Pinot the First
Tara Madgwick - Tuesday November 14
Pages and pages have been written about the double Danehill cross and its much speculated on performance, but comparatively very little is written about the double cross of champion sire Zabeel, who was born in the same year as Danehill, 1986.

As a shuttle stallion Danehill produced far more foals in his lifetime than Zabeel and also far more sire sons and grand-sons with which to spread his influence, but it still seems amazing that until Pinot won the Group I VRC Oaks last Thursday, the double Zabeel cross had never produced a stakes-winner!

Zabeel with Sir Patrick HoganSuch is the prevalence of Danehill blood, there have been 3243 runners with a Danehill double cross producing 1549 winners at 47.8% winners to runners. A total of 73 stakes-winners are bred this way, but only five Group I winners headed by Guelph, the only multiple Group I winner, and this season's Flight Stakes winner Alizee.

As a comparison, the Zabeel double cross has only a fraction of those numbers with just 85 runners producing 40 winners (47.1% winner to runner) with Pinot the best performer and only stakes-winner.

The double Zabeel has also produced three stakes placed horses and interestingly one of those is also by Pinot's sire Pierro in Group II placed Pierata.

Pierro's burgeoning success as a sire is good news for the Zabeel sireline, which is looking for the way forward given that established champion sires Lonhro (by Octagonal) and Savabeel are now 19 and 16 years of age, while Reset is 17.

Footnote : Statistics are courtesy of Arion .