05/18/2006 11:00PM

Grey Swallow latest star in grand male line

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Grey Swallow, winning the Jim Murray, is by '99 BC Turf winner Daylami.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Irish classic winner Grey Swallow raised the bar for turf horses in America with his five-length victory in the Jim Murray Memorial at Hollywood Park on Saturday.

A 5-year-old gray son of international star Daylami, Grey Swallow won the Irish Derby as a 3-year-old and the Tattersalls Gold Cup last year, and is now bidding to follow those wins with dominant performances in the States. That is the pattern established by his sire, a winner at the top level in England, Ireland, and the U.S., and like Daylami, Grey Swallow possesses the versatility to show his form on racing surfaces rated from soft to firm.

A group winner in his juvenile season, Grey Swallow is the best racer by his sire to date, and his success over the firm turf course at Hollywood Park suggests that he will prosper with more races in this country.

Trainer Dermot Weld reportedly said Grey Swallow will be shipped to New York with the goal of racing in the Manhattan Handicap on June 10. A good effort in that race would open the possibility of an extended American campaign, with such events as the Sword Dancer, Arlington Million, Man o' War, and Breeders' Cup Turf being among the likely targets.

More starts and possible greater achievements for Grey Swallow will also be welcome news for Daylami, whose reputation is based on the successes of his offspring. After Daylami won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 1999 in the blue racing silks of Godolphin, he returned to the stud of his breeder, the Aga Khan, who initially raced Daylami, and began his career as a stallion.

Although he was a classic winner at a mile in the French 2000 Guineas (Poule d'Essai des Poulains), Daylami showed his best form at 10 and 12 furlongs, including victories in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Eclipse, Champion, Coronation Cup, Man o' War, and the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Daylami's racing performances added yet another star to his male line, which has a grand history in the Aga Khan studs. Classic winner Doyoun is a homebred son of Paul Mellon's great racehorse and sire Mill Reef, who is a grandson of Nasrullah, by the champion 2-year-old Never Bend. Nasrullah was bred and raced by the current Aga Khan's grandfather and then was sold as a stallion prospect. Once Nasrullah's class as a sire became apparent, A.B. "Bull" Hancock purchased Nasrullah from Joseph McGrath and stood him for the rest of his career at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.

Daylami returned a great international male line to prominence in the Aga Khan studs, and in his fourth season as a stallion, he also was helped by the exceptional success of his once-beaten half-brother Dalakhani in 2003.

While Daylami is the first foal of their dam, the Miswaki mare Daltawa, Dalakhani was Daltawa's fifth offspring and third stakes winner. An immensely talented son of Darshaan, Dalakhani was a Group 1 winner at 2 and 3, when his victories included the French Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Dalakhani also was retired to stud by the Aga Khan and is a key element of his immense breeding operation.

Although the Aga Khan, with a very large broodmare band of outstanding prospects, is highly regarded for breeding many of the best racers by many different stallions, Grey Swallow was bred in Ireland by Mrs. C.L. Weld.

Grey Swallow sold as a yearling to McKeever St. Lawrence for 150,000 guineas (about $250,000), the second-highest price for a Daylami yearling in 2002.

Once his racing class was established, Grey Swallow was sold to Irish interests, then resold, and is now owned by an overseas group called Vega FZE.

The dam of Grey Swallow, Style of Life, was trained by Dermot Weld, and he has remained closely involved with the family.

Grey Swallow is one of two stakes winners and four stakes-placed runners produced by Style of Life, a daughter of The Minstrel, a classic-winning son of Northern Dancer. Grey Swallow is the best of his dam's produce, although four of her other black-type offspring were group stakes-placed or better.

Style of Life is a winner and full sister to stakes winner Seasonal Pickup. Their dam is the Nashua mare Bubinka, a Group 3 winner in Italy. Bubinka is out of Stolen Hour, a half-sister to Broodmare of the Year Best in Show.