Irish-bred Athasi was a long-running, staying mare that was later put to hurdling, winning just five races in four seasons on the turf. Her sire, a winner of three minor races, was a stallion that saw few mares and got fewer winners, but her dam, a winner of the Irish Oaks, came from a line of mares that had been in Ireland since the mid-nineteenth century, and had regularly thrown out good winners, mostly in Ireland, since that time. Early in her breeding career Athasi was put to the lightly-raced Blandford, and her first two Blandford foals, a champion Irish juvenile and an English champion three-year-old, helped establish his reputation as a stallion. Blandford and two of his sons returned the favor. Their Athasi youngsters put her among the ranks of the great broodmares of the twentieth century, the dam of four champions, and ancestress of numerous champions and stakes winners, with descendants that are still winning high-class races today.
Athasi's sire, Farasi (1903), was a member of Desmond's third crop, bred in Ireland by Wyndham Thomas Windham-Quin, 4th Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl, at the Dunraven Fort Union Stud, Adare, Co. Limerick. He was out of the speedy Molly Morgan (by Morgan), that was one of the few Irish-breds to win Newmarket's Cambridgeshire Handicap (1 mile-1 furlong). Farasi was sent to the Newmarket Sales in 1904, and was purchased for a miserable 35 guineas -- this was when Desmond had not yet proven himself, and all anyone knew of him was his juvenile record and his temperamental reputation -- by W.R. Wyndham, a relative of the Earl's.
Farasi stayed in England to train and race, but despite twenty-two starts over three seasons, he won just three races for Wyndham, all juvenile efforts in line with Desmond's propensity to get precocious offspring: Newmarket's Richmond Nursery Handicap (six furlongs, beating two), Newcastle's Monkchester Stakes (6 furlongs for 2 year olds, beating two), and the Newmarket Sales Stakes, placing second twice (the best Newcastle's Stewards' Plate, behind Peter Pan, to whom he was giving 24 pounds), and third twice. Back in Ireland as a stallion, he first stood at Athgarvan Lodge on the Curragh. Despite a low stud fee -- at one point falling to £5 -- he got few foals over the course of his career, and fewer winners. He did get Barrackton Lad (1919, from Raw Material), a winner of the Curragh's Madrid Stakes in 1922, and Glenstella (1917, from Glenina, by Galloping Simon and so similarly bred to Athasi), a useful juvenile whose wins included the Leopardstown Grand Prize, and the gelded Ardscull, a consistent low-level winner. He also got St. Jago (1916, from Sentry Girl), winner of the 1923 Conyngham Cup and other races over fences. Farasi showed up once at the bottom of the top twenty sires of jumpers in Great Britain, but even in Ireland alone, the best he could do as a sire of flat racers was eighteenth one year.
A couple of Farasi daughters became good broodmares. Athasi's success with TRIGO'S classic wins in 1929, combined with Nuwara Eliya's (1926, by Craig an Eran, from Alista (1919, by Farasi)) wins of the Nassau Stakes, Park Hill Stakes and Newmarket Oaks that same year, made Farasi the leading sire of broodmares in the U.K. and Ireland. But that was the only time he placed in the top ten on that list. The juvenile winner Glenstella would go on to win five races at ages three and four, and produced Stamford (1931, by Blandford), a winner of the Curragh's Anglesey Stakes and two other juvenile races, and Stella's Way (1925, by Essexford), that would become the dam of Irish One Thousand Guineas winner Harvest Star (1933) and her brother, Harvest Home, a modest winner, both by TRIGO, and so in-bred to Farasi. Another Glenstella foal, Corrymeela (1930, by Blandford), a winner of four races, became second dam of Geyser and Gleeful, classic winners in Chile.
Athasi's dam was Athgreany (1910), properly by His Majesty or Galloping Simon, the latter preferred. Galloping Simon, by Melton, had shown promise in trials, but injured himself before he could race, and went to stud at the Curragh in Ireland for the 1908, 1909 and 1910 seasons, afterwards taken into the stud of John Musker at Melton Paddocks in Thetford, England. Athgreany, in his first crop, won the Irish Oaks and two other races. Her dam, Fairyland (1903, by Lesterlin), had been a winner, and was out of Stella (1890), who was by the speedy Lord Lyon grandson, Necromancer (1882), a leading sire in Ireland in 1893. Stella's family had been in Ireland since the mid 19th century; she had come up for sale in Dublin in 1901 after producing several foals, one of which, Lyra, was a minor winner.
Stella was purchased for 42 guineas by Peter Murphy of Poulaphouca, Co. Wicklow, where she became a foundation broodmare for his stud, and where he bred several generations descending from her. Stella produced seven winners of 32 races from twelve foals, a number of which became important Irish sires and dams. In addition to Fairyland, she produced Zenith (1904, by Lesterlin), a winner, whose daughter, Perfection (1918, by Orby) established a good tail-female line that included numerous winners and is still extant; Irish Oaks winner Blakestown (1902, by Lesterlin), another key mare with many winning descendants to the present; Templeboden (1908, by Bushey Park), whose offspring included Glenina (1911, by Galloping Simon), the dam of Farasi's daughter Glenstella (1917); and Knockalt (1912, by Orby), whose descendants won numerous high-class races in France. Stella's sons included Sir Carl Meyer's Glenesky (1906, by Lesterlin), a good juvenile, and George Edwardes' Flying Orb (1911, by Orby), a good winner that was the leading sire in Ireland in 1923 (and ninth on the list in Great Britain).
Murphy died in 1918 and his stud was dispersed at a sale at the Poulaphouca Hotel in October of that year. The yearling Athasi was purchased for 270 guineas by David Barnett, a long-time racing enthusiast who was several times among the leading owners in Ireland; he usually ran his horses under the nom-de-course, "Mr. D. Wallace." Athasi's half-sister, a filly foal by Orby (later Orby's Queen, dam of Ascot Stakes winner Bouldnor and Richmond Stakes winner Chancery), brought 925 guineas, a measure of the difference in the general assessment of their respective sires. At the same sale, Athasi's dam, Athgreany, in foal to the Cyllene son, Captivation, brought 500 guineas.
