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.