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.