On a day when one prolific Group 1-winning daughter of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) added to her tally on the track, another one became the dam of her first blacktype earner. Both happened at the Curragh yesterday, and about 35 minutes before dual classic star Minding made it five wins at the highest level with an odds-on success in the Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes, Roly Poly won the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained juvenile is a daughter of Claiborne Farm's excellent stallion War Front (by Danzig) and this was her first attempt at six furlongs. She was a short-head debut winner over the minimum trip at Naas in April, was beaten by almost eight lengths when fourth behind Caravaggio in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh a month later, and then finished only eighth behind the stunning Lady Aurelia in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Ascot.
That defeat came just 11 days before her pattern success, and as her entries include the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, we can expect to see her being stepped up in grade before long.
Roly Poly is the second foal out of Misty For Me (by Galileo), the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine who beat Midday by six lengths in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes in 2011 and whose prior form features wins in both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac. She finished third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf over 11 furlongs at Churchill Downs on her final start.
Her progeny are listed as being bred by the Misty For Me Syndicate and her first foal is a three-year-old named Cover Song. That American-born bay is a daughter of Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (by Danehill), whose shuttle seasons to Ireland have yielded the Group 1 stars Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock and Qualify, she is a $450,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, and is a winner from two starts.
Roly Poly's sire can count the European Group 1 winners Air Force Blue, Declaration Of War and War Command among his progeny, each of whom has been trained by Aidan O'Brien, his other seven top-level winners include their undefeated stablemate Hit It A Bomb, who won the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf almost eight months ago. The stallion's current juvenile crop also includes recent Group 3 Albany Stakes winner Brave Anna.
Misty For Me, whose yearling and current foal are also full-siblings to Roly Poly, is out of an unraced mare called Butterfly Cove (by Storm Cat) and that makes her a full-sister to two fillies of note. One of the pair is Twirl, who won the Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes at Gowran Park, was runner-up in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes and in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes, when trained by O'Brien, and had a War Front colt last year.
The other sister is Ballydoyle, one of the top juvenile fillies in Europe in 2015. She was short-headed in the Listed Chesham Stakes on her second start, then won a maiden at Newmarket before beating Minding by two lengths in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes at the Curragh. She then chased home that star in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes before beating Turret Rocks in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches.
Ballydoyle also chased home Minding in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her seasonal reappearance, and although only sixth in a dramatic edition of the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) eight days ago, she holds a string of top entries and is one of the ante-post market leaders for the Group 1 Tattersalls 250th Year Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket on Friday week.
Butterfly Cove's two-year-old is a colt named Limited Edition (by Galileo).
There are no guarantees with any mare, no matter what she did or didn't achieve as a racehorse or how she's bred, but it is not really any surprise that Butterfly Cove became a broodmare of note. Some have better prospects than others, a higher chance of success, and she has fulfilled that promise and support.
In addition to being a full-sister to the Group 3 winner Kamarinskaya, she is a half-sister to Fasliyev (by Nureyev), who was Europe's juvenile champion of 1999. He won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, Group 1 Prix Morny and Group 3 Coventry Stakes, retired to stud in the spring of his three-year-old season, and has sired winners at all levels without making a strong impact.
Their dam, Mr P's Princess (by Mr Prospector), was also unraced, but in addition to being a full-sister to the Grade 2-placed Excavate, her siblings include the multiple US Grade 1 stars Desert Wine (by Damascus) and Menifee (by Harlan), both of whom enjoyed some success as stallions. She is also a half-sister to Arsaan (by Nureyev), who won a mile listed contest at Kempton before becoming the dam of the dual Chilean Grade 2 scorer Rock Star Show (by Lear Fan) and grandam of Blueridge Mountain (by Giant's Causeway), an Argentine-born filly who won the Group 1 Majorca Stakes over a mile at Kenilworth, in South Africa, in 2013.
Dame Sybil (by Elocutionist), who was an unraced half-sister to Mr P's Princess, also did her part for the family. Her stakes-winning pair Never Speaking (by Foolish Pleasure) and Princess Sybil (by Cormorant) won a total of 27 races between them, and her dual Grade 2-winning son Alannan (by Conquistador Cielo) was third in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes. Her string of successful runners also includes four-times scorer La Sarto (by Cormorant) and that filly became the dam of the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes and Group 1 July Cup hero Les Arcs (by Arch).
This is an outstanding family, and although the bare form of what Roly Poly has achieved so far leaves her with quite a bit to find if she is to be up to emulating so many of her relations by winning at least once at the highest level, the possibility that she could progress to that degree cannot be ruled out.