It takes a special broodmare to produce two Group/Grade 1 winners at stud and an exceptional one to get three or more, especially when they are by different stallions. When Mendelssohn (by Scat Daddy) took the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar in early November his dam, Leslie's Lady (by Tricky Creek), joined that elite club.
Her first one was Into Mischief (by Harlan's Holiday), a lightly raced horse who won the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity at two and was a Grade 1-placed stakes winner at three, after which he took up stallion duties at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. His 32 stakes winners, to date, include the multiple Grade 1 stars Goldencents and Practical Joke.
His first foals arrived in 2010, which was also the year that his half-sister Beholder (by Henny Hughes) was born. A Grade 1 star in each of five seasons on the track and an Eclipse Award winner in four of them, she was one of the most brilliant US racemares of the modern era, eventually retiring to stud the winner of 18 races from 26 starts and over $6.1 million in prize money.
Her final run resulted in a nose defeat of the equally brilliant Songbird in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, 364 days before Mendelssohn's top win, and her first foal was born on January 23rd of this year – a bay Uncle Mo (by Indian Charlie) colt.
As for six-furlong juvenile listed scorer Leslie's Lady, she had a Medaglia d'Oro (by El Prado) colt in 2017 and then went in foal to Triple Crown hero American Pharoah (by Pioneer Ofthe Nile).
Into Mischief was his dam's third foal, Beholder her eighth, and her latest star number 11, and both of the latter pair were bred by Clarkland Farm in Kentucky.
There are a few other stakes winners to be found within the first four generations of the pedigree, and some horses who notched up double-digit tallies of wins on the track, but the most notable is Roanoke (by Pleasant Colony), whose half-sister One Last Bird (by One For All) is the stakes-placed third dam of Mendelssohn.
He was a wide-margin winner of the Grade 2 Young America Stakes over eight and a half furlongs as a juvenile, added a mile listed race from nine starts at three, and then took the Grade 1 Californian Stakes over nine furlongs at four, beating Anshan and Marquetry, before going on to sire some stakes and graded winners at stud.
Mendelssohn is owned by the Coolmore team, trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien, and he is a $3,000,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. There was plenty of interest when he made his debut in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden in July, but he finished a well-beaten eighth. Next time, however, he took a mile maiden by a length at the same venue.
This was still a long way off pattern-level form and although it was not a huge surprise that he was beaten in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster a month later, it was disappointing to see him finish a long way last while his stable companion Seahenge took the honours.
Blinkers were fitted when he reappeared at Newmarket four weeks after that, he was sent off as a 50/1 longshot, but for the first time showed his real potential. In what was a remarkable one-two-three-four for the Ballydoyle team, he chased home two-and-a-half-length winner U S Navy Flag, and had old rival Seahenge the same distance back in third. Threeandfourpence, a head behind in fourth, completed the clean sweep.
When a seemingly exposed longshot produces such an effort it tends to be treated with some suspicion. Perhaps this was one of those performance-of-a-lifetime efforts that do not get repeated, perhaps the form was unreliable, or perhaps this was a colt who was finally beginning to come into his own.
His one-length defeat of Untamed Domain at Del Mar a few weeks later announced it to be the latter. A tilt at the Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas double would be the usual likely route for a leading turf two-year-old that stayed beyond six furlongs but it could be at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May when he makes his first classic bid.
O'Brien pointed out the dirt aspect of his pedigree in post-race interviews and indicated that early-season trials on the all-weather tracks in Europe could determine his target, with the Kentucky Derby very much on the cards.
Dermot Weld sent Moyglare Stud's homebred Go And Go from Ireland to New York to record an historic victory in the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes back in 1990, but the closest that any European has come to lifting the Derby is when Clive Brittain shipped Bold Arrangement from England to Kentucky to chase home Ferdinand in the 1986 edition of the classic.
Mendelssohn and his star siblings are all by stallions who represent the Storm Cat (by Storm Bird) line and, in Europe, his late sire is typically associated with being a source of speed and precocity. That's because Scat Daddy's (by Johannesburg) best-known runners here feature the sprinters Acapulco, Caravaggio, Lady Aurelia and No Nay Never, as well as last year's Group 1 Phoenix Stakes scorer Sioux Nation.
Of course, in South America he was a premier source of classic winners, while in North America his best tend to excel in the seven to 10-furlong range. And this, combined with the fact that his most closely related sibling – Beholder – was a runaway winner of the Grade 1 Pacific Classic over 10 furlongs, suggests that the Kentucky Derby distance is unlikely to be a problem for him.
It is worth noting, however, that he was born on May 17th, 2015 so he will not have reached his physical third birthday until two days before the Preakness Stakes.
The surface, of course, is still an unknown until he tries it, but he is bred for it and it could turn out that what he has achieved on turf is a bonus. Only time will tell, but if this colt lives up to his pedigree and promise then he could become one of the major players of 2018, before eventually going on to what could be – given his half-brother's success – a notable career at stud.
It is hard to know the merit of the form, but on visual impression Gold Town appears to be a young horse with a big future. Godolphin's homebred three-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby, he has run twice at Meydan this year, both on dirt, and been highly impressive each time.
The first of those outings came in a seven-furlong conditions race, which he took by four and a quarter lengths, and the second was Thursday's Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas over a mile, which he took by a 10 and a half-length margin.
The nine and a half-furlong, Group 2 UAE Derby is an obvious next target for him and, after that, perhaps some of the leading events for the classic generation. But where? He is a gelding and that excludes him from the European Group 1 classics, so this exciting prospect could become a candidate for the US Triple Crown series.
He was gelded after the third consecutive defeat that followed a debut success over five furlongs at Newbury last year, then finished third in a seven-furlong Newmarket nursery in July before taking a similar contest over the same course and distance a month later. His pattern victory appears to be a massive step forward on all of this.
Gold Town is a son of the late Street Cry (by Machiavellian), the Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner who stood in Kentucky, shuttled to Australia – where he was crowned champion sire – and whose offspring include top sprinters and milers, a Kentucky Derby hero in Street Sense and, of course, two of the greatest fillies of the modern era: Winx and Zenyatta.
He is the second foal of Pimpernel (by Invincible Spirit) who won four times in England as a two-year-old, including the Listed Radley Stakes at Newbury, and was second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.
Her dam, Anna Pallida (by Sadler's Wells), got her sole victory over 10 furlongs and as she is a daughter of three-time scorer Masskana (by Darshaan) it was always on the cards that she could become the ancestor of some high-class performers. Why? Because that mare is one of those rare gems with at least three individual Group/Grade 1-winning offspring to her name.
Eagle Mountain (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin and was placed in each of the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh, Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.
His half-sister Dank (by Dansili) won both the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes, while Sulk (by Selkirk) took the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at two before going on to earn placings in the Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Royal-Oak – all Group 1.
Sulk is the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes winner Ibn Battuta (by Seeking The Gold), while her unraced full-sister Slink is responsible for Bye Bye Birdie (by Oasis Dream), winner of the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Balanchine Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh as a two-year-old.
Masskana, who is also the dam of the pattern-placed stakes winner Wallace (by Royal Academy), is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed US Grade 3 scorer Madjaristan (by Irish River) and to Massyar (by Kahyasi), who won the Group 2 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh a few weeks after finishing third to Barathea in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas.
The fourth dam of Gold Town is, therefore, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Prix Robert Papin heroine Masarika (by Thatch).
It remains to be seen just how good Gold Town will be when he reaches his peak, but there is every reason to hope that he can succeed at the highest level. That may come on dirt and at anywhere from a mile to 10 furlongs – and the Belmont Stakes trip may not be beyond his reach – but it is also going to be interesting to see how he fares if returning to turf.
Multiple Group 1 star Whipper (by Miesque's Son) looked full of promise when he retired to stud, and not just because of his considerable talent as a racehorse.
He is by a full-brother to leading sire Kingmambo (by Mr Prospector), he could be described as being a three-parts brother to the top-class filly Divine Proportions (by Kingmambo), and his grandam was a full-sister to dual Derby hero and influential stallion Shirley Heights (by Mill Reef).
Sadly, he has not lived up to that potential, getting some stakes and pattern winners but no standout performers. He does have a talented three-year-old this season and it will be interesting to see how that colt fares if he remains in training in 2018.
Sarl Darpat France's homebred Recoletos stays farther than his sire did, but as he comes from the direct family of a Timeform 135-rated dual Derby hero, that's not really a surprise.
He first came to prominence when beating Waldgeist in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud in early May. That colt reversed the placings when they met again in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) a month later but the pair had to settle for second and third to Brametot, who won by a short-head and a length.
Recoletos disappointed when well-beaten behind Eminent in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain over 10 furlongs at Deauville in mid-August but bounced back to pip Plumatic by a nose in the Group 3 Prix du Prince d'Orange over the same trip at Maisons-Laffitte a month later.
Both of his pattern wins came on very soft ground, and it was described as good-to-soft when he earned his classic placing, but he has won on good ground, albeit in a conditions race. It was also soft at Ascot today when he put up what has arguably been his best performance to date, finishing fourth in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes.
Cracksman stormed home seven lengths clear of Poet's Word, with Highland Reel a neck back in third and just one length more back to Recoletos.
Recoletos is trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, he is the best of several winners for his dam, and she, Highphar (by Highest Honor), is an unraced daughter of the Grade 2 Garden City Breeders' Cup Handicap and Group 3 Prix de Sandringham scorer Pharatta (by Fairy King).
That talented filly, whose top wins came over nine and eight furlongs respectively, is out of the unraced Sharata (by Darshaan), which makes her a half-sister to Group 2 Premio Ribot and Group 3 September Stakes scorer Crimson Tide (by Sadler's Wells), a successful sire in Brazil.
The next dam is the three-time winner Shademah (by Thatch) and so Sharata, the third dam of Recoletos, is a half-sister to the Aga Khan's homebred dual Derby hero but disappointing stallion Shahrastani (by Nijinsky).
