As one expects at this time of the year, several freshman sires are starting to make their presence felt in blacktype events, taking the early steps that could see them establish themselves as leading young stallions. Those who have caught the eye include Sepoy (by Elusive Quality), the Australian juvenile champion and four-times Group 1-winning sprint star who shuttles to Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket.
The southern hemisphere half of his global first crop turned three last month and, so far, he has had three stakes-placed horses from among those progeny. His profile is currently higher in Europe than in his native land, which is a little unusual – it tends to go the other way – but it is much too soon to start drawing any conclusions about that or about his long-term prospects.
Right now he can be counted among the promising European freshmen and his eight local winners include Kilmah and Baileys Showgirl. The latter, who is out of a daughter of War Chant (by Danzig), won the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure at Chantilly in July, was a two-length third to Cavale Doree in the Group 3 Prix du Calvados at Deauville last month and then finished third to Kontrastat in the Group 3 Prix la Rochette at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.
She holds an entry in the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket in 16 days time and she is trained by Mark Johnston, as is Kilmah, although it must be somewhat unlikely that the stable companions will meet in that prestigious seven-furlong contest.
Kilmah, who won the recent Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood, is one of the favourites for tomorrow's Group 2 Clugston Construction May Hill Stakes and she also holds an entry in the Group 1 Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes, which is on the day after the Rockfel. On pedigree, she should stay the mile.
A 32,000gns graduate of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, she was bred by Mildmay Bloodstock Ltd and her Helmet (by Exceed And Excel) half-brother is catalogued as Lot 248 at the 2016 edition of that prestigious auction. She is the fourth foal of her dam, a second blacktype horse for the mare, and each of her first three dams were also blacktype earners.
That is something that will catch the attention if any of her future progeny are catalogued for sale, as will the presence of at least one stakes winner out of each of her first five dams. Four of the family members who have Group/Grade 1 form will have been knocked off the page by that time, but that is unlikely to matter.
Kilmah, who was runner-up to Fair Eva in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot in July and just missed out narrowly on blacktype when a close fourth to Roly Poly in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes two weeks before that, is a half-sister to the five-times scorer Tears Of The Sun (by Mastercraftsman).
That 97-rated mare is trained by Clive Cox, she has won and been placed over 12 furlongs but seems best over a quarter-mile less and she was only beaten a head by Elbereth when runner-up in the Listed Nottinghamshire Oaks over 10 furlongs in early June.
Their dam, Perfect Star, was also trained by Cox and her five wins featured the Listed Rosemary Stakes over a mile at Ascot as a three-year-old. The following year she won another handicap over that course and distance, the Shergar Cup Mile, she was listed-placed at Bath eight days later and then returned at five to pick up another listed placing, this time in the Snowdrop Fillies' Stakes over a mile on the polytrack at Kempton.
Perfect Star, a daughter of the classic-placed Group 1 scorer Act One (by In The Wings), is a half-sister to the Listed Festival Stakes winner and Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes third Rewarded (by Motivator) and she is out of Granted (by Cadeaux Genereux), a multiple stakes-placed triple mile winner.
Germane (by Distant Relative), the third dam of Kilmah, won the Group 3 Rockfel Stakes and was placed in both the Listed Oh So Sharp Stakes and Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes, and in addition to Granted she came up with the talented Lucky Chappy (by High Chaparral).
His listed race success was a three-length score over seven and a half furlongs at San Siro in July of his juvenile season, three months before he took third in the Grade 3 Bourbon Stakes over eight and a half furlongs on turf at Keeneland. He then finished fourth to Wrote in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.
Lucky Chappy came within a nose of taking the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby over nine furlongs on the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields in February of his three-year-old season, he was also runner-up in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby over 10 furlongs and later took third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He eventually went to Australia, but did not recapture his form there.
These are the generations of the family that will appear on the catalogue page of Kilmah's future progeny that might grace the sales ring and what won't be visible includes that Germane has nine winning siblings, one of which is the pattern-placed stakes winner Fabriano (by Shardari) and two of whom became the dams of pattern winners.
Firedance (by Lomitas), who won once, is the dam of Fearless Hunter (by Alhaarth), a German-bred gelding who is trained in Norway by Rune Haugen and won both the Listed Polar Mile Cup and nine-furlong Group 3 Marit Sveaas Minnelop at Ovrevoll last year. He was only sixth last month in the 2016 edition of that latter event.
Four Roses (by Darshaan) is the other successful broodmare and, although she did not race, she is the dam of the Group 2 Blandford Stakes and Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes heroine Four Sins (by Sinndar).
The fourth dam of Kilmah is the one-time scorer Fraulein Tobin (by J O Tobin) and as she was out of the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) runner-up Fruhlingstag (by Orsini), that made her a half-sister to three horses of note.
Blackwater (by Irish River) won a listed contest in France, plus seven other races, and he finished third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly, and the best of the other siblings was his half-brother Running Stag (by Cozzene), a millionaire who clocked up a lot of air miles!
The Philip Mitchell-trained horse began his career with a seven-length debut score over 10 furlongs on the all-weather track at Lingfield, was stakes-placed three months later, and won the Group 3 Prix Gontaut-Biron over 10 furlongs at Deauville as a four-year-old. A month after that win he took third behind the outstanding Skip Away in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes at Belmont Park.
He was not disgraced when seventh behind Awesome Again in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, he finished a close fourth to Silver Charm in the Grade 2 Clark Handicap three weeks later, and then made his five-year-old debut in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Nad Al Sheba, where he was unplaced.
A brief return home saw him take second place in a conditions race at Goodwood and then he was off again, getting within a neck of beating Behrens (gave 5lbs) in the Grade 2 Massachusetts Handicap at Suffolk Downs, with the previous year's classic star Real Quiet (gave 8lbs) only third.
Then he ran away with the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap, finished fifth in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, won a Grade 2 at Saratoga and then ran at Belmont Park and at Lingfield before chasing home Jim And Tonic in the Grade 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin. After a winter break, he headed back to Dubai and so kicked off another new season of travel that saw him add a pair of US wins to his tally.
Fruhlingshochzeit (by Blushing Groom), a stakes-placed half-sister to Running Stag, Blackwater and Fraulein Tobin, also did her bit for the family as she is the grandam of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Handicap and Grade 1 Triple Bend Invitational Handicap star Street Boss (by Street Cry).
A popular member of the Darley stallion team in Kentucky, that leading sprinter is the sire of this year's Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks heroine Cathryn Sophia. In March his Australian-bred son The Quarterback took the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington, and on Sunday his Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks runner-up Decked Out won the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes over nine furlongs at Santa Anita.
Street Boss is also the sire of Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes winner Capo Bastone and of last year's Grade 1 Arkansas Derby winner and Grade 1 Kentucky Derby third Danza.
Kilmah's connection to Street Boss and Running Stag is remote, but there is more than enough of note within the first few generations of her pedigree to show why she had the potential to become a blacktype filly and why staying a mile looks likely.
She has only won two of her six starts and so seems quite well exposed, but the step up to seven furlongs appeared to suit her and it is possible that she may be capable of further improvement.