The Grey Panel WRITTEN TYCOON


Written the latest Tycoon

Many stallions have played starring roles recently, with ’s weekend double of New Zealand Derby (courtesy of ) and Hong Kong Gold Cup () being particularly good. The much-missed landed a notable Australian treble on the last Saturday of February, with the feature-race wins of his sons and being augmented by MRC Futurity Stakes triumph of his granddaughter , a daughter of the High Chaparral mare Queen Cha Cha. also starred in Australia the same day courtesy of big-race wins at Caulfield by and , but no less remarkable has been the recent run of success enjoyed by the progeny of the 12-year-old Woodside Park (Vic)-based stallion , whose tally of stakes winners for February reached five when his three-year-old daughter Written Dash landed the MVRC Typhoon Tracy Stakes, writes John Berry.

When we think of the sons of who have done most to extend the male-line influence of that wonderful patriarch, Sadler’s Wells and Danzig come most instantly to mind. There were, of course, plenty of other Northern Dancer horses who sired good stallions, including Britain’s 1970 Triple Crown winner Nijinsky (whose sire-sons included Caerleon and Royal Academy), Lyphard, Nureyev, ’s sire Storm Bird and ’s sire Vice Regent. Try My Best – brilliant winner of the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in 1977, six years before his full-brother landed the same race and three years before won it – has not ended up one of the most memorable sons of his father, but his contribution towards keeping the male-line going remains strong.

(a grandson of the celebrated American mare , who now ranks as ancestress of many excellent stallions including ) seemed in the autumn of 1977 to be a two-year-old of almost limitless potential, but his racing career ended when he finished last of the 19 runners as the even-money favourite for ’ 2,000 Guineas the following spring. He went to stud at Coolmore with high hopes, but he did not become a particularly fruitful source of top-class horses. One horse stood out among his offspring: , who dominated Europe’s sprinting ranks in 1986 before ending the year with victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Try My Best sired a second Group One winner when recorded a shock victory in the Prix de l’Abbaye over 1000m at Longchamp in 1998; while another son, , can be regarded as having been of Group One calibre despite never finishing in the frame in a Group One race. (Waajib’s victory in the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot in 1988 came when the race was still ‘merely’ a Group Two.) Despite this relative paucity of high-class colts among his stock, Try My Best does, though, remain a useful conduit of Northern Dancer’s line, thanks to Last Tycoon and Waajib.

Waajib’s contribution is remarkable, because his stud career was not very productive. He managed to sire one very smart two-year-old colt who went to stud in Ireland (1997 Gimcrack winner ) but easily his best son was , a terrific juvenile who developed into a top-class older sprinter before becoming a stalwart at the Royal Studs in England. During his stud career, Royal Applause, currently still active at the age of 22, has sired many excellent sprinters but no champions – but one of his sons, , has proved a revelation at Rathbarry Stud in Ireland. Winner of the Group Two Diadem Stakes over six furlongs at Ascot as a four-year-old in 2003, Acclamation has exceeded all expectations as a stallion, and is looking like establishing himself as a notable sire of sires as well as of sprinters. His grey son leads the way on his behalf while dual King’s Stand Stakes winner looks promising after one season of runners; and the popular young stallions and are still unproven.

Last Tycoon’s branch of the line, though, is already thoroughly established. Initially he proved himself a top-class sire of racehorses, as is suggested by his having topped the General Sires’ Table in Australia in 1993/’94. He has subsequently gone on to become regarded as an outstanding broodmare sire, while his male-line influence also remains notable. 1991 Derby runner-up proved to be the best stallion among his Irish sons, but there was one even better among his Australian offspring: .

The best racehorse ever sired by Last Tycoon was a gelding: , an outstanding and outstandingly durable champion at 1000m who showed his versatility be taking both the VRC and the AJC Derby over 2400m. In his racing days, O’Reilly was neither as durable nor as versatile as Mahogany, but he was nearly as talented. He demonstrated this talent in a tantalizingly short racing career, posting four wins (including Group One triumphs at both 1200m and 1600m) and a second from his first five starts prior to breaking down in the VRC Newmarket Handicap at Flemington in March 1997 when still aged only three, having made a winning debut over 1000m at Trentham less than five months previously. By a terrific sprinter/miler (Last Tycoon) from a champion two-year-old (), O’Reilly was entitled to be an excellent stallion. And, bearing in mind that Courtza’s full-brother had won an Adelaide Cup when that race was still run over 3200m, it seemed fair to expect O’Reilly to sire good horses over a wide range of distances. As it was, he turned out to be at least as effective a sire as anyone could have predicted, topping the sires’ table four times and proving himself an influence for class across the distance range with a host of top-class winners from 1200m to 2400m. Sadly he died in his paddock at Waikato Stud on New Year’s Eve, but his influence is far from over.

