THE MALE LINE OF ST. SIMON
IMPORTATION OF LATEST GRAND PRIX WINNER
(By "Rangatira.") The line of Matchem was saved for England by Solon and his son Barcaldine, and the line of Herod was restored by Roi Herode and his son The Tetrarch. It would therefore be .a rather remarkable coincidence if the great Blacklock branch of the Eclipse line, in other words, the line of Galopin and St. Simon, were returned to its pre-eminence of less than two decades ago by a horse also imported from France. The St. Simon male line, though still a potent force in the Dominions, France, and America, has declined to almost insignificance in England. But a commendable effort to revive it has been made recently by Sir Victor Sassoon, who has secured the latest Grand Prix de Paris winner Mieuxce, the best three-year-old of the year in France, and will now make his services available for select mares during the next few seasons. Through such a horse it is not too much to hope that the line.at the end of another decade may be found flourishing again in the land of its origin.
It has been common knowledge for several years now that the St. Simon line was apparently doomed in England unless it were rejuvenated from outside. The line did not seem capable of carrying itself in tail maia past the second ~~.generation " from St. Simon, though it could do so successfully in .other parts of the world. The explanation for this is probably that the blood would not stand excessive inbreeding, as happened after St. Simon and his sons had carried all before them during the earlier years of the century. In other countries the St. Simon importations had to be given outcrosses, and the result is; that the line in those parts still remains a potent force, though future inbreeding to the line might yet cause it to decline similarly" as it has in England. . It is- really not surprising that the St. Simon line should be one in particular with which inbreeding should as si rule be avoided as much as possible. Generally his sons were very temperamental and high-spirited horses —Diamond Jubilee was one of the most difficult horses ever started in classic races in England—and njbreeding to such a line would tend to intensify this undesirable characteristic, and in the end, not only make the offspring themselves almost unmanageable, but also submerge, in a measure at least, the many desirable qualities in the line.' It is fairly evident from these assumptions that if the St. Simon line is to become a great force again in England the blood will have to.be reintroduced from other countries, where it has not been excessively inbred to itself, or. if inbred a little, then outcrossed as near completely as possible when brought back into English studs. The importation of Mieuxce from France is an attempt to reinstate the blood from an outside source, as was so successfully done with; other lines in the cases of Solon- and Rbi Herode., ... .- ■ ■ ANCESTRY OF MIEUXCE. t Mieuxce is a son of Massines,' who invaded England in the early twenties and won the Ascot Gold Cup. Massines was purely French in his immediate blood, his sire being Consols, who was by Saint Bris or Doricles. The tail male descent would generally be accepted as going through Doricles; a winner of the English St. Leger, but it matters not which horse is taken, as Saint Bris was a son of St. Simon and Doricles was a son of Flonzel 11, the least famous of three great brothers by St. Simon, the other two .being: Persimmon and Diamond Jubilee,, win?, ners of the Derby and Si Leger/There is another infusion of the blood; in Mieuxce through the Cesarewitch winner Childwick, sire of. the grandam of Massines, but it is-not close enough to be a menace if the mates-to-be~ .of Mieuxce are suitably selected. 7 , , . According to a; statement, by -, Sir
best with nine winners, half the number his sire had. ' '
Unless they are students of pedigree and racing history, the present generation of racegoers can have only a small conception of what the mighty St. Simon really accomplished. The famous son of Galopin was third in the list of winning sires in 1889; and then, taking the lead a year later, he retained it for seven seasons without a break. In 1897 he was second in the list, and third two seasons later. In 1900 he was again the champion sire of the year, and he repeated the performance the following year. Thus in all he was nine times champion, the total winnings of his offspring running into a colossal amount. • All appeared well for the future of the male line when Persimmon, beating his father, by only a few hundred pounds, headed the list of winning stallions in 1902, and took the honours again in 1906, 1908, and 1912. St. Frusquin carried on the good work by topping the list in 1903 and 1907, and then Desmond was