Written July 2001

One of the few sons of Storm Cat to stand in Australia and from a relatively unusual dam’s pedigree, Hennessy has little precedent in Australia for breeders to follow.

A promising start at stud however, has now allowed pedigree enthusiasts the opportunity to peek into Hennessy’s window of success for a look at what he seems to be working with on both sides of the world.

The sire of seven stakes winners and four stakes placegetters world wide, his oldest progeny are currently northern hemisphere three year olds.

Patterns are already starting to emerge which will assist breeders on making informed decisions regarding the ‘right’ mares to send to Hennessy.

Firstly, four members of this group of stakes performers carry Mr. Prospector through their dams – another two carry his sire Raise a Native close up in their dams’ pedigrees.   Of note, two of the four of these Mr. Prospector carriers quinella-ed the Angelsey Stakes, a Group 3 race for two year olds at the Curragh in July.  They were Johannesburg, who has won his only three starts to-date, and Wiseman’s Ferry.

Stakes winners bred on a Storm Bird / Mr. Prospector cross are not a new phenomenon, possibly due to the duplication of the pattern of Nearco / Native Dancer / Bull Dog created when these two meet.  I think however, that Hennessy’s pedigree has another feature to offer Mr. Prospector which has made him especially compatible with this icon.

Hennessy’s pedigree carries Count Fleet and his close relation Bolero (out of a half sister to the dam of Count Fleet).  Mr. Prospector reinforces this successful cross in Hennessy by providing another line to Count Fleet.  Apart from the four stakes performers carrying Mr. Prospector, Hennessy has produced another stakes winner (the Group 2 Coolmore Lexington Stakes winner, Keats) who carries Count Fleet on his dam’s third remove – very close up considering Count Fleet was America’s Horse of the Year back in 1943!

Sources of Mr. Prospector abound in Australia – WOODMAN, GEIGER COUNTER, BELLOTTO, EL MOXIE and UMATILLA are examples.  Other broodmare sires who carry Count Fleet or Bolero include ROYAL ACADEMY, WESTERN SYMPHONY, LAST TYCOON, FOREST GLOW, MADE OF GOLD, PALACE MUSIC and SUCCESS EXPRESS.  The VATC Debutante Stakes runner-up Disect is out of a Last Tycoon mare.

The Storm Bird / Nijinsky II nick which has emerged in the northern hemisphere can certainly be exploited with Hennessy.  In fact, Hennessy already carries a similar version to this cross – apart from Storm Bird, his second damsire Tom Cat is bred on a Menow / Bull Dog / Mahmoud combination which is Nijinsky II’s pedigree ‘turned on its head’.  Introducing Nijinsky II or his three quarter brother The Minstrel will certainly give things a hurry-up.

Hennessy’s Grade Two winning son Distilled backs up this theory.  His dam (who is by Woodman) supplies The Minstrel through her damsire, Peterhof.  Peterhof’s dam Millicent also has great input for the success of Distilled.  She repeats the Bold Ruler / Princequillo cross in Storm Cat’s damsire Secretariat as well as supplying another line to Count Fleet.

Of great interest to us Down Under is that Peterhof is a 7/8ths brother to our own WESTERN SYMPHONY.   By Nijinsky II, Western Symphony goes one step further to being highly compatible with Hennessy due to the proven success of the Storm Bird / Nijinsky II cross.

Incidentally, Hennessy’s Angelsey Stakes winner Johannesburg also carries Nijinsky II through his dam.

On a more local note, Hennessy’s very promising stakes winner Allez France is out of a LUSKIN STAR mare.  Luskin Star has several things to recommend him for matings with Hennessy.  His sire Kaoru Star is out of a mare by Emperor.  Hennessy’s damsire is Hawaii, whose sire Utrillo traces to CARISSIMA – also granddam of Emperor.  As a further boost to this quadrant of Hennessy’s pedigree, Luskin Star carries Alycidon through a son, sex balancing (for speed) Utrillo’s dam, who is a daughter of Alycidon.

According to Coolmore’s information, Gai Waterhouse also has a Hennessy colt from a Luskin Star mare which has been rated by its breaker as the best yearling he’s handled all year.

Getting back to Allez France – her second damsire Imperial Prince is also valuable for Hennessy – his tail female line reinforces Alycidon (both tracing to MARCHETTA) and he is a grandson of Sir Gaylord – half brother to Storm Cat’s damsire Secretariat.  The success of combining Sir Gaylord with Secretariat is well documented.  Another source of Sir Gaylord in Australia is of course, the SIR TRISTRAM line.

Of interest also is the pedigree of the AJC Canonbury Stakes runner-up, Courvoisier.  From the family of Bluebird, her mating with Hennessy has created a very similar pedigree to Bluebird, who is also a Storm Bird line horse.  Courvoisier’s second dam is bred on a Bold Ruler / Princequillo / Eight Thirty combination, mirroring this pattern in Storm Cat’s dam.

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