THE DERBY WINNER
BREEDING OF MAHMOUD
For many reasons Mahmoud's Derby will always be recalled. Not only was he the least fancied o£ the Aga Khan's three runners, but ho was only the third grey ever to have won the classic, and he had all along been condemned by the majority of critics because of his maternal breeding. From the descriptions of the race he nevertheless completely outclassed the field over the closing stage.
Mahmoud undoubtedly owes his stamina in the main to his sire, the Blandford horse Blenheim, a previous Derby winner, and to Gainsborough, sire of his dam, and who was triplecrown, winner himself. It is a combination of strains that may shortly be available in the Dominion, for Leighon and Gainscourt, sons of Gainsborough, have already been used at the stud in New Zealand, and Bulandshar (who incidentally was bred by the Aga Khan) and Solicitor General are two Blandford sires now also at the stud here. It is a coincidence that the dams of both Mahmoud and Taj Akbar, first and second on Wednesday, are daughters of Gainsborough. Mahmoud's pedigree, carried to his twelfth dam, reads: Grey colt by Blenheim from Mali Mahal, by Gainsborough (son of Bayardo) from Mumtaz Mahal, by The Tetrarch (son of Roi Herode) from Lady Josephine, by Sundridge (son of Amphion) from Americus Girl, by Americus (bred in U.S.A. and a son of Tim Payne) from Palotta, by Gallinule (son of Isonoiny) from Maid of Kilcreene (an Irish mare bred in 1884), by Arbitrator (son of Solon) . from Querida, by King John (son of Young Melbourne) from Ada, by Knight of St. George (son of Knight of Gwynne) from Mongulistan, by Venison (son'of Partisan) from Muliana. by Muley from Nancy, by Dick Andrews from Spitfire. It is a branch of the Bruce Lowe No. 9 family, and it is interesting to note that this line from the'Vinter mare taproot created some controversy as to whether it was entitled to admission in the Stud Book, because of a doubt whether Spitfire was a completely thoroughbred mare.
The No. 9 family has had numerous famous representatives in the Dominion and in the Commonwealth, but the branches that have come out have separated from the main line much earlier than Spitfire. New Zealand Derby winners descended from the Vinter mare, for instance, include Seahorse, Nightfall, Noctuiform. Bon Reve, The Toft', and Bronze Eagle; and other notable performers in the line here have been Wakeful (Sydney Cup, etc.), Night Watch (Melbourne Cup). Mountain Knight (A.J.C. Derby and both St. Legers), Wolawa (V.R.C. Derby and both St. Legers), The Parisian (Melbourne Cup), Lough Neagh. Tanadees. etc., as well as the stallion Demosthenes.
The Aga Khan acquired a branch of the family when he paid 9100gs for Mumtaz Mahal as a yearling. Mumtaz Mahal proved capable of repaying the outlay on the race track,' as she -was possessed of brilliant speed and won £13,930 in stakes. Her daughter, Mah Mahal, however, was only a moderate, winning two minor races; but she has made amends at the stud in getting the latest Derby winner. She is at her owner's French stud, where Blenheim was sent after his retirement, so Mahmoud ranks as a French-bred colt, though his immediate lines are purely English, with American and Irish admixture further back.
In a note prior to the Two Thousand Guineas, it may be worth observing in conclusion, a leading English critic, "The Special Commissioner," wrote: — "Only two greys, Gustavus and Tagalie, have ever won the Derby. Mahmoud is not likely to be a third, as he does not stay and will find it difficult to last even the mile of the Guineas." About Taj Akbar the same writer said: ''Taj Akbar was bred by the Aga Khan, who gave 1600gs for his dam (Taj Shirin) as a yearling. Middledistance colt, probable limit H miles." So the result of the Derby has naturally dumbfounded the keenest students of breeding. But breeding, in the modern sense, is much more than a mere mean of the blood lines in any pedigree.
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THE DERBY WINNER, Evening Post, Volume CXXI, Issue 127, 30 May 1936
THE DERBY WINNER Evening Post, Volume CXXI, Issue 127, 30 May 1936
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