Written 2007

The Group success of Australian racehorses such as Rostova, Zipping, La Montagna and Marching has focused the spotlight on the practice of inbreeding to Danzig sire lines.

Duplication of the highly successful Northern Dancer son, Danzig is an inevitable occurrence in today’s matings; his son Danehill has made a giant splash in Australasia’s Thoroughbred gene pool, supported by other sons such as Anabaa, Belong To Me, Perugino, Golden Snake, Bianconi and Mister C, followed by grandsons including Desert Sun, Testa Rossa, Cape Cross, Grand Lodge, Desert Prince, Langfuhr and Beautiful Crown.

Danehill has sprouted his own special branch of the Danzig line, having produced a wealth of predominant sons including Redoute’s Choice, Danehill Dancer, Danzero, Flying Spur, Rock of Gibraltar and young guns Exceed and Excel, Al Maher and Fastnet Rock, to name just a few.

With Danehill’s sons also producing commercial sires such as Choisir, we now have a significant proportion of broodmares from the Danzig sireline – particularly through Danehill – and the all too tempting lure of the highly successful Danzig descendant sires with which to mate them.

Speed machine Rostova, winner of this year’s Group 2 VRC Sires Produce, is a product of this cross. Her success and that of five other Australian Group winners, Zipping, Rockdale, La Montagna, Marching and Flaming surely indicates that this is a very successful pedigree pattern? 

In order to make comparisons in this article, we have had to stick to analysis of the Danzig line over mares from all SIRE lines.  Horses inbred to Danzig but NOT via both the father’s sire line and the mother’s sire line, have not been included.  In Australia, there are to-date only two Group winners bred in such a way: Absolut Glam and Flying Pegasus.

Top Ten Crosses with Danzig Line Sires

Comparison with other Group winners world wide by Danzig line stallions reveals that those inbred to Danzig on both sire lines make up only a small fraction of the total.

Globally, Danzig line sires over mares from all sire lines have produced a total of 1370 Group winners including 428 Group One winners (as at 1st March 2009).

Danzig line sires over a Danzig line mares have produced only 13 Group winners, 4 at Group One level. That’s less than 1% of the Group winners and 1% of the Group One winners descending from the Danzig sire line.

When considering just how many Danzig line sires have stood around the world and therefore how many pedigrees in which he appears, this isn’t an arresting amount.

The winner of the “Most Successful Marriage with Danzig” stakes is Sir Gaylord, whose descendant mares (particularly those via Sir Ivor / Sir Tristram) have produced 125 Group winners by Danzig line stallions, 40 at Group One level. 

This is followed by Mr. Prospector, his female descendants having produced 115 Group winners (32 Group One winners) by Danzig line stallions.

Nijinsky II’s descendant broodmares have produced 77 Group winners (24 Group One winners) by Danzig line stallions.

Bold Ruler just missed the placings, with his descendant daughters having borne the winners of 66 Group races, 23 winning Group One events.

Next in line are Biscay descendant mares, with 63 Group winners, 21 at Group One level.

Never Bend (59 Group winners), Sharpen Up (48), Blushing Groom (47), Ribot (47) and Roberto (44) line mares have all scored significant black type with Danzig line sires.


Sireline                                   Group 1 Winners      Total Group Winners

SIR GAYLORD                                                  40                                           125

MR. PROSPECTOR                                          32                                           115

NIJINSKY II                                                       24                                           77

BOLD RULER                                                    23                                           66

BISCAY                                                                21                                           63

NEVER BEND                                                    17                                           59

SHARPEN UP                                                    11                                           48

BLUSHING GROOM                                       13                                           47

ROBERTO                                                          13                                           44                          


Narrowing In On the Northern Dancer line Mares

Focusing more specifically on Danzig over Northern Dancer line mares – after Nijinsky II’s 77 Group winners, there’s a big gap to the next best performed which is Lyphard, with 39 Group winners world-wide, 10 at Group One level. Sadler’s Wells is third, with 30 Group winners, 9 at Group One level.  A couple of lengths back is Storm Cat, with 19 Group winners including 7 Group One victors.