Athasi on the Turf
Athasi was sent to Willie Rankin at the Curragh, who trained David Barnett's other horses, including Royal Ashe, winner of the 1919 Beresford Stakes as a juvenile and of the 1920 Baldoyle Derby at three, and Barnett's juvenile winner of 1921, Ben View. Her usual rider when with Rankin was Rankin's stable jockey, Johnnie "Monkey" Dines.
As a juvenile Athasi ran four times, starting at the Curragh in May, where she placed last of seventeen runners in the Curragh Paddock Plate for two-year-olds over five furlongs. Two weeks later at Leopardstown she was last of seven in the five-furlong Cadogan plate, won by Money Glass. She was put away until the fall, and in October she won the Curragh's Consolation Stakes over five furlongs by 1-1/2 lengths, beating two others. Three weeks later she ran second to Donati's Comet in the Phoenix Park Somerton Plate, a nursery handicap, over five furlongs.
At age three she ran nine times, winning twice and placed third twice. She started in May, unplaced (fourth) in the Waterford Handicap (ten furlongs) at the Curragh. At Leopardstown she was ninth of twelve runners in the Shankill Handicap (one mile), but at the Curragh in June she won the Summer Three-Year-Old Plate over 1-1/4 miles, beating six. A few weeks later at the Curragh she was the last of seven runners in the three mile King's Plate. Back at Leopardstown, she was fourth of eight in the one mile Stillorgan Three-Year-Old Handicap, carrying the heaviest weight of 8 st-11 lbs. At the Curragh in August she was third of six runners in the 1-1/4 mile Friarstown Plate. In September at the Curragh she did not place in the 1-1/4 mile Kildare Handicap, but a week later took the 2-1/2 mile King's Plate by four lengths, beating six, including two five year olds. In October she was third to Riverside Fairy and Clonree in a field of nine in the Irish Cesarewitch (1 mile-6 furlongs) at the Curragh, her last race of the season.
In 1921 she was sent across the Irish Sea, placed in the care of Scotland-born James Burns, who trained some horses for Col. Hall Walker in Ireland, starting in 1914, with his son, Tommy ("The Scotchman"), the usual jockey -- Tommy would win twenty-one Irish Classic races over the course of his career, and it was said his wins were dependent on the condition of his own betting book. Athasi ran this season in Scotland and the north of England. She started six times, winning twice and placing third once. In July at Ayr she ran in the 1-1/4 mile Stand Stakes, with Burns himself up, and was fifth. At York in August she ran unplaced in the Ebor Handicap. Back at Ayr in September, she won the St. Quivox Welter Handicap (1 mile-5 furlongs), beating two, and three days later was third in the Lanarkshire Handicap (1-1/2 miles) at the Royal Caledonian Hunt meeting, won by Count Ross, with All Prince (whom she had beaten at Ayr) second. In October she went to Newcastle, where she won the Northumberland Autumn Handicap (1-1/2 miles) by two lengths. At Manchester in November, she did not place in the two mile Delamere Handicap.
At age five, 1922, she was sent to trainer Tom Coulthwaite at Hednesford, Staffordshire, in England, already a well-known jumper trainer whose winners included 1907 Grand National Steeplechase winner Eremon, and Jenkinstown, the winner of the Grand National in 1910 (he would win the race again in 1931 with Grakle). She was started over fences, and also continued to race on the flat, but was unplaced in nine starts, never getting better than fourth. She was fifth in the Haydock Hurdle (2 miles), and fourth in Manchester's Aldenley Hurdle (2 miles). After that, she was back to flat racing. She went to Edinburgh to run in the 1-1/2 mile Lothian Welter Plate, placing fourth, and in May was unplaced in York's Rockingham Handicap (2 miles). In June she failed to place in Newcastle's Northumberland Plate, and back at Ayr three weeks later, was unplaced in the July Handicap (1 mile-3 furlongs). In August she was fifth in the Stockton Handicap (8 furlongs), and back at Ayr, fifth in the Quivox Handicap (1 mile-5 furlongs). Her final race of the season was Edinburgh's Lothian Handicap, where she was fourth.
Barnett persisted with Athasi through the winter steeplechase season of 1923, and in January she was third in the two-mile Ashton Hurdle race at Haydock. At Nottingham she was fifth in the Harrington Hurdle (2 miles), and then at the end of February ran her last race, the Knott Mill Hurdle Handicap (2 miles) at Manchester, where she was unplaced.
That was the end of Athasi's long and wide-ranging, if largely undistinguished, career on the turf. But she was about to embark on a brilliant career in the breeding shed.
Athasi in the Stud
Athasi is considered one of the truly great broodmares of the twentieth century, even more notable for having spent most of her breeding career in Ireland. Of her fourteen foals, ten were winners of 28-1/2 races worth £51,878, including three Irish champions, and TRIGO, a champion in England. She did have the great good fortune to be in the right place when Blandford began his stud career, and with the exception of one year, before her first Blandford foal hit the turf, she was bred to him without fail until his death in 1935. After that she was put to his sons, Umidwar and Windsor Lad, until her retirement in 1941, after the birth of her last filly, WINDSOR PARK, when she was 24 years old. She died in 1944.
Her success did not just reside with her winning foals. Her son, TRIGO, was a useful sire in Ireland and among the leading sires in Great Britain twice, and her son GRANO was twice leading broodmare sire in Colombia. Her son ATHFORD went to Japan, where he was among the leading sires several times, and PRIMERO also went to Japan, where he was among the top five leading sires thirteen times, including second twice and third twice, and was a leading broodmare sire there in 1958. Some high-class runners descend from the daughters of Athasi's sons, especially in Japan.
