The Blue-Blooded Tudor Minstrel

Was doing some casual pedigree research of historically great sires in the interest of seeing if I could find some similarities, and ended up through my browsing looking at the pedigree of Tudor Minstrel, the 1946 champion 2yo in England. I was fascinated by what I found, and had to share. Be warned: there’s a lot here, because there’s a lot of intriguing linebreeding and crossing going on in this stallion’s pedigree.

*Links to some pedigrees relevant to my analysis below*
Owen Tudor:

Tudor Minstrel is a son of Owen Tudor, himself exceptionally well-bred even at first glance. Owen Tudor is by Hyperion (by English triple crown winner Gainsborough), a son of the great broodmare Selene, and out of a mare named Mary Tudor. Mary Tudor was by Pharos and out of a mare by the great damsire Teddy. Teddy’s damsire was Bay Ronald, the tail-male great-grandsire of Hyperion.

Bay Ronald was an example of the Hampton/Galopin nick – being by Hampton and out of a mare by Galopin’s son Galliard. His son Bayardo, the sire of Gainsborough, was also a product of this neck, being out of a Galopin mare.

Hyperion was by Gainsborough and out of Selene, one of the greatest broodmares of all time. One of the most interesting things to note about her pedigree was inbreeding to the mare Pilgrimage through half-siblings Canterbury Pilgrim and Loved One. Canterbury Pilgrim is the dam of Selene’s sire, Chaucer. Loved One is the sire of Selene’s 2nd dam, Gondolette (who will be key later).

Hyperion was bred to Mary Tudor for a 1938 colt named Owen Tudor. As mentioned, Mary Tudor was by Pharos, a son of Phalaris and out of a mare named Scapa Flow, who was by Chaucer. In essence, Owen Tudor was the product of crossing two influential stallions with Chaucer as their broodmare sire – Hyperion and Pharos.

But that’s just the sire of Tudor Minstrel. It gets even more interesting when you look at what happened when crossing Owen Tudor with the Sansovino mare Sansonnet, owned and bred by Lord Derby.

Sansonnet’s 2nd dam was Acorn and Coventry Stakes winner Lady Josephine, best known as the dam of “The Flying Filly” Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal’s daughters Mumtaz Begum and Mah Mahal were very influential broodmares. Mumtaz Begum was the dam of Nasrullah and the granddam of Royal Charger, and Mah Mahal was the dam of Mahmoud. Sansonnet was a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and leading sire Fair Trial, and he and Sansonnet were only two of the eight stakes winners produced by their dam, Lady Juror (a daughter of Son-In-Law, himself a grandson of Bay Ronald).

What makes Sansonnet so intriguing when mated to Owen Tudor, though, was not the fantastic female family, but rather her sire, Sansovino. Sansovino was a son of Swynford – a half brother to Chaucer, who of course featured prominently in the pedigree of Owen Tudor. Even more interesting was that he was out of a mare by Loved One – the half-brother to Chaucer and Swynford’s dam Canterbury Pilgrim.

But wait, there’s more! That mare by Loved One was Gondolette, the second dam of Selene. Gondolette had been specifically purchased by Lord Derby for the purpose of mating to Swynford and Chaucer, due to the presence of the mare Pilgrimage in their pedigrees. Also, Gondolette was inbred 3×3 to the full brothers Rosicrucian and The Palmer (sire of Pilgrimage). Prior to producing Sansovino in 1921, Gondolette had produced his two full sisters Ferry (who won the 1,000 Guineas) and Serenissima (dam of Selene).

Now, finally, let’s look at what this meant for Tudor Minstrel. In the first 5 generations of his pedigree, he had crosses to the full brothers Swynford and Chaucer and their dam’s brother Loved One 4x5x3x4. He also had Loved One’s daughter Gondolette, the granddam of Selene (dam of his grandsire), 3×5. And for good measure he also has Bay Ronald 5×5. But if you extend his pedigree a few more generations, you realize he has Pilgrimage (that key ancestress of Swynford, Chaucer, and Loved One) 6x7x7x5x5.

Just for fun, because I also realized there was a lot of St. Simon influence in Tudor Minstrel’s pedigree (though the inbreeding was not explicitly stated in the first 5 generations), I looked at how many times that stallion appeared in Tudor Minstrel’s pedigree. The answer is 5, though his sire Galopin appears a total of 13 times!

And if you’re still reading, I’m amazed, but maybe someone else found this as interesting as I did.


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