Godolphin's homebred juvenile Sound And Silence (by Exceed And Excel) showed plenty of talent in his first six starts, winning the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Ascot in June and the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes at York before failing by half a length to beat Rimini in the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg at Chantilly.
All of these performances were over five furlongs, but the one that marked him down as a potential major league player came when he stepped up in trip, handling both six furlongs and heavy ground to take the Group 3 Prix Eclipse by three lengths.
Part of what makes his record particularly eye-catching is that he is bred to be a miler and that will make him an interesting prospect in 2018. Will he go to the likes of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes next season, or might he step up to a mile at some point, or even try both paths?
He is a son of the Australian sprint star and outstanding shuttle stallion Exceed And Excel (by Danehill), a horse whose European stars, among a global tally of 10 Group 1 winners, include the brilliant miler Excelebration, and he is out of an unraced mare called Veil Of Silence (by Elusive Quality).
She is by a record-breaking sprinter and US champion sire and classic sire whose best winners have come over a variety of distances, and she is out of Gossamer (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas-winning full-sister to Barathea.
He showed a lot of pace when finishing a close fourth to Owington in the Group 1 July Cup but, of course, was best known for being a classic star who crowned his racing career with victory in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile.
Barathea then went on to be a successful stallion – getting high-class sprinters, milers and middle-distance horses – and his achievements augur well for the future prospects of Sound And Silence, should that young colt earn a berth at stud whenever his days on the track come to an end.
Gossamer is also a half-sister to the pattern-winning miler Zabar (by Dancing Brave) and to the notably successful broodmare Free At Last (by Shirley Heights), she is the dam of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy scorer Ibn Khaldun (by Dubai Destination), and she is a daughter of the Group 1 Prix de la Foret heroine Brocade (by Habitat).
That notable sister – Free At Last – won the Listed Somerville Tattersall Stakes at two, finished fourth behind Salsabil in the Group 1 1000 Guineas, and then went on to be a dual Grade 1-placed pattern scorer before going to stud.
Her Grade 1-placed daughter Coretta (by Caerleon) won the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap, Grade 2 Orchid Handicap and Grade 2 La Prevoyante Handicap, and her best son, Mikado (by Sadler's Wells), was a dual listed scorer and finished fifth in the Group 1 St Leger when trained by Aidan O'Brien.
So far, Sound And Silence has shown a lot of speed and precocity, but with such apparent improvement coming when he stepped up to six furlongs, his potential options look wider now than they did before.
Leading international sire Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) is one of the best of the reverse shuttle stallions and Darley's Kildangan Stud team member has another promising prospect in James Garfield, the George Scott-trained colt who won the recent Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
He took that six-furlong contest by three-parts of a length from Invincible Army, with Nebo another half-length back in third, and this trio finished three and half lengths clear of the fourth, which is a good sign.
This was his second win from six starts, he was still a maiden when taking third of 22 in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in June – which was won by Sound And Silence – he was not disgraced when fourth to the exciting Expert Eye in the Group 2 Qatar Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, and then failed by the narrowest of margins to beat Wells Farhh Go in the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York.
The latter two events are over seven furlongs and, although he is the son of a sprint star, that stallion has got his top winners over a range of distances and the colt comes from a distaff line that features an eye-catching mix of speed and stamina.
Homebred by owner Bill Gredley's Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs, James Garfield is the best of several winners out of Listed Chesham Stakes scorer Whazzat (by Daylami). Those include the stakes-placed miler The Shrew (by Dansili), but his siblings also include Unaided (by Dansili), an unplaced filly who has a notable daughter running in the USA this year.
That filly is the Chad Brown-trained three-year-old Uni (by More Than Ready) and she was a nine-furlong listed scorer in France before crossing the Atlantic where her three runs have showed an upward progression.
She was third to New Money Honey in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes over 10 furlongs in early July, then runner-up in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes over nine at Saratoga before, just a week before her young relation's Newbury success, she beat La Coronel by a neck in the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes back at Belmont, again over nine furlongs.
Whazzat is a half-sister to the Italian Group 3 scorer Whazzis (by Desert Prince) but her dam, Wosaita (by Generous) is a daughter of Eljazzi (by Artaius) and that makes James Garfield another talented relation of a famous and stallion-producing family.
Eljazzi is the dam of the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Rafha (by Kris) and so is the grandam of Group 1 star Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), of his blacktype-placed half-brother Kodiac (by Danehill), and of Group 2-placed stakes winner and notable broodmare Massarra (by Danehill).
The first-named pair are important European sires and, indeed, Invincible Spirit is showing signs of having a lasting impact on the breed as a growing number of his sons and daughters are doing well at stud.
Massarra, on the other hand, is the dam of Group 1 Gran Criterium winner Nayarra (by Cape Cross), of additional juvenile blacktype scorers Cuff (by Galileo) and Wonderfully (by Galileo), and of that pair's full-brother Gustav Klimt who won the Group 2 bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket, beating the aforementioned Nebo by a head.
Eljazzi is also responsible for Chiang Mai (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 2 Blandford Stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes star Chinese White (by Dalakhani), and for Al Anood (by Danehill), the Australian-born dam of juvenile Group 1 star and young Coolmore reverse shuttle stallion Pride Of Dubai (by Street Cry).
It is no surprise that Eljazzi proved to be such a good broodmare as this daughter of Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Border Bounty (by Bounteous) was a half-sister to the Petingo-sired (by Petition) trio of Group 1-placed Group 2 Blandford Stakes winner Valley Forge, classic-placed pattern scorer and leading sire Pitcairn, and Dingle Bay, the mare who gave us the Group 1-winning stayer and successful National Hunt sire Assessor (by Niniski).
James Garfield earned a Timeform rating of 111 for his Group 2 success, which puts him some way short of the best of his age group, but he is clearly a talented colt and, with his family connections, it is possible that he can progress further and prove effective at a mile next year.