But Athasi's daughters were the ones to carry her significance forward, largely through their sons and daughters, in the U.K. and Ireland, and in Europe. Her daughter HARINA'S tail-female line is still extremely successful, with the three-time English champion mare, Time Charter (1979, owned by the Barnett family) continuing Athasi's family's greatness with her daughters and her son, the high-class colt and sire, Zinaad (sire of dual classic winner Kazzia). English champion Tulyar and his half-brother, French champion Saint Crespin, the speedy Milesian (sire of Partholon, a champion sire in Japan, and dam's sire of two-time French champion sire Kenmare), champion Italian older horse Highland Chieftan, Jade Hunter (sire of the champion mare Azeri), Nagami (among the leading sires in Italy) all descend in tail-female from Athasi. Grand National Steeplechase winners Maori Venture (1976) and Grittar (1973) were descendants in tail-female from Athasi, and Quare Times (1946), another winner of that race, was a grandson of her daughter, CENTENO.
|PRODUCE RECORD OF ATHASI |
|Year ||Name ||Stats ||Sire ||Racing ||Breeding Significance |
|1924 || Ballygrainey || b.f. ||All Alone ||Unraced ||Sent to Panama in 1926 |
|1925 ||Athford ||b.c. ||Blandford ||Champion 2 y.o. Ireland; Doncaster Cup, etc. age 4 ||Among the leading sires in Japan |
|1926 ||Trigo ||b.c. ||Blandford ||Champion 3 .y.o. England; Epsom Derby, Doncaster St. Leger, etc. ||Eleventh leading sires list in U.K. twice |
|1927 ||Athnus ||b.c. ||Cygnus ||Won 1 small race age 4|| |
|1928 || Barren (to Blandford) |
|1929 || Centeno || b.f. ||Blandford ||2 Stakes wins in Ireland as 2 y.o. ||Grandam of Grand National winner Quare Times, also tail-female ancestress of Grand National winner Maori Venture |
|1930 ||Harinero ||b.c. ||Blandford ||Champion 3 y.o. Ireland ||Sire of 11 stakes winners in Australia |
|1931 ||Primero ||b.c. ||Blandford ||Champion 3 y.o. Ireland ||Top five leading sires of Japan 13 times, leading broodmare sire in 1958; son Tosa Midori among leading sires ten times |
|1932 ||Choclo ||b.f. ||Blandford ||Unplaced in 2 races at 3 ||Descendants include Austrian Derby winner Tamerino, Champion Japanese colt Sakura Shori, and Grand National Steeplechase winner Grittar |
|1933 ||Harina ||b.f. ||Blandford ||Won Imperial Produce Stakes, Kempton age 2 ||Dam of the great broodmare Neocracy; 3 time English champion and superior broodmare Time Charter descends from daughter Kyanos |
|1934 || Barren (to Blandford) |
|1935 ||Grano ||b.c. ||Blandford ||Unraced ||Twice leading broodmare sire in Colombia|
|1936 ||Avena ||b.f. ||Blandford ||Won 2 races age 4 ||2nd dam of Milesian (sire of Partholon, leading sire Japan; dam's sire of French champion sire Kenmare); tail-female ancestress of Jade Hunter, sire of champion Azeri |
|1937 ||Chico||b.c. ||Umidwar ||Won 3 races age 3 ||Exported 1941 |
|1938 ||Soldado ||b.c. ||Umidwar ||Won 1 race age 3 ||Steeplechase Sire in Ireland |
|1939 || Barren |
|1940 || Barren |
|1941 ||Windsor Park ||b.f. ||Windsor Lad ||Unraced||Dam of Ventura, Watteau (sire in Germany)|
|Athasi's first foal was BALLYGRAINEY (1924), by All Alone (1916, by the Persimmon son Royal Realm), the latter a winner of four modest races at age three. All Alone was in his third season at stud in Wiltshire by then, but had not gotten anything of note, and was never a significant stallion of flat racers, but became quite successful as a sire of show hunters. Athasi was sent to Ireland, where she foaled out BALLYGRAINEY, who was sold and sent to Panama at age two. |
||In the spring of 1924 Athasi was put to the unsound Blandford, an English-bred winner of three races, that had been purchased by Samuel Dawson, the brother of Blandford's trainer, Richard Dawson, and was in his first season at the Dawsons' Cloghran Stud near Dublin. The result of this breeding was ATHFORD (1925), a handsome colt that was, like his sire, over at the knees. David Barnett died that year, and his brother, William, inherited Athasi and ATHFORD, and David's other racehorses. With no physical stud of his own, William Barnett left Athasi at Cloghran, where she was put to Blandford again in 1925, resulting the next year in the future Epsom Derby winner TRIGO (1926).
|William Barnett, born in 1868 in Co. Antrim, was chairman of W. and R. Barnett, Ltd., grain importers, a business that provided him with the wealth to indulge his interest in the turf, sparked when he inherited Athasi. In 1929, the year of TRIGO's classic wins, he had just two horses in training -- TRIGO and ATHFORD, and between them they put the novice owner-breeder third on the list of winning owners and winning breeders in the U.K. that year. With such heady early success, it's no wonder Barnett became increasingly involved in breeding and racing. He was advised and assisted by the Dawson brothers -- Richard Dawson, who trained all of Barnett's horses at Whatcombe, near Wantage, in Berkshire, England, and Sam Dawson, who managed the Cloghran Stud in Ireland. Barnett's Irish runners were trained by J.T. "Jack" Rogers at Crotanstown Lodge on the Curragh, but those that went to England went to Dawson at Whatcombe. When England initiated its retaliatory taxes on Irish exports in 1932-33, which had a significant impact on the export of Irish bloodstock to England and on the number of English mares sent to Ireland to be bred, the Dawsons moved their stallion, Blandford, to Whatcombe, and Barnett purchased Clarence Hailey's nearby Aston Park Stud (Berkshire/Oxfordshire border) in October of 1933, where he moved Athasi, her retired son, TRIGO, and the rest of his bloodstock. |
Athasi's sons ATHFORD and TRIGO, in Blandford's first two successive crops, were the ones that served notice regarding Blandford's qualities as a stallion, and, of course, Athasi's unsuspected depths as a high-class broodmare. But at the time, the breedings were based more on unfounded hope -- a lightly-raced, unsound stallion crossed on a sturdy, low-level race mare.
ATHFORD was sent to Jack Rogers at Crotanstown. Between 1926 and 1937 Rogers, one of the most successful trainers in Ireland, prepared winners of over 400 races, and was three-times leading trainer in that country. ATHFORD was among his first really good Irish winners. At age two he won the Anglesey Stakes, Leopardstown's Phoenix Plate, and the Curragh's Great National Produce Stakes, the principal juvenile races in Ireland then worth the cumulative sum of £3,351, making ATHFORD the champion juvenile in Ireland.
