It is rare that two-year-old fillies will take on the colts in a Group 1 contest, especially when there's a fillies-only equivalent of the race, but the Aidan O'Brien-trained Happily bucked the trend when beating Olmedo and Masar in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) over a mile on soft ground at Chantilly recently.
She stayed on well, hit the front inside the final half-furlong, and landed the spoils by one and quarter lengths and a short-neck. It was her second top-level win in the space of a three weeks, having short-headed her stable companion Magical in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh.
Three weeks before that again, she had finished a one and quarter-length runner-up to Magical in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes, also at the Curragh, and that came a similar amount of time after she had trounced her rivals by five lengths and more in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.
In all, Happily has a record of four wins and one second from six starts, with her only time out of the frame being when well-beaten behind her stable companion September on their debut in early June.
She was due to run in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket – a race in which Laurens pipped September by a nose – but missed the engagement due to a temperature. Her final outing of the season could come at Del Mar as she is engaged in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, also over a mile.
Happily was bred by Orpendale and Chelston Ireland, she is a daughter of Coolmore Stud's great stallion Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) and she is the fifth foal out of the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes winner You'resothrilling (by Storm Cat).
That mare is only 12 but already she established herself as one of the world's elite broodmares. She is a full-sister to the famously tough six-time Group 1 star and multiple US champion sire Giant's Causeway – which always gave her the potential to make an impact – and her juvenile star is her third Group 1 winner.
Indeed, all five of her foals of racing age have been Group 1 performers, which is remarkable, and they are all by Galileo.
Marvellous won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas; popular young Coolmore stallion Gleneagles took the Group 1 National Stakes, Group 1 2000 Guineas, Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes; Coolmore won the Group 3 C L & M F Weld Park Stakes and finished third in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational; and Taj Majal, who is awaiting his first blacktype success, was runner-up in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in August.
In addition to Giant's Causeway, the mare's siblings also include Group 2 Cork and Orrery Stakes third and leading New York-based stallion Freud (by Storm Cat), several other blacktype performers and sires, and two fillies who have each made a notable contribution at stud.
Love Me Only (by Sadler's Wells) is the dam of Storm The Stars (by Sea The Stars), the dual Derby-placed Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes winner who also made the frame in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Pearling, on the other hand, is a full-sister to You'resothrilling and her star son is the Timeform 126-rated Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup and Group 1 Jebel Hatta hero Decorated Knight (by Galileo).
They are all out of the Grade 1-placed dual Grade 2 winner Mariah's Storm (by Rahy) – a daughter of Grade 3 scorer Immense (by Roberto) – and the half-sister to Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt winner and Grade 1 Rothman's International Stakes runner-up Panoramic (by Rainbow Quest) can rightfully be considered to be one of the most influential mares of the modern era.
Happily is one of the best of her age group – rated 116p by Timeform – and there is every reason to hope that she can continue at the top in 2018. The Guineas races look like obvious targets. Whether or not she will stay 12 furlongs remains to be seen – it is entirely possible – but 10 furlongs looks all but guaranteed given her family connections.
Fifteen years ago, the Henry Candy-trained filly Airwave sprang a minor surprise when beating subsequent classic star Russian Rhythm by a length and a half in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
She had won two of her previous four starts, including a listed contest at Ayr, and she went on to become a high-class sprinter, beating Repertory by three lengths in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Sandown the following May, failing by just a half-length when runner-up to Choisir in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, and then taking third in both the Group 1 July Cup and Group 1 Sprint Cup.
Her four-year-old campaign yielded a five-furlong listed success at Ayr and a Group 2 second at Ascot, but rather than be retired to stud, which could have been expected, she crossed the Irish Sea to join the Aidan O'Brien stable and returned to action for a three-race campaign at five.
The best of those performances was her victory the Group 2 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes over a mile at the Curragh and that success, combined with being the daughter of a Group 1-winning miler (Air Express, by Salse), always made it odds on that, depending on their sire, her future progeny would be suited by that trip too.
Airwave, who is a half-sister to the ill-fated Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes heroine Jwala (by Oasis Dream), was the first notable horse in the most recent generations of her pedigree, but she and her descendants have elevated the family's standing to elite status, and her granddaughter Clemmie (by Galileo) is a leading classic candidate for 2018 following a trio of major wins at two.
The filly was a half-length third in a Curragh maiden over six furlongs on her debut in late May, was then pitched straight into pattern company for a crack at the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, and her seventh-place finish there behind Different League was promising.
Nine days later she opened her winning account with a two-and-three-quarter-length defeat of Butterscotch in the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh, and it was just 12 days after that when she beat Nyaleti by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.
She missed an intended outing in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes due to the very soft underfoot conditions and so was not seen out again until this afternoon's Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
Her old rival Different League briefly looked like posing a serious threat, but Clemmie pulled away in the final furlong, passing the post one and three-quarter lengths clear, with the French filly finishing a length and a half in front of third-placed Madeline.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained Clemmie, who was bred by Liberty Bloodstock, is the third foal of Meow (by Storm Cat), a mare who showed some of her dam's speed and precocity.
