Danger Looms

Woodbine Farm is the owner of the exciting new stallion for 2007:

DANGER LOOMS (AUS) (Dangerous (by Danehill) ex Diamonds Forever (by At Talaq))
2002 bay horse – stands 16.1 hh

Dual Group winning Australian 2 year old

Impressive winner of:

GII - VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes - 1400m in 1:22.8 (previous winners include champion sires Canny Lad, Grosvenor and Kaapstad)

GIII - MRC Blue Diamond Preview – 1000m in 58.4.

During his race career, Danger Looms defeated Group I winners - Testifiable, Red Dazzler, Benecio, Undoubtedly and Paratroopers, and Group / Listed winners – Seidnazar, Ferocity, Duelled (at stud in New Zealand), Written Tycoon, Power of Destiny and Astronomia.

Fee $2,500 + GST (LFG)

Standing at Ashford Park Stud
61 Te Roto Road, Otaki

Enquiries to:
Ian or Sarah Clayton-Bray
Ph: (06) 364 0090 Mobile (027)696-3751
Fax: (06) 364 0065.

The following article was written by John Costello for the July 2007 Bloodhorse magazine.


The quality of Australian sprinters has gained Northern Hemisphere recognition in recent years through the Group-winning deeds of the likes of Falvelon, Takeover Target and, at a mile, the classy Starcraft.
New Zealanders have recognised the depth of our neighbour’s thoroughbred speed resources for a lot longer than that. In modern times, Australian-bred stallions and their ability to infuse speed into stout families have played a significant role on this side of the Tasman since the days of Zephyr Bay, in the 1970s.

The latest Australian speedster to join the New Zealand stallion roster is Danger Looms, a former Group-winning two-year-old who will stand the new season at Ian and Sarah Clayton-Bray’s Ashford Park Stud, Otaki.

Danger Looms (Dangerous-Diamonds Forever, by At Talaq) competed in elite company as a juvenile, winning the Gr 2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes and the Gr 3 Blue Diamond Prelude and placing twice in top company. His beaten rivals at two included subsequent Group One winners Testafiable, Red Dazzler, Benecio, Undoubtedly and Paratroopers.

Trainer John McArdle, who described him as a very athletic horse, had high hopes for Danger Looms as a spring three-year-old. But, after running fourth in the AAMI Vase, Danger Looms chipped a bone in his knee when unplaced in the VRC Derby and never regained form after an operation.

Cambridge bloodstock agent Michael Wallace, who sourced the horse for his New Zealand owner, describes him as “a powerful, loose-walking horse, about 16.1 hands, with a gorgeous head and kind eye.”

As Wallace points out, he was unlucky in a Sydney Group One as a two-year-old and would also have Group One alongside his name had the VRC Sires’ Produce not been downgraded to Gr 2 in recent times.
“But then, if he was a Group One-winning Australian two-year-old, he probably wouldn’t have been available to New Zealand, and certainly not at the $2500 fee at which he’ll be starting his stud career.”

As it is, Danger Looms will be a notable addition to the ranks of “affordable” stallions who are now regaining both importance and patronage as New Zealand’s domestic racing scene enjoys higher stake money and a resurgence in enthusiasm and optimism.

As I was putting together the material on Danger Looms, I was sidetracked by an Adrian Clarke TV interview with Australian breeding supremo John Messara. The subject of mares being “overbred” had arisen, and Messara stated his belief that this had become a real issue in Australia because of the plethora of well-bred and well-performed stallions relative to the decidedly finite number of elite broodmares.

New Zealand may not have the top-heavy roster of high-priced stallions that has become the case in Australia, but then our broodmare band is less than a quarter the size of Australia’s. More significantly, the decline of our domestic racing scene through the ‘nineties and into the new century steadily eroded the market for less-fashionably-bred young thoroughbreds. The consequence was that while there were buyers at the top end of the market, there was scant demand for anything in the lower tiers.

With our domestic racing scene depressed and fewer broodmare owners breeding to race rather than to sell, New Zealanders became sharply aware of the dangers of “over-breeding” – of putting a moderately performed or modestly rated mare to a high-priced stallion – because you were likely to find yourself taking your yearling home again.

The result was that moderately-credentialled broodmares were simply not being bred from and, for the first time in half a century, our foal crop began to decline in numbers.

Now, with the significant lift in New Zealand prize money and the rejuvenated interest it has generated in the domestic racing scene, it is already apparent that the breed-to-race brigade are being encouraged back to the fold. And the affordable stallions, those that allow broodmare owners a workable margin if they do decide to sell young stock, again become crucial to the success of the equation.

Danger Looms is beginning his stud career at a decidedly affordable level but, with his pedigree and performance, his fee will no doubt climb if his progeny quickly show race-track ability – which seems distinctly probable given Danger Looms’ own racing record.

Danger Looms has an intriguing pedigree. He is a grandson of Danehill and brings back to New Zealand the blood of our two greatest foundation broodmares of the 20th Century, Eulogy and Eight Carat.
Danger Looms’ sire Dangerous, who had a two-year-old career not dissimilar to his son’s, was by Danehill from Antwerp, a black-type winning daughter (by Sir Tristram) of Eight Carat’s brilliant daughter Diamond Lover.

Eight Carat’s profound impact hardly needs recycling here, but her family’s influence as a sire source is worth recalling. Established sires Danewin, Octagonal, Kaapstad and Commands head the list, while Viscount, Don Eduardo and Viking Ruler are young stallions just beginning to show up.
Danger Looms is Dangerous’ only Group winner so far, but he has sired numerous individual winners.

Danger Looms’ dam, Diamonds Forever, is by At Talaq from Artitian, an eight-race winning (and G2 placed) daughter of Atilla and Princess Aurora. From Princess Aurora we reach Eulogy through Coppelia (by Balloch), Dancing Water (Phaleron Bay), Russian Ballet (by Nightmarch) and Praise (by Limond).

Praise was Eulogy’s best daughter on the racetrack and one of the best in the breeding barn, leaving five stakeswinners including Danger Looms’ sixth dam, Russian Ballet.

All of which would be interesting rather than relevant – except that Eulogy’s family has bred on right into the modern era, numbering Bonecrusher, Elvestroem and Haradasun among its descendants. It has also been a successful sire family, including that same Zephyr Bay that we mentioned earlier and also Kingdom Bay, who began his career at a time when there was still prejudice against New Zealand-bred stallions but conquered it through the sheer merit of his progeny.

The family of Danger Looms has worked well with duplications to Royal Charger and Nasrullah. Mares who carry Klarion, Grey Sovereign, Star Kingdom and Northern Dancer could also suit, as these four stallions have crossed exceptionally well with both At Talaq and Danehill.

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