ATHFORD was sent to England and placed under Richard Dawson at Whatcombe. He failed to distinguish himself at age three, placing third once in five starts. But at age four he came out to run second to Elton (his stablemate in Ireland, bred by Rogers) by a short head in the Lincolnshire Handicap. He went on to win the Newbury Spring Cup, and then took Kempton's Jubilee Handicap (1-1/4 miles, penalized ten pounds for winning the Newbury), beating American Reigh Count, Trelawney, and other good ones in the field, and then lost by a nose to Reigh Count in Epsom's Coronation Cup (1-1/2 miles). In Newmarket's Princess of Wales's Stakes (1-1/2 miles), he was third, beaten by a nose by Cyclonic (later winner of the Jockey Club Stakes), the both 3/4 of a length behind Fairway. He finished the season by winning the Doncaster Cup. At five he tailed off again, and was retired.
ATHFORD was put on the block in December of 1930, but Barnett withdrew him after the bidding stopped at 6,200 guineas; he then went to stud at Tickford Park Stud, and in July of 1932 was sold to go to Japan, where he was third on the leading sires list in 1938, fifth in 1939, and eighth in 1939. He was also among the top ten broodmare sires there several times.
||TRIGO (1926), a blaze-faced bay, was on the small side at age two, and matured to 15.3 hands. Like ATHFORD, he was sent to Rogers for training, and like ATHFORD, was a high-class juvenile runner in Ireland. Like ATHFORD, he won Leopardstown's Phoenix Plate by two lengths, and in the fall took the Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh, also by two lengths. Two days later he was second to the good filly Soloptic in the Railway Stakes, unable to give her 18 pounds and fighting a cough. He was third in the Waterford Testimonial Stakes, beaten by Dolores and Soloptic. When he left for schooling in England at the end of the season, Rogers cautioned the head lad to "Take great care of him. He's the best colt that has ever left Ireland."
|At age three TRIGO, under the care of Dawson at Whatcombe, came out for the Berkshire Handicap at Newbury (7 furlongs), and giving weight to all but one of his twenty-three opponents, won by a head. He threw in a clunker in the Two Thousand Guineas, won by Mr. Jinks, placing ninth in a field of 22; he just ran out of gas at the bushes, and no one could explain what happened. In the Epsom Derby he quickly went among the leaders, took the lead on the straight, and held it, despite an electric late attempt by Walter Gay. His win prompted a big celebration in Belfast -- an Irish-bred and owned horse, trained by an Irishman -- and there was some grumbling in England that he had been a lucky winner that would have been caught by Walter Gay if only the latter had started his run earlier, or that Hunter's Moon would have beaten him if he had not suffered from sore shins. He was the first of four Derby winners by his sire, Blandford.|
TRIGO did not run again until the Doncaster St. Leger, where he met thirteen others; he came from behind to take the lead about seven furlongs from the finish, and held off a late challenge by Bosworth to win by half a head, one of only two horses -- excluding the wartime events -- that had won both races in the previous twenty-five years. A week later TRIGO was taken to Ireland, where he won the Irish St. Leger by a short head, conceding 8 lbs. to fourth-placed Cragdour, and 12 lbs. to the rest of the field. With his earnings in the classics, he was the champion three-year-old colt in England.
TRIGO was retired to Cloghran to stand at stud for 400 guineas, and his book was quickly filled, but in 1933 it was reduced to 300 guineas, when he was moved to Barnett's new Aston Park in England, and as the years rolled by and the big winners failed to materialize, his fee fell to £198 (1936) and then, in 1940 to £98. He died in 1946. Most of his good ones ran in Ireland and England; in all he got winners of 116-1/2 flat races worth £38,715. He was eleventh on the leading sires list in the U.K. in both 1939 and 1940. He got Cornfield (1936, from Arena, by Foxlaw, winner of five races total) and Harvest Star (1933, from Stella's Way, and so in-bred to Stella, also winner of the Baldoyle Foal Plate and the Curragh's Royal Whip), winners of the Two Thousand Guineas and One Thousand Guineas respectively in Ireland. His other Irish classic winner was Harvest Feast (1937, out of Irish Oaks winner Salar, by Salmon-Trout), who won the Irish St. Leger and then was purchased to South Africa, where his wins included the Johannesburg Summer Handicap.
TRIGO'S best runners were Senor (1934, out of Wish Maiden, by Son-in-Law), whose wins included Liverpool's St. George Stakes, Chester's Ormonde Stakes, and a dead-heat for Kempton Park's Queen's Prize, and also placed second in both the Irish Derby and Irish St. Leger, later a sire in South America; Kerry Piper (1941, from Miss Crope by Duncan Gray), a winner of four races from seventeen starts, including Pontefract's Substitute Manchester November Handicap during the war, and Newmarket's Cesarewitch Stakes (beating 26) and later a sire in Australia; Trigo Verde (1932, from Simone Vergnes by Diadumenos), a winner of the Yorkshire Oaks; Discord (1934, out of Amorette, by Volta), a winner of six races, and third dam of the top juvenile Golden Horus (1964); Crushed Corn (1936), winner of the Tipperary Derby; Wheatland (1936, out of Undaunted, by Teddy), a winner of four races, and his siblings Chirgwin (1932), who took the Curragh's Madrid Stakes, the Newbury Summer Cup and two other races, Wheatfield (1933), and Strong Wheat (1936), a winner of two races. His daughter Wheat Germ (1947, from Miss Matilda by Truculent) produced Crisp (1963, by Rose Argent), a champion steeplechaser in both Australia and England.
With ATHFORD'S juvenile triumphs still to come, and with TRIGO at her side, Athasi was sent to the Sunstar son, Cygnus, in 1926, and in 1927 dropped ATHNUS. Cygnus (1916), who stood at New Abbey, Kilcullen, in Co. Kildare, was already moderately successful, with eleven winners in 1925, including the Scottish Derby winner Duvet, and his book up to that time had been full. ATHNUS won one small race at age four.
Barren to Blandford in 1928, Athasi was put back to Blandford, and in 1929 dropped CENTENO, the first of four sisters. Like ATHFORD and TRIGO, CENTENO proved to be a good juvenile for Barnett, winning the Leopardstown Produce Stakes and the Curragh's Anglesey Stakes, but she could not place in her seven other starts to age four.
