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Breeders Corner \ Pakistan II

31 July

Another of the great influences in NZ Breeding history was the Fairdale Stud stallion Pakistan II who is this week's subject horse for the Breeders Corner.

Pakistan II stood at Fairdale Stud in Palmerston North, a stud founded by Arthur Fell – father of Rex and Gerald – in 1948 on a 700-acre property farmed by his family since 1910.

Pakistan II was a moderate racehorse, and best described as an average performer on the score of racing ability. His sole outing at two resulted in a listed stakes third placing at Longchamp while his five starts at three brought three placings, the best effort being a second placing in the Group Three Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord at Chantilly. He twice won at four in England including open handicaps at Aintree and Leicester, before retiring to stud at Fairdale in 1963.

For most of the 20th century it was common for stallion imports to New Zealand to be modestly performed but well-bred. Pakistan easily fell into that category.

Pakistan II was by Fair Trial's son Palestine from the Nasrullah mare Tambara who won 2 of her 3 starts at two Tambara (Nasrullah [GB]), his dam, also scored at Royal Ascot (Coronation Stakes, Group Two) and dead-heated for second in the Group One Thousand Guineas.

Tambara's half-brother and leading sire Turkhan (Bahram) took out the St Leger and the Irish Derby while her dam, Theresina (Diophon) was an Irish Oaks winning half-sister to the leading US sire Alibhai (Hyperion).

Bred by HH The Aga Khan, Palestine made a huge impression at two and three, winning 11 of his 13 starts (six at two) with his premier performances being victories in the Two Thousand Guineas Gr.1, Sussex Stakes Gr.1, at Goodwood, St James's Palace Stakes Gr.2 at Royal Ascot, as well as the Gimcrack Stakes at York.

Palestine proved to be the sire of some talented juveniles and was Leading Sire of Two-year-olds in Ireland in 1964.

Pakistan II was not the first son of Palestine to stand in New Zealand or Australia. That honour belonged to the Malcolm Brothers import El Mughar (sire of Railway Handicap winner Maria Mitchell). A number of studs followed Fairdale's Arthur Fell's lead but none had anything like the success that Pakistan II enjoyed. The next most successful was Wandering Eyes, the sire of 13 stakes winners.

Two close relatives were given an opportunity to cash in on Pakistan's popularity and success: Azemann (St Crespin III), out of a half-sister to Pakistan II, stood at Kinross Stud (home of Summertime) and sired half a dozen stakes winners including Sydney Cup winner Azawary. Meanwhile, Jim Morris (Rodmor Stud) imported Athalia (whose dam was a half-sister to Pakistan II) in foal to Bold Lad.

A further pearl of wisdom from Garry Chittick was his comment about a sire's true worth - the percentage of stakes winners to runners. Anything higher than 10% is exceptional. The great Zabeel achieved 10.9%. Pakistan II sired 43 individual stakes winners from just 326 runners, or 13.2%. Exceptional!

In his second season (1964) he covered Gabardine, an unraced Gabador daughter of Green Gables (Vermeer), in turn a daughter of Ann Acre. At that time there was nothing, nothing at all, happening in that branch of the family. The result, Princess Patine, who won twice as two-year-old including a nice race at Ellerslie.

She was member of a golden 1965 crop of just 31 foals which included 10 individual stakes winners, Rajah Sahib being the standout. After scoring the Ellerslie Championship Stakes at two and being named Champion New Zealand two-year-old Colt he took Australia by storm the following season winning the Caulfield Guineas/WS Cox Plate double. Two seasons later he scored another double - the Doncaster and Stradbroke Handicaps. A notch below Rajah Sahib were super sprinter-milers Sharif, Count Kereru and Sharda.

Golden, but tough too, was the class of '65. Count Kereru raced as a 13-year-old, winning 25 times. Sharda (21 wins), Ayub Khan (20 wins), Sharif (13 wins) and Honda (17 wins) all raced as 10-year-olds. Royal Tudor was an exception, ending his career at 4 years but won 14 times. All were foaled in Princess Patine's crop.

Following crops included the outstanding miler Triton, classic fillies Prepak and Wood Court Inn, top-class milers Purple Patch and Tiptoe plus brilliant sprinters Ajasco and Zambari.

Pakistan II continued his excellence as a broodmare sire with his daughters producing 52 stakes winners of some very elite performers. Among the topliners to have Pakistan II as their broodmare sire are Courtza, Soliloquy, Silver Liner, Royal Regatta, Our Pompeii, Disraeli, Eastern Classic, Impasada, Anderil, Delightful Belle, Fine Offer, Concert, and Harp.

Pakistan II appears in the modern day pedigrees of O’Reilly, El Roca, Grunt, Redzel, Stratum Star, Delago Brom, Brom Felocity, Miltak, Hoeberg, Dignity Dancer, Glamour Puss, Vision and Power, Cross Swords, Perfectly Ready, Culminate, Tell A Tale, Jallad, Greig, Everswindell, Furama Nights, Super Impressive, Danerich, Katy Keen, and many more.

Pictured: Leading Sire Pakistan II

Credit: Lloyd Jackson