In the world of Thoroughbred racing, the greatest stars are often bred in the black. The product of generations of careful and selective breeding, they are engineered to be brilliant, brave, and fast. Their speed is no coincidence but the result of centuries of careful thought and planning.
But when breeding to create the ultimate equine athlete, there’s often insufficient appreciation for the mare and her contribution. A foal’s dam is as – if not more – important than its sire. Not only does she provide valuable genetic material but she acts as a maternal influence too, imbuing the foal with her character traits and attitude by dint of her presence.
The greatest broodmares produce champions time and again, which is why it’s only right to shine the spotlight on them today. Here are some of these queens of the turf and their most famous and noteworthy progeny.
It’s a pity that Urban Sea’s name isn’t better known in racing circles. Herself a winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, this striking chestnut had an incredible turn of speed. Not only was her career exceptional but she made an even greater mark in the breeding shed.
Mother to two Derby winners, Sea the Stars and Galileo, Urban Sea’s runners were all stakes-placed, with every one of her male offspring retiring to stud after an illustrious and lauded career. Her other notable offspring include All Too Beautiful, Black Sam Bellamy, and My Typhoon. Urban Sea produced 11 incredible foals and she was rightly named Broodmare of the Year in 2001.
What’s interesting about racing is that it’s the best-known and most widely embraced of the equestrian disciplines. Its fan base exists not only among horse enthusiasts but the general public, who channel gambling as a way to invest themselves in the action. Using sites like Bonus Finder, which features a lot of 200% deposit bonuses to make the punter’s money go further, many will have wagered on the offspring of this mare at one time or another.
The phenomenal Kind deserves a place on this list if only because she’s the dam of Frankel, but her achievements don’t stop there. As well as her most famous offspring, she also produced Bullet Train, Joyeuse, and Noble Mission.
Prior to retiring to the breeding shed, Kind made her mark on the racing world, storming to victory in six of her 13 starts. Her most illustrious win was in the Flower of Scotland Stakes.
With filly Chiasma still in training and her newest colt yet to hit the racetrack, Kind’s legacy may be even more impressive by the time her fantastic offspring have done.
Our final pick for this list is the wonderful Bahamian. While her offspring may not be quite as noteworthy as Urban Sea and Kind’s, it’s her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who’ve helped her to build an enduring legacy.
That’s because many of today’s most impressive stallions hail back to Bahamian, including Beat Hollow, Kingman, New Bay, and Oasis Dream. The latter continues to be one of the most widely used and popular stallions in Europe and looks set to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Her female descendants have also impressed, with daughter Coraline foaling three Group winners, including Reefscape. While Bahamian herself was noted for her staying power, her primary influence has been an injection of speed, with many Bahamian-bred horses exceptionally fast against the clock.
Which wonderful mares would you add to this list?