He won the Group 3 Guardian Classic Trial and Group 2 Dante Stakes before that rather fortunate defeat of Dancing Brave at Epsom, and then ran away with the Group 1 Irish Derby before finishing fourth behind his old rival in both the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in what was a vintage year – 1986.
His dam was a half-sister to Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Shakapour (by Kalamoun), to Grade 1 Bowling Green Handicap scorer Sharannpour (by Busted), and to Shashna (by Blakeney) – the unplaced dam of Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Shemaka (by Nishapour) – and they were out of Shamim (by Le Haar), a winning half-sister to the classic-placed Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris winner Kamaraan (by Tanerko).
Recoletos is not in the same league as his most famous relation, but he is a talented colt who has probably done enough to attract some interest as a prospective stallion, and who could do well on the track as a four-year-old.
There was a somewhat unusual aspect to this year's Group 1 Qatar Goodwood Cup and not just that it was carrying the highest status for the first time.
The two-mile feature was won by the three-year-old Stradivarius, who beat six-year-old Group 1 Gold Cup hero Big Orange by one and three-quarter lengths, with the third, another three and a half lengths behind, being Desert Skyline, another member of the classic generation.
One does not expect to see three-year-olds doing so well in midsummer all-aged stayers' pattern events and this performance augured well for their future prospects.
The obvious immediate potential target for the winner was the Group 1 William Hill St Leger Stakes at Doncaster in September, and he ran another fine race there, finishing third to Capri and Crystal Ocean, beaten just half a length and a short-head.
Desert Skyline also went to Doncaster but his target was necessarily different as, being a gelding, he is barred from the classics. So he stepped up another quarter-mile and landed the Group 2 Doncaster Cup Stakes, further advertising his potential to take high rank in the stayers' division in 2018.
Desert Skyline, who was bred by Tinnakill Bloodstock & Cannings, is a €40,000 graduate of the Goffs Orby Sale, he is trained by David Elsworth, and he is a son of the Group 1-winning miler and Derrinstown Stud stallion Tamayuz (by Nayef).
That stallion has been having a notably successful year in 2017 and his string of current blacktype performers include Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) heroine Precieuse, Group 2 Middleton Stakes winner and Group 1 Nassau Stakes runner-up Blond Me, Group 3 Strensall Stakes scorer Mustashry, and listed race winner and Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest third Tupi.
Desert Skyline is a half-brother to three blacktype performers, including Group 3 Prix de Lutece runner-up Dounyapour (by Lope De Vega), and he is out of the Group 2 Prix de Pomone winner Diamond Tango (by Acatenango).
She, in turn, is a half-sister to Saint-Cloud listed scorer Crystal Diamond (by Teofilo) and is the best of several winners out of Group 3 Prix Penelope victress Diamond Dance (by Dancehall). A half-sister to Group 1-placed Group 2 winner Diamond Mix (by Linamix) and to Group 3 Prix de Royaumont scorer Diasilixa (by Linamix), Diamond Dance is also a half-sister to the ancestor of a current classic star.
That sibling is Diamonaka (by Akarad) who, although not a stakes winner, was placed in the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret at Longchamp and Group 3 Prix de Royaumont at Saint-Cloud, and her three pattern-winning offspring include Diamilina (by Linamix), the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret winner and Group 1 Prix Vermeille runner-up whose grandson, Capri (by Galileo), won the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby before his aforementioned St Leger success.
Diamonaka's other pair are the ill-fated runaway Group 3 Prix Cleopatre winner Diamonixa (by Linamix) and the talented miler Diamond Green (by Green Desert), who won the Group 3 Prix La Rochette and was runner-up in each of the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes.
The talented trio also have a notable sister in Dali's Grey (by Linamix), a one-time winner whose star son is Group 3 winner and Group 1 Melbourne Cup runner-up Bauer (by Halling) and whose descendants include current talented three-year-old Khalidi (by High Chaparral) – the dual stakes winner who chased home the ill-fated Permian in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot in June.
The third dam of Desert Skyline is, therefore, Phoenix Park listed race winner Diamond Seal (by Persian Bold), a granddaughter of 1967 Irish Oaks heroine Pampalina (by Bairam), and so out of a half-sister to 1977's Irish 2000 Guineas winner Pampapaul (by Yellow God).
Top-class miler Paco Boy (by Desert Style) came up with Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes winner Beacon in his first crop and the classic-winning miler Galileo Gold in his second but he has left Highclere Stud and will stand in Turkey from next year.
His Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes hero will be taking up stallion duties at Tally-Ho Stud then, and although his third-crop star is a gelding, Beat The Bank looks likely to make an impact at the highest level on the track.
The bay was bred by A S Denniff of Denniff Farms and he made just 30,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket, bought by Curragh trainer Darren Bunyan. He won easily over seven furlongs at Dundalk on his debut in February and then moved to England to join the Andrew Balding stable.
Since then he has run four times with his only defeat being a disappointing effort behind Le Brivido in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. His first two starts after that, however, resulted in wins in the Listed Robinsons Mercedes-Benz Sir Henry Cecil Stakes and Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes, by a combined margin of six lengths.
Then he went to Newmarket where he put up an impressive display to beat Sir John Lavery by five lengths in the Group 2 Shadwell Joel Stakes, with Jallota another two and a quarter lengths back in third. Like his other blacktype wins, this race is over a mile.
He holds an entry in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in three weeks' time and it would be no surprise to see him produce another big effort there before going on to a notable four-year-old campaign.
Beat The Bank is a half-brother to the ill-fated stakes-placed handicapper Salt Island (by Exceed And Excel), who produced a performance of a lifetime effort to finish fourth to Muhaarar in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Ascot and earned a Timeform rating of 112.
Their dam, Tiana (by Diktat), earned her blacktype when third in the Listed Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket as a juvenile and her eight winning siblings include Mary Read (by Bahamian Bounty), the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes runner-up whose star grandson is Group 3 Molecomb Stakes winner and Group 1 Commonwealth Cup runner-up Kachy (by Kyllachy).
That Tom Dascombe-trained four-year-old was fourth to Marsha in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May, was short-headed by Magical Memory in a six-furlong conditions event at Haydock in July, and was also bred by Denniff Farms.
Hill Welcome (by Most Welcome), the grandam of Beat The Bank, was only placed but her dam, Tarvie (by Swing Easy), won three times and produced both the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes winner Stalker (by Kala Shikari) and Listed Marble Stakes heroine Regal Peace (by Known Fact).
The latter is the grandam of Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap scorer Friendly Island (by Crafty Friend), who was placed in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint, Group 1 Golden Shaheen Stakes, and Grade 1 Forego Stakes, and also of current two-year-old Ardenode (by Helvellyn), who has won the Listed Prix La Fleche and finished third in the Group 3 Prix du Bois at Deauville from just three starts.
Denniff Farms have a full-sister to Salt Island catalogued as Lot 927 in Book 2 of the upcoming Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, and with the way her half-brother Beat The Bank won just a few minutes away from that auction house yesterday, that filly is likely to attract plenty of attention.
Top-class middle-distance horse Adlerflug is a son of In The Wings (by Sadler's Wells) and from a branch of the family of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross), and King's Best (by Kingmambo) so it is no surprise that he has emerged as a leading sire in Germany.
His 11 stakes winners include Group 1 scorer and young Gestut Ammerland stallion Ito (first foals in 2018), dual Group 1 winner Iquitos, and Group 1 Henkel-Preis der Diana heroine Lacazar who is due to run next in the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera Longines at Chantilly.
The Peter Schiergen-trained three-year-old has won four in a row this season and her classic victory against Megera and Wuheida over 11 furlongs on soft ground at Dusseldorf last month was preceded by a one and a half-length defeat of Diana Storm in a Group 3 contest over the same trip on heavy ground at Hamburg.
A full-sister to the pattern-placed Liberry Gold, Lacazar was bred by Ina Emma Zimmerman and she is the second foal out of Laey Diamond (by Dai Jin), an unraced full-sister to Liang Kay.
His four pattern wins featured the Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen, his many pattern placings included one in the Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen (German 2000 Guineas), and he missed out on Group 1 placings when fourth in the Deutsches Derby and Grosser Dallmayr Preis.
Linton Bay (by Funambule), the grandam of Lacazar, was a German listed winner over seven furlongs and over a mile and her offspring also include both the pattern-placed stakes winner and blacktype producer Laeya Star (by Royal Dragon) and this year's Group 2 Diana-Trial third Litaara (by Wiener Walzer).
The next two dams – Ludhiana (by Ti Amo) and Lumaria (by Herero) – were both unraced, and other than a stakes-winning sprinter out of a half-sister to Linton Bay, those noted above represent the highlights of the first four generations of the pedigree.
Lacazar is still something of an unknown quantity and it will be fascinating to see how she gets on against the strong line-up at Chantilly.
Galileo's brilliant half-brother Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) has made an excellent start to his career at Gilltown Stud and the 11-year-old notched up his eighth individual Group 1 winner when Stradivarius took the Qatar Goodwood Cup earlier this month.
The John Gosden-trained chestnut is owned and bred by Bjorn Nielsen, he has won four of his seven starts, and what makes his one and three-quarter length defeat of Group 1 Gold Cup hero Big Orange particularly meritorious is that he is only a three-year-old. Timeform rated him 122.
He won the final of three starts at around a mile as a juvenile, started off his current campaign with a six-length score in a 10-furlong handicap at Beverley in April, failed by just half a length to give away 13lbs over two and a half furlongs farther at Chester the following month, and then put his name into the history books as the first winner of the newly framed Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot.
Previously run over over two miles and with listed or Group 3 status, it was generally seen as one of the lesser blacktype staying events, but, in 2017 and as part of some enhancements to the stayers' programme, it was reduced in distance to 14 furlongs and boosted in status to Group 2.
The presumed hope is that the Queen's Vase might become to stayers what the Commonwealth Cup has to sprinters, a well-supported stepping stone for potentially top-class three-year-olds before they take on the older horses.
