Biwa Shinseiki, sire of three-time President’s Cup winner Dangdae Bulpae, has died aged 18. The Japanese-bred stallion was standing privately in Korea. Eagle Cafe, winner of the NHK Mile in 2000 and Japan Cup Dirt in 2002, also passed away on Jeju Island in September.
Bred by Hayata Farms, Biwa Shinseiki [Forty Niner – Oceana (Northern Dancer)] was a very good racehorse in Japan landing 10 wins, 7 places and 8 shows from a total of 33 starts in a career lasting from 2001 until 2004. Those wins included two big Stakes races as well as five consecutive victories between May and December in 2002.
That winning streak came to an end when he was 2nd in that year’s Tokyo Daishoten at Ohi, a race in which he would finish 3rd in 2003. Also in 2003, he was 2nd in the February Stakes, one of the few Grade 1 races in Japan to be run on dirt. Usually run over a mile at Tokyo Racecourse, in 2003 it was held at Nakayama over 1800M.
Due to its dirt and its distance, the February Stakes is a popular race among Korean breeders with past winners Meisei Opera (1999), Admire Don (2004) and most recently Testa Matta (2012) all going on to stand at stud in Korea. Following a racing career in which he earned in excess of 370 Million Japanese Yen, Biwa Shinseiki was purchased by Korean interests in 2005 to stand at Pureun Farm.
For a privately standing sire, he got plenty of mares but it was in his very first season at Stud, in 2006, when he covered the Alydeed mare Indeed My Dear. She had produced some very average racehorses beforehand but the resulting foal would become one of the best horses Korea has seen.
Dangdae Bulpae would win 19 of his 32 races between 2009 and 2013. He was quite a late-developer as a three-year-old only managing 3rd in the 2010 Korean Derby but he won the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Minister’s Cup, in October and a month later returned to Seoul the following month to claim Korea’s joint-richest race, the President’s Cup, something he would go on to do for the following two years.
Dangdae Bulpae’s exploits helped Biwa Shinseiki to 8th place on the Leading Sire list on 2010, to 10th in 2011 and 12th in 2012. None of his other foals would be anything like as good although he produced many winners even if few made it up to class 1 level. Biwa Shinseiki died on September 28. Cause of death is yet to be officially confirmed.
Also passing away in September was Nokwon Farm’s Eagle Cafe (Gulch), another horse who raced in Japan. He was the winner of just five races, however, they included the NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo in 2000 and then in 2002, the Japan Cup Dirt (now known as the Champion’s Cup) under Frankie Dettori.
Eagle Cafe [Gulch – Net Dancer (Nureyev)] was bred in the US but trained in Japan. He also raced in Dubai and France. He came to Korea to stand at Nokwon – a farm with close Japanese ties – in 2011 but covered few mares and was to all intents and purposes retired in 2014. His gelding Honey Butter Nino is the first Korea-based horse in training for Japanese owner Shigeo Kadono. Eagle Cafe died from colic aged 19 on September 30.