Among the other good Australian-bred sons of Last Tycoon to retire to stud in Australasia were , , , , and Written Tycoon’s sire .

There were echoes of O’Reilly in Iglesia, who did well in a handful of seasons at stud before dying young. Bred and raced by Geoff and Beryl White, he was a very fast son of Last Tycoon and came from a family blessed with both speed and stamina. He was a top sprinter, winning the STC Silver Slipper Stakes and finishing fourth in the Golden Slipper as a two-year-old in 1999 before going on to break the record for Flemington’s ‘straight six’ (running 1:07.16) when taking the VRC Standish Handicap down the straight as a five-year-old on New Year’s Day 2001. His half-brother , a massive horse, was similarly classy, but at the other end of the distance spectrum, winning the Queensland Derby and Brisbane Cup and finishing second in the Melbourne Cup. Their dam , a daughter of the Whites’ wonderful 1982 Golden Slipper winner , was one of Australia’s top fillies of the 1991/’92 season, when she was placed in both the VRC Wakeful Stakes and VRC Oaks.

Written Tycoon ranks as arguably the best horse sired by Iglesia during his short career at Oaklands Stud near Toowoomba in Queensland. Another child of Iglesia (2006 QTC Queensland Guineas victrix ) also saluted the judge in Group Two company, but Written Tycoon’s best victory (under Nash Rawiller in the Group Two STC Todman Slipper Trial at Rosehill in 2005, beating and ) was excellent. Sadly, though, Written Tycoon could not repeat the form two weeks later in the Golden Slipper: Domesday (a descendant of the aforementioned Best In Show) and Flying Pegasus ran to the pound in finishing fifth and tenth behind , but Written Tycoon was disappointing in eleventh place. Two weeks later Written Tycoon continued this regression when a well-beaten eighth behind in the AJC Champagne Stakes.

Disappointingly, that two-year-old season proved just about the full extent of Written Tycoon’s achievement. Trained by Grahame Begg, he had won two of his five starts as a juvenile (having preceded his Todman Slipper Trial victory by scoring over 1100m at Randwick) but he failed to score in light campaigns at both three and four. He did show bits of form subsequently, including when runner-up in the Group Three AJC San Domenico Stakes over 1000m early in his three-year-old season (beaten by the Bob Thomsen-trained , with the subsequent top-class sire a short neck back in third) and when placed a few months later in a Listed sprint at Canterbury (again finishing in front of his old rival Flying Pegasus) but that was pretty much it. By the time that he contested that Canterbury race, he had joined John O’Shea’s stable, having been sold by Written Bloodstock to Iskander Racing. He finally retired to Eliza Park Stud in Victoria as a five-year-old in 2007 at a fee of $7,500 + GST.

There was plenty to like about Written Tycoon from the outset, notwithstanding that he did not ‘train on’ well enough to win, or even race regularly, subsequent to his rewarding juvenile season. A strong horse, he had clearly been fast and precocious – and those are qualities which appeal to many breeders. Furthermore, speed runs through his pedigree. Over and above the fact of his sire Iglesia being by Last Tycoon from a Marscay mare, Written Tycoon, (whose dam won four races including a metropolitan race in Brisbane) has plenty of Australia’s other most notable speed sires close up in the lower half of his pedigree, with his first three dams being by , and respectively. He is one of several very fast horses descending from his excellent grand-dam , who won six races in Sydney: she is also ancestress of the top-class three-time Group One-winning sprinter and of , winner of both of Brisbane’s Group One two-year-olds’ races in 1996, as well as of Yell’s Black Opal Preview-winning dam .

While one was able to be optimistic about Written Tycoon’s prospects when he retired to stud in 2007, it is even easier to be optimistic now. His oldest offspring are currently aged six, and he has already proved himself to be an extremely good sire. Furthermore, he began proving that straightaway, being Australia’s champion first-season sire of the 2010/’11 season. Star of his first bunch of juveniles was the Lee Freedman-trained , who finished third to in the Group One MRC Blue Diamond Stakes. Masthead, incidentally has trained on well, and as a five-year-old (having joined Chris Waller’s team) he chased home the top-class NZer in the Group Two QTC Cup in Brisbane last May. That first bunch of youngsters also contained the Grahame Begg-trained stakes performer . Furthermore, some others from that crop developed into stakes performers as they matured, including (a Group Two winner over 1100m at Caulfield during the Spring Carnival in 2012) and , who was placed in the Hawke’s Bay Guineas in New Zealand as a three-year-old.