The latter has quickly become established as one of the best additions to the racing calendar, and if the next few winners of the former go on to the sort of profile that its latest victor has achieved, then it too will play an important role.
Stradivarius is now one of the ante-post market leaders for both the Group 1 William Hill St Leger Stakes at Doncaster next month and for the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October.
He is a half-brother to the dual German 10-furlong Group 3 scorer Persian Storm (by Monsun) and out of Private Life (by Bering), a stakes-placed half-sister to the 15-furlong listed race winner Pretty Tough (by Desert King) and also to Parisienne (by Distant Relative), a juvenile stakes winner with a famous grandson.
That star is Protectionist (by Monsun), the Group 1 Melbourne Cup hero of 2014. He was a pattern-winning stayer before making the trip to Flemington, but an extended stay in Australia did not work out for him so he returned to Germany, added Group 1 success in the Grosser Preis von Berlin over 12 furlongs at Hoppegarten, and took up stallion duties at Gestut Rottgen in the spring.
His third dam, Poughkeepsie (by Sadler's Wells), is the grandam of Stradivarius and that one-time winner is among five successful runners from the dozen foals produced from Pawneese (by Carvin II), the Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes heroine whom Timeform rated 131 in her championship season: 1976.
Pawneese's half-sister Petroleuse (by Habitat), who won the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, is the grandam of Peintre Celebre (by Nureyev), the Timeform 137-rated star who took the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris and Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) in 1997.
Although he has not achieved the sort of fame at stud as he did on the track, the brilliant chestnut has supplied 65 stakes winners, 12 of whom have won at the highest level, including the Group 1 standouts Pride, Vallee Enchantee, and Bentley Biscuit.
At this point, Stradivarius looks the most likely candidate to win the season's final Group 1 classic at Doncaster. Whether or not he has the stamina for the two and a half-mile Group 1 Gold Cup next year remains to be seen, but a repeat Goodwood Cup success is possible and he could be a leading candidate for championship honours in the stayers' division in 2018.
Given his relationship to Protectionist, Pawneese and Peintre Celebre, it would be interesting to see how he might get on if dropping back to a mile and a half next year, and also to see him get a shot at being a flat stallion, rather than being automatically targeted at the National Hunt sector.
Yeomanstown Stud's Dark Angel (by Acclamation) was a leading sprint juvenile who took up stallion duties shortly after winning the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes. The Timeform 113-rated grey is a good-looking son of the high-class sprinter Acclamation (by Royal Applause), he has been hugely popular with breeders from day one, and he wasted little time in establishing himself as an important source of speed and precocity.
We can only guess at what he might have done had he stayed in training at three or four years of age, and if he would have been capable of a higher Timeform rating, but an increasing number of his offspring are matching and surpassing his figure, three have won at the highest level, and it is possible that a fourth will hit the Group 1 target tomorrow afternoon.
The big trio are Lethal Force (successful freshman sire), Mecca's Angel, and last month's July Cup hero Harry Angel, and the potential addition is the Charles Hills-trained three-year-old Battaash, one of the most exciting sprinters in Europe in recent years.
He looked a bright prospect when making a winning debut over the minimum trip at Bath in May of last year but was a disappointment when finishing down the field behind Ardad in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot a month later.
He was gelded soon afterwards and although he ran quite well in his three subsequent starts – finishing third each time – he showed nothing of the brilliance that he has exhibited this summer.
First he was placed in a conditions race over six at Doncaster – the only time he has tried that distance – then in a Haydock nursery, and finally behind Mrs Danvers in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket.
His three-year-old debut was in the Listed Randox Health Scurry Stakes at Sandown in mid-June and it was an eye-catching effort, beating Koropick by a length and a quarter. Then came his three and a quarter-length defeat of Mirza in the Group 3 Coral Charge, with Goldream another three lengths back in third.
That front-running performance suggested that he could be a Group 1 star in the making, but his two and a quarter-length victory in the Group 2 Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood was breathtaking.
The ground was soft but he showed a powerful turn of foot to beat Profitable by two and a quarter lengths, with Marsha third, Take Cover fourth, and Washington DC fifth – and in a very quick time. Timeform's analysis placed him on a massive 135+, making it one of the best performances by a sprinter in recent years and putting him level with the brilliant Lady Aurelia.
Immediately thoughts turned to the mouthwatering prospect of these two outstanding three-year-olds meeting on the track, and that is due to happen at York tomorrow afternoon in what could be a Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes for the ages.
Battaash was bred in Ireland by Ballyphilip Stud and he is a 200,000gns graduate of Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket. He is the first foal out of an unplaced mare called Anna Law (by Lawman), and although there will obviously be no stallion career for him, there is likely to be one for his notably talented 'cousin'.
That horse is the William Haggas-trained four-year-old Tasleet (by Showcasing), a Timeform 125-rated winner of the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and who was runner-up to The Tin Man in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
He is also owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, and his dam, Bird Key (by Cadeaux Genereux), is a half-sister to Anna Law. These two mares have four blacktype siblings, best of whom is Group 2 Champagne Stakes winner and Group 1 July Cup third Etlaala (by Selkirk), and they are out of Portelet (by Night Shift), a four-time winning half-sister to stakes-placed sprinter Rozel (by Wolfhound).
Noirmant (by Dominion), the third dam of Battaash and Tasleet, was unraced, her half-sister Ghariba (by Final Straw) won the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes and finished fourth in the Group 1 1000 Guineas and then went on to become the ancestor of several talented horses, including Group 1-placed juvenile mile Group 3 scorer Fantastic View (by Distant View) and the Group 1-placed, pattern-winning sprinter High Standing (by High Yield).
All of this might sound as though it is a family exclusively associated with talent at a mile and under, but Ghariba and Noirmant are out of Listed Montrose Handicap third Krakow (by Malinowski) and so are half-sisters to Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak and Group 2 Yorkshire Cup hero Braashee (by Sadler's Wells).
Their siblings also include Adam Smith (by Sadler's Wells), a multiple Grade 3 winner at around a mile in the USA.
It remains to be seen just how good Battaash really is, and despite his huge Timeform rating he has created the impression that he could still be improving. Although many would love the chance to breed to a horse of such immense talent, it has been said that there was good reason to castrate him and that, as a colt, he would likely not have shown his true worth.
This means that we could be treated to the sight of this exciting sprinter in action for several years, and if he truly is a 130+ talent rather than a 'one-hit wonder', and if can hold that sort of form over a long period of time, then he has the potential to become one of the most celebrated horses on the international scene, and a yardmark against which to judge the current and future generations.
Timeform 147-rated superstar Frankel (by Galileo) has been bred to some of the cream of the world's elite broodmares and, with such support, anything less than a plethora of stakes and pattern winners from the resulting offspring would be disappointing.
As of today, his tally stands at a dozen pattern winners plus one Group 2-placed listed scorer and a string of blacktype-placed representatives from his first crop, and a Group 2 winner from his second.
He is awaiting his first European Group 1 winner – to add to his champion and classic heroine Soul Stirring, in Japan – but with the manner in which Cracksman won the Group 2 Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes at York this afternoon, there is every reason to hope that this John Gosden-trained three-year-old could be one to make the breakthrough.
His six-length defeat of Venice Beach was impressive, there was a further six lengths back to Mirage Dancer – who is also by Frankel – and the talented Douglas Macarthur was another half-length behind in fourth.
This year's Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe or Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes, and perhaps next year's Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes were mentioned, by trainer John Gosden, as potential future targets for the colt, and it looks like Anthony Oppenheimer's Hascombe and Valiant Studs have bred another top-class racehorse.
He won a mile maiden at Newmarket in mid-October, his only start at two, and the benefit of hindsight makes his short-head victory in the Investec Derby Trial, over 10 furlongs at Epsom in late April, look so much better than it did on the day as the colt he pipped was the tragically ill-fated subsequent Group 1-placed dual Group 2 ace Permian.
The latter's talent had started to become apparent before Cracksman returned to the venue on the first Saturday in June and so, despite having just those two races under his belt, the grandson of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) was sent off favourite for the Group 1 Investec Derby.
His inexperience showed but he still ran an excellent race, finishing third to Wings Of Eagles and Cliffs Of Moher – beaten by a length and a neck – and with the Frankel colt Eminent another three-parts of a length back in fourth.
A month later, he went to the Curragh for the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby where, having come wide and late, he looked like an unlucky loser, crossing the line a short-head in front of Wings Of Eagles but failing by a neck to catch Capri. The Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist was a length and a half back in fourth, with another two and a quarter back to fifth-placed Douglas Macarthur.
Cracksman is a half-brother to the Group 3 Solario Stakes winner Fantastic Moon (by Dalakhani) and he is the fourth foal out of Rhadegunda (by Pivotal), a triple winner whose tally includes the Listed Prix Solitude over nine furlongs on heavy ground at Fontainebleau, the final start in a nine-race career for the John Gosden-trained bay.
Her half-brother Halla San (by Halling) earned his blacktype with third-place finishes in 14-furlong listed contests at Nottingham and York, he was beaten by just a head when runner-up in the two-mile Northumberland Plate, and went on to some success over hurdles.
His stamina stands out in contrast to the aptitude of his sister, to his dam's Listed Sirenia Stakes-winning half-brother Art Of War (by Machiavellian), and to the classic speed of his grandam, On The House (by Be My Guest), the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Sussex Stakes heroine of 1982.
That Timeform 125-rated star is also the grandam of Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner Leo (by Pivotal) and of dual Italian listed scorer Balkenhol (by Polar Falcon), and she is the third dam of Irish Field (by Dubawi), who won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin and was runner-up in the Group 3 Prix du Bois.
In terms of optimal distance, Cracksman could have gone either way – miler or middle-distance horse. These first three generations are mostly about talent at up to nine furlongs, with Halla San an exception. That gelding, however, is by a stallion often noted for getting horses who excel from 12 furlongs to two miles, and so one could argue that this was the source of his stamina.
