Did a Pedigree Analysis Predict of the Result of the Victorian Derby?

Well both yes and no; a pedigree analysis  of the Victoria Derby of 2020,did not absolutely predict the winner but did get three of the first four place getters. A synopsis of this analysis is in three parts:

Sire Line and PRI Scores

We suggested that the winner would most likely come from one of four sire lines: Danzig, Sadler’s Wells, Sir Tristram or Halo. Johnny Get Angry comes from Tavistock>Montjeu>Sadler’s Wells. The PRI scores were not put in the Blog but are

The finishing predictions based only on Victorian Derby pedigree analysis were slightly better than the betting order and certainly better for Johnny Get Angry. The PRI failure to recognize Young Werther is a mystery. Although he had few starts, that should have little influence on his score. The cross in his pedigree of the Tavistock line stallions x Cure the Blues was very poor. There were 18 Points lost here which would have raised his score to 85.6, slightly above that of the winner. I am afraid it is an imperfect world.

Deeper Pedigree Analysis for Johnny Get Angry

The more you look at this horse the better he becomes.

1 Sires

Column three of any pedigree contains the major sire lines of influence. For stayers it is hard to beat the quartet of Sadler’s Wells, Quest for Fame, Sir Tristram, and Singspiel. For those unfamiliar with Singspiel he won a Japan Cup, a Dubai World Cup, and has provided a male line to 97SW with a 1.1% G1 winners to runners. If these four stallions were not mutually compatible it would have shown up in the PRI Score

Singspiel-Great Racehorse and Sire

2 Tail Dam line

The power is show by going back three generations; Pavlova>Hospitable>Fetoon.

  • Fetoon was the dam of Markam (by Salieri), winner G1 South Australian Derby 2500m and also of Hospitable (by Luskin Star).
  • Hospitable was the dam of Fubu (by Last Tycoon), a winner of VATC Shannon Classic G2 1800m, and Pavlova (by Singspiel) who won the MVRC JRA Cup over 2040m (L)
  • Pavlova didn’t achieve much except the mating with Zabeel to produce Luminova the dam of Johnny Get Angry

All in all, a wonderful stayers pedigree for a horse to carry into the Victorian Derby, but as Robert Blake famously said “Hindsight is a wonderful thing…………………….”

Victoria Derby: Can a pedigree analysis assist?


History and Update

Elimination of chances in the Victoria Derby by pedigree analysis will help point to a winner. The process can eliminate horses that will be not suited by the distance of the race. The Victoria Derby was first run in1855. Some of the greats of the Australian Turf have won it. Phar Lap, Comic Court, Tulloch, Sky High, Tobin Bronze, Dulcify, and Mahogany to name a few. In recent years the Race has lost some of its glamour as racing authorities continue to cut the length of races to the detriment of true stayers. I would contend that it is not the horses that have failed to live up to the challenge, but the racing authorities.

In the last 20 years Derby winners have won an additional 21G1 races, 11G2, 6G3 and 11L races. There is no doubt these horses would have done better if there were suitable races for them.  However, the racing authorities with their policy of pouring money into glorified quarter horse races have virtually shut the door on the racing career of most derby winners.

The Victoria Derby: A Winner’s Pedigree

Unless you are going to send a mare to the Northern Hemisphere for breeding, you are limited to Sothern Hemisphere stock. In the last 20 years what bloodlines have been successful? The table shows the list to start your looking.

There were a couple of surprises. The first is the presence of only one horse from the Mr Prospector line.

Sadler’s Wells: Super Racehorse and Super Sire


Danzig: The Power of Northern Dancer

Lion Tamer (Storming Home-Lioness) from the Machiavellian sireline. Considering the influence Mr Prospector has on the world breeding industry (Fapianno, Unbridled, Woodman, Empire Maker Gone West, Kingmambo etc.) It is surprising he doesn’t rate here. Perhaps when American Pharoah gets going  things will change.

Secondly, I judged More Than Ready, from the Halo line, from his Golden Slipper deeds but he is more versatile than that. Not only is he the sire of two Derby winners (Benicio 2002 and Prized Icon 2016) but has produced many classic G1 winners at 2400m or thereabouts. Some of his winners are Eagle Way, 2016 Queensland Derby, More Than Sacred 2013 NZ Oaks, Dreamaway 2011 WA Derby/Oaks double, and Say the Word 2020 Northern Dancer Stakes in Canada. So any horse from More Than Ready should not be dismissed as merely a sprinter.

So to cut  chances in the Derby field to a manageable level consider the pedigree lines presented in the table. To select a winner you have to consider other annoying things. The barrier, the jockey, the state of the track, and the form of the horse. You can then sit back and enjoy the race

War Front: Latest Danzig super sire

Future Prospects

Finally. if you see anything related to War Front, have a real good look. He is the grand sire of last years winner Warning and the hottest property in the world today. His stud fee for next year will probably exceed $400,000 (Aust) .