The pattern was laid down via Sister Shannon, a daughter of stakes-placed Etonian (by 1941 Derby Stakes and 1942 Ascot Gold Cup winner Owen Tudor) and the Princely Gift mare Idaliza. While Sister Shannon was a full or half sister to two juvenile stakes winners and a colt that put in its best performance in the Hutcheson Stakes (an early-season sprint for 3-year-olds), she appeared to pass on the stamina handed down by Owen Tudor, who won his major tests in substitute races at Newmarket due to wartime racing restrictions in England but was clearly none the worse for that. Bred to the good Hail to Reason horse Stop the Music (a solid performer at up to 10 furlongs), she produced Temperence Hill, a big, strong, one-paced stayer who earned the Eclipse Award as 1980's American champion 3-year-old male after winning the Belmont Stakes (USA-G1), the Travers Stakes (USA-G1), the Super Derby Invitational Stakes (USA-G1), and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (USA-G1), all at 10 to 12 furlongs.
Temperence Hill was not a particularly good stallion and ended up being exported to Thailand, but Sister Shannon also produced an important daughter in Populi, whose sire Star Envoy was a staying turf runner. Populi won two minor races from 12 starts before going to the paddocks, where she kicked off her breeding career by producing three consecutive stakes winners. The best of the trio was 1985 American champion older male Vanlandingham, whose sire Cox's Ridge had enough foot to win the Metropolitan Handicap (USA-G1) over a mile and was a stakes winner from 7 to 9.5 furlongs. Speedy enough to set new track records for a mile and a mile and one-sixteenth on dirt at Oaklawn Park at 3 and to equal a Gulfstream Park course record at the latter distance at 5, Vanlandingham stayed up to 12 furlongs well, winning both the 1985 Jockey Club Gold Cup (USA-G1) and the Washington, D.C., International (USA-G1) at that distance over dirt and turf, respectively. Unfortunately, he proved a poor sire, leaving it to his sisters to carry Populi's banner forward.
Populi's stakes-winning daughter Popular Line produced Grade 3 winner Top Hit and is the third dam of multiple Grade/Group 2 winner Second Summer but has been outdone by several of her sisters who were not as successful as racers. Among them is Fun Crowd (by Easy Goer), the dam of 2009 Coaching Club American Oaks (USA-G1) winner Funny Moon (by Malibu Moon). Two other daughters of Populi have had their primary successes in Europe, beginning with Kamkova. Sired by Northern Dancer, Kamkova was not much of a race mare, placing twice in three starts, but is the dam of multiple Grade/Group 2 winner Kirkwall (by Selkirk) and the second dam of 2009 Moyglare Stud Stakes (IRE-G1) winner Termagant.
Populi's best producing daughter has been Musicanti (by Nijinsky II), who won only one of 12 starts though she placed on five other occasions. A plodder who appears to have been too stamina-oriented for racing success even in Europe (where she took her lone victory over 14+ furlongs), she clearly needed speed in her mates to have much chance of coming up with a major winner. Bred to 1994 Sussex Stakes (ENG-G1) winner and English highweight 3-year-old miler Distant View (by Mr. Prospector out of Seven Springs, a multiple Group 1 winner over sprint distances as a juvenile in France), Musicanti produced 1999 Dewhurst Stakes (ENG-G1) winner Distant Music. To the same stallion, Musicanti also produced Allegro Viva, who when put back to a more stamina-oriented runner in Cacique, promptly came up with Canticum. A dour stayer, Canticum took his biggest success in 2012 in the 15-furlong Prix Chaudenay (FR-G2), which that year was run over very soft going.
In view of the history of her female family, it is no surprise that Musicanti's daughter by 1990 Derby Stakes (ENG-G1) winner Quest for Fame, New Orchid, showed little in the way of brilliance and gained both her stakes placings over 12 furlongs. Like her dam, she was clearly in need of speed in her mate to produce her best, and her history of matings shows an attempt to give her exactly that. She had her greatest success with Distant View's brilliant son Observatory, who, like his sire, was rated the best 3-year-old miler of his crop and was a Group 1 winner at that distance before training on to win the Prix d'Ispahan (FR-G1) over 1850 meters (about 9 furlongs) as a 4-year-old. From five matings to Observatory, New Orchid produced two Group stakes winners in African Rose, winner of the 2008 Sprint Cup Stakes (ENG-G1), and Helleborine, winner of the 2010 Prix d'Aumale (FR-G3) and runner-up in that year's Prix Marcel Boussac (FR-G1). Both have had success as producers, with African Rose producing 2016 Princess Margaret Stakes (ENG-G3) winner Fair Eva (by Frankel) and Helleborine producing 2018 Coventry Stakes (ENG-G2) winner Calyx (by Kingman).
Native Trail (sired by 2003 European champion sprinter Oasis Dream) is out of Needleleaf, an unraced full sister to African Rose and Helleborne, and this leads to the question of whether he will want more distance or is essentially a brilliant miler. Like other speed-oriented members of the Green Desert branch of the Danzig male line, Oasis Dream has shown the ability to get capable runners at up to 12 furlongs when presented with mares with some bottom to their pedigrees. New Orchid had plenty of that, but the question is how much of that has come down to Native Trail after two successive crosses of his damline to speedy sires. Still, even without the staying power that is part of his family's heritage, Native Trail has already shown quite enough to be considered a strong Guineas prospect for next year. If he has inherited the stamina of Sister Shannon's earlier top descendants as well as the speed and foot he has already demonstrated, then he may prove to be something very special indeed. Time will tell.