Issue 750

32 ISSUE 750 - THURSDAY 20 JANUARY 2022 THE FORTHCOMING Flat season in Britain and Ireland will feature an extra element of intrigue. Who will be Champion Sire? The current century began with Sadler’s Wells repeatedly making the sires’ premiership a one horse race and, while Danehill and Danehill Dancer each put their noses in front for a while, we then became accustomed to Sadler’s Wells’ son Galileo having as iron tight a grip on the title as his father used to have. However, Frankel topping the General Sires’ Table in 2021 has shown that Galileo does not just automatically dominate, throwing things right open. We can expect a similarly intriguing battle this year, and one thing that seems certain is that Dubawi will yet again be one of the major players. If he can win his first title this year at the age of 20, it will be a just reward for consistent excellence over a prolonged period. Over the past decade, Dubawi has played the role which Richard Johnson used to play in Britain’s National Hunt riding ranks during the lengthy reign of A P McCoy. For years, Johnson was regarded as the best jumps jockey never to be champion. He was certainly the most successful of any such jockeys, regularly posting totals of winners which would have made him the clear cut champion in any other era while repeatedly chasing ‘The Champ’ home in the jockeys’ title race. Justice was, of course, finally done. McCoy retired at the end of the 2014/’15 season and Johnson duly won the championship in each of the next four seasons. In his first championship season he rode 235 winners, a total which McCoy hadn’t reached since 2003. Ultimately Johnson retired with a total of 3,799 winners, still some way short of McCoy’s total of 4,204 but a mile clear of the previous record, Richard Dunwoody’s 1,874. It has been a similar story with Galileo and Dubawi. Galileo was first Champion Sire in 2008 and then topped the table every year from 2010 to 2020 inclusive. During this time Dubawi, who retired to stud in 2006 and had his first runners in 2009, quickly established himself as the main challenger to Galileo. Dubawi has finished in the top five of the sires’ table in each of the past nine years, four times finishing runner-up. Dubawi was an instant success at stud, with his first crop containing a 2000 Guineas winner (Makfi) as well as a world class sprinter (Luck Or Design, who went to Hong Kong after winning a maiden race in Ireland and, his name changed to Lucky Nine, won ten high class races in Asia including the Hong Kong Sprint at the International Meeting in December 2011 and two runnings of the Krisflyer International Sprint in Singapore). The smart start which Makfi gave Dubawi by winning the 2000 Guineas in 2010 forms part of a remarkable ‘father to son series’ of first crop Classic triumphs. Dubawi, of course, is a member of the first and only crop of the mighty Dubai Millennium, and he won the Irish 2000 Guineas in 2005. Dubawi then, in turn, sired a first crop Classic winner when Makfi triumphed up the Rowley Mile in the spring of 2010. Makfi then sired a first crop Classic winner when Make Believe JOHN BERRY’S VIEW FROM NEWMARKET A Big Year Awaits For Dubawi Dubawi Frankel