Frankel was bred to stay a mile and a half – something his triple Group 1-winning full-brother Noble Mission did – and so, with the right mares, it was always going to happen that some of his offspring would also be suited to that trip, and maybe a bit farther.
Should Cracksman succeed at the highest level over middle-distances, then he will not be the first member of his extended family to achieve the feat. That's because his fourth dam is Lora (by Lorenzaccio), the unraced grandam of Nuryana (by Nureyev) and Littlewick (by Green Desert).
The latter is the dam of the Chilean-bred Grade 1 Premio St Leger heroine Fontanella Borghese (by Roy), but in addition to being the stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Coronation Stakes winner Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian), Nuryana is a half-sister to 11 and a half-furlong Group 3 scorer and Derby sixth Mystic Knight (by Caerleon) and grandam of Golden Horn (by Cape Cross).
That Oppenheimer-bred, Timeform 134-rated champion won the Group 1 Derby, Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in 2015, he stands at Dalham Hall Stud, and his first foals arrived this year.
His relationship to Crackman is remote, as are that of Nuryana, Fontanella Borghese, New Zealand-bred dual Group 1 mile star Obsession (by Bachelor Duke; grandam a half-sister to Nuryana), and Australian Group 1 scorers Kidnapped (by Viscount) and Hauraki (by Reset; their grandam is another half-sister to Nuryana).
But if Cracksman lives up to the potential that he showed at York today then he could take high rank among the very best horses that his immediate and broad family have produced, before going on to what could be a notably successful career at stud.
Such is the growing obsession with speed and precocity that a horse such as Permian can be easily overlooked, and that is a shame. With the exception of a couple of hiccups along the way, the colt has steadily worked his way up through the ranks and he deserves to be recognised as being among the leading middle-distance three-year-old colts in Europe.
He is also a horse who has a stallion’s pedigree and it is to be hoped that, should be win at the highest level, then he will be afforded a well-supported position at stud. He won’t sire early sprint types, but he could, given the chance, get milers and middle-distance horses – even classic types – along with some talented autumn juveniles.
The Darley-bred bay is trained by Mark Johnston and yes, he was precocious. Just because he was not asked to race below seven furlongs does not change that reality, especially as he made a winning racecourse debut less than two months after his physical second birthday. That was on the polytrack at Kempton in June.
He was runner-up under a penalty at Ayr a month later, on soft ground, and then took a one-mile Windsor nursery by four lengths, under 9st 7lb, just eight days before scoring over the same trip at Ripon. He was now rated 91, he disappointed when only fifth in a Newcastle nursery – giving 10lbs and more to each of his rivals – before rounding out his first season by finishing a three-quarter length third in what can now be viewed as having been one of the best two-year-old races of 2016.
It did not look in any way remarkable at the time, but the Listed Zetland Stakes, over 10 furlongs on good ground at Newmarket, saw Coronet beat Cunco by a neck, with Permian third and a gap of three and three-quarter lengths back to the fourth, Wings Of Eagles.
Coronet finished third in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary next time out and won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot on Thursday, Cunco won the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown in April, Wings Of Eagles sprang a 40/1 surprise in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom a few weeks ago, and in addition to his half-length defeat of Khalidi in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot on Friday, Permian has won both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Listed Newmarket Stakes.
He failed by a head and short-head to give 14lbs and 15lbs to two rivals in an 11 and a half-furlong Bath handicap on his seasonal debut, was short-headed by subsequent Group 1 Investec Derby third Cracksman in the 10-furlong Derby Trial at Epsom 12 days later, and then began his sequence of blacktype wins. He disappointed in the Derby itself, finishing eight and a quarter lengths behind Wings Of Eagles, but that blip on his record is clearly not reflective of his ability.
Benbatl and Crystal Ocean are the pair that chased him home at York. The latter finished third behind him again at Ascot, and the former is the Saeed bin Suroor-trained colt who finished well to take fifth in the Derby before beating Orderofthegarter by half a length in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes over 10 furlongs at Ascot on Thursday.
Permian was rated 113 going to Ascot and so he still has improvement to make if he is going to be capable of winning at the highest level, but with the way his figures have been progressing throughout his career, it would not be any surprise to see him take such a leap forward. And it should not be forgotten – he is a 1st May foal.
Permian is a son of juvenile ace and Kildangan Stud classic sire Teofilo (by Galileo), a stallion whose dozen Group 1 stars include Havana Gold, the Tweenhills Farm & Stud horse who was the first freshman of 2017 to get a stakes winner in Europe. That was the Listed National Stakes winner Havana Grey and he may be joined before long by Headway, the colt who was a head runner-up in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Ascot on Tuesday.
Tessa Reef (by Mark Of Esteem), the dam of Permian, won listed races over eight and nine furlongs in France, her string of multiple-winning offspring includes the blacktype-placed pair Second Wave (by New Approach) and Samana Cay (by Authorized), and she was the best of four winners out of Massaraat (by Nureyev), a stakes-winning full-sister to the great Miesque.
Massaraat is the grandam of Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Silkwood (by Singspiel) and of Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes scorer Silent Honor (by Sunday Silence), and she is the fourth dam of last year’s triple Oaks-placed filly Architecture (by Zoffany), but her record pales in comparison to that of her famous sister.
A Niarchos homebred, Miesque was trained by the late François Boutin and she was a champion in each of her seasons to race. She won both the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre at two, earning a Timeform rating of 124. At three she took the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, and was Timeform-rated 131.
At four she added the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and a second edition of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, and earned a Timeform figure of 133. Her only defeats in a 16-race career were in the Group 1 Prix Morny (third), Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks – runner-up to Indian Skimmer), Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (runner-up to Milligram), and when a head second to Soviet Star – the only colt to have beaten her – on soft ground in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin as a four-year-old.
Many champion racemares disappoint at stud, but not Miesque. Her first foal was the triple Group 1-winning miler and leading international classic sire Kingmambo (by Mr Prospector), her second was dual French classic heroine East Of The Moon (by Private Account), and her third was the Group 1-placed and pattern-winning sprinter Miesque’s Son (by Mr Prospector), the sire of Group/Grade 1 stars Miesque’s Approval and Whipper.
Mingun (by A.P. Indy) won the Group 3 Meld Stakes, and Moon Is Up (by Woodman), her fourth foal, is the stakes-winning dam of South African Grade 1 winner Amanee (by Pivotal) and grandam of classic and Breeders’ Cup Mile hero Karakontie (by Bernstein), a Gainesway stallion whose first foals arrived this year.
The aforementioned East Of The Moon is the dam of Group 3 scorer Moon Driver (by Mr Prospector) and grandam of both Group 3 winner and blacktype sire Evasive (by Elusive Quality) and this year’s Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes scorer Autocratic (by Dubawi).
Monevassia, on the other hand, is a non-winning full-sister to Kingmambo who has produced juvenile champion and dual Group 1 star Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill) – dam of classic-placed Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks heroine Tapestry (by Galileo). She is also responsible for the Group 3 Balanchine Stakes winner I Am Beautiful (by Rip Van Winkle) and she is the grandam of the dual classic-placed Group 1 Dubai Turf hero Real Steel (by Deep Impact).
This is quite a legacy, and should Karakontie have the expected success in the sales ring and on the track over the next few years then that should also strengthen the appeal of Permian as a prospective stallion. Again, getting a good Group 1 win to his name will be important if he is to earn the chance.
Miesque’s stakes-winning dam Pasadoble (by Prove Out) has two other daughters who must be mentioned in any discussion of this famous family, even though neither of them raced. One Life (by L’Emigrant) is the third dam of 2012’s Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) scorer Lucayan (by Turtle Bowl), and Yogya (by Riverman) is the dam of the excellent Six Perfections (by Celtic Swing).
She was Timeform-rated 120p at two, 124 at three, and 120 at four, her wins included the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, and the races in which she was placed included the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan, and other editions both of the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Her son Yucatan (by Galileo) was runner-up in both the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy (to Rivet) and Group 2 Beresford Stakes (to Capri) last year, finished a one-length third to Rekindling in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes on his seasonal reappearance in April, and lost out by a head to Douglas Macarthur in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes on his only subsequent outing. He is currently available at around 16/1 for Saturday’s Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
The same price is also available about Permian’s prospects in next month’s Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, and his big race entries also include the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, both over 10 furlongs.
The Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket is not a contest that we typically consider to be a source of potentially high-class racehorses. It is over 10 furlongs, a marathon trip for juveniles, and so generally not on the radar of the potential classic or middle-distance stars, who go for the top six to eight-furlong pattern events instead.
The 2016 edition of the race, however, now looks like having been one of the better two-year-old races of the season because each of the first four home that day is a pattern winner already in 2017, three of them being horses of particular note.
The race went to the 3/1 favourite who won by a neck from an 11/1 shot, who was half a length ahead of a 20/1 outsider, and the fourth-placed runner, at 10/1, was another three and three-quarter lengths behind. Their names were largely unknown on the day, but look how it reads now when we can say that Coronet, Cunco, Permian, and Wings Of Eagles were those four horses, in that order.
Coronet won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday, Cunco won the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown in April, Permian has won both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, and Wings Of Eagles sprang a 40/1 shock in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
Coronet had won her only previous start – a mile maiden at Leicester – so finished her first season with an unbeaten record and a Timeform rating of 102p. She finished third to Sobetsu in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary on her first start of this year, disappointed when finishing a well-beaten fifth to Enable in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom, but then bounced back to beat Mori by a neck at Ascot.
She holds an entry in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks and, given what one of her siblings achieved, and the famous family that she represents, it would be no surprise to see her line up at Doncaster in September for the final classic of the year – the Group 1 St Leger.
Coronet is owned and bred by Denford Stud, she is trained by John Gosden, and she is a daughter of Dalham Hall Stud’s outstanding stallion Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium).
