FORBIDDEN DRAGON, the 4-year-old filly who became the forty-sixth individual first crop winner for the Lyndhurst stud, Warwick located Danehill sire Hidden Dragon when a smart winner at Eagle Farm mid week, has unusual breeding in that it has two New Zealand bred horses and two Australians in it all used in America.
Three of the doses are in the maternal breeding of Hidden Dragon, himself an Australian bred exported race performer up to Group1 level, competing 22 times in Hong Kong for six wins and six seconds. His dam Ballroom Babe, a New Zealand champion, is bred on a cross of two of their imports from America, the Bold Ruler sire Taipan over the Clem mare Miamian.
Taipan was one of seven winners produced in America by the Australian bred Ritmar, a VRC Lightning Stakes winner by Star Kingdom, while Clem, conquerer of Round Table in three successive races, was by one of Australia’s greatest racehorses, Shannon. Shannon set a new world record and equalled another racing in California before having a short career at stud. He died at 14.
The third export in Hidden Dragon’s pedigree is his fourth dam, the New Zealand bred Summertime mare Holiday. She went to America as a breeder after a first class racing career in Melbourne, including a win in the A.V. Kewney Stakes, seconds in the Victoria Oaks and Wakeful Stakes and thirds in the Thousand Guineas and Edward Manifold Stakes.
The Hidden Dragon winner Forbidden Dragon gets his fourth export in his dam Khun Achara, a minor New Zealand metropolitan winner bred by Patrick Hogan at his Cambridge stud and from possibly his greatest family.
She is a three-quarter sister by the Century sire Centro to Foxwood, a New Zealand Guineas and Captain Cook Stakes winner and dam of Rockwood (Rock of Gibraltar; won AJC Frank Packer Plate and second MRC Toorak Handicap), and half-sister to Celtic Tiger (Jetball; a Malaysian champion).
Their dam is the good class Sir Tristram filly Delia’s Choice, a sister to three Group1 winners, the male champions Sovereign Red and Gurner’s Lane and the filly Trichelle.
Unlike the exported trio in Hidden Dragon’s pedigree, Forbidden’s Dragon’s dam Khun Achara has the distinction of being used at stud in both hemispheres. Now owned by Gainsborough Lodge,Toowoombah and producer of four foals by Hidden Dragon, including a filly born August 21, she started her breeding career in America, resulting in two minor winners.
Her second Australian foal, the Len Bryant trained Forbidden Dragon looks set to be Khun Achara’s best to date. She has raced five times for the Eagle Farm win and two placings at Ipswich.
Forbidden Dragon’s latest effort followed good performances by first crop Hidden Dragon runners in August. The gelded Hidden Star scored by three lengths at Ipswich, the filly Obsidian Dragon added to her good Adelaide record with a dashing 3.2 lengths over 1000m at Morphettville and the tough gelding Steel Dragon finished a 1.7 lengths fourth at Doomben.
Obsidian Dragon (five Adelaide wins, one by 5.1 lengths and another by 3.5 lengths, five stakes cheques) and Steel Dragon (after winning his first four appearances, all at Townsville, moved south for a win, four seconds and a stakes third in Brisbane) are among four first three black type earners in the first crop. The other two are Hollowlea (four city wins including the Group 2 Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley by 1.5 lengths and Listed Henry Bucks Stakes at Flemington by 1.75 lengths) and Hidden Kisses (three Brisbane wins, long neck second 18 runner Listed Princess Stakes at Eagle Farm).
Also in Hidden Dragon’s first crop, one which to date includes 17 other placegetters besides the 46 winners, are Toowoomba star Miss Imagica (raced 17 times for six a wins, five at home, one by an amazing 8.8 lengths and the $100,000 Fillies & Mares Xmas Cup by two), Penski Material (two wins, one at Moonee Valley, three close Melbourne seconds in nine starts), Annette’s Pumpkin (nine starts, three wins, including debut at Doomben), Huff and Puff (winner Eagle Farm, Sunshine Coast), Hidden Babe (first and second Brisbane) and Feuer Drache (won Eagle Farm by 1.5 lengths).
In addition Hidden Dragon has had five first crop runners in Singapore and all have won. One of them, Moonlite Shower, has started nine times for five wins, a second and two thirds.
Hidden Dragon got off to such a bold start with his first 2-year-olds,11 winners, in 2009-10 he was Queensland’s leading juvenile and first crop sire on earnings and tenth in the national statistics for the age group. He followed by being sixth by money and third by wins in the Australian 2010-11 two crop statistics.
Given good health and the ability of his progeny to train on, Hidden Dragon is virtually certain in the future to join the honour board for Lyndhurst sires who have wracked up a thousand plus wins. Five sires used at Lyndhurst since it was acquired by the Kruger family in the 1950s, Smokey Eyes, Hail to Success, Grand Chaudiere, Head Over Heels and Celestial Dancer, have led Australia numerically and other prolific sources of winners have included Canadian Silver and still active Sequalo.
Besides Hidden Dragon and Sequalo, Lyndhurst is standing this year newcomer Drumbeats, a high class sprinter – 1600m performer bred on the powerful Redoute’s Choice – Last Tycoon crop. Like Hidden Dragon (176 mares 2009 – 92.8% fertility and 196 in 2010), Drumbeats is facing up to widespread patronage on his fee of $7,700.