Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) was one of the greatest stallions of all time, a prolific champion sire whose influence is carried on, around the world, by his many male and female descendants. A total of 294 of his progeny won at least one blacktype contest, but of them one achieved something unique.
His offspring were milers, middle-distance horses and stayers, some were notable two-year-olds, but among three-year-olds and upwards only one was a sprinter.
The David Wachman-trained filly began her career with three juvenile starts over seven furlongs, was unplaced each time she tried further, and in an 11-race career she made the frame just twice. The first time was her victory in the prestigious Birdcatcher Nursery over six furlongs at Naas and the second was her neck win in the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes over six furlongs at Leopardstown the following summer.
This race record made Evie Stockwell's filly Liscanna a fascinating broodmare prospect.
Such pace was rare in a son or daughter of Sadler's Wells, and those for whom the eight to 10 furlong range was optimal, speed was strongly evident in the distaff side of their pedigree.
The Irish 2000 Guineas and Breeders' Cup Mile hero Barathea, for example, could have won good sprints if asked to try them after his close fourth to Owington in the Group 1 July Cup, but aside from his two winning runs over seven as a two-year-old, it was the only time he raced over less than a mile.
Liscanna is a daughter of Lahinch, an Aidan O'Brien-trained Danehill Dancer (by Danehill) filly who won three of 11 starts. She made her debut in the Group 3 Debutante Stakes over seven furlongs, finishing last, was then fourth in a six-furlong listed contest, and got off the mark at the third attempt, a maiden over five furlongs.
She was a well-beaten fourth behind Queen's Logic in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes the following month, won a listed contest by four lengths over the minimum trip at Tipperary just five days later, and was then beaten by just a head in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket. A listed success over the same trip at Leopardstown the following April was the only time that she made the frame in five starts that season.
Her half-brother Perugino Bay (by Perugino) won twice over the minimum trip as a juvenile, was third to Pipalong in the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy over six furlongs, and then failed by a neck to take the Listed Doncaster Stakes over the same trip on his final start that season. The 107-rated colt was third to Enrique in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes over seven furlongs the following spring.
Liscanna's half-brother The Bogberry (by Hawk Wing) stayed further than she did, getting his best win in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes over 10 furlongs. He was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt over the same trip, third in the Group 2 Prix Dollar over a half-furlong less, and was only beaten by about a length when fourth to Doctor Dino in the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase over a mile and a half.
Her half-sister Lahinch Classics is a little more closely related to her than he is, because she is a daughter of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells); they could be described as being three-parts sisters. That filly did not race beyond the 10 and a half furlongs of her maiden success at Dundalk and she earned her blacktype when a neck runner-up to Volume in a 10-furlong listed contest at Newbury, and again when short-headed by Mango Diva in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes over nine at the Curragh.
Liscanna has five progeny of racing age and her three-year-old, two-year-old and yearling are all by Claiborne Farm's star stallion War Front (by Danzig), which makes them inbred 2x5 to Danzig, 3x3 to Northern Dancer and 4x5 to Forli. The eldest of that trio is the unbeaten Grade 1 winner Hit It A Bomb and his juvenile sister is the recent Group 3 Albany Stakes heroine Brave Anna, both of whom are trained by Aidan O'Brien.
Hit It A Bomb made his debut over seven furlongs at the Curragh in late September, followed-up with an easy listed success over the same trip at Dundalk and then took the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile at Keeneland in late October. He has not been seen in action yet in 2016, but his string of big race entries includes next month's Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, for which he is available at around 12/1. Timeform rate him 119p.
Brave Anna was unplaced in the five furlong maiden won by Roly Poly at Naas in April, but won over six furlongs at the Curragh before her short-head pattern success at Ascot. She is quicker and more precocious than her brother, which raises a question as to how far she will stay. He appears to be a miler who could stay 10 furlongs, but she may be a sprinter, perhaps a potential Group 1 Commonwealth Cup candidate in 2017 rather than a classic one.
Timeform have Brave Anna on 105p, her entries feature the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and it is going to be interesting to see how the careers of both siblings turn out.