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story posted Monday 24th November 2008 18:20

Doctor on call for success in Italy


The Italian general sires' list makes for interesting reading, especially as four of the top five stallions (by total prize money earned), won major European Classic races, and the other was a Group One-winning juvenile, writes Sarah Whitelaw.

Dr Devious currently heads the list, narrowly ahead of Desert Prince, with the dominant Galileo back in third. The prolific Orpen is fourth on the list, clear of 1996 St Leger winner, Shantou. Dr Devious has topped the general sires' list in Italy for the past two years. Rather strangely, Dr Devious, also runner-up on the juvenile sires' list, has not been represented by a Stakes-winner in Italy this year, but instead owes his place at the top of the general sires' list to his 52 winners; his most successful performer in Italy in 2008 being the multiple winner, Saltagioo.

It is quite striking that Dr Devious has been responsible for 135 runners, nearly twice as many as the runner-up, Desert Prince. The latter had four individual Stakes-winners in Italy in 2008, most notably Premio Parioli runner-up, Eustachione. While Galileo owes his position largely to the exploits of his Derby winning son, Cima De Triomphe, and Orpen's best performer was Premio Chiusura heroine, White Snow.

Be that as it may, there can be no denying that Dr Devious has had an unconventional career for a top-class modern Thoroughbred. His career, both on the racetrack and at stud, has seen him travel the globe. But, his current dominance of the Italian sires' list suggests he may have finally found a permanent home.

Tough enough to compete in both the Kentucky Derby, where he finished seventh, and its English equivalent, as a two-year-old, Dr Devious was among the leaders of his generation. Making a successful debut in May, Dr Devious followed this first up win with three Stakes victories, the greatest of which came in the Dewhurst Stakes.

He began his three-year-old campaign with a second place in the Craven Stakes, before his Kentucky Derby run. Next time out, Peter Chapple-Hyam pulled a magnificent training feat in preparing the colt to win the Epsom Derby over St Jovite. The latter proved too strong for him in the Irish equivalent, but the Doctor out battled St Jovite to win the Irish Champion Stakes, before ending his career with three consecutive defeats. Despite this, Dr Devious ended his career, having been out of the first four places on just three occasions. Dr Devious, who was named after an infamous super villain, had plenty going for him when he retired to stud.

A top-class juvenile, who was trained on to win the Derby at three, Dr Devious lacked for nothing in the pedigree department. His sire, Ahonoora, had proved a top-class stallion in a too short stud career, whilst the Doctor's dam, Rose Of Jericho, was the dam of classy sprinter, Archway. Rose Of Jericho, who would eventually produce five Stakes-horses, was a descendant of the taproot mare, Djebellica.

The high-class sprinter, Ahonoora, who died at the age of 14, has had considerable influence on the modern studbook through successful sire sons such as Indian Ridge and Inchinor. Ahonoora's daughters have also proved potent at stud, producing the likes of Azeri, New Approach and leading sire, Cape Cross. From 464 foals, Ahonoora sired 45 Stakes-winners. Dr Devious, however, was the only son of Ahonoora to win a Group One race over a mile and a half.

To date, Dr Devious has been represented by 18 Stakes-winners in a stud career that has so far seen him stand at Ireland, Japan and Italy. His best performer, without doubt, is the durable Collier Hill. The recently retired gelding is like his sire in that he is something of a globetrotter, winning races on four different continents ó including the Hong Kong Vase, Canadian International and Irish St Leger ó and amassing more than £2.3 million in prize money. Twice placed in the Dubai Sheema Classic, Collier Hill defeated a string of top-class performers throughout his career, such as Yeats, Ouija Board and Scorpion. Renowned for his toughness and class, all in all, Collier Hill won 15 races from 12 to 17 furlongs.

Dr Devious is responsible for another top performer in Kinnaird. A classy juvenile, her six wins included the Prix de'l Opera and the May Hill Stakes; Kinnaird is also the dam of a yearling Red Ransom filly that fetched 140,000 guineas at Tattersalls October Sale. The Doctorís other Group/Graded winners include Devious Boy, Day Walker, Where We Left Off and Devious Indian. He is also the sire of Group One performers Excelsius and Demophilos. The latter came close to giving his sire a British Classic winner when finishing second in the 2001 St Leger. London Bridge ó another Classic performer sired by the Doctor ó ran second in the Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas). And, Dr Greenfield, who defeated subsequent champion, Grandera, when winning the Dee Stakes, was rated good enough to take his chance in the 2001 Belmont Stakes, but failed to feature behind Point Given.

Dr Devious's two top performers, Collier Hill and Kinnaird, are both out of mares by Northern Dancer-line stallions, as is his Gr2 Oak Tree Derby winner, Devious Boy. He has also sired Stakes-performers out of mares by Irish River, Kris, Common Grounds and Green Forest. Dr Devious is an emerging broodmare sire, too, his maternal grandson, Shamdinan, having won the Gr1 Secretariat Stakes last year. Dr Devious is also dam sire of Japanese Oaks-winner, Daiwa El Cielo, and National Stakes runner-up, Golden Arrow.

Now 19, Dr Devious currently stands at Allevamenti della Berardenga Stud in Italy for a stud fee of Ä9,000. Whilst his stud career has been somewhat erratic, Dr Devious is part of a select group of horses to win the Epsom Derby and lead a general siresí list.



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