One of the greatest legacies in Thoroughbred breeding and racing has been authored by the ruling family head of the Shi’a Isma’illi Muslims, also known as the Aga Khan. The third Aga Khan had a deep love of racing. He set forth in the early twentieth century the foundations for success with astute purchases of fillies that would become fabulous broodmares. Perhaps the most telling of the Aga Khan III early investments was the purchase of Mumtaz Mahal. The “Flying Filly” became one of the most beloved and revered Thoroughbreds in history.
Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, Thoroughbreds purchased or bred by the Aga Khan III won sixteen English classics. The list includes five Epsom Derbies. He was champion owner an outstanding thirteen times. The Aga Khan III is the breeder of such legends as Bahram, Mahmoud, Tulyar, Nasrullah, Kahled, Petite Etoile, and Charlottesville to name a few. He was succeeded briefly in his Thoroughbred endeavour by his son Prince Aly Khan, who would tragically die in an auto accident just a mere three years after The Aga Khan III’s passing. The Prince’s son, the Aga Khan IV would inherit the stud operation and the family title.
The current Aga has enthusiastically invested in breeding and racing, the family passion for the sport being very evident. He currently has three very successful and beautiful stud farms in operation. Gilltown Stud in Ireland, as well as Haras de Bonneval and Aiglemont in France. He has made substantial purchases of bloodstock such as the dispersal remnants of the great breeders Marcel Bousac and Francois Dupre bloodstock holdings.
The Aga Khan IV has been one of the world’s greatest breeders and owners for the past five decades. He is the breeder of such turf luminaries as Shergar, Zarkava, Darshaan, Mouktar, Natroun, Shahrastani, Kalanisi, Kahyasi, Sinndar, Akiyda, Daylami and Dalakhani. The latter two were produced by the Aga Khan’s recently passed great broodmare Daltawa.
Daltawa was by Miswaki – Damana by Crystal Palace. She is a direct descendant from one of the mares, Denia by Crepello, the Aga Khan IV acquired from the Boussac purchase. Daltawa was a beautiful grey who made four starts in her racing career. Her wins were the Prix Clyde at two and the Prix Ronde de Nuit at three. To round out her brief racing career, Daltawa was second in the Prix Penelope and third in the Prix de la Croix de Berny, her first start. Retired following an injury, Daltawa has made her mark as one of the most accomplished broodmares in recent time.
The pedigree of Daltawa is full of international breeding excellence. Her sire Miswaki is one of the more accomplished sire sons of the great Mr. Prospector, and is acclaimed as a wonderful sire of broodmares. The sire of her dam Damana is Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace was a high class group one stakes winner and also a leading sire. His sire Caro is regarded as a world class sire. Caro is seen in the pedigrees of many outstanding G1 stakes winners and classic winners around the world. To look at the third generation of Daltawa, we find Raise A Native, Buckpasser, Caro and Crepello. Her fourth generation line has Native Dancer, Nashua, Tom Fool, Princequillo, Fortino II, Sicambre, Donatello and Charlottesville. A perfect blend of European and American blood, in a total out-cross situation.
The first foal produced by Daltawa would be a great one. Daylami was by Doyoun, a son of Mill Reef. Doyoun won the 2000 Guineas for the Aga Khan IV, and stood in Ireland for the Islamic ruler until 1998. He was later sold and transferred to Turkey. Following this sale, Daylami began his ascent in the turf world. In 1999 and 2000 under the ownership of Godolphin Racing, who had purchased Daylami from The Aga Khan in 1997.
Daylami was a big grey fellow, standing 17.0 hands. He made three starts in his two year old season winning his maiden race and the Prix Herod. His third start was in the group one Criterium de Saint-Cloud, finishing second. His three year old season started out very well as he won the Prix de Fountainbleau and then the classic Poule d’Essai des Poulins. Among his beaten rivals were Loup Sauvage and Bahamian Bounty. Both races are one mile events and he would contest only at this distance for the remainder of the year.
