Always room for sale-ring filly, even for bulk-buying Aga Khan
THE AGA KHAN tends to develop his bloodstock by bulk buying rather than in the sale-ring â€” his purchase of the Dupre, Boussac and Lagardere holdings are the clearest instances of this highly successful approach.
After all, with 200-plus broodmares and a record of having bred more than 100 Group 1 winners, what need is there to play catch-up at the sales?
On the face of it none, but clearly, as with the London buses of old, there is always room for one more on top.
The latest example is three-year-old filly Four Sins, who cost her owner €120,000 at Goffs as a yearling and is by his own horse, Sinndar.
Bred by Count and Countess von Stauffenberg and carrying the (GER) suffix, Four Sins has already proved a worthwhile investment.
Her stylish success in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes at Naas in May, followed by a solid fourth behind Light Shift in the Oaks, indicated she 15 one of the best of her sex in Ireland.
Four Sins may be German-bred, but apart from her third dam carrying the name Fruhlingstag and being by German champion Orsini, there isnâ€˜t much German about her pedigree.
She is out of the Darshaan mare Four Roses. The latter was an unraced half-sister to 1994 Rockfel Stakes winner Germane, but the familyâ€™s main claim to fame in the last couple of decades is that Fruhlingstag foaled Running Stag, a dual Grade 2 scorer.
This is still not exactly exceptional, with no Group 1 winners in view, but interestingly the family was developed by Marcel Boussac, giving him La Circe (Prix Vermeille) and champion juvenile Abdos among others, so in a sense the Aga Khan is merely returning to base with Four Sins.
Her purchase means he has also obtained a filly by a sire who raced for him and stands at his stud, out of a mare by a sire who did the same, a connection which moreover has already given him top-class filly Shawanda.
Equally, the Aga Khan already had his share of Darshaan mares to send to Sinndar. Shawandaâ€˜s dam Shamawna had been sold but those remaining in the Group 1 category include Darashandeh (dam of Darsi), Sendana (dam of Sendawar), Ebaziya (dam of Enzeli, Ebadiyla and Edabiya) and Zaila (dam of Zainta).
Perhaps the principle is that you cannot have too much of a good thing.
As a footnote, and showing how small the world of bloodstock is, the Stauffenbergsâ€˜ broodmare band includes the former Aga Khan mare Dabara.
She is a half-sister to Darshaan and her 2005 foal by Singspiel named Der Spieler has been entered in the Derby.
Â© Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder, August 2007