Retained as a broodmare by Barnett, CENTENO produced seven winners of fourteen races. One of these was Artist's Son (1936) by Gainsborough, who won two races for Barnett in six starts. Sold to Phil Sweeney at Thurles, in Tipperary, Artist's Son got a number of low-level winners on the flat and over fences, but in 1949 his gelded son, Quare Times (1946), who came into the ownership of Cecily Welman in Mullingar, was sent to the then young Vincent O'Brien -- later a famous steeplechaser trainer -- at age three. Broken at three, but not started in racing until age six, Quare Times ran consistently, but seldom placed, over fences for two years. At age eight, coming into his own, he won Cheltenham's National Hunt Chase (4 miles), and in the spring of '55 was second to Limber Hill in Cheltenham's National Hunt Handicap Chase (3 miles), and followed that with his win of the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, prompting a huge celebration at Mullingar, with a victory parade; in all he won seven races, two of them after his Aintree victory, as he became increasingly unsound. His wins -- and those of three other modest winners over jumps -- made Artist's Son the leading sire of jumpers in the U.K. in 1955. Artist's Son also got John Donohoe's wonderful mare Height o'Fashion (1957), a winner of the Irish Cesarewitch -- and, over fences, of Listowel's Double Diamond Handicap Hurdle and Dundalk's Carroll Handicap Hurdle -- at age five, and of the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan in 1965.
CENTENO'S daughter, Baldana (1940, by Easton) was fourth dam of the gelded Maori Venture (1976, by St. Columbus), another winner of the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree, in 1987.
CENTENO'S son, Blue Mickie (1945, by Blue Peter) was her best racing offspring, winner of five races in eighteen starts between ages two and four. A stayer that often carried top weight against big fields in second tier races, his wins included Newmarket's Dullingham Stakes (1-1/2 miles), Hurst Park's Tudor Rose Handicap, and, as a juvenile, Kempton Park's Euclid Nursery Handicap; his three second placings, including Ascot's Brocas Stakes, were all when conceding gobs of weight to the winner.
||The bay HARINERO (1930) stood 15.3 hands, with the long neck typical of most of Athasi's Blandford foals, and a deep girth. Sent to Whatcombe for training, he was based in England, and Barnett and Dawson had great hopes he would replicate TRIGO'S successes. Signs were not good when he failed to place in his two juvenile efforts, but picked up a bit when in his first outing at age three he won the Greenham Plate at Newbury. But in the Two Thousand Guineas he came home in the middle of the pack of 27 runners, with Rodosto the winner, and in the Epsom Derby, won by Hyperion, he was again just part of the field, eleventh of twenty-four runners. Nominated for the far less lucrative Irish classics, he was shipped across the channel to race in the Irish Derby, which, coming from behind in the last furlong, he won easily by a length, beating several other colts.
|HARINERO went back to England, where he was third in the Hyperion Stakes at Hurst Park, six lengths behind the Statesman and two behind Thrapston, both those colts receiving 7 pounds from Harinero. At York he ran fourth to King Salmon in the Great Yorkshire Stakes, with seven in the field. He had a shot in the fourteen-horse field of the Doncaster St. Leger, to place after Hyperion secured an impregnable lead, but ran fifth, a length and a neck behind the second and third placed horses, and a head behind King Salmon, who was fourth. A week later he was back at the Curragh to run in the Irish St. Leger -- "His arrival seemed to deprive the event of all interest, for it was hardly conceivable that there was a horse in Ireland capable of beating him." Once again, coming from behind, Harinero got ahead of Golden Glen (receiving ten pounds) to beat him by a head, with two others in the field. Harinero's combined earnings of £5,005 for his two Irish races made him the Irish Champion of his year, and the Champion money-earning horse in Ireland; Barnett, who had four other winners for a total of £6,263, was the leading owner, with the highest sum realized since 1924. Harinero also made Richard Dawson leading trainer in Ireland that year.|
At age four HARINERO won Epsom's Rosebery Memorial Plate, carrying the heaviest weight in a field of eleven runners, and placed third in Newmarket's Burwell Stakes (12 furlongs), won by Hyperion, with King Salmon second. He was unplaced in the Newbury Summer Cup and the best he could do was fifth in Ascot's Queen Alexandra Stakes (2-3/4 miles, won by Brown Jack for the sixth straight time). That was it for HARINERO, and in December he was sent to the Newmarket sales without reserve.
HARINERO was purchased by the British Bloodstock Agency for 2,300 guineas on behalf of Sir Hugh Denison of Sydney, Australia. He was the first Blandford son to go to Australia, but, unlike MidStream (three times leading sire in Australia, by Blandford), he was not a success, getting just eleven stakes winners. He placed ninth on the Australian leading sires list in 1943-4, the only time he was in the top ten. His best runner was probably Trueness (1937) a good juvenile that won the AJC Gimcrack Stakes, the VATC Debutante Stakes and the VRC Sires' Produce Stakes. A son, Mercator (1936) won the Hobart Cup. Some of his daughters bred on, and one, Merry Laughter, was the dam of Caulfield Guineas winner Merry Scout.
||PRIMERO (1931), a bay colt with the great length of rein typical of Athasi-Blandford colts, stood 16 hands. Like TRIGO and HARINERO, Barnett ran him in both England and Ireland, although except for the Irish classics he was, like HARINERO, largely confined to England. He ran for three seasons, winning 2-1/2 races in fifteen starts, all of them at age three, but since he dead-heated in the Irish Derby and won the Irish St. Leger, his earnings made him champion three-year-old colt in Ireland, and put Barnett at the top of the leading owners list in Ireland for the second consecutive year.|
At age three PRIMERO failed to place in Newbury's Greenham Plate, and was fourth in the Classic Trial at Kempton. In Windsor Lad's Epsom Derby he was tenth of nineteen runners. Like HARINERO, Barnett and Dawson took him to Ireland to run in the Irish Derby, where he dead-heated with James de Rothschild's English bred and trained horse, Patriot King, in a very fast, close race. Back in England he won the Great Northern St. Leger at Stockton (1 mile-5 furlongs), and three weeks later ran sixth of ten runners in the Doncaster St. Leger, won by Windsor Lad. Back in Ireland he won the Irish St. Leger by 1-1/2 lengths, beating the Irish Two Thousand Guineas winner, Cariff, and five others. In England he was hopelessly beaten in Newmarket's Jockey Club Stakes (1-3/4 miles), with Umidwar first. The next year, age four, the best he could do was a third to the versatile Windsor Lad in Goodwood's Rous Memorial (7-1/2 furlongs).