In the group one St. James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, Daylami finished third to Starborough and Air Express. Returning to France for the Prix Jacques le Marois, he ran second to the fiery Spinning World and then third to that one and Helissio in the Prix du Moulin. Godolphin Racing then acquired Daylami.
The trainer for Godolphin, Saeed Bin Suroor, was of the belief that Daylami could be a very good middle distance horse. Bin Suroor began to train Daylami to conserve his speed and use his stamina to compete at longer distances. Daylami won the ten furlong Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh, his first race beyond a mile. The next race was a third in the ten furlong Prince of Wales Stakes to Faithful Son and the Queen’s Chester House, giving five pounds to the winner. In the Eclipse Stakes, Daylami would exact revenge over Faithful Son at level weights in victory. The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes would be his first outing at twelve furlongs. A fourth place finish to Swain was no disgrace.
Travelling to the US, Daylami entered the grade one Man O’ War Stakes at Belmont. He captured the race over Buck’s Boy by one and a quarter lengths in the eleven furlong event. Travelling back to England for the Champion Stakes in October at Newmarket, Daylami finished a tired third at ten furlongs. That was it for the year. Godolphin announced that Daylami would be back as a five year old.
What a wonderful year Daylami would have! However the year did not get off to a rousing start. In the Dubai World Cup, Daylami could only muster a fifth place finish and then returning to Ireland for the Tattersalls Gold Cup he ended up second to Japanese invader Shiva. Next up would be the Coronation Cup at Epsom. Daylami won the twelve furlong race with a breathtaking run in the final quarter mile to defeat Royal Anthem and the reigning European horse of the year Dream Well.
The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot was next. Daylami confirmed his twelve furlong form with his five lengths victory. He was back in Ireland for the ten furlong Irish Champion Stakes, following a brief rest. The big grey won by an increasing nine lengths. Among the vanquished in this race were Royal Anthem and Dream Well. His race in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was a disaster as Daylami could not acquit himself to the very soft going and jockey Frankie Dettori was forced to ease him up in the final furlong.
Dettori was always confident and enthusiastic about Daylami. The charismatic and popular jockey partnered the big grey for one final race.The 1999 Breeder’s Cup Turf run at Gulfstream Park in Florida became the crowning race in Daylami’s career. The turf was hard and the course tight, but Dettori had Daylami in a prominent position coming into the final straight. Dettori asked Daylami for his run and the horse responded with a scintillating drive to win the lucrative event by a comfortable two and one half furlongs. Daylami was then retire to stud. Before he covered his first mare he would be named the Cartier Award horse of the year in Europe and the Eclipse Award champion turf horse in North America. Timeform rated him at 138 lbs.
Daylami has had mixed success at stud. He is the sire of the very good Grey Swallow, winner of the Irish Derby and Tattersalls Gold Cup. He is also the sire of Indian Days (Jockey Club Stakes), Birthday Suit (Cherry Hinton Stakes), Zaynar (Triumph Hurdle, Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy), and Voila Ici (Gran Premio di Milano). Daylami is currently standing at Coolagown Stud.
Daltawa produced another European horse of the year in Dalakhani. The sire of Dalakhani was Darshaan. Darshaan is a grandson of Mill Reef through Epsom Derby winner Shirley Heights. Dalakhani is a wonderful 16.1 hands grey son of Daltawa who would win seven of eight races in his racing career. His only blemish to a perfect record was a second place finish to stable mate Alamshar in the Irish Derby. This was no disgrace as Alamshar later that year won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes .
Dalakhani started three times as a two year old, winning the Prix du Pre d’Auge and then the Prix des Chenes. He followed up these successes with a very powerful performance to win the Criterium International. These races were his entire his two year old campaign.
