DESPITE the fact that he was so good at three in 1989, a year in which he won eight of 11 starts, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Santa Anita Derby and Super Derby and was named United States Horse of the Year, the Halo stallion Sunday Silence was not liked by American breeders on bloodlines and physical appearance and culled to Japan.
Here the jet black Sunday Silence upgraded the Japanese thoroughbred more extensively than possibly any other sire has done in any other country. Danehill in Australia appears his only modern rival.
Born in 1986 a few hours after the Danzig foal that was to become Danehill was delivered and deceased at sixteen in 2002, one year before Danehill died, Sunday Silence was unbeatable king of the sires in Japan from 1995 to 2007. In the process he has become such a dominant influence through his sons, at least 13 of which have had Group1 success, he appeared in the pedigrees of over 80 percent of the 531 lots in the 2014 Japan Select Sale catalogue.
Sunday Silence and his sons have not had a lot of runners outside the cherry blossom curtain, but they have shown they can mix it with the best in the world with good winners in Hong Kong, France, Singapore, France, Dubai and Australia
An experiment where Australian breeders produced 28 foals from using Sunday Silence in Japan to southern hemisphere time in four years, 1998 – 2001, was only modest in achievement, although it produced John Singleton’s AJC Australian Oaks winner Sunday Joy (dam by Danehill) and Keep the Faith (dam by Danzig sire Dayjur), a brilliant winner to Listed in Australia and in one of three starts in America setter of a new national turf record for six furlongs.
Australia has also had the use of half a dozen Japanese Sunday Silence sires who have visited here for the southern hemisphere seasons. The best of them, Arrowfield shuttled Fuji Kiseki, left ten stakes winners, one of them successful at Group1 in South Africa.
The achievements of these Australian used sires and his Australian bred performers no doubt had racing skeptical about Sunday Silence outside Japan.They are doubts cast out by the spectacular success of the handful of his Japanese descendants who haven visited Australia for big races.
In 2006 two of them, Delta Blues (by Sunday Silence sire Dance in the Dark) and Pop Rock (from the Sunday Silence mare Pops) finished first and second in the Melbourne Cup.
Quarantine hurdles restricted visitors from Japan after that Melbourne Cup until last year, but they have returned to glory in the last six months with the win of illfated Admire Rakti (by Sunday Silence sire Heart’s Cry) in last spring’s Caulfield Cup and then Real Impact (by Sunday Silence superstar Deep Impact) in the Group1 George Ryder (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Admire Rakti pulled up distressed after contesting the Melbourne Cup and died in his stall a few minutes later.
George Ryder winner Real Impact is one of four Japanese horses enticed here this year for the rich autumn championships in Sydney. Three of them, all by Deep Impact, Real Impact, World Ace (11th in the Ryder) and Tosen Stardom (second to Contributor in the Group1 Ranvet) all had their first Australian outings on Saturday.
Yet to appear, the other is To The World, a son of the Kingmambo sire King Kamehameha and the Sunday Silence champion racemare To The Victory. A 2400m performer, To The World is a Group 2 winner and Group1 second back home.
A Japanese Horse of the Year and sire of one, two times Japan Cup winner, and also successful Dubai Sheeema Classic, Gentildonna, Deep Impact supplied Real Impact from a mating with Tokio Reality, a mare by Meadowbank, a son off Success Express’s sire Hold Your Peace.
Also of winner of five races in Japan, one of them Group1 at 1600m, Real Impact is the first performer from his family to win at this level in many generations. His sister, I’ll Love Again, however, has been Group1 third twice.
Brian Russell Bloodstock Media