other son and result of his Mr. Prospector partnership; Malibu Moon. Now one of most successful sires of Stakes winners for the past six years, itself a truly remarkable feat. Malibu Moon is the 5th leading Juvenile Sire by worldwide earnings with 14 winners, 3 Stakes winners, for a total of $1,600,000. Out of Macoumba (Mr. Prospector ex Maximova), herself a winner of the French Prix Marcel Boussac Criterium des Pouliches, and considered one of the best race fillies of her year (1994). Malibu Moon has enjoyed considerable and consistent success with his progeny; the Group One winning filly, Malibu Mint; Stakes winner Malibu Sue; multiple Grade One winner, Devil May Care; and Group 2 winner, Perfect Moon just to name a few.

Here in KZN, we are lucky enough to have four of A.P.Indy's sons at various studs around the province: The first of them is A.P.Answer, who stands at Clifton Stud. Winner of 2 races (both of them over a mile) before a potentially life-threatening near fore knee injury ended his racing career and he was retired to stud. It is hoped that some of his "miler influence" will appear in his offspring, who made their much anticipated appearances in 2011.

Another A.P. Indy son here in KZN is A.P.Arrow, the precocious multiple Group winner. He stands at Mick Goss' champion breeding operation, Summerhill Stud. A.P.Arrow's first foals made their debuts as yearlings at this years Cape Premier Yearling Sale, and its hoped that by 2013 we will see them make their much anticipated debuts at racetracks around the country.

Just As Well. Image: Candiese Marnewick/MMVII

Bush Hill Stud have Mon Sang, an imposing liver chestnut stallion. From his first crop he has produced Stakes placed Country Girl. She has acheived 3 wins and 8 places from just 13 starts, including a win in the Eastern Cape Fillies Nursery (Listed), as well placing in two Listed races, and placing in the Grade 3 Kenilworth Fillies Nursery and the Grade 2 WFA Southern Cross Stakes. Mon Signor is another example of the AP. Indy/Mr Prospector cross. He is a 3 time winner, out of Muhtafal mare Plutonium.

The last of his sons at stud here is Just As Well, who stands at Spring Valley Stud. Out of a Just As Well, a daughter of Nureyev, herself winner of the American Gr.1 Del Mar Oaks and the Prix des Lilas (L). Just As Well comes with an impressive racing record, having scored Group One success in Northern Dancer Breeders Cup Turf Stakes (Gr.1) 2400m, and the Group 3 in the Arlington, plus managing to be Group-placed numerous times. This year his first foals will be making their debuts, and are looked forward to with great anticipation.

It's hoped that A.P.Indy's influence and ability to sire horses that can run over any distance, whether it be sprint or staying, is something which can be bred into the future generations of his sires progeny. South Africa is sorely in need of such horses, that can run further than 2400m.

When one finds equine partnerships of this potency, it's difficult to ignore their impact on the racing landscape. With Mr. Prospector now acknowledged as one of the greatest broodmare sires of all-time, and A.P. Indy one of the leading sires of the past century, the possibilities are endless and irresistible!

Lisa Barrett
- Guest Writer

"Lisa Barrett", her psuedonym, currently works at a stud farm in the KZN Midlands - a position she has held for the past eight years. She describes herself as "absolutely and totally besotted by horses" and she is in a fortunate position to work with a stallion she idolises every day. She describes herself as "continually fascinated by every aspect of the racehorse business, especially pedigrees!"