Encosta’s son very sacred to Hong Kong
22 Jul 2012 | The close of the 2011-12 Hong Kong racing two weeks ago has been followed by the announcement of prestigious horse awards very significant to Australian breeding.They were the honouring of the recently retired Encosta de Lago gelding Sacred Kingdom with a lifetime achievement award and immortalisation with an 87 page memorabilia and naming for the second successive year of the Pins gelding Ambitious Dragon as Horse of the Year.
Surpassed by Black Caviar as the ranking world champion sprinter, Sacred Kingdom raced for six years, appearing in 36 sprints for 17 wins (12 stakes), seven seconds (all stakes) and two stakes thirds and earnings of HK$45,831,144 (about $7.6million Australian),
Like the Queensland visitor Falvelon and an earlier Hong Kong Australian bred performer, Silent Witness, he won the Hong Kong International Sprint twice. He also included in his performances overseas outings, one of them a half length victory over Singapore domiciled Aussie Rocket Man in the Singapore International Sprint, and another a fifth in the 2009 Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
Hong Kong Horse of the Year for 2010 and Champion Sprinter in four years, Sacred Kingdom like Black Caviar was bred in Victoria (the Calvert family) and sold through the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale to Hong Kong for $200,000.
Sired at the Blue Gum Fam stud, Euroa, Victoria by Encosta de Lago, a sire shortly afterwards transferred to his owners Coolmore stud in the Hunter Valley and now twice Champion Australian sire, Sacred Kingdom is the only one successful in stakes winner among the five winners produced by Courtroom Sweetie, a minor winner in Sydney.
Bred by the Kellys at their Newhaven Park stud near Boorowa, NSW, Courtroom Sweetie is a sister by their very good now deceased sire Zeditave to Love of Mary, a dual Group 2 winner in Melbourne now producing successfully in South Africa. Before she went to South Africa, Love of Mary produced Balalaika, a stakes placed King of Kings (IRE) (Sadler’s Wells) mare now owned by the Calverts. She has had living foals by Encosta de Lago, Lonhro, Dubai Destination (USA) and Exceed and Excel.
Two times Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon is a New Zealand bred galloper by one of their best sires, the Australian bred Snippets VRC Australian Guineas winner Pins, and is from Golden Gamble, an unraced daughter of the Halo sire Oregon (USA). The second dam is a Gliding, a Noble Bijou (USA) mare who won two restricted races – 2000m, 2100m in Sydney.
Passed in at $47,500 (reserve $50,000) at the 2008 New Zealand yearling sale, Ambitious Dragon has won eleven races in Hong Kong, including five Group1s, the Derby, Classic Cup, Queen Elizabeth 11 Cup, Gold Cup and Stewards’ Cup, and earned HK$16,588,000 (Aust$4,696,000).
Like his first two dams, bred by E.P. ‘Pat’ Lowry, Ambitious Dragon is another good horse bred by the famous Lowry family, owners of the Okawa stud near Hastings. Pat Lowry’s grandfather T.H. Lowry bred and raced the icon mare Desert Gold (foaled1912), while other horses bred by Lowry family members have included Horlicks (17 wins, including 2400m Japan Cup in world record time), Game (26 wins), Key (16 wins) and Defaulter (22 wins).
Pins, the sire of Ambitious Dragon, has a Lionel Israel Segenhoe stud, Scone maternal background. He is from No Finer, a Segenhoe bred daughter of Kaoru Star and Israel’s greatest broodmare Humour. An Australian Broodmare of the Year, Humour was by Pirate King (GB) and from Real Delight by Nilo (GB): Kaoru Star, Pirate King and Nilo were all Segenhoe sires.