They would have been at the roots of the fine horses from which, in the early 1700s, Thomas Darley, the British Consul at Aleppo, famously selected the young Arabian colt who, as The Darley Arabian
, became immortalised as one of the fathers of the breed.
This may be a rather drastic rewriting of racing history for, as far as we know, none of the founding Darley Arabian
, Godolphin Arabian or Byerley Turk ever trotted past the Dubai creek, but Saturday's results proclaimed that true international racing was alive and well in the Emirates.
Although only three male lineages are prominent in modern thoroughbreds, coming from the Darley Arabian
, the Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian, a similar study of the male-specific Y chromosome could yield similarly interesting results.
revealed that the ancestry of almost all male racehorses in Britain can be traced back to the Darley Arabian, writes Graham Green.
accepted that three stallions were the founding fathers of the modern thoroughbred, scientists at Trinity College, Dublin, believe the influence of the Byerley Turk and Godolphin Arabian to have been minimal in comparison with the Darley Arabian.
They have found, according to a report in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, that at least 95 per cent of male thoroughbreds are descendants of the Darley Arabian, who was
They were acknowledged as having played an important role in the development of the thoroughbred, but it now appears the Darley Arabian was by far the biggest contributor.
He illustrates, with the help of family trees, how the Darley Arabian
has become the dominant stallion among the three who founded enduring male lines several hundred years ago.