In December of 1935 PRIMERO was sold privately to Japan, and shipped out early in 1936 with four mares, Cigano, Friar's Maiden, Oh Yeah, and Step-sister. He was a successful stallion there, among the top five leading sires thirteen times, including second twice and third twice. His progeny included Hakuryo, champion of his year, and Tosa Midori (1946, from Flippancy, by Flamboyant), a good stallion that was among the leading sires ten times. PRIMERO'S Japanese daughters produced numerous champions and two colts that claimed the "Horse of the Year" title; he was leading broodmare sire in 1958, and was second or third on the list many times. He died in 1955.
Athasi's next foal was CHOCLO (1932), by Blandford, who ran twice unsuccessfully at age three. She produced five winners, including Sailor's Guide (1943, by Lighthouse II, not the famous Australian horse by the same name and sire), a winner of 7-1/2 races and later a modest sire, and Chocolate House, a winner of four races over fences. Her daughter Art Collection (1938, by Museum) continued a branch of her tail-female family, producing Arzetto, a winner of the Prix Eclipse and Deauville's Prix Maurice de Gheest; Pomona, dam of Prix de Conde winner Blocus (1972) and second dam of Laostic (1975), a winner of the Premio Federico Tesio in Italy; and Areveille, fourth dam of Maia Eria, a winner of some high class hurdle races in France.
CHOCLO'S daughter Confection (1948, by Fun Fair), unplaced in her only outing at two, also established a branch, through daughter Tamara (1955, by Tamerlane) , a winner over hurdles, that produced jumpers, but also bred Shirini (1961, by Tehran), a winner in France. Shirini was second dam of Tamerino, a winner of the Oesterreichisches Derby and the Austria Trial Stakes. Shirini's daughter, Shirinella (1968, by Fortino) went to Japan, where she produced the in-bred champion three-year-old colt, Sakura Shori (by Partholon, who descended from Athasi's daughter AVENA), and other good winners. Shirini's daughter Mahe Reef became the dam of Classic Charm, winner of Leopardstown's Irish Champion Hurdle and four other races over fences. CHOCLO'S daughter Tamara bred three winners over fences, most notably the gelded Grittar (1973, by Grisaille), a winner of three races over hurdles and seven steeplechases, including the Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree. Tamara's branch continues into the twenty-first century, producing jumpers.
||HARINA (1933) was the third Blandford-Athasi daughter, and the last Athasi foal born in Ireland, shipping with Athasi to Barnett's new stud in England in the fall of 1933. She won one race as a juvenile for Barnett, the Imperial Produce Stakes at Kempton, worth £4,128, and due to that, ranked fairly high on the Two Year Old Free Handicap. She was the source of Athasi's most successful female branch, still producing high-class winners and breeding stock.
|HARINA bred Daemon (1952, by Niccolo dell'Arca), a winner of the Chester Vase, and several good producing daughters. Her daughter Kyanos (1942, by Blue Peter), whose winning descendants through her daughter Twinkling Eye (1947, by Lighthouse II) extended through the late twentieth century, notably with Bold Brigadier (1978), a winner in Italy of the Premio Ambrosiano, second in the Gran Criterium, and third in the Italian Derby. |
Kyanos also produced Ocean Sailing (1950, by Big Game), who was privately purchased in 1954 by William Barnett's nephew, also William, who at the time had a half interest in the Airlie Stud in Ireland. He had determined to bring the Athasi bloodlines back to the Barnett family, and did so with astounding success. One of Ocean Sailing's foals, Centron (1966, by Vienna), won as a juvenile and later produced five winners by the Barnett-bred stallion, High Line: Centrocon (1973), a winner of four races to age four, including the Lancashire Oaks, and third in Doncaster's Park Hill Stakes; Nicholas Bill (1975), who took eight races, including Newbury's Geoffrey Free Stakes and Newmarket's Princess of Wales's Stakes; Centroline (1978), who won the Jockey Club Cup at Newmarket (2 miles) and five other races on the flat, and later won over hurdles; Athford, a winner of four races on the flat, and eight races over hurdles and in point-to-points; and Tale Quale (1982), a winner in the U.K. and in France, including the Prix Vicomtesse Vigier at Longchamp.
Centron's daughter Centrocon, retained by the Barnett family, produced three winners: Known Charter, a winner and dam of Magical Retreat, a winner in the U.S.; Larchmont, who took nine races, including two National Hunt Flat races, two hurdle races, and five steeplechases; and the three-time Champion in England, Time Charter (1979, by Saritamer), who brought Athasi's bloodlines into prominence again through her great wins and her production record. Time Charter won nine of her twenty starts, in each of her three seasons on the turf beating high-class males and securing the championship for three successive year. Her wins at three included the Epsom Oaks, Sun Chariot Stakes, and Champion Stakes; at four she took the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and at five her wins included the Coronation Cup. She later produced seven winners from ten foals, including the English champion filly, Time Allowed (Jockey Club Stakes, etc.), and Zinaad (Jockey Club Stakes, etc., later sire of dual classic winning filly Kazzia). Time Charter's grandchildren included four good stakes winners, and the family is still nurtured by the second William Barnett's son, Robert, chairman of W. and R. Barnett Ltd., still an Ireland-based international grain trading business, and owner of Fair Winter Farm in England, where Athasi's winning descendants are still being bred.
HARINA'S daughter, Neocracy (1944, by Nearco), was bred by Peter Beatty, who sold her as a foal to the Aga Khan; she established another successful line descending from HARINA, and is herself considered a significant broodmare, one of the most influential in the second half of the twentieth century. Neocracy won twice as a juvenile, taking Epsom's Lonsdale Stakes and Ascot's Princess Elizabeth Stakes, and placed third to Miss Stripes and Queen of the Sea in Newmarket's July Stakes. She overwintered at the Aga Khan's stud in Ireland, and came back to England at age three to start once, in the One Thousand Guineas, when she was unplaced. She produced nine winners of 29 races from thirteen foals; all her colts were winners and later used as stallions.
