The vagaries of thoroughbred racehorse breeding never fail to fascinate.
How on occasions a 1000m specialist can produce a Cup aspirant, how a known mudlark can throw a confirmed firm tracker, how a perfect specimen can sire a poorly conformed speedster.
How Woodside Park Stud’s handsome but plain bay Tosen Stardom can sire foals with bling.
And not just some bling… plenty of it!
Of course the answers are always in the genes and we don’t have to delve too far into Tosen Stardom’s pedigree to see just which horse is making his presence felt in his descendants.
A horse whose influence was so great that an entire country’s racing fortunes were built on his success.
Shadai Stallion Station’s Northern Taste.
Like his legendary sire Northern Dancer, Northern Taste was bred at Windfields Farm. Nobody would’ve missed him as he frolicked around those paddocks in preparation for his racing future; he was a horse who well and truly caught the eye.
At the 1972 Saratoga Yearling Sale purchased by the Yoshida family, Northern Taste headed the John Cunnington Jr stables in France. Quickly finding form, he won both of his juvenile starts at Group 3 level – at three a Listed winner and not disgraced in the 2000 Guineas won by Nonoalco and the Epsom Derby won by Snow Knight.
Coming back in distance later that year he won the Gr.1 Prix de la Foret over 1400m at Longchamp; an important victory but it is not just for that elite level success that he is remembered.
But rather his truly remarkable success at stud.
Ten times Japan’s Champion Sire in an 11 year period, he proved to be that country’s first great stallion, the horse who Teruya Yoshida was quoted as saying “bought all of the stallions and broodmares that we have.”
Whilst not an enduring influence in regards to male line, his daughters produced over a hundred stakes winners and Northern Taste still looms large in the pedigrees of many a Japanese star.
Which brings us back to Tosen Stardom, the Gr.1 Toorak Handicap and Gr.1 Mackinnon Stakes winner who inherited the bay coat of his famed sire Deep Impact but who has Northern Taste genes lurking.
The genes of a horse whose face stood out in a crowd. The talented, kind hearted, robust, durable (he lived till 33) chestnut whose blaze covered most of his face – almost obscuring one eye… a horse whose socks on two legs completed the picture of flashiness.
Tosen Stardom is out of the End Sweep mare Admire Kirameki, in turn daughter of the Northern Taste mare Every Whisper. The great horse is three generations back but each day the team at Woodside are getting reports of little Northern Tastes popping up across the state.
“With Tosen Stardom being a plain bay with no markings breeders have been a bit surprised by the amount of bling on his foals,” said Woodside Park’s General Manager James Price, “and we are intrigued to find out where it is coming from.”
“For the markings and chestnut colouring to stem back to the influential Northern Taste is incredibly exciting and everyone is delighted in the way in which his progeny are standing out from the crowd… and they are standing out on type as well, inheriting their sire’s strength, style and presence.”
We can’t wait to see them in the sales ring and on the track… we are going to be seeing those baldy faces in the winners circle in no time!”