She ran only at two and only over the minimum trip, she won her maiden by seven lengths, was a neck runner-up to Maqaasid in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, narrowly won a listed contest at the Curragh, and then finished a well-beaten last behind Zebedee in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes.
Her first foal is the twice-placed seven-furlong filly Curlylocks (by Galileo) and her second is Churchill (by Galileo), last year's juvenile champion, Group 1 National Stakes and Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes hero who added both the Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas in the spring.
He was runner-up to Ulysses in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York last month and holds an entry in both the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes in three weeks' time.
Clemmie and Churchill are very closely related to Meow's talented siblings Aloof (by Galileo) and Orator (by Galileo), both of whom stay 10 furlongs – the former won the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies' Stakes over nine and a half at Gowran Park, and 10-furlong scorer Orator got his listed race success over a mile in France.
Their ability to handle that trip is likely due to Galileo's influence, with the amount of speed on their distaff side probably keeping that outer stamina limit at 10 and a half furlongs – not that they have been asked to try farther.
She has only run over six furlongs so far, but Clemmie is all but guaranteed to stay a mile and she is clearly a major candidate for next year's classics at that trip. It is likely, but not certain, that she will also get another quarter-mile on top of that, which would give her a wider range of potential Group 1 targets in 2018, and so races such as the Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Nassau Stakes could be on her radar too.
Gustav Klimt missed his intended start in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes, due to a stone bruise, and so we can only speculate as to how he may have fared against the impressive winner of that race, Verbal Dexterity.
He would have been sent off a warm favourite for the seven-furlong contest on the strength of his promising performance at Newmarket two months before, when he overcame trouble in running to get up on the line for a head victory from Nebo in the Group 2 bet365 Superlative Stakes.
Great Prospector was a half-length back in third, with Zaman another three-parts of a length behind in fourth, but Timeform were impressed and rated the Aidan O'Brien-trained juvenile 112p. It was his third start and came 13 days after a maiden victory over the same trip at the Curragh.
Gustav Klimt holds a string of big-race entries so hopefully there will be another chance to assess his potential and to get an idea of how good he might be. What is not in doubt, however, is that he is bred to achieve anything, both on the track and, if he earns the chance, at stud.
The son of prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) was, like many good horses, bred by the partnership of Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt. He is one of five blacktype performers out of Massarra (by Danehill), and she is a stakes-winning half-sister to Group 1 winner and influential stallion Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert).
Indeed, the mare could be described as being a three-parts sister to the Irish National Stud's flag bearer as both Danehill and Green Desert are sons of the phenomenal stallion Danzig (by Northern Dancer).
Massarra won the Listed Empress Stakes at Newmarket and was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte so it is no surprise that all four of her stakes winners also achieved the feat at the age of two.
Nayarra (by Cape Cross), an Italian champion at that age, took the Group 1 Gran Criterium, Wonderfully (by Galileo) won the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes, and Cuff (by Galileo) won the Listed Naas Juvenile Sprint Stakes.
Her other blacktype earner is the ill-fated Mars (by Galileo), who finished sixth in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, third to Dawn Approach in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, fourth to Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, and runner-up in a Group 3 contest at Leopardstown.
In addition to being a sibling of Invincible Spirit, Massarra is a half-sister to the dual middle-distance Group 3 scorer Sadian (by Shirley Heights), to Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes heroine Acts Of Grace (by Bahri), and to the Group 3-placed sprinter Kodiac (by Danehill), a Tally-Ho Stud stallion who has soared through the rankings in recent years.
Her dam, Rafha (by Kris), won the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and is a half-sister to several blacktype-producing mares, most notably Chiang Mai (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 3 Blandford Stakes winner who gave us the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Chinese White (by Dalakhani).
Rafha's stakes-placed daughter Al Anood (by Danehill) is a three-parts sister to Massarra and Kodiac and, in addition to South African Grade 2 scorer and champion stayer Enaad (by High Chaparral), that mare has also given us dual Australian Group 1 star Pride Of Dubai (by Street Cry), a Coolmore shuttle sire whose first European foals will arrive in 2018.
Eljazzi (by Artaius), the winning third dam of Gustav Klimt, was out of Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Border Bounty (by Bounteous) and that made her a half-sister to the pattern scorers Valley Force (by Petingo) and Pitcairn (by Petingo) – the latter a champion sire whose offspring featured the Group 1 stars Cairn Rouge and Ela-Mana-Mou.
Dingle Bay, a full-sister to Pitcairn, did her part for the family by coming up with the dual Group 1-winning stayer and successful National Hunt sire Assessor (by Niniski), and she is the third dam of the pattern-winning middle-distance filly Bible Belt (by Big Bad Bob).
Gustav Klimt's more precocious siblings did not make an impact as three-year-olds, but that does not mean that he will fail to progress. If he lives up to his potential then he may win at the highest level, and if he earns the chance for a stallion career then, with his pedigree, you would expect that he will sire at least a few stakes winners.