champion for one season. William the Third, though never actually on top, was second twice. The n&xt generation was almost a complete failure in England, but not when exported overseas. St. Simon, by the way. sired brilliant fillies as well as brijliant colts, and the greatest of his fillies was La Fleche. one of the greatest in history. Until Quashed this year, she was the last of her sex to win the Ascot Gold Cup. Until just over twenty years ago, there seemed no fear whatever that the St. Simon male line would die away in England, and the fact that it should have done so is one of the most astonishing features of modern blood--stock breeding. Of course, many of the most successful mares of recent years in England are of St. Simon origin, arid in any pedigree of class it is seldom that the name of St. Simon is riot encountered: but that does riot alter the cold fact that as stallions the St. Simon descendants have curiously failed in their own land to maintain the prestige of the line. ■.. '.. , New Zealand and Australia, as previously indicated, are; not so far to be included as participating in this decline of the line; but with the building up of top much established St. Simon blood ii#the studs, they might eventually follow the English examnle if fresh sources should not be obtained from without. " The" most notable St. Simon line horses in recent; years to have come out to the Dominion and Commonwealth have been Limond and Comedy King. Limbhd, it might not be going too far in stating, would probably have been a dismal failure if left in England: but the outcrosses he secured in New Zealand gave his sire blood the chance it required. To mention only a few other sires who have represented the St. Simon line in the Dominion, one may instance Lucullus (by Ard Patrick), Solferino (by Soliman),; Day
Victor Sassoon, Mieuxce will be limited to ten mares in the coming season. Next season Sir Victor will send to Mieuxce only three of his own mares, as he wishes to give other breeders full opportunities of using the,services: of the horse. ' As soon as announcements appeared that Mieuxce would be available lin England his list filled quickly for .1937 and 1938. In his second season he may not serve -more than 20 or 25 mares. Among the breeders who have .reserved nominations are Lady Yule, Lord Astor, Lord Harewood, Captain A. de Rothschild, Mr. J. A. Dewar, Mr. E. Esmond, Mr. H. E. Morriss, Mr. J. V. Rank, and Mr. Z. G. Michalinos, as well as the Lavington Park Stud. Mieuxce is said to be a grand individual, 16.2 hands high. At present he is a little on the leg, a fault he will quickly correct when he settles down. In colour he is a good hard bay with very little white about him. During his preparation for the Prix Royal Oak (French St. Leger) he broke down on his near fore suspensory ligament. The injury affected the fetlock joint and closed his racing career. Whether or not Mieuxce, who, by the way. took his name from the Domaine of Mieuxce, in Normandy, where Massines is at the stud, is destined to revive the faded line of St. Simon in his new home, his importation into England is undoubtedly one of the outstanding events of the year in the breeding world. It is one of those happenings that may bring great changes in the years to come; and at least it is to be hoped that, even if the Galopin— St. Simon line cannot be restored to its erstwhile supremacy over all others, Mieuxce may do something towards giving the male line better stability than it has at present. DECLINE OF THE LINE. During the last year or two the decline of the St. Simon line in England has not been quite so precipitous as it was, but this has possibly been due to the efforts of breeders to keep a flickering flame from going right out. Last year was perhaps the best season the line has had in recent times, but for all that it is playing no more than a minor part. Over forty descendants of Galopin produced winners of 180 races during the season, with £30,000 in stakes, but it was a poor showing compared with other groups, the only one below it in the list being "the descendants of Touchstone other than Hampton." The only sire among the forty to be represented by more than ten winners was Prince Galahad, whose
Comet (by St. Frusquin), Paper Money (by Greenback), General Latour (by Soult), Quin Abbey (by Morganatic), Valkyrian (by William the Third), Musketoon (by Stedfast), Arrowsmith (by Chaucer), Surveyor (by Nassau), Royal Divorce (by King's Proctor), and Winning Hit (by Autumnus).
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THE MALE LINE OF ST. SIMON, Evening Post, Volume CXXII, Issue 130, 28 November 1936
THE MALE LINE OF ST. SIMON Evening Post, Volume CXXII, Issue 130, 28 November 1936
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