Her half-brother Streetcar To Stars (by Sea The Stars) was short-headed in a 12-furlong listed contest at Leopardstown, finished third in a Group 3 over the same course and distance and then a one and a half length fourth to Leading Light in the 14-furlong Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh, all from just five starts, but it is another of her siblings who is the really notable one.
Midas Touch (by Galileo) won the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, was a half-length runner-up to Cape Blanco in the Group 1 Irish Derby, and also runner-up in the Group 1 St Leger and Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes before moving to Australia where, in a campaign that included unplaced runs in sprints, he finished third in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes over nine furlongs.
Coronet is out of Approach (by Darshaan) who won the Listed Ballymacoll Stakes at Newbury, was Grade 2-placed at Keeneland and finished third in the Group 3 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. The mare’s stakes-placed full-sister Intrigued is the dam of Listed Cocked Hat Stakes winner and Group 1 St Leger third Michelangelo (by Galileo), and Aussie Rules (by Danehill) was the best of her male siblings.
He won the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket as a juvenile, added both the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at three, he began his stallion career at Coolmore and then moved to Lanwades Stud. His progeny include Group 1 Matron Stakes heroine Fiesolana and New Zealand Group 1 scorer Willie Cazals, but, sadly, he died last year at the age of 13.
Approach and Aussie Rules were the best of 10 winners among 14 foals out of Last Second (by Alzao), one of the notable daughters of the influential mare Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace). She was also one of the most talented of them as she won the Group 2 Nassau Stakes, Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes and Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes, and was runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
Her half-sister Alleluia (by Caerleon) won the Group 3 Doncaster Cup before going on to become the dam of Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak heroine Allegretto (by Galileo), and another half-sister, Arrikala (by Darshaan), won the Listed Curragh Cup and finished third in the Group 1 Irish Oaks. Although that filly did not achieve fame at stud, two of her full-sisters did.
Alouette was the more talented of the pair on the racetrack, winning a listed contest at Galway and finishing third in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and the grey has several descendants of particular note, two of them top-class daughters: dual Group 1 Champion Stakes heroine Alborada (by Alzao) and dual German Group 1 star Albanova (by Alzao), both bred by Kirsten Rausing.
The latter is the dam of Group 3 scorer and last month’s Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes runner-up Algometer (by Archipenko), of triple listed scorer All At Sea (by Sea The Stars), listed race winner Alwilda (by Hernando) and multiple stakes-placed Albamara (by Galileo).
Alborada’s son Albion (by With Approval) was only beaten by a head when runner-up in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe, the lightly-raced Nordic Hero (by Archipenko) won an eight and a half furlong listed contest at Killarney two years ago, Albaraka (by Selkirk) was stakes-placed, and Alvarita (by Selkirk) won the Listed Prix Petite Etoile over 10 and a half furlongs at Saint-Cloud before becoming the dam of Group 3 scorer Alla Speranza (by Sir Percy) and pattern-placed stakes winner Altesse (by Hernando).
Alakananda (by Hernando), a dual winning half-sister to those two Group 1 stars, has done her part for the family as she is the dam of listed scorer Dragon Dancer (by Sadler’s Wells) who was short-headed by Sir Percy in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom.
Alouette’s other notable full-sister is Jude. She was only placed on the racetrack but has become a broodmare of considerable value as her offspring include Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Yesterday (by Sadler’s Wells), classic-placed Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Quarter Moon (by Sadler’s Wells), and Group 1 Oaks third All My Loving (by Sadler’s Wells).
The last-named of that trio is the dam of the ill-fated Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Thomas Chippendale (by Dansili), whereas Quarter Moon’s four blacktype earners feature Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes scorer Diamondsandrubies (by Fastnet Rock) and Group 1 Fillies’ Mile third You’ll Be Mine (by Kingmambo), dam of this year’s Group 3 Craven Stakes winner and Group 1 Investec Derby fourth Eminent (by Frankel).
In addition to Jude and and her blacktype stars, Alruccaba’s progeny also include Alexandrine (by Nashwan), a four-time winner who has a perfect record at stud, with eight winners from eight foals of racing age including the stakes-placed six-time scorer Alambic (by Cozzene) and South African Group 2 winner Kingston Mines (by Archipenko).
This is one of the most famous families in the stud book and that makes Coronet an exciting prospect, both as a racehorse and, eventually, as a broodmare. It would be no surprise to see her make the necessary improvement to win at the highest level.
Nayef (by Gulch) was a top-class middle-distance racehorse and Shadwell's Nunnery Stud stallion notched up his 25th individual stakes winner when Ice Breeze took a slowly run edition of the Group 2 Prix Hocquart over 12 furlongs at Chantilly this afternoon.
This head defeat of Shakeel came on his fourth start and it followed his two-length second to Called To The Bar in the Group 3 Prix du Lys over the same trip at Saint-Cloud last month. He won a maiden over that same course and distance three weeks before, and was a half-length runner-up to Sand Fox on his debut, over a furlong and a half less, at that same venue in April.
Having won a Group 2 so early in his career, the Pascal Bary-trained bay has earned a step up in class – with the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris an obvious potential target – but it is fair to say that, as yet, the level of form he has achieved is still some way short of what would be required to succeed at the highest level.
He should be capable of further improvement, however, and of staying not only a strongly run mile and a half but, potentially, a bit farther too.
His full-brother Snow Sky won the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, finished third to Kingston Hill in the Group 1 St Leger, and was not disgraced when finishing a four and three-quarter-length fifth to Mongolian Khan in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.
Snow Sky stands at Ballycurragh Stud and some of his first crop are likely to appear at the foal sales later in the year.
Ice Breeze is out of Winter Silence (by Dansili), who was a stakes-placed middle-distance winner in France. The mare's success at stud is no surprise as she is daughter of the excellent producer Hunt The Sun (by Rainbow Quest), a three-time placed runner who became the dam of six blacktype horses, two of which won at the highest level.
Meteor Storm (by Bigstone) took the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park, the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap and Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap at Santa Anita, and the Grade 2 W L Knight Handicap at Calder. He was also placed in a string of good races, notably the Grade 1 Canadian International Stakes, Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes and Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup.
Polish Summer (by Polish Precedent) won the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba, the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville and the Group 3 Prix Exbury in France, he was runner-up in the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin, and twice second in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Their half-brother Host Nation (by Grand Lodge) got his best win in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville at Longchamp, half-sister Morning Eclipse (by Zafonic) won a listed contest at Chantilly, and the remaining blacktype produce of Hunt The Sun is Winter Solstice (by Unfuwain), the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale runner-up who has two descendants of particular note.
Her son Ice Blue (by Dansili) on the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud and her granddaughter Winsili (by Dansili) won the Group 1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
The third dam of Ice Breeze is Suntrap (by Roberto), who finished third in the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale, Listed Lupe Stakes and Listed Atalanta Stakes and whose siblings include the Group 2 Deutsches St Leger scorer Non Partisan (by Alleged).
More notable, however, is that Suntrap is the dam of the multiple Group/Grade 1 middle-distance stars Raintrap and Sunshack who are full-brothers to Hunt The Sun and also to Summer Breeze. That filly earned her blacktype when finishing third in the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs as a juvenile and she is the dam of the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes winner Doctor Fremantle (by Sadler's Wells).
In addition to the aforementioned German pattern winner, Suntrap is a half-sister to the Group 1-placed Canadian blacktype scorer Jalaajel (by Alleged), to one-time scorer Bright Spells (by Alleged) – dam of the ill-fated classic-placed Group 3 winner Clearing (by Zafonic) – and to Set Fair (by Alleged), the stakes-placed dam of Listed Cheshire Oaks scorer Valentine Girl (by Alzao) and grandam of the Group 1 Sydney Cup winner Stand To Gain (by Hawk Wing).
Sunny Bay (by Northern Bay), the fourth dam of Ice Breeze, was a Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner in the USA.
It remains to be seen how Ice Breeze will fare when taking on stronger opposition in a strongly run race, but he has the potential to do well over middle-distances in France and, possibly, within that country's stayers' division.
Classic trials generate a lot of coverage and discussion, most of it focusing on winners and beaten favourites. This year's Group 1 Investec Derby hero did run in such a race but his performance did not attract much attention as he was a one and a quarter-length runner-up to his stable companion Venice Beach in the Group 3 Chester Vase.
Had his prior record been more notable then it is likely that he could have gone off at a single-digit price at Epsom rather than the 40/1 he returned on Saturday, but Wings Of Eagles had made the frame in just one of his four previous starts, and that was when winning an eight and a half-furlong maiden at Killarney in August.
He was unplaced over seven furlongs at Galway on his debut, was sent off at 10/1 when only fourth behind Coronet, Cunco, and Permian in the Listed Zetland Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newmarket, and then at 33/1 when ninth behind Waldgeist in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud.
This was more the profile of a Derby pacemaker than significant player, especially as each of Aidan O'Brien's other five runners had stronger claims. He was hampered at the start, had only two behind him at they entered the straight, but then crept closer while switching around those blocking his path, and produced the powerful run that saw him sweep past his rivals to take the classic by three-parts of a length in the hands of Padraig Beggy.
The O'Brien-trained Cliffs Of Moher, who looked set for victory when he put his head in front inside the final furlong, had to settle for second, a neck in front of the big-race favourite Cracksman, with Eminent another three-quarters of a length back in fourth.
The time of the race was very good – the fourth-fastest Derby – and it could be that hold-up tactics over 12 furlongs are just what this colt needs to show his ability. He holds an entry in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, as you would expect, but also in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes, which are over 10 furlongs.
In an aside, but interesting coincidence, the Group 3 Chester Vase runner-up also won the Derby 27 years ago. That was the Roger Charlton-trained Juddmonte homebred Quest For Fame (by Rainbow Quest), a Newbury maiden winner who chased home Belmez at Chester before beating Blue Stag by three lengths at Epsom, at 7/1.
Two years later, when trained by Bobby Frankel, he added the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Handicap over 10 furlongs, and although he never became a high-profile success at stud, he did get several Group 1 stars in Australia.