This season, though, has been a revelation for Written Tycoon, who moved to Woodside Park Stud near Tylden in April 2013, subsequent to the sale of Eliza Park Stud. February alone saw five of Written Tycoon’s progeny (, Stoker, , and Written Dash) salute the judge in stakes company. Overall, though, his star of this season’s show has been the excellent , Victoria’s top three-year-old colt of the past spring who strung together a winning sequence in his Caulfield Guineas lead-up races (including taking the Group Two VRC Danehill Stakes) before finding the mile just too far in the MRC Caulfield Guineas, in which he was just run down by and beaten a neck.

Victoria’s sires’ ranks are burgeoning at present, and Written Tycoon (who shares the Woodside Park roster with and , the latter alternating between Woodside Park and Widden in New South Wales, and being set to cover in Victoria in 2015) is clearly one of the state’s best stallions. He has shown a remarkable ability to upgrade his mares, which offers plenty of encouragement particularly at a time when, one presumes, the quality of his mates is likely to continue to rise.

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Stakes performances by surface

100% Turf
0% Dirt
0% All Weather

Distance

Stakes Performers of WRITTEN TYCOON

Sire of 43 stakes performers since 2003

Horses by individual place achieved

Gr1 Gr2 Gr3 L/R
2018 3 2 8 10
2017 1 6 5 11
2016 3 9 8 11
2015 0 1 6 7
2014 1 4 3 6
2013 0 1 1 6
2012 0 1 1 6
2011 1 2 5 2

Performer
Br.Sire
Gr1 Gr2 Gr3 L/R
SUPER CASH 2 3 2 3
DASH FOR CASH
TYCOON TARA 1 3 3 0
ENCORES
MUSIC MAGNATE 1 2 2 2
DANEHILL DANCER
MASTHEAD 1 2 1 2
REDOUTE'S CHOICE
CAPITALIST 1 2 1 0
FUSAICHI PEGASUS
RICH ENUFF 1 1 3 1
SPARTACUS
LUNA ROSSA 1 1 0 1
MORE THAN READY
WRITTEN BY 1 0 3 0
TOBOUGG
BOOKER 0 2 5 0
FLYING SPUR
PRESS REPORT 0 2 2 0
DOLPHIN STREET
HOWMUCHDOYOULOVEME 0 2 1 5
CELTIC SWING
IT IS WRITTEN 0 2 0 6
DANEHILL DANCER
VIBRANT ROUGE 0 1 2 0
WEST POINT
WINNING RUPERT 0 1 1 1
SHOW A HEART
PRESTIGIOUS MISS 0 1 1 0
HONOR GRADES
MEDIA BARON 0 1 0 2
FIMISTON
HETTY HEIGHTS 0 0 2 1
CATBIRD
GRANDE ROSSO 0 0 1 4
RORY'S JESTER
TRUMP 0 0 1 1
BLACK MINNALOUSHE
ANDRE ROO HOO 0 0 1 1
FLYING SPUR
ALEZAN THUNDER 0 0 1 1
THUNDER GULCH
WRITTEN DASH 0 0 1 0
DASH FOR CASH
WRITTEN CONSENT 0 0 1 0
OCTAGONAL
WRITTEN ERA 0 0 1 0
REDDING
NOVEL DANCER 0 0 1 0
STRATEGIC
HOT DIPPED 0 0 0 4
RUBITON
GRAND TYCOON 0 0 0 3
GRAND ROYALE
SANDHILL FLASH 0 0 0 2
BLUEBIRD
BALF'S CHOICE 0 0 0 2
CELTIC SWING
SHAKESPEAREAN LASS 0 0 0 2
DESERT SUN
DESPATCH 0 0 0 2
FASLIYEV
TYZONE 0 0 0 2
HUSSONET
ANELENE 0 0 0 1
BELLOTTO
SHOGUN SUN 0 0 0 1
BELONG TO ME
DOUBLE YOU TEE 0 0 0 1
FLYING SPUR
DANGER CLOSE 0 0 0 1
HONOURS LIST
WRITE CHEEK 0 0 0 1
JETBALL
SOPHIA'S SECRET 0 0 0 1
JOHANNESBURG
GAPS IN ME KNEES 0 0 0 1
KENNY'S BEST PAL
OXFORD TYCOON 0 0 0 1
MONASHEE MOUNTAIN
WRITTEN UP 0 0 0 1
OCTAGONAL
TELEPLAY 0 0 0 1
REDOUTE'S CHOICE
OVERPLAY 0 0 0 1
TAILINGS