Neocracy's first foal for the Aga Khan was Tulyar (1949, by Tehran), the English champion at age three. As a juvenile he won two of his six starts, placing second once and third once. His wins were the Buggins Farm Nursery Handicap at Haydock and Birmingham's Kineton Nursery Handicap; he was not present at most of the premier juvenile races, but at age three, starting with the Henry VIIIth Stakes at Hurst Park (7 furlongs) he was unbeaten in his seven races: Chester's Ormonde Stakes (1-3/4 miles, serving notice of his ability to stay the classic distances), Lingfield's Derby Trial Stakes (1-1/2 miles), the Epsom Derby, Sandown's Eclipse Stakes (1-1/4 miles), Ascot's King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1-1/2 miles), and finally, the Doncaster St. Leger Stakes. His winnings made him the richest stakes winner to his time on the English turf. He was sold to the National Stud for £250,000; in 1955 he was purchased by an American syndicate headed by Arthur Hancock, Jr., and in 1956 he was shipped to Clairborne Farm in Kentucky. He got Ginetta and Fiorentina, classic winners respectively in France and Ireland, and stakes winners in the U.S., but overall was a disappointing stallion. His daughters were best, both on the turf and in the breeding shed, and he was dam's sire of Honest Pleasure, a champion juvenile in the U.S. and later a useful sire; of the two-time Champion mare in France, Trillion, and of the stakes winners and sires For the Moment and Irish Castle.
Neocracy's next foal, one of only two fillies, was Andromeda (1950, by Stardust), who was sold cheaply when Tulyar was a juvenile to J.G.O. Miller. She did not win, and after producing a filly, Stella Pardalis (by Pardal, winner of Yarmouth's Hastings Stakes, later sold to Japan) in England, was sold to the Razza del Soldo stud in Italy for 5,000 guineas. There she dropped Anticlea (1960, by Mossborough), a winner of the two classic filly races, the Premio Regina and the Oaks d'Italia, and later dam of winners in Italy and Ireland. In 1962 Andromeda went back to the Newmarket sales and was purchased by American Fritz Hawn, at the time chairman of the Del Mar racetrack in California. Andromeda's female line continues to the present with winners in the U.S., the U.K., and Japan.
In 1951 Neocracy produced Tarjoman (by Tehran), stakes-placed in England and a non-winner in the U.S.; next was the colt Cobetto (1952, by Migoli), winner of the Princess of Wales's Stakes, La Coupe de Maison-Lafitte, the Oslo Cup, and some races in France, later a stallion in the U.S.; in 1953 she dropped Tudorka (by Tudor Minstrel), a winner of one race in the U.S., followed in 1954 by Bold Nero (by Tehran), a winner that also went to the U.S. where he was a stallion.
After a barren year, Neocracy dropped the handsome blaze-faced chestnut colt Saint Crespin (1956, by Aureole), the champion three-year-old in France. Trained at Chantilly, France, for Prince Aly Khan by Englishman Alec Head, he came out as an unknown juvenile in Kempton Park's Imperial Produce Stakes (6 furlongs), at the time the richest race for two-year-olds in England, and threaded his way through traffic to win with a burst of speed in the last furlong. At age three he started in France, winning the Prix de Guiche (1-1/4 miles), but he was beaten into second by Memorandum in the Prix Jean Prat (1-1/4 miles). He came to Epsom for the Derby suffering from "some kind of intestinal poisoning;" he ran 1-1/2 lengths behind the winner, Parthia, barely beaten into fourth place by a head. Saint Crespin's next race was Sandown Park's Eclipse Stakes (1-1/4 miles), which he won, coming from behind. He was sent back to France to run in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, which had sixteen high-class horses, including Herbager, in the running, and dead-heated with Midnight Sun, and was later placed first due to an objection. A freak accident during exercise terminated his turf career, when a tree branch dropped on his jockey and sent Saint Crespin haring off riderless, injuring his shoulder when he hit a tree. Saint Crespin, at stud in Ireland, was, like Tulyar, a good filly getter. His daughters included Altesse Royale, a champion three-year-old filly in England, Casaque Grise, a champion three-year-old filly in France, and Dolina, a champion three-year-old filly in Italy. A son, Le Cordonnier, was among Australia's leading sires; he got the champion Australian colt Cheyne Walk and other good winners.
In 1958 Neocracy produced Coeur Joie, a colt by Prince Bio, a winner of five races and later a useful stallion in Australia. Her next foal was Cripton (1960, by Prince Bio), a winner of the Prix Messidor and other races in France. Then came her second filly, the unraced Soleil de Minuit (1962, by Prince Chevalier), who bred some winners. Her last live foal was Shamsulmulk (1963, by Charlottesville), a minor winner in France. Neocracy died at the Sheshoon Stud in Co. Kildare in 1969.
Neocracy's sister, Lugano (1945, by Nearco), was the dam of Italian Mist (1953, by Precipitation), a winner of Ireland's Champion Stakes and York's Galtree Stakes. Italian Mist later produced Ultimate, a winner of the Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh, whose family went to Argentina via the U.S., and included Beybi de Lios, a winner of the Clasico Los Criadores and three other races, and second the Gran Premio Seleccion de Potrancas and El Realizado, a winner of eight races to 2,000 meters, including the Gran Premio Provinica de Buenos Aires and the Clasico Polla de Potrillos de La Plata. Italian Mist's daughter, the unraced Melitta Mist went to Australia and bred four winners; this family is still active in Australia.