A stallion career awaits Wings Of Eagles whenever his racing career comes to an end but despite his classic success it seems likely that the support he will be afforded will depend on what he does between now and then. We need more true middle-distance horses at stud but all too often they quickly fall from favour, are exported or transferred to the National Hunt market.
Indeed, Wings Of Eagles is the son of such a horse. Pour Moi (by Montjeu) was also a come-from-behind winner of the Derby, getting up on the line to beat Treasure Beach by a head, but he never ran again, his early runners include the pattern-winning sprinter Only Mine and the New Zealand-bred Group 1 scorer Sacred Elixir, and he is already in his first year as a National Hunt sire at Grange Stud, with a Derby hero in his second crop.
Wings Of Eagles was bred in France by Aliette Forien and Gilles Forien, he is a €220,000 graduate of the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale, and he is one of three blacktype earners out of Ysoldina (by Kendor).
The full-sisters Gyrella (by Oasis Dream) and Torentosa have been listed-placed in France. Four-year-old Sweet Electra (by Sea The Stars) has won over nine furlongs at Chantilly, but that Pascal Bary-trained grey has been out of the frame both times she tried blacktype company.
Ysoldina also had ability and, although she did not win at stakes level, she was stakes-placed seven times. These included when runner-up to Divine Proportions in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp, third to that same star in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), and third behind Pride in the Group 2 Prix Corrida, as a four-year-old, on her final start.
She is among 13 winners out of a placed mare called Rotina (by Crystal Glitters) and that string of successful runners includes four pattern stars. Belle Et Celebre (by Peintre Celebre) took the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, and the prolific gelding Valentino (by Valanour) won the Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc, Group 3 Prix Perth, and Group 3 Prix Andre Baboin.
Whortleberry (by Starborough) notched up eight wins, most notably the Group 2 Prix Jean Romanet, Group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio, and Group 3 Prix Minerve, and her offspring include the Japanese Group 3 scorer Straw Hat (by Fuji Kiseki).
The fourth of the notable siblings is Appel Au Maitre (by Starborough), a champion at two and three years of age, and twice as an older horse – all in Scandinavia. He won the Group 3 Stora Pris at Taby, the Group 3 Marit Sveaas Minnelop at Ovreroll, the Listed Svenskt Derby at Jagersro, and two editions of the Group 3 Stockholm Cup International.
Unlike most horses racing in that region, the Wido Neuroth-trained chestnut was also campaigned abroad, mostly in Germany. He won a Group 3 contest, was runner-up to Campanologist in the Group 1 Rheinland-Pokal, and to Axxos in the Group 2 Oppenheim-Union-Rennen, all at Cologne, he was a three-quarter-length third to Getaway in the Group 1 Deutschland-Preis at Dusseldorf, and finished fourth to Adlerflug in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby at Hamburg. He went to stud in Denmark.
Rudolfina (by Pharly), the third dam of Wings Of Eagles, also had ability, notching up four wins that included a pair of listed contests at Longchamp. The races in which she was placed featured the Group 3 Prix Chloe, Group 3 Prix Fille de l'Air, Group 3 Prix Corrida, and Group 3 Prix Messidor, and she went on to produce seven winners from a dozen foals.
One was a pattern-placed listed-race winner, another was Group 3-placed, two earned minor blacktype over hurdles at Auteuil, and one of the non-winners – Rodelina (by Caro) – became the dam of the talented filly Red Rubin (by Hero's Honor), a triple French listed scorer at nine to 10 furlongs.
Wings Of Eagles has risen from relative obscurity to winning one of the world's most famous races in a style that suggests it was no fluke. Whether he stays at around 12 furlongs or goes the old-fashioned route of Derby to St Leger to Gold Cup remains to be seen, but he is clearly a fascinating prospect, both as a racehorse and as a future stallion.
The list of Galileo-sired stallions who have at least one Group 1 winner to their name somewhere in the world got a new addition recently when Enable powered through heavy rain to win the Investec Oaks at Epsom, beating Rhododendron by five lengths.
The Juddmonte Farms homebred represents the first crop of the top-class middle-distance horse Nathaniel (by Galileo), one of two stallions resident at Newsells Park Stud. The other is sprint star and Group 1 sire Equiano (by Acclamation).
Nathaniel had some two-year-old winners in 2016, as you would expect, and given his racing and pedigree profile it was always likely that we would start to see the best of his offspring emerge once they started racing at 10 furlongs and beyond.
That is not to say that he will not get some high-class juveniles – and there is every reason to hope that he will get some stakes and pattern winners among that age group – but this is not a stallion who was going to make the sort of flashy early beginning that the commercial market seems to love.
Instead, Nathaniel's prospects have always been as a potential classic and middle-distance sire. Enable is his first pattern winner, she was joined in the Oaks line-up by fellow listed scorer Natavia – who was unplaced – and the stallion's five other blacktype earners include Group 2 Derby Italiano runner-up Back On Board and two pattern-placed colts who could tackle the Group 1 Deutsches Derby.
That quintet also includes stakes-placed Glencadam Glory who was beaten by just under eight lengths when out of the frame behind Wings Of Eagles in the Group 1 Investec Derby. He is, like Enable, trained by John Gosden, and he holds an entry in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Ascot.
Enable ran just once as a juvenile, taking a mile maiden on the Tapeta surface at Newcastle in late November by three and three-quarter lengths. Therefore she joins the growing list of Group 1 stars who got an early winning start on the artificial tracks, a roll of honour that also includes Covert Love (Irish Oaks), Hawkbill (Eclipse Stakes), Jack Hobbs (Irish Derby), Silverwave (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud), and Zelzal (Prix Jean Prat).
Her second start was in a 10-furlong conditions race at Newbury in April, where she finished two and a half lengths and a head behind Shutter Speed and Raheen House, with the rest well-beaten.
Just 19 days later she was eased down to beat Alluringly by one and three-quarter lengths in the Listed Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks over the extended 11 furlongs at Chester. The third that day, Tansholpan, finished another nine lengths behind.
Although a comparison of the margin between Enable and Alluringly that day versus the 11 lengths that separated them at Epsom may flatter the newly crowned classic star, there is no doubt that she improved again between those two races. Her Chester rival finished third in the Oaks, three and three-quarter lengths clear of fourth-placed Horseplay.
Enable is the fifth foal out of the listed race winner and Group 3 Prix de Flore runner-up Concentric (by Sadler's Wells) and so the first thing about her pedigree that jumps off the page is that she is inbred 3x2 to Coolmore Stud's late, great, white-faced bay. Whether or not that has had any bearing on her ability cannot be known.
Concentric's offspring also include the Group 2 Prix de Pomone third Contribution (by Champs Elysees), she is out of the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont scorer Apogee (by Shirley Heights) and so has three siblings of particular note.
Dance Routine, her full-sister, won the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu and was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) before going on to become the dam of five-time Group/Grade 1 star Flintshire (by Dansili). A dual Arc-placed Group 1 winner before heading to stardom across the atlantic, he is completing his first season on the stallion roster at Hill 'N Dale Farms in Kentucky.
His full-brother Dance Moves has been a dual stakes winner in France and third in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay, and his half-sister Deliberate (by King's Best) is the winning dam of the pattern-placed pair Projected (by Showcasing) and Delivery (by Rail Link).
Apogee's other two stakes winners are Apsis (by Barathea) and Space Quest (by Rainbow Quest). The former won the Group 3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord and Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon, and his progeny include the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak scorer Les Beaufs.
Space Quest won the Listed Prix Joubert, her son Kocab (by Unfuwain) won five listed races and took second place in the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris, and her grandson Virtual Game (by Kheleyf) has won several listed contests in Italy.
Light Ballet, another full-sister to Concentric, did not win a stakes race, but earned her blacktype when third in the Group 3 Prix Minerve and she has done her part for the family's reputation by producing listed scorer Penchee (by Grand Lodge) and two stakes-placed sons.
Bourbon Girl (by Ile De Bourbon), who Juddmonte also bred, chased home Unite in both the Group 1 Oaks and Group 1 Irish Oaks in 1987, and Apogee is one of three daughters of particular note for her.
Daring Miss (by Sadler's Wells), who could be described as being a three-parts sister to Concentric and Dance Route, won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly three weeks before chasing home Montjeu in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud. The best of her progeny is the stakes-winning gelding Destruct (by Rail Link).
The other sister is Shining Bright (by Rainbow Quest) who made her name solely at stud, coming up with two of El Prado's (by Sadler's Wells) star performers in Europe. Spanish Moon won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and his sister Spanish Sun, who is the dam of Listed Pretty Polly Stakes scorer Swiss Range (by Zamindar), took the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes.
A Nathaniel filly from this famous family was always going to stay a mile and a half and, if proving smart, become a likely candidate for the Oaks and Irish Oaks. She has won the former and is likely to tackle the latter.
Her Oaks victory, during a thunderstorm, was achieved in the fastest time ever for a winner of that classic at Epsom, which suggests that she may be an above-average classic heroine. Her apparent superiority over Rhododendron may be slightly exaggerated given that the latter's stamina appeared to falter, and it could be a case that, like in 1992 when User Friendly beat All At Sea, with the rest nowhere, that the runner-up will drop back in trip and excel there instead.
Enable could certainly emulate User Friendly by adding the Group 1 Irish Oaks and Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, and my immediate post-race impression was that we had just seen the likely Group 1 St Leger winner in action. It was a pity, therefore, to hear her trainer all but rule out a tilt at the final classic of the year.
She is among the ante-post favourites for the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe so it is possible that she might go there instead of to Doncaster. But whatever her year planner contains, there is no doubt that she is a high-calibre filly, one who could achieve anything on the track and, eventually, at stud, and she is a wonderful advertisement for her young sire.
Two-year-olds who win their maiden by 10 lengths or more seldom prove anything but smart and the way that Sobetsu beat nine rivals by that distance and more over a mile at Newmarket in September put her into many notebooks as a potential Group 1 candidate for 2017.
