Gone West - Sire of Sires

Gone West has made his mark as a bona fide sire of sires. It is rare for a stallion to get a racehorse better than himself and grandsons even better still. Gone West has proved to be the source of brilliant horses, especially over a mile. Born in 1984 Gone West displayed the brilliance which he would transmit later at stud with a crushing 12 length victory in the Dwyer (GR1) over 1 1/8 mile. Gone West also took out the Gotham Stakes (GR2) over a mile defeating Gulch as well as the Withers Stakes (GR2) also run over a mile. On the Derby trail as a three year old Gone West finished 2nd in the Wood Memorial (GR1) and the Fountain of Youth Stakes (Gr2).

By Mr Prospector out of the Secretariat mare Secrettame he traced back to the immortal Aloe, ancestress of many high-class racehorses and champions including Round Table, Known Fact and Nashwan. With 18 crops of racing age Gone West has bred 1139 foals of which 568 (50%) have won including 93 stakes winners. Gone West has been responsible for outstanding racehorses as well as world record holders with the likes of Da Hoss and Elusive Quality. Gone West is also the sire of three winners of Breeders Cup Day events namely Speightstown, Johar and Da Hoss. Standing 16 hands high Gone West bears a striking resemblance to another influential modern day sire Storm Cat. That Storm Cat and Gone West have similar physiques is comes as no surprise as they are both out of daughters of the legendry Secretariat ! At stud sons of Gone West have been quick to get off the mark, transmitting the brilliance associated with the line on all surfaces, dirt , turf and now polytrack.

(1990 by Gone West - Zaizafon by The Minstrel)

Zafonic's scintillating win as a two year old in Britain's most prestigious juvenile event heralded the arrival of Gone West as a new force in the international sire ranks. A member of Gone West's second foal crop, Zafonic carried all before him at two and three years, amongst his victories the time honoured Dewhurst Stakes and the English 2000 Guineas. Zafonic secured European Horse of The Year for these efforts. His victory in the 2000 Guineas was breathtaking and still considered as one of the best ever.  As one racing journalist  put it - "destroyed the opposition, establishing a new record for the race, 1:35.32 seconds, bettering the record set by My Babu almost half a century earlier". At stud Zafonic proved able to pass on his terrific speed as evidenced by his champion son Xaar. Xaar like his sire won the Dewhurst Stakes at two years in dominating style and like his father before him was accorded champion status when being declared European Champion Two Year Old and European Three year Old. Zafonic built a solid stud record with 25 stakes winners of whom 15 were graded stakes winners before his premature death in the summer of 2002.

Elusive Quality
(1993 Gone West - Touch of Greatness by Hero's Honor)

Like Zafonic in Europe Elusive Quality displayed devastating speed on the turf up to a mile. Although he never won beyond Group Three level, Elusive Quality signaled his ability to race at the highest level when succumbing only by a nose to Honour and Glory and defeating Distorted Humour in Americas most important sprint race for three year-olds, the Kings Bishop Stakes. As a lightly raced five year old Elusive Quality lived up to his potential leading all the way to capture the GR3 Poker Handicap by six lengths in a new world record time for a mile on turf. As a USA based Group 3 winner on turf Elusive Quality had to commence his stud career at the lowly introductory service fee of $10 000. From this modest base of mares Elusive Quality quickly set about establishing himself as a sire of note. His first crop yielded the champion racehorse Smarty Jones who gained legendry status with the manner of his victories in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic his son Elusive City became champion two year old in France. Elusive Quality has continued to churn out stakes winners with successive crops. As a shuttle sire to Australia he has come up with the GR1 Sires Produce winner Camarilla from his first Southern Hemisphere crop.

Grand Slam
(1995 Gone West - Bright Candles by El Gran Senor)

The impeccably bred Grand Slam proved to be a top class racehorse. By Gone West out of the smart El Gran Senor racemare Bright Candles he showed the characteristic dash associated with the progeny of Gone West winning two stakes races amongst his three victories at two years. As a three year old Grand Slam went on to annex the GR1 Moet Champagne Stakes over 1m 1/16 and ran second in the GR2 Peter Pan Stakes. Grand Slam did not race as an older horse and retired to stud after only two seasons of racing. His first crop delivered 10 stakes winners including Cajun Beat, winner of the GR1 Breeders Cup Sprint. Grand Slam did even better with his second foal crop producing 12 stakes winners including Café Olympus a group one winner in Japan. Now a leading international sire Grand Slam is the sire of over 80 stakes performers worldwide.

Mr Greeley
(1992 Gone West - Long Legend by Reviewer)

Adverised as "One of the Top 10 sires in the World" the stud career of Mr Greeley continues to rise and rise due in part to his impressive results in Europe. Like Elusive Quality, Zamindar,and Western Winter, Mr Greeley never won beyond Group Three ranks, this however has had no impact on his ability to sire high class Group One winners. Probably the best performance of his racing career came when Mr Greeley finished second in the GR1 Breeders Cup Sprint behind Desert Stormer and defeating subsequent Breeders Cup Sprint winner Lit De Justice. Mr Greeley struck with his very first crop at stud producing El Corredor winner of the GR1 Cigar Mile. The first foal crop which numbered only 60 foals produced 4 stakes winners which was a more than satisfactory start. Mr Greeley was also drafted into shuttle service to Australia where breeders failed to embrace him, most likely because at the time they were unfamiliar with his sire  Gone West and the all American pedigree. From his sole Southern Hemisphere crop of only 18 foals Mr Greeley sired Miss Kournikova winner of the GR1 Oakleigh Plate as well as another six individual winners.

