Benfica traces on tail female line to DEMOCRATIE. This is also the family of Champion Sire, SHOWDOWN.  Linebreeding to DEMOCRATIE is an option in matings with Benfica. These days, Showdown is most readily sourced through ZEDITAVE (and his sons STRATEGIC and MAGIC ALBERT). Benfica is already showing a liking for mares by STRATEGIC, having produced Scone Inglis Challenge winner BARBASS and another winner out of mares by this sire. This is also the family of RED RANSOM, so his daughters and granddaughters via sires such as ALL AMERICAN, SRI PEKAN, RED ELEMENT, DOMESDAY, DUPORTH, ONEMORENOMORE and CHARGE FORWARD will strengthen this line.

Benfica is out of a Danehill mare.  Introducing broodmares from the Danehill sire line (ie via a son of DANEHILL) will create a desirable sex balanced duplication. Of Benfica’s ten winners at time of writing, two are out of granddaughters of Danehill.

Danehill and a triplication of fellow ALMAHMOUD family member, Northern Dancer are present in Benfica. Other ALMAHMOUD descendants such as HALO (grandsire of MORE THAN READY), WAY OF LIGHT, MACHIAVELLIAN (sire of MEDAGLIA D’ORO, STREET CRY, VETTORI and NO EXCUSE NEEDED), ESPERERO, EXIT TO NOWHERE, CANNONADE, CATRAIL, EL MOXIE, YOUTHFUL LEGS, ORPEN, L’EMIGRANT and ARCTIC TERN are desirable in mares.

Northfields, third damsire in Benfica’s pedigree, is a half brother to HABITAT.  Mares carrying Habitat such as daughters and granddaughters of ARCH SCULPTOR, CHIMES SQUARE, EXPORT PRICE, LORD SEYMOUR and BASSENTHWAITE are sought, as are daughters of GRAND LODGE and METAL STORM, who have Habitat as their damsires.

Benfica’s sire Lonhro is out of a mare by STRAIGHT STRIKE, a son of MR. PROSPECTOR.  He traces to FRIZETTE, which is also the family of SEATTLE SLEW. ELUSIVE QUALITY, DARSHAAN, SHECKY GREENE, A.P. INDY (sire of BERNARDINI and CONGRATS), AIR DE FRANCE and AGINCOURT. LOMOND (sire of CITIDANCER) and ROAN ROCKET (damsire of RORY’S JESTER). Benfica’s exciting daughter BENFICA PRINCESS is by MADE OF GOLD, a grandson of SHECKY GREENE, who also appears as the grandsire of the dam of another of Benfica’s winners, General Harmony.

Straight Strike is out of a daughter of Never Bend, making sons of NEVER BEND attractive for Benfica. Lonhro’s best performer PIERRO is out of a mare by DOYOUN from the Never Bend sire line, via son MILL REEF, thereby creating that sex balanced pattern.  This influence can also be found in mares carrying LAST TYCOON, MAROONED and SHIRLEY HEIGHTS (and descendants DARSHAAN, DALAKHANI and ZERPOUR). BRIEF TRUCE mares also descend from Never Bend via RIVERMAN, who is also on the sire line of RIVOTIOUS, EXIT TO NOWHERE and LOUP SAUVAGE mares.

Lonhro’s second damsire First Consul is a tail female relation of NATIVE DANCER, who appears five times in his pedigree.  The grandsire of Mr. Prospector, Native Dancer is also on the tail male line of CLEAR CHOICE, PRINCE ECHO and ZOFFANYSECRET SAVINGS is also from this family and SNIPPETS carries relation MISTY DAY.

Benfica’s sire Lonhro and grandsire Octagonal (who carries Nureyev) have worked very well with mares by SADLER’S WELLS and his brother FAIRY KING (sire of ENCOSTA DE LAGO, FALBRAV and HELISSIO) from the GOODY TWO SHOES family. Apart from descendants of Sadler’s Wells such as HIGH CHAPARRAL, SCENIC, CARNEGIE, MEDAGLIA D’ORO, GALILEO etc, influences in mares such as NORTHERN METEOR, PERUGINO (and son TESTA ROSSA), OPEN DAY, GEIGER COUNTER, YEATS, THATCH, his son THATCHING, INFLATE, LORENZACCIO and REFORM are appealing. Stakes placed Benfica Princess carries Sadler’s Wells’ son SCENIC as her second damsire.

The LADY JOSEPHINE family is very strong in Benfica, with Octagonal heading a large contingent further back of ancestors such as Nasrullah, Fair Trial, Aristophanes, Mahmoud and Royal Charger in multiples. Suitable damsires COMMANDS, COURT OF JEWELS, KEMPINSKY, VIKING RULER, DE BEERS, COLOMBIA, MOSSMAN AND DANEWIN also trace to this taproot. Benfica’s stakes winner EUSEBIO is inbred to BLUSHING GROOM, who is a tail male descendant of Nasrullah. CANNY LAD, who has worked extremely well with Benfica’s sire Lonhro, is intensely bred to the LADY JOSEPHINE family.


Both Lonhro and Danehill in Benfica’s pedigree have worked very well with the STAR KINGDOM line.  CANNY LAD has already been mentioned above, but already LUSKIN STAR has appeared in two of Benfica’s best runners, EUSEBIO and BARBASS. Other individuals to look for in mares’ pedigrees include BLETCHINGLY, BUREAUCRACY, COVETOUS, HURRICANE SKY, KENNY’S BEST PAL, MARSCAY and TODMAN.

Written April 2017


  1. John ryan says:

    I was interested to read your suggestion of sex balanced inbreeding to Danehill, by putting Benfica over a granddaughter of Danehill. A majority of breeding articles I’ve read re Danehill have been negative towards his duplication up close.

    Have these matings been more successful in recent years?

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