She had been third to Spatial and Unforgettable Filly over a furlong less at that venue three weeks before, her only other juvenile outing ended in a somewhat disappointing fifth to Rhododendron in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile, also at headquarters, and she finished her first season with a Timeform rating of 103.
She had been beaten by 15 lengths on that first tilt at blacktype company so it was not really a surprise that she was sent off at 14/1 on her seasonal reappearance at Deauville last month.
She belied those odds, however, and on her first attempt at 10 furlongs, and on soft ground, Godolphin's Darley-bred took the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary by three lengths from Vue Fantastique.
Sobetsu is trained by Charlie Appleby, she was raised to an official mark of 113 after this success, and it will be interesting to see how this daughter of outstanding Dalham Hall Stud stallion Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) fits into the overall end-of-year rankings.
There is no doubt that she is bred to achieve anything, both on the track and, eventually, at stud, because in addition to having such a notable sire, she comes from one of the most famous families in the stud book.
Sobetsu is out of Lake Toya (by Darshaan), a dual listed race winner who was third in the Group 3 Prix de Flore at Saint-Cloud. That mare has nine winning siblings, three of them blacktype earners, and she is also a half-sister to Hermes Tiara (by Brian's Time), the unraced dam of Group 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner and Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) third Dee Majesty (by Deep Impact).
Shinko Hermes (by Sadler's Wells), the grandam of Sobetsu, was only placed but her full-sister Imagine won the Group 1 Oaks and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas in 2001, and another full-sister, Strawberry Roan, won a Leopardstown listed race before chasing home Classic Park in the 1997 edition of that same Curragh classic.
Strawberry Roan is the grandam of Group 2 Rockfel Stakes winner Cape Dollar (by Cape Cross), Imagine's daughter Kitty Matcham (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won that same juvenile contest, Imagine is also responsible for the classic-placed Group 2 scorer Viscount Nelson (by Giant's Causeway), US mile Grade 3 winner Point Piper (by Giant's Causeway), and ill-fated Group 1 Grand Criterium winner Horatio Nelson (by Danehill), and those mares are only two of the notable offspring of Doff The Derby (by Master Derby).
She was unraced because of an injury sustained early in life, but she comes from a family whose many top-level stars include the prolific but ill-fated Group 1 heroine Triptych (by Riverman), that standout's dam and US champion Trillion (by Hail To Reason), and, distantly removed, the brilliant dual Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve (by Motivator).
Doff The Derby's roll of honour also includes the Group 1-placed pattern winner Wedding Bouquet (by Kings Lake), the talented Japanese colt Osumi Tycoon (by Last Tycoon), and, best of all, the Timeform 139-rated superstar Generous (by Caerleon).
That flashy chestnut sprang a 50/1 surprise in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at two, finished an eye-catching fourth behind Mystiko in the Group 1 2000 Guineas on his seasonal reappearance, and then posted a hugely impressive success in the Derby at Epsom, easily beating subsequent Group 1 scorer Marju by five lengths.
Suave Dancer had looked equally brilliant when taking the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Chantilly and the prospect of a match between the pair generated great excitement at the Irish Derby meeting a few weeks later.
Generous trounced his Gallic rival by three lengths – the pair well clear of the other four runners – and followed that with a seven-length victory in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, with Sanglamore, Rock Hopper, and Terimon the ones who chased him home.
It was to prove to be his final win, but his Curragh foe, who bypassed Ascot, went on to impressive wins in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, being applauded through the final furlong in the former by an appreciative Leopardstown crowd.
Generous sired winners at all levels but, like most sons of his dual champion sire, had an overall disappointing record at stud.
But back to Wedding Bouquet for a moment as her pattern-winning descendants include a brilliant granddaughter: champion and prolific Group 1 star Moonlight Cloud (by Invincible Spirit), who Timeform rated 129.
Sobetsu has a long to go yet if she is to get close to the ratings produced by some of her most famous relations, but she holds a string of Group 1 entries from eight to 12 furlongs – starting with tomorrow's Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom – so hopefully we will get plenty of opportunities to see what she can do.
Classic season is well under way and one result was quite a surprise. It's not that the horse in question had failed to show potential before her Group 1 success – she had a trio of blacktype seconds to her name – but her performance over the mile at Deauville was a huge step forward from what she had achieved in sprints.
Precieuse, homebred in Ireland by Brendan and Anne-Marie Hayes of Knocktoran Stud, was returned at odds of 33/1 when beating Sea Of Grace by one and three-quarter lengths in the Abu Dhabi Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
The ground was described as being very soft, as it was when she was an odds-on three-length winner over six furlongs at Fontainebleau two months before, it was heavy when she chased home Simmie in a listed contest over a half-furlong less at Chantilly in November, and soft when she was runner-up in a similar contest over six at Maisons-Laffitte 19 days before that.
Her other two starts have been on good ground, both of them also second-place finishes – so she does not necessarily need easy underfoot conditions – and the more recent of those was last month's Group 3 Prix Sigy at Chantilly in which she chased home the exciting Fas.
It remains to be seen if her classic performance is going to remain a career-best effort or if she can improve again and hold her own against stronger opposition, but there is no doubt about the strength of the pedigree behind this Fabrice Chappet-trained chestnut.
Precieuse joins the high-class sprinter G Force as a top-level winner for Derrinstown Stud's regally-bred mile Group 1 star Tamayuz (by Nayef).
She is a half-sister to the blacktype-placed pair Baccarat (by Dutch Art) and Peut Etre (by Whipper) and out of the multiple stakes-placed Zut Alors (by Pivotal). That mare is, in turn, one of nine winners for the French and triple US stakes winner Zeiting (by Zieten) and that makes her a half-sister to four horses of note.
Combat Zone's (by Refuse To Bend) 16 wins feature the Group 2 Europa Meile at Munich, Royal Empire's (by Teofilo) five include the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, and that one's full-brother Scottish has a Group 3 Strensall Stakes victory on his resume.
The fourth notable sibling is Bikini Babe (by Montjeu) and her string of blacktype placings include second in the Group 3 Prix de Psyche, Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes, and Listed UAE Oaks, and third in the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown.
Bikini Babe's first foal is the multiple French winner Rkaya (by Exceed And Excel) and her current yearling, a Kodiac (by Danehill) colt who made 65,000gns at Newmarket last year, looks sure to attract plenty of attention following Precieuse's big update to his page.
Blacktype form is something that this family has in abundance and this enhances the likelihood that Precieuse will do well whenever she goes to stud.
Zeiting, her grandam, is among eight winners from 11 foals out of the one-time scorer Belle De Cadix (by Law Society) and that octet also includes Dolled Up (by Whipper) and Madany (by Acclamation).
The former was a leading sprint juvenile in France, where she won the Group 3 Prix du Bois, was runner-up in the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg, and third in both the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin and Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte.
Madany, on the other hand, is the dam of Massaat (by Teofilo), the colt who runner-up to Air Force Blue in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes and then chased home Galileo Gold in the Group 1 2000 Guineas.
Gourgandine (by Auction Ring), the unplaced fourth dam of Precieuse, was out of the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up North Forland (by Northfields) and that half-sister to Group 1 Prix Ganay heroine Infra Green (by Laser Light) was responsible for three runners of note.
Fortune's Wheel (by Law Society) was Group 1-placed in France and a Group 2 scorer in Italy as a juvenile and went on to add wins in both the Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt and Group 3 Prix Exbury. His second-place finishes in the Group 1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen and Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam were also praiseworthy.
Libertine (by Hello Gorgeous) won the Group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio, her Group 1 placings included third to the brilliant Miesque in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, and the best of her four winning offspring was Take Liberties (by Warning), who was runner-up in both the Group 3 Prix Chloe at Evry and Group 3 Prix de Psyche at Deauville.
Libertine's grandson Sgt Pepper (by Fasliyev) won the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury, and her smart great-granddaughter Infamous Angel (by Exceed And Excel) won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at Newmarket nine years ago.
The third member of North Forland's star trio is Harmless Albatross (by Pas De Seul) who won the Group 3 Prix des Chenes and finished third to Ashayer in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac before going on to an excellent career at stud.
Her listed scorers Almaas (by Elnadim), Ghataas (by Sadler's Wells), Kahtan (by Nashwan), and Sakha (by Wolfhound) notched-up 19 races between them, but her standout was eight-time scorer Volochine (by Soviet Star) who won a Grade 2 handicap at Saratoga and was Group/Grade 1-placed at Longchamp and Woodbine.
The talented performers who appear under the fourth and fifth generations – and their branches – of the pedigree are remotely connected to the recent French classic heroine. Their presence does, however, help to illustrate the strength of the broad female line that she represents and that augurs well for her future prospects at stud.
Before then, of course, it is to be hoped that we get more opportunities to assess Precieuse's capabilities as a racehorse and it will be interesting to see where she sits in the overall order of merit at the end of the year.
Blacktype is a valuable commodity for any filly and the usual route to such success generally begins with maiden success before stepping up in grade, sometimes taking in a conditions race on the way. Bean Feasa tried the maiden route but four outings yielded just two seconds and two unplaced results.
She was also unplaced in Group 3 company, finishing only fifth behind Hydrangea in the Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown last month. Yet, despite what might sound like a somewhat unpromising record for a potential stakes winner, the Jim Bolger-trained bay was sent off favourite for the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a furlong farther at the same venue on Sunday.
This was her first time running in a tongue-tie and she boosted her rating from 99 to 103 with a two and three-quarter lengths defeat of Asking on fast ground.
Pattern race victory would enhance any filly's future paddocks appeal, but with the pedigree that this three-year-old has, it would be no surprise if she can improve again on the track before going on to what could be a notable career at stud.
She is owned by Godolphin, she was bred by Darley, but the best of her siblings was bred by Bolger, who also trained the colt. He won all five of his starts as a juvenile, including the Group 1 National Stakes and Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, and could have enhanced that profile with further Group 1 or even classic success had injury not ended his career prematurely.