Mr Greeley has caught the attention of the Europeans through the exploits of his three Group One winners Reel Buddy (GR1 Sussex Stakes), Saoirse Abu (GR1 Phoenix S and GR1 Moyglare Stud S) and Finsceal Beo, Champion 2 year old filly of England, Ireland and France. Finsceal Beo almost captured the classic fillies treble of 1000 Guineas races in Europe, winning both the English and Irish legs but just missing the middle leg when second to Darjina a daughter of the Gone West horse Zamindar.

Mr Greeley is emerging as a sire of sires in his own right with El Corredor getting the Group One winner Dominican amongst stakes winners from his first crop. Dominican won the GR1 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes defeating Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense. Another son of Mr Greeley to hit the headlines with his first crop is Whywhywhy who not to be outdone sired GR1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Nownownow, one of 10 two year old winners.

Such is the demand for services in Mr Greeley that his fee has increased from US$35 000 in 2006 to US$75 000 in 2007 and then to US$125 000 in 20008 !

(1994 Gone West - Zaizafon by The Minstrel)

A full brother to European Horse Of The Year and brilliant sprinter miler Zafonic the racing career of Zamindar would best be described as one of unfulfilled promise. The connections of Zaminder consideedr him to have been the more brilliant of the two colts and his blistering race fractions confirm this view. Zamindar raced four times as a two year old winning his first two starts effortlessly including the GR3 Prix de Cabourg. Starting favourite at 3/10 in his next start the GR1 Prix Morny, Zaminder was caught in the final strides of the race going under by a short neck to Bahamian Bounty. In his fourth and final appearance for the season Zamindar was fancied to take out the GR1 Prix de la Salamandre over 7 furlongs at Longchamp. After scorching up the track Zamindar was overwhelmed at the end finishing third behind Revoque.

As a three year old Zamindar raced three times,he contested the English Two Thousand Guineas in which he finished fifth, and placed twice including second in the GR3 Prix de Ris-Orangis beaten ¾ of a length by Monaassib. He was retired to stud and took up duties at Banstead Manor.

Just like Gone Wests other successful sire sons Zamindar soon displayed the ability to sire brilliant sprinter milers. From his first crop he bred the top class filly Zenda, winner of the GR1 French 1000 Guineas as well as the GR3 winner Jubilation. Zamindar has had his stud career interrupted by health issues and also spent two seasons at stud in Florida before returning to Europe to stand at Juddmonte Farms where he has consistently bred stakes winners of both sexes. It is as a sire of high class fillies that Zamindar will be best remembered. To date he has sired the winners of three French 1000 Guineas winners, namely Zenda, Darjina and now the latest French superstar Zarkava who has been described by her jockey Christophe Soumillion as "the female Dalakhani". To date Zamindar has bred 4 individual GR1 winners as did his full brother Zafonic who enjoyed stronger support at stud initially in terms of quality and quantity of mares served.

Western Winter
(1992 Gone West - Chilly Hostess by Vice Regent)

A winner of 5 races from three to five years Western Winter never won a stakes race though he did acquit himself well at the highest level. Western Winter placed second in the GR1 Metropolitan Mile as well as third in the Gr1 Carter Handicap. Retired to stud in South Africa Western Winter has established himself as a leading sire there. Western Winter has bred 12 individual Group One winners to date. The annual Dubai Carnival has proved to be the ideal showcase for South African bred racehorses competing internationally. Western Winter has been represented by a number of his South African graded stakes winners in Dubai with the likes of Oracle West, Surveyor and Yard Arm all successful in graded stakes events. In Hong Kong his son Fearless finished third to Helene Mascot in the GR1 Hong Kong Classic Mile whilst in Singapore the globe trotting Surveyor ran second to German champion Epalo in the GR1 International Cup. Western Winter currently commands the highest stud fee of all stallions at stud in South Africa.

Proud Citizen
(1999 Gone West - Drums of freedom by Green Forest)

A winner of three of his sixteen raceday starts Proud Citizen numbered the GR2 Lexington Stakes amongst his victories. Proud Citizen was amongst the very best of his foal crop and a leading classic contender in the USA at three years. Proud Citizen chased War Emblem home in the Kentucky Derby and followed up with a game third behind War Emblem in the Preakness.

