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Breeders Corner \ Sun Chariot

26 June

There are many great mares in the thoroughbred world, some of which were high achievers as racehorses and gone on to become "influencers" in their own right as broodmares, while others have saved their energy for the matron's paddock and delivered through their progeny.

This week's subject is one who was outstanding in everything she attempted and is one we still see in pedigrees today, her name Sun Chariot.

By the Derby winner and outstanding sire Hyperion, Sun Chariot was a brown filly born in 1939 from the Diligence mare Clarence and was bred in Ireland by the National Stud.

Clarence was a daughter of the Friar Marcus mare Nuns Veil ..... a half-sister to the outstanding sire Blandford (by Swynford) who fathered Blenheim II, Bahram, Umidwar, Badruddin, Udaipur, Brantome, and was the Leading Sire in England at the time of his death in 1935.

Leased to King George VI for racing Sun Chariot was a brilliant but moody (and sometimes erratic) filly, she showed little in her early preparations and was nearly retired unraced, but just in time, turned a corner mentally and there was no looking back.

Undefeated in four starts including the Queen Mary and Middle Park Stakes (beating colts handily in the latter), she topped the Free Handicap at two over stablemate Big Game and Watling Street. At three, she was third at her debut, her only career loss in nine starts, and won the Sarum Stakes, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, and St. Leger. In the Oaks, she caused three false starts, then at the final break, bolted in the wrong direction, but still managed to win the classic by a length.

As a broodmare at Sandley Stud, she produced 4 stakeswinners from 11 foals before her death in 1963. These included Blue Train (1944 c. by Blue Peter), Gigantic (1946 c. by Big Game), Landau (1951 c. by Dante), and Pindari (1956 c. by Pinza).

Blue Train got an Irish Oaks winner before he went sterile, was sent back in training, and broke down, having to be destroyed. Gigantic went on to a successful stud career in New Zealand where he stood at Blandford Lodge in Matamata and sired amongst others the likes of Terriffic, Grand Scale, Empyreus, Mannix, Red Crest, Royal Duty, and Not Again.

In Australia, Landau (by Dante) was another son of Sun Chariot who achieved success at stud, siring 19 stakes winners of which 6 were G1 winners. Landau appears in the modern day pedigrees of Redzel, Playing God, Dash for Cash, El Roca, Flying Artie, Seventh Rock, Amber Sky, God Has Spoken, Fontein Ruby, Fontiton through Rubiton.

Landau's daughter Kuch Parwani is the granddam of the high class racehorse and sire Imposing (by Todman), who coincidentally stood at Blandford Lodge also after beginning his career at Ra Ora Stud, and is found in the pedigrees of topliners Super Impose, Petrava, Solveig, Imposera, Golden King, Imprimatur, Hoeberg, Tycoon Lil, Star Dancer, Count Chivas, Bawalaksana, Ad Alta, Facing the Music, Surprize Surprize, Skoozi and many more.

Another of Sun Chariot's sons – Blue Train (by Blue Peter) - also met with success as a sire with his daughter Five Spots winning the Irish Oaks and Blue Beauty also successful at Group 1 level. Blue Train is found more recently in the pedigree of Anabaa who has been a highly successful stallion internationally with 88 stakeswinners including Goldikova, Yell, Anabandana, Viragede Fortune, Imananabaa, Headturner, French Bid, Anabaa Blue ..... while his daughters have produced Buffering, Treve Dissident, Hartnell, Lush Lashes, English, Microphone, Rostova, Viridine and many more stakeswinners.

Former leading sire in New Zealand Battle Waggon (by Never Say Die) is a close relation to Sun Chariot with his second dam Calash being a full sister to the great mare. A Champion sire, Battle Waggon was responsible for the likes of Battle Heights, Panzer Chief, BravaJeanie, Gold Braid, Sharon Jane, Breathalyser and still appears today through the pedigrees of Starcraft, Lets Elope and Star Witness.

Sun Chariot died in 1963 at the age of 24, having produced 11 foals of which 4 were stakeswinners.

Credit / Thoroughbred Heritage

Pictured / Sun Chariot