Teofilo (by Galileo) is a leading member of the team at Kildangan Stud, his 65 individual stakes winners include a dozen who have won at least once at the highest level, notably Irish 1000 Guineas and Yorkshire Oaks heroine Pleascach, ill-fated Irish Derby star Trading Leather, and, also among his European runners, Prix Jean Prat scorer Havana Gold, the young Tweenhills Farm and Stud stallion who is already off the mark with his first crop.
One would imagine that Galileo and/or some of his sons would be potential future mates for Bean Feasa.
Her siblings also include Senora Galilei (by Galileo), who is the winning dam of the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes runner-up We'll Go Walking (by Authorized), and her dam is Speirbhean (by Danehill) who also won the Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial, back when it was a listed contest.
The mare is a half-sister to listed handicap scorer Graduated (by Royal Academy), to the dam of high-class hurdler Via Galilei (by Galileo) and to Elida (by Royal Academy), the grandam of the late-season staying juvenile stakes winners Dubai Sand (by Teofilo) and Glamorous Approach (by New Approach), both of whom are also trained by Bolger.
Saviour (by Majestic Light), who is the grandam of Bean Feasa, won three times and she is a full-sister to the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes winner War, one of three top-level winners produced from the Canadian champion Victorian Queen (by Victoria Park).
The other pair are Peace (by Naskra), who won the Grade 1 John Henry Handicap, and Judge Angelucci (by Honest Pleasure), who took the Grade 1 Mervyn Leroy Handicap, Grade 1 Californian Stakes, and Grade 1 San Antonio Stakes, as well as earning several top-level placings, one of which was third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Extraterrestral (by Storm Bird), a half-sister to Saviour, has also done her part for the family because she is the dam of three stakes winners, one of whom will be known to Irish racegoers, and that one is Radharcnafarraige (by Distorted Humor), who won the Group 3 Naas Juvenile Sprint Stakes at two and later added the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes.
Bean Feasa is now a pattern-winning half-sister to a dual Group 1 star and leading international sire. She holds entries in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, Investec Oaks, Coronation Stakes, Pretty Polly Stakes, and Darley Irish Oaks – all Group 1, of course – and it will be fascinating to see how much higher in the rankings she can go before she eventually retires to the paddocks.
Galileo's domination at the top of the sires' table has been phenomenal and, although the season is still young, he is well positioned to take yet another championship title in 2017.
At Newmarket this afternoon his daughters Winter and Rhododendron were first and second in the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, 24 hours after his juvenile champion son Churchill took the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas over the same course and distance. All three are trained by Aidan O'Brien.
Today's runner-up was the big race favourite but the Group 1 star met with some trouble in running, ran on strongly, but never looked likely to catch the winner who had moved to the front two out.
Winter ran three times in 2016, when trained by the now retired David Wachman, and she made her debut in a six-furlong Naas maiden in mid May. She finished a one and a quarter-length third to Cuff that day, filled the same position behind Butterflies over a quarter-mile farther at Gowran Park in July, and then justified favouritism in a seven-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Dundalk in August.
Her first start for the Ballydoyle team was at Leopardstown last month when she got within a head of beating Hydrangea in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs, looking considerably better than her official mark of 89.
She was sent off at 9/1 at Newmarket and came home two lengths clear of Rhododendron, with Daban a neck back in third and the once-raced maiden winner Talaayeb another one and a quarter lengths behind in fourth. Hydrangea was only tenth.
Winter is the second foal out of Laddies Poker Two (by Choisir), a mare who ran just five times but whose final start was quite remarkable.
Unraced at two, she skated home by six lengths in a seven-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Kempton in January of her three-year-old season and was then off the track for seven months before finishing third in a handicap over the same trip at Newmarket.
She dropped back to six and took a handicap at Ascot by one and three-quarter lengths but was a disappointing favourite in a listed contest over the same trip at Newmarket a few weeks later, finishing only sixth. She was not seen in action again until June of her five-year-old season when, despite the absence, she took the Wokingham by two and a half lengths, carrying 8st 11lbs.
Laddies Poker Two is one of five winners from the first six foals out of Break Of Day (by Favorite Trick), and unraced half-sister to the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes runner-up Ma Yoram (by Dayjur). Her siblings also include Kathleen's Dream (by by Last Tycoon), who is the unraced dam of the listed scorer and 14-time winner Castor Troy (by Ali-Royal), and she is out of Quelle Affaire (by Riverman), a placed full-sister to Rami.
He was a high-class performer who won the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Tipperary and earned placings in the Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes, Group 2 Challenge Stakes, Group 2 International Stakes, and a Group 2 contest in South Africa, and he was one of three stakes-winning offspring for his Group 1-winning dam.
Crack Regiment (by El Gran Senor) won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse and was placed in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, Group 3 Prix de Meautry, Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau and Group 3 Prix du Palais Royal, and stakes-winning half-sister La Grande Epoque (by Lyphard) was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp.
That talented sprinter became the dam of the listed scorers Prince Tum Tum (by Capote) and Matelot (by Riverman), the latter of whom was third in the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest, and her winning half-sister Diamond Snow (by Dayjur) deserves a mention for being the grandam of Group 3 winner and Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) third Meiner Frost (by Black Tide).
Ancient Regime (by Olden Times), the fourth dam of Winter, was France's juvenile filly champion of 1980 when she won the Group 1 Prix Morny and was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Robert Papin. She did pick up fourth place in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), but was also fourth in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp and placed in each of the Group 3 Prix du Gros Chene, Group 3 Prix de Seint-et-Oise, and Group 3 Prix du Petit Couvert, so speed was her game.
Her prolific full-brother Cricket Ball won the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest, her full-sister Olden was a triple stakes winner in the USA, and her dam was Caterina (by Princely Gift), the Nunthorpe Stakes heroine of 1966.
Winter is another fine example of how sprint families can produce Group 1 stars by Galileo and, like so many good horses who represent that type of cross, there is doubt that she will stay beyond 10 furlongs.
Her entries include the Group 1 Investec Oaks, Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, so her connections have clearly not ruled out the prospect of her getting a mile and a half, but it may be that the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes – in which she is also engaged – may prove to be more suitable targets.
Every year there are a few freshman sires who make a quick start with blacktype horses, whereas others make less of a splash in that arena but may show signs that it is with their three-year-olds and older horses that they will make the greatest impact.
Excelebration (by Exceed And Excel) fell into the latter category, which is what one could reasonably have expected before the season even began.
He showed talent at two but was considerably better at three and four, a triple Group 1-winning miler whose record would have shone brighter had he not had the misfortune to be a contemporary of the great Frankel.
So far it is his Banstead Manor Stud rival who is leading the way among the stallions whose first crop are now aged three, the son of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) having notched up his eighth individual pattern winner just days ago. Frankel already has a classic-placed runner to his name and several others with classic prospects, but Excelebration also has a son who has exhibited Group 1 potential.
Barney Roy ran only once as a juvenile but created a favourable impression when taking a mile maiden on good ground at Haydock in late September. He beat Fujaira Bridge by three and three-quarter lengths, earning an official rating of 91 and a Timeform one of 94P.
His classic potential was advertised with his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 JLT Greenham Stakes at Newbury, one of the races in which his sire had chased home Frankel just a few years before.
Dream Castle hit the front two out and looked set for victory, but Barney Roy came with a strong run in the final furlong and kept on well to win by two lengths in a good time, exhibiting an eye-catching long stride.
The result may have been closer if the runner-up had waited a bit longer before making his move but both colts look like potentially top-class prospects. They finished four lengths clear of the third, Zainham, and Timeform awarded the pair ratings of 121p and 115p respectively.
We already know that Barney Roy stays the mile and that he could become a star over that distance, but it is possible that this will be as far as he will want to go, even though he is out of a daughter of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells).
His dam, Alina, was unplaced, he is her first foal, and she is a daughter of the pattern-winning miler Cheyenne Star (by Mujahid). That profilic filly won eight times in Ireland, including the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown and a three-quarter-length defeat of Heaven Sent in the Group 3 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes over a mile at the Curragh.
Charita (by Lycius), the third dam of Barney Roy, won the Listed Garnet Stakes over a mile at Naas and that half-sister to Group 1-placed Group 2-winning Italian miler Stanott (by Mukaddamah) has an unraced daughter of note because that one, Boa Estrela (by Intikhab), gave us Gordon Lord Byron (by Byron).
One of the most popular Irish-trained horses of recent years, that gelding's current figures are 15 wins from 71 starts with his tally including victory in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill, and Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The Tom Hogan-trained seven-figure earner was bred by Roland Alder, his highest annual Timeform figure has been 126, and he has already run four times in 2017, at the age of nine. He was unplaced twice over six furlongs at Meydan, a half-length runner-up over the same trip at Dundalk in March, and last of five in the Group 3 Group 3 Gladness Stakes, won by Diamond Fields, over seven furlongs at Naas last month.
Barney Roy, who was bred by Eliza Park International Pty Ltd, made just 30,000gns in Newmarket as a foal and £70,000 when known as lot 128 at the Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale nine months later. This Richard Hannon-trained bay is now owned by Godolphin, he is bred to be a top-class miler, and all the signs we have seen so far suggest that this is exactly what he could become.
The shuttle sire phenomenon transformed the global bloodstock and racing industry but there is one aspect of it that has made minimal impact until recent years. That is the part known as reverse-shuttling, where southern hemisphere-bred stallions travel north.
Relative newcomers to the industry will know about the considerable success that stallions such as Exceed And Excel (by Danehill), Choisir (by Danehill Dancer) and Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) have had in Europe, but there were others before them who came and went quietly.
It is too early yet to know what sort of long-term impact Sepoy (by Elusive Quality) may have, because his eldest progeny are only three-year-olds, but the European half of his global first crop contains several individuals who have caught the eye in blacktype company. The Darley team member is at Dalham Hall Stud.
He had a listed sprint winner in Ireland recently, his Unforgettable Filly was runner-up