• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)
Saturday 11 Nov 2017
Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)

The Champion Sire for the year is decided on the stakes won by a stallion's progeny. This is a quality index because better the race, the higher are the stakes usually. The annual statistics published by Stud Book Authority of India also publishes rankings of stallions based on number of winners and wins. These are quantitative indexes because they do not distinguish between the class of winners or races they have won. The top five in each category for the racing year just over are:-


Number of Winners

1. Phoenix Tower                       162 starters                87 winners
2. Rebuttal                                 179 starters                77 winners
3. Arazan                                   156 starters                67 winners
4. Burden of Proof                     136 starters                63 winners
5. Multidimensional                   110 starters                60 winners
    Noverre                                   118 starters                 60 winners

Number of Wins

1. Phoenix Tower                        162 starters              139 wins
2. Rebuttal                                   179 starters              107 wins
3. Noverre                                   118 starters              103 wins
4. Arazan                                    156 starters              102 wins
5. Burden of Proof                     136 starters               101 wins


Rank Stallion (Pedigree) Rank Last Five Years Stood At Starters Stakes
(b 1990 Mr. Prospector - Classy Cathy)
3-2-2-2-1 Poonawalla 242 Rs.13,81,38,259
(b 1987 Northern Dancer - Secret Asset)
1-1-1-1-2 Usha 192 Rs.12,91,93,248
(b 1992 Fairy King - Belle Passe)
5-4-X-X-X Kunigal 85 Rs.6,10,05,627
(b 1989 Sadler's Wells - Someone Special)
4-X-X-X-X Poonawalla 118 Rs.4,69,59,442
(ch 1991 Wattlefield - Right Step)
X-X-X-X-X Dashmesh 20 Rs.4,26,99,226
Note: X denotes that the stallion was not in Top Five.

The perennial contest between Placerville and Razeen has been one of the features of the Indian breeding scene over the last two decades. First they clashed as sires; now they are vying as damsires. Neither has had an absolutely clear run. This year, Placerville thwarted Razeen's bid to win his fifth consecutive Maternal Grandsires Championship. So Razeen rests on his eight titles while Placerville takes his tally to three. Placerville's daughters were responsible for Chief of Command and Castlebridge while Razeen was the damsire of Whomakestherules, Serendine, Mathaiyus and Prevalent Force. The number of daughters that these two excellent stallions have at stud will denude fairly quickly in the coming years and that opens up opportunities for Burden of Proof. Captain Morgan and Lady In Lace were both out of Burden of Proof mares. It is a pleasant surprise to have an Indian-bred stallion in top five. Out of nowhere, Elusive Pimpernel has leapt into the leading quintet, thanks to the exploits of Hall of Famer. One of the great race horses of India, Elusive Pimpernel has given ample evidence that he was not exploited fully in the covering yard.

CHAMPION FAMILY IN INDIA IN 2016-17 (Decided on Stakes Won)

Rank Family Rank Last Five Years Starters Stakes Won
1. SCHIAPARELLI 3-5-1-2-2 143 Rs.9,21,74,439
2. PRETTY POLLY 5-2-2-1-1 115 Rs. 4,60,54,294
3. DINNER X-X-X-X-X 38 Rs.4,46,69,338
4. MUMTAZ MAHAL 1-1-3-X-X 106 Rs.4,43,68,146
5. SIMON'S SHOES 4-X-X-5-X 102 Rs. 4,03,59,755
Note: X denotes that the family was not in Top Five.

The Schiaparelli family foiled Mumtaz Mahal family's bid for a hat-trick by running out a comfortable winner, Castlebridge and Kingoftheworld contributing most to its coffers. It was in the early 1980s that the Poonawalla Farms imported the mare Charenzaccio with her daughter Schiaparelli[HOL] at foot. Charenzaccio was a grand-daughter of Barley Corn whose dam was the original Schiaparelli owned by Lord Derby. Barley Corn was inbred to the great tap-root mares Serenissima and Caterbury Pilgrim. A decade later, they also brought to India the mare Ratifia. Ratifia was followed by her daughter Rasant. Ratifia's dam Ruta, like Charenzaccio, was a grand-daughter of Barley Corn. The family has thrived and proliferated at Poonawalla Farms and today has produced more Classic winners in India than any other family. Other farms have also tapped into this source and Sandslash, the dam of Kingoftheworld and the better Pronto Pronto, is out of Beautiful Ballad which Manjri Stud imported. This is Schiaparelli's tenth title. The previous had come in 2014 and was duly covered in greater detail. That article, dated 14 November 2014, has a few more details of Schiaparelli and anyone interested in them can peruse the article in the Archives on this site.

With Schiaparelli running away with the Championship, there was a scramble for minor placings and the next four finished close to each other, albeit, well behind the winner. The Pretty Polly, Mumtaz Mahal and Simon's Shoes are internationally acclaimed families and each of them has won a title in India previously. The surprise package here was the Dinner family. Just as Hall of Famer was responsible for Elusive Pimpernel getting into the Top Five Maternal Grandsires, it is to the grey Indian Derby winner that Dinner owes its elevation. Although not an 'elite' international family, Dinner's descendants -- Ridge Wood, Four Course and High Top -- have won three of the five English Classics while Old Vic, American Post, Lost Code and Bushongo have also brought it fame. In India, we had two or three branches of this family but one which is most vibrant is the Amber Forest stirp. Amber Forest was imported in 1977 by the late Maj. P.K. Mehra of Usha Stud and Hall of Famer is its latest star.


The average earning of a horse in India in 2016-17 was Rs. 4,60,737. This is the base figure which is used in determining the Average Earning Index. There is a table in the Statistics published by Stud Book Authority of India which ranks stallions by their AE Index. The Top Five in this category are:-

1. Multidimensional          2.50
2. Win Legend                   2,35
3. Ikhtyar                           2.34
4. Admiralofthefleet          2.10
5. Excellent Art                 1.99