But the early sons of Sadler’s Wells were far less successful at stud. His influence has largely been confined to grass racing, but the recent expansion of turf-races in the Breeders’ Cup has brought the Sadler’s Wells sireline back into the spotlight.

This was clearly in evidence at the 2011 edition of the Breeders’ Cup, as the sons and grandsons of Sadler’s Wells sired four Breeders’ Cup turf winners, including Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy), Filly and Mare Turf winner Perfect Shirl (Perfect Soul), Juvenile Turf winner Wrote (High Chapparal), and concluding brilliantly in the Breeders’ Cup Turf – where St. Nicholas Abbey (Montjeu), Sea Moon (Beat Hollow), and Sarafina (Refuse to Bend) ran 1-2-4. All three are by sons of Sadler’s Wells.

Perfect Shirl is of particular interest to Canadian breeders, having bred by Canadian entrepreneur Charles Fipke. Perfect Shirl, a 4-year-old granddaughter of Sadler’s Wells, gained her first win of the year, and gave her illustrious trainer Roger Attfield his first Breeders’ Cup win.

Looking at Perfect Shirl’s pedigree, we find her sire Perfect Soul is a son of Sadler’s Wells, while her dam Lady Shirl (That’s A Nice) won 19 races and over $1 million dollars despite her modest breeding. Perfect Shirl’s second dam, Canonization (Native Heritage), was the dam of seven winners, and the third dam, Heatherglow (The Axe II), produced 11 foals and 9 winners but no stakes winners. However, Perfect Shirl’s fifth dam was the exceptional broodmare Glamour (Nasrullah), and her eighth dam was the legendary broodmare Lat Troienne (Teddy). Perfect Shirl herself shows linebreeding of 5×4—Raise a Native and 5×5—Nasrullah, two bloodlines with a strong affinity, as seen primarily in the golden cross between the Seattle Slew and Mr. Prospector bloodlines, which has produced champions like Mineshaft and Bernardini, et al.

Which leads us to this year’s Breeders’ Cup dirt-races, where the Mr. Prospector male line remarkably sired seven of the ten winners: Marathon winner Afleet Again (Northern Afleet), Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle (Eddington), Juvenile Fillies winner My Miss Aurelia (Smart Strike), Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta (Empire Maker), Sprint winner Amazombie (Northern Afleet), Mile winner Court Vision (Gulch), and Classic winner Drosselmeyer (Distorted Humor).