Athasi's son GRANO (1935) was apparently unraced, and was purchased by the British Bloodstock Agency sometime before the age of five for Aurelio Cubillos, the most prominent breeder of his time in Colombia (South America), and sent to Cubillos' Potrero Grande Stud near Bogotá. Cubillos was the mover and shaker in Colombian racing circles, a founder and member of the Colombiana de Criadores de Caballos (Thoroughbred Breeders Association in Colombia), and was a founder and major shareholder in the Hipódromo de Techo. He imported a number of stallions and broodmares in addition to GRANO, through the aegis of the British Bloodstock Agency, among them Roscius (by Rochester), Corona (by Coronach), Kesrullah (by Nasrullah), and from France, Le Volcon (by Tourbillon). GRANO made a significant mark on Colombian bloodstock through his daughters: he was leading broodmare sire in 1960 and 1963, and was twice second and twice fourth on the list. The champion Triguero (Le Volcan - Triguera, by GRANO), a winner of the Colombian Triple Crown, was the most popular horse in Colombia in the late 1950s.
AVENA (1936) was in Blandford's last crop, and was the last of the Blandford-Athasi foals. Bred by Barnett, she failed to win in her first two seasons on the turf in England, her best a third in the Leicestershire Oaks, and was taken to Ireland where she won two small races at age four. Her first foal was the filly Oatflake, followed by The Plough (1943), a winner in Ireland and Kenya. In the spring of 1946 she was covered by Blue Peter, and was part of a December 1946 sale of Barnett's bloodstock after his death. She was the sales-topping mare, purchased for 14,500 guineas by Sir John Jarvis, for whom she bred Laura (1949, by Dante), a minor winner in France, and Jennifer (1948, by Hyperion), the latter the dam of Nagami (1955, by Nimbus), placed third in all three English classics and a winner of the Coronation Cup in England, the Grand Prix du Printemps in France, and the Gran Premio del Jockey Club in Italy, and later among the leading sires in Italy. Jennifer's descendants included the good juvenile Young Emperor (1963), a winner of Ascot's Coventry and Gimcrack Stakes; Dewhurst and Irish National Stakes winner Monteverdi (1977, by Lyphard), and Jade Hunter (1984), a stakes winner in the U.S. that later got the great champion mare Azeri. Laura also bred on; her descendants included Irish St. Leger winner Mistrigi. When Sir John Jarvis died, AVENA went back on the block and was sold in 1950 to the Marquis Incisa, and was sent to Italy, but had no further produce.
AVENA'S daughter Oatflake (1942, by Coup de Lyon), bred by Barnett, won four of her fifteen starts at ages two and three, including the wartime substitute Manchester November Handicap, held at Pontefract; purchased by the Gaekwar of Baroda at the sale of Barnett's bloodstock in 1946, she went on to win the Cumberland Stakes at Carlisle, and then was retired to the Gaekwar's Baroda Stud at Newbridge. She bred five foals between 1949 and 1953, all winners, including Great Pacha (Epsom's City and Suburban Handicap), Nile Bird (1952, by Sayajirao), a winner of the Blandford Stakes and second in the Irish Oaks, whose daughter, Ninabella (1958) won the Premio Regina Elena in Italy, and her sister, Dawn Glow (1961), third dam of Highland Chieftan, a winner in England, France and Germany and Champion Older Horse in Italy. Oatflake was also the dam of Milesian (1953, by My Babu), a speedy juvenile that won Kempton Park's Imperial Produce Stakes. Milesian was several times among the leading sires in Great Britain: his son, Partholon, was a champion sire in Japan, and Milesian was dam's sire of Baron Guy de Rothschild's Kenmare (1975), a winner of six races in France, champion stallion in France twice, and sire of two-time French leading sire Highest Honor..
With Blandford dead, Athasi was put to his sons for the rest of her career. The first colt from these breedings was CHICO (1937), by Blandford's son, Umidwar, owned by the Aga Khan. He won three races at age three; he was not entered in the English classics, and ran unsuccessfully in the Irish Derby. He was exported at age four. His brother, SOLDADO (1938), won just one small race at age three. As a stallion in Ireland, he got a number of winners over fences in both England and Ireland, with a few winners of some big handicap chases. These included the gelded Soltown (1952, from Droptown) and Solfen (1952, from Fenora), both winners of the Troytown Chase (3 miles) at Navan, and the long-running gelding Cannobie Lee (1951, brother to Soltown), a winner of steeplechases in both England and Ireland, including the Kerry National Handicap Chase. Solfen's wins also included the 3-1/2 mile National Trial Stakes at Haydock Park, and he was second favourite for the Grand National at Aintree, but could only place eleventh. SOLDADO was also put to half-bred and Irish Draught mares, producing mares later entered into the Irish Sporthorse book; he is seen in some Irish Sporthorse pedigrees.
After SOLDADO, there was one more foal. Barren for two years, in 1941 Athasi, age 24, dropped WINDSOR PARK (1941), a bay filly by another Blandford son, Windsor Lad. She never raced, being "reserved for the stud." In 1946, age three, she joined AVENA and other Barnett horses in the Newmarket December sales, and was picked up by the noted Italian breeder Federico Tesio for 6,000 guineas.
At Tesio's Dormello Stud in Italy WINDSOR PARK produced Watteau (1954, by Nimbus), Ventura (1957, by Toulouse Lautrec), and five other winners. Watteau, an unbeaten juvenile winner of the Premio Masciago and Premio Eupili, was rated second among the two year olds of his year in Italy, behind his stablemate Grigoresco. At three he ducked the classics in deference to his Dormello stablemates, winning the Premio Seriva and Premio Salo in three starts, and at age four he ran twelve races, taking the Premio Ludovici Melzi d'Eril, the Premio Amrosiano, the Premio Albate, and the Premio Isola Pescatori, and placing second three times. At ages five and six he won the Premio Guilio Venino and placed second three times in seven starts. Best at 1-1/4 miles, he was sold as a stallion to Germany. Watteau's Irish-bred son, Sawara (1963), was a stayer that won in Ireland, Germany and Italy, including Baden-Baden's Furstenberg-Rennen, and in Italy the Premio Pelaghi and the Premio Portofino. Wattau's daughter Adliswil (1963) won three races and bred on with stakes winners; and daughter Weltwunder (1962) was second in the Preis der Diana and also won in France.
WINDSOR PARK'S daughter Ventura (1957) won two races, and later produced some winners, including Violante Vanni (1962), the dam of Viani (1967), the unbeaten juvenile of six races, and champion of his year, injured during his winning run in the Premio Alfonso Doria at age three, he was retired to stud, where he got Mazzanti (1976), a winner of the Coppa d'Oro and nine other races, and some other winners.