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Deep Impact’s Last Crop has an Epsom Derby Winner

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

By: Rinaldo Del Gallo, III

It can be said that DEEP IMPACT   (JPN) br. H, 2002 {2-f} has a fitting name, for he had a deep impact on the breed.  It is absolutely thrilling to see that his Irish born son AUGUSTE RODIN   (IRE) br. C, 2020 {3-d} won the Epsom Derby.  Deep Impact led the Japanese sire list 11 times, from 2012-2022.  Deep Impact lived from March 25, 2002 – July 30, 2019.

Deep Impact’s son Auguste Rodin wins the Epsom Derby in a heck of a race.

If you look at his pedigree it is not hard to see how he could produce offspring capable of the 1 ½ miles of the Epsom Derby. The Epsom Derby is run over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and six yards, or 2,420 meters. Deep Impact—a Japanese Triple Crown winner routinely could win at that distance.  The Spring Tenno Sho is 3200 meters, or just shy of 2 miles.  His dam WIND IN HER HAIR   (IRE) dkb/br. M, 1991 {2-f} was second in the 1994 English Oaks. Wind in Her Heir also was a multiple stakes producer in Japan.

The 1994 English Oaks, where Wind in Her Heir took second.

Wind in Her Hair’s dam was BURGHCLERE  (GB) b. M, 1977 {2-f}, owned by none other than Her Highness the Queen.  Deep Impact’s third dam, HIGHCLERE   (GB) b. M, 1971 {2-f} (also owned by Queen Elizabeth) won the 1,000 Guineas and the Prix de Diane (the French Oaks.)  Many good horses descend from Highclere including Height of Fashion’s children: UNFUWAIN   (USA) b. H, 1985 {2-f}, NAYEF   (USA) b. H, 1998 {2-f}(Champion Stakes, Dubai Sheema Classic, Juddmonte International, Prince of Wales Stakes), and NASHWAN   (USA) ch. H, 1986 {2-f}(Two Thousand Guineas S. (Eng-G1), Derby S. (Eng-G1), Eclipse S. (Eng-G1), King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond S.) American born but English raced GHANAATI   (USA) b. M, 2006 {2-f} won the 1,000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes. ELEGANT FASHION  (AUS) ch. M, 1998 {2-f} won the Hong Kong Derby. REY DE ORO   (JPN) b. H, 2014 {2-f}(Japanese Derby, Tenno Sho Autumn) descends from Wind in Hair, who is his second dam.  Highclere, as mentioned owned by the Queen, is the name of an English castle.

His first crop born in 2008, Deep Impact’s last crop was born in 2020, including Epsom Derby winner AUGUSTE RODIN   (IRE) br. C, 2020 {3-d}, out of a Galileo mare RHODODENDRON   (IRE) b. M, 2014 {3-d}.  Like Wind In Her Hair, Rhododendron was second in the Oaks won by Enable.  She was second in the 1,000 Guineas.  Rhododendron also won the Prix de l’Opera (about 1 ¼ miles), and 2 other Group 1 races. Rhododendron dam was first in the Irish 1000 Guineas (IRE-Gr.1), first in the Nassau S. (GB-Gr.1), and first in the Sun Chariot S. (GB-Gr.1).

The 2017 Epsom Oaks, where Auguste Rodin’s dam Rhododendron gives Enable a run for her money and took second.

t is not my intent to write at great length about the accomplishments of Deep Impact as a stallion.  He did sire eight winners of the Tokyo Yushun, otherwise known at the Japanese Derby.  Like the English Derby, it is at 2,400 meters. Being a Japanese Triple Crown winner, Deep Impact won the race himself in 2005.  Of course, Deep Impact was sired by SUNDAY SILENCE   (USA) blk. H, 1986 {3-e} who was also a major sire in Japan and an American Hall of Fame Horse that won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He did lose to Easy Goer in the Belmont, and that is at the Epsom Derby distance of 1 ½ miles.

Deep Impact had international runners such as SHAHRYAR   (JPN) dkb/br. H, 2018 {2-s} who won the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2022 (and the Japanese Derby in 2021), and GENTILDONNA   (JPN) b. M, 2009 {16-f} also won the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2014 beating one the last great Byerley Turk sire line horse CIRRUS DES AIGLES   (FR) b. G, 2006 {9-h}.  Gentledonna was second in the Dubai Sheema Classic in 2013. Deep Impact has also had two winners of the Dubai Turf, VIVLOS   (JPN) blk. M, 2013 {12-c} in 2017 (he was second in 2018 and 2019), and REAL STEEL   (JPN) b. H, 2012 {20} who won the Dubai Turf in 2016 and was third in 2018.

Deep Impact has also had luck at Epsom other than this year’s Epsom Derby winner. SNOWFALL   (JPN) b. F, 2018 {1-m} was the three-year-old Cartier Champion filly, and won the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks, and the Yorkshire Oaks at age 3.  (Even though the Yorkshire Oaks is an “oaks,” it is open to horses three years old and up, and not just three-year-old horses as in most “oaks” races).  Deep Impact also produced four winners of the Yushun Himba, or the Japanese Oaks, also at the 1 ½ miles distance (2400 meters).

Deep Impact’s daughter Snowfall wins the 2021 Epsom Oaks

Of note, also on the Deep Impact cross with a Galileo mare is AATHIT (JPN) b. H, 2019 {2-f}, a stakes winner whom both sire and dam descend from HIGHLIGHT (GB) b. M, 1958 {2-f}, dam of Highclere.

Deep Impact actually came in 3rd in the 1 ½ mile 2006 Arc where he started 9-4, but was disqualified when he failed a drug test.

The 2006 Arc where Deep Impact finished 3rd but was disqualified for failing a drug test

On a final note, it was the last time the great Italian Jockey Frankie Dettori would ride in the Epsom Derby and Epsom Oaks or at Epsom at all—he took the Oaks. “Frankie Dettori made his final ride at Epsom Downs a winning one when steering Prosperous Voyage (6-4 Favourite [ahh, the English and their extra u’s]) to a three-quarter length victory in the Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes.” He makes me proud to be Italian.

Frankie Dettori is victorious in his final Epsom ride

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