At three, Dalakhani won the Prix Niel and Prix Greffulhe in the lead up to the Prix du Jockey Club. This race is commonly known the French Derby. He captured the classic race in dominating fashion to make it six for six so far in his career. His first and only defeat came next in the Irish Derby. He would get back to the winners circle in the Prix Lupin at Longchamps. That result set him up for his greatest victory which was to come in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
In this race he would be facing High Chaparral, the pro-term leading four year old. As a three year old, High Chaparral had been victorious in the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and Breeder’s Cup Turf. He dominated the Irish Champion Stakes and Royal Whip Stakes earlier in his four year old season. Following the Arc, High Chaparral would repeat in the Breeder’s Cup Turf. Dalakhani won the Arc with a powerful and determined drive down the home lane. He put away the very stubborn and game Mubtaker by a length at the wire. High Chaparral was third.
Dalakhani was then retired to the Aga Khan IV’s Gilltown Stud in Ireland for the 2004 breeding season. He has been quite successful in the role as he is the sire of seven G1 winners so far. From his first crop came four of those winners in the form of Chinese White (Pretty Polly Stakes), Duncan (Irish St. Leger Stakes), Moonstone (Irish Oaks) and Conduit (Breeder’s Cup Turf twice, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, St. Leger Stakes). conduit later captured the Eclipse Award in 2008 as the champion turf horse in North America.
Other G1 stakes winners by Dalakhani are Integral (Sun Chariot Stakes, Falmouth Stakes), Seismos (Grosser Preis von Bayern) and Reliable Man (Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Prix du Jockey Club). The latter is standing stud at Gestut Rottgen in Germany and Westbury Stud in New Zealand as a shuttle sire. His first crop of foals will come to the races in 2017. Dalakhani has also been spreading his influence to the southern hemisphere, shuttling to Cornerstone Stud in Australia since 2013.
So here we have looked at two memorable champions produced by Daltawa. She would have two more stakes winners in Dalghar by Anabaa and Daymarti by Caerleon. Dalghar won the group three Prix du Palais-Royal and the listed Prix Luthier, Prix de la Roseraie and Prix Caro. He finished second in the group two Diadem Stakes and Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte. Daymarti won the listed Grand Prix Anjou Bretagne and Prix Le Progres. He finished second in the group one Prix Lupin and third in the group one Criterium de Saint-Cloud.
The Aga Khan IV tends to name his broodmares progeny with the same first letter in the alphabet. When listing the descendants from a top producing mare, it can become a bit confusing to follow. The “D” family of Daltawa is illustrious and very accomplished. So please bear with me as I attempted to not confuse the reader.
Daltawa has become the ancestress of two very good group one stakes winners along her tail female line. This year’s sensational winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic is Dolniya, a daughter of Azamour – Daltama. Daltama made only one start in her racing life, finishing third. She is by Indian Ridge – Daltawa. Dolniya defeated grade one stakes winner Flintshire in the Sheema Classic. She has also won the group two Prix de Malleret and has finished second in the Coronation Cup and third in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud to duel Arc winner Treve and Flintshire.
Dalkala is one generation further from Daltawa. Dalkala is by Giant’s Causeway – Daltaya by Anabaa. The dam of Daltaya is Daltaiyma by Doyoun. Daltaiyma is a full sister to Daylami. Dalkala had her big win in the group one Prix de l’Opera. She also captured the group two Prix de Royallieu and Middleton Stakes.
Daltawa has become a very important broodmare. She descends from the group of mares the Aga Khan purchased from the Boussac dispersal. There was a treasure trove of superb families that had been developed over the course of Boussac’s career. Daltawa has certainly contributed to the world class legacy of the Aga Khan breeding tradition. This tradition was set forth by his own grandfather. Daltawa is the matriarch of a fine family that is not showing any sign of diluting in vigour.
Daltawa was a very beautiful mare who, as all greys do, became totally white when she aged. She died this past July at the age of twenty-six at Haras de Bonneval . She is buried there in a place of honour. Daltawa is a bona fide foundation mare to a first class family. She is a modern “Magical Matriarch”.
(Photo courtesy of The Aga Khan Studs)