Sireline                                   Group 1 Winners      Total Group Winners

NIJINSKY II                                                       24                                           77

LYPHARD                                                          10                                           39

SADLER’S WELLS                                            9                                              30

STORM CAT                                                      7                                              19


Doubling Up On Danzig

Interestingly though, the double Danzig sire line pattern has it’s ‘favourites’ as far as which descendants do marry well.

Unsurprisingly, the highly prolific shuttle sire Danehill features in seven (55%) of the 13 Group winners inbred to Danzig on both sire lines world-wide.

Green Desert appears in six of the 13 (45%) and five (40%) of the pedigrees carry Chief’s Crown.  Of the five Chief’s Crown presences, four are through his son Grand Lodge.

The combination of Danehill with Chief’s Crown in a mating produced four (32%) of the total Group winners inbred to Danzig.  A further three (23%) combined Danehill with Green Desert.  Oddly enough, only one (8%), a Group 3 winner, carried a combination of Green Desert and Chief’s Crown.

Two (15%) of the 13 Group winners world-wide did NOT carry Danehill, Green Desert or Chief’s Crown. 


Name                                          Level    Taproots of Duplication of Danzig
LA MONTAGNA                  Gr.1          Monashee Mountain (Danzig) Hatta’s Mill (Green Desert)
ROCKDALE                          Gr.1          Danroad (Danehill) Desert Sun (Green Desert)
ABLE ONE                            Gr.1          Cape Cross (Green Desert) Danehill
BUY AND SELL                   Gr.1          National Emblem (Danzig) Qui Danzig (Danzig)
MARCHING                         Gr.2          Commands (Danehill) Grand Lodge (Chief’s Crown)
ROSTOVA                             Gr.2          Testa Rossa (Danzig) Anabaa (Danzig)
ZIPPING                                Gr.2         Danehill Grand Lodge (Chief’s Crown)
FLAMING                              Gr.3         Beautiful Crown (Chief’s Crown) Mister C. (Danzig)
CHARLIE FARNSBARNS Gr.3        Cape Cross (Green Desert) Grand Lodge (Chief’s Crown)
FOSS WAY                             Gr.3        Desert Prince (Green Desert) Polish Precedent (Danzig)
MANGO MISCHIEF           Gr.3        Desert King (Danehill) Be My Chief (Chief’s Crown)
SISTA                                      Gr.3        Magic of Sydney (Danehill) Desert Sun (Green Desert)
STRAIT OF MEWSINA     Gr.3        Spartacus (Danehill) Grand Lodge (Chief’s Crown)

At the Pointy End
Of the four Group One winners inbred to Danzig on both sire lines, three (75%) involve Green Desert and two of these (50%) combine Green Desert with Danehill.
So you STILL want to put your Danzig line mare to a Danzig line stallion??
Let’s see how we can summarise these statistics to maximize the chance of success.
Firstly, let’s remember that 13 Group winners world-wide (only four of which won at the highest level) bred on a Danzig sire line duplication is a miniscule number.
The most successful formula to-date is to combine Danehill – our most common Danzig carrier – with Green Desert or Chief’s Crown.
Therefore, Danehill line sires can be combined with daughters and granddaughters of sires such as Desert Sun, Grand Lodge, Desert Prince, Hatta’s Mill, Beautiful Crown, Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit, Magic Ring, Shinko Forest, Volksraad, Azzaam, Beautiful Crown and Chief Bearheart.
And this pattern can be used in reverse – Hong Kong Group One winner Able One is by Cape Cross out of a Danehill mare.
For the purposes of comparison with Danzig line stakes winners in general, it was impossible to include Group winners inbred to Danzig but NOT on the two sire lines.
However let’s note that sex balancing Danzig has also had its limited success. Absolut Glam and Flying Pegasus carry a duplication of Danzig, but the dams’ Danzig contribution is not situated on their sire line. In Australia there’s plenty of Fusaichi Pegasus mares out there and a couple of his sire sons coming through that create this desirable pattern with Danehill and other Danzig line sires.

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