Proud Citizen is the latest son of Gone West to make his mark as a sire. From his first and oldest crop that are now three year olds he has sired the Proud Spell, winner of the GR1 Kentucky Oaks. The Airdrie Stud bred and owned Proud Spell is a warm favourite to secure Three Year Old Filly Of The Year honours. Proud Citizen is no one horse wonder, he is on his way to becoming one of the leading lights on the USA sires roster with a number of stakes winners and stake placed horses emerging from his first crop. As has been seen before with sons of Gone West, Proud Citizen is able to breed stakes winners on dirt, as well on turf. River Proud a British based son of his was the winner of the GR3 Sommerville Stakes and runner up in the GR2 July Stakes (beaten a short head) at two years in England. As a three year old this season River Proud has run third in the GR1 French 2000 Guineas.

In typical Gone West fashion, speed is being transmitted by Proud Citizen to his progeny, Motovato a three year old by Proud Citizen has been accorded the highest Beyer Speed rating (111) of all three year olds racing in the USA this season off the back of his sizzling 15 length victory in an allowance race at Calder whilst Zubani out of the Dehere mare Fluid set a track record when breaking his maiden as a two year old. Instill his very first starter finished second on his debut at Hawethorne and has since gone on to win three races two of which were restricted stakes races.

Proud Citizen currently stands at US$ 25 000, a fee which is likely to be adjusted upwards by Airdrie Stud for the 2009 breeding season.

West By West
(1989 Gone West - West Turn by Cox's Ridge)

From Gone Wests very first crop to race West By West won 10 races from 5 ½ furlongs to 9 furlongs including the GR1 Nassau County Handicap. West By West got off the mark with a six individual stakes winners including Group One winner Appealling Phylly (Woodbine Glorious Song Stakes GR1) from his very first crop. West By West was enlisted for a tour of duty in Argentina and is currently at stud in Turkey. He has bred 27 stakes winners including two South American champions Dra. Condalisa and Dr West. His stakes winning son Rusty Spur has taken up stud duties in New Zealand where he has already bred a stakes performerr from his small first crop.

Gone For Real
(1991 Gone West - Intently by Drone)

Gone For Real was a product of Gone West's third foal crop, one which yielded the Group One winners Lassigny and Royal Abjer. Gone For Real is an impeccably bred individual with conformation to match. A US $350 000 purchase Gone For Real was Gone West's highest priced yearling of his year. His stakes winning dam Intently was by the unbeaten racehorse and leading sire of two year olds Drone. Intently was one of a number of high class stakes winning fillies by Drone as was Navajo Princess, dam of Epsom Derby and Arc De Triomphe winner Dancing Brave. Gone For Real traces back tail female to Theodorica a mare bred by Federico Tesio and an own sister to the champion Tolouse Lautrec.

Like other successful sire sons of Gone West such as Elusive Quality, Zamindar, Mr Greeley and Western Winter, Gone For Real did not win above Group Three level. In typical fashion of the stock of Gone West, Gone For Real produced his best form at a round a mile. Gone For Real won the GR3 Hialeah Royal Palm Handicap over 8 ½ furlongs and also finished second in the Gulfstream Canadian Turf Handicap over 8 ½ furlongs. In all Gone For Real won 6 of his 15 starts from a mile to 8 ½ furlongs. His preferred surface was turf.

At the time of his retirement Gone West was not as yet recognized as a sire of sires, this together with the fact that Gone For Real only won up to Group Three level on turf made him an uncommercial prospect for stud duties in the USA. His first foal crop that numbered only six foals reveals the lack of support from local New York breeders. During his time at stud in the USA Gone For Reals single biggest foal crop has numbered just 12 foals. His results at stud is therefore remarkable considering both the lack of opportunity as well as the poor quality of mare which he has served. The poor quality of mare which Gone For Real has been bred to in the USA is reflected in his lifetime Comparative Index (CI) of 0.96 which is lower than the national average !

That Gone For Real has sired four stakes horses and 50 % two year old winners to two year old runners is amazing ! Besides his four stakes horses The Name Was Gone, Bundle Of Roses, Manny's Gold Maker and Gone Goodbye, he has also bred the multiple race winners My Sweethearts Gone (16 wins ),Gone Wish'in (6 wins) and Snows Gone (6 wins) amongst his 35 individual winners. His last two crops of racing age have produced 100% winners from starters with seven runners for seven winners !

The only way in which the true potential of Gone For Real can be gauged is to compare his AEI / CI figures with those of Gone West's other sons at stud in the USA. Compared to Mr Greeley, Elusive Quality, Grand Slam, West By West, Zamindar and Proud Citizen, Gone For Real outperforms these commercial sire sons of Gone West. In fact Gone For Real is the only sire amongst them that has consistently upgraded his mares. Gone For Real's lifetime AEI/CI indices show that he upgrades his mares by a staggering 45%. This is nothing short of a world class performance considering that the most successful sire in recent times in Australasia was Danehill whose lifetime AEI/CI indices show that he upgraded his mares by 51%. The majority of stallions at stud are unable to upgrade their mares.

Given the deeds at stud of Gone For Real thus far one can only wonder what heights he may have achieved had he been afforded the same opportunity at stud which other sire sire sons of Gone West have enjoyed. Gone For Real has been given a second chance in New Zealand, a country which races exclusively on turf and has a broodmare population better suited for the pedigree of Gone For Real. Savvy breeders who can appreciate the potential which Gone For Real offers can take advantage of a service fee which makes him accessible to all.