Kincsem, whose name means "my treasure," may have been the greatest race mare of all time. Foaled in Hungary in 1874, she was homely in appearance but was perfection itself when racing. She ran 54 times and never knew defeat, winning major races in England and France as well as taking virtually every prize worth having in central Europe. When she died of colic in 1887, the people of Hungary mourned for the loss of their national heroine as if she had been human.
Kinscem left just five foals behind, though two became Classic winners: Budagyönge, a top-class filly who defeated males in the 1885 Deutches Derby, and Ollyan-Nincs, who won the 1886 Hungarian St. Leger. The latter filly proved to be Kinscem's primary link to the future, her descendants becoming a notable Classic family in central Europe. Unfortunately, Ollyan-Nincs' family took tremendous losses during the two World Wars, but it has survived in Germany as the noted "W" family descended from the Polish-bred mare Winnica, who was imported to Germany in 1922.
Of course, Windstoss is so far removed in time and generations from Kincsem that, aside from the contributions of mitochondrial DNA, his ability probably has far more to do with his immediate ancestry than with his link to his famous ancestress. Nonetheless, it is pleasant to think that at least a spark of her tremendous talent lives on in Germany's latest Classic winner.