Azamour (by Night Shift) was a top-class racehorse and his premature death, at the age of 13, has been a loss. Timeform-rated 108p at the age of two, 128 at three and 130 as a four-year-old, he stood at his owner-breeder's Gilltown Stud in Co Kildare and his roll of honour is headed by the Group 1 stars Covert Love, Dolniya, and Valyra.
His representatives in 2016 include the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas winner and Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary third Hawksmoor, Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes winner Thikriyaat, Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes winner and Group 2 Park Hill Stakes third California, recent French listed scorer Minotaur, and last year's classic-placed filly Irish Rookie, who has been Group 2-placed this season and short-headed in a listed contest at Ascot in July.
He has not yet had a son win at the highest level, but that may change. There are only 11 members of his final crop, now yearlings, but his penultimate one includes Best Of Days, winner of the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile at Newmarket on Saturday.
The victory was narrower than expected – a neck defeat of the fast-finishing The Anvil – but it was compensation for his head loss in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes the previous month. He had been odds-on for that seven-furlong contest, having run out a six-length winner over that trip on his debut at Sandown in July, and he holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
Best Of Days, who was bought privately by Godolphin after his first run, was bred by Gerhard Schöningh and he is trained by Hugo Palmer. He is the first foal out of the mile listed scorer Baisse (by High Chaparral) and the inbreeding in his five-generation chart reads as 3x4 to Northern Dancer, 4x4 to Darshaan, and 5x5x4 to Shirley Heights.
Whether or not any of this inbreeding is contributing anything to his talent cannot be known, but, on the surface, this sounds like a profile of a potential middle-distance horse.
His dam doesn't have a yearling, as she slipped to Champs Elysees (by Danehill), but she had a filly in February from the first crop of runaway classic star Sea The Moon (by Sea The Stars). She is out of Best Side (by King's Best), who was third to Mona Lisa in the Listed Give Thanks Stakes over 12 furlongs at Cork, and that makes her a half-sister to Azmeel.
That son of Azamour could be described as being a three-parts brother to Best Of Days, and he too made a winning debut over seven furlongs at Sandown in July of his juvenile campaign. He then won the Listed Washington Singer Stakes by three and a half lengths but was unplaced in the ultra-valuable Goffs Million Mile on his only other start that year.
He reappeared in the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown, which he was later awarded following a post-race test failure by Chabal, and although two and a quarter lengths behind that horse on the day, his nearest pursuer, Simenon, was another five lengths behind.
He followed that performance with victory in the Group 3 Dee Stakes at Chester, but he was well-beaten behind the outstanding Workforce in the Derby at Epsom. That champion finished the year on a 133 rating from Timeform, compared to one of 109 for Azmeel.
Best Side is out of Mood Swings (by Shirley Heights), who is a winning half-sister to the Listed Sweet Solera Stakes scorer Catwalk, and that makes her a half-sister to Grand Ducal (by Danehill Dancer). He was third in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes as a juvenile and won the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes at three.
Their unplaced half-sister Etizaan (by Unfuwain) has also done her part for the family as she is the dam of Royal Blue Star (by Dalakhani), a multiple mile scorer in Ireland whose best win came in the Listed Platinum Stakes at Cork three years ago. She was pregnant to Dream Ahead (by Diktat) at the time, and that 2014 colt was followed by Mastercraftsman (by Danehill Dancer) and Lope De Vega (by Shamardal) fillies.
Turret, a full-sister to Mood Swings, was placed a few times at two and three, and her Australian-born stakes-placed daughter Spire (by Danehill) is the dam of the Group 2-placed pattern scorer Under The Eiffel (by Mossman) and Group 3-placed stakes winner Tower Of Lonhro (by Lonhro). The latter's win tally is into double figures and he has earned over Aus$500,000, while Under The Eiffel notched up nine wins and over Aus$600,000 in prize money.
Moogie (by Young Generation), the fourth dam of Best Of Days, won twice as a two-year-old but got all of her blacktype at three. She was runner-up to Inchmurrin in a one-mile listed fillies' event at Kempton, third in the nine-furlong Group 3 Prix Chloe at Evry, and fourth to Magic Of Life in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot.
Her half-sister Tree Of Life (by Shirley Heights), who could be described as being a three-parts sister to Mood Swings, was only beaten by half a length when runner-up to the popular and talented grey Further Flight in the Listed George Stubbs Stakes over two miles at Newmarket on her final start. She later became the dam of the Australian-born Group 3 scorers L'Esperance (by Marscay) and Martree (by Marscay).
Her siblings also included the French listed race winner Dazzling Heights (by Shirley Heights) and there are several notable individuals descended from that four-times scorer.
Kimbridge Knight (by Night Shift) won twice over middle-distances in England before going to the Far East, where he added a further 10 wins to his tally, including the Singapore Derby. His half-sister Mauri Moon (by Green Desert) won the Listed Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood, All Glory (by Alzao) was third in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux, and Pacific Grove (by Persian Bold) was runner-up in the Listed Radley Stakes as a juvenile.
The latter pair also achieved good results at stud. Pacific Grove is the dam of the six-furlong juvenile Group 2 scorer Mokabra (by Cape Cross), and All Glory is responsible for both the German Group 3 scorer All Shamar (by Shamardal) and for the Group 1-placed Australian Group 2 winning miler Noble Protector (by Haafhd), who won the Listed Aphrodite Stakes over 12 furlongs at Newmarket before going 'down under'.
These are the highlights of the first five generations of the family. Cape Chestnut (by Bustino), the fifth dam, was a half-sister to the Grade 2 Citation Handicap and Grade 3 San Francisco Mile Handicap scorer Colway Rally (by Final Straw) and also to a few dams of stakes winners.
The most notable of those is Fleur Rouge (by Pharly), the one-time scorer whose son Red Carpet (by Pivotal) won the Listed Cammidge Trophy, was runner-up in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, in the Group 3 Craven Stakes and in the Group 3 Leicestershire Stakes, and took third in the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes.
The sixth dam, Boswellia (by Frankincense), won the Listed William Hill Gold Cup at Redcar and finished fourth in the Group 3 Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket, but she and the other blacktype horses that you will find in this part of the family are remotely connected to Saturday's big winner.
Best Of Days got immediate post-race quotes of around 25/1 for both the 2000 Guineas and the Derby, and it remains to be seen how good he will be when he reaches his peak. There is plenty of miler speed in his family, but also enough evidence to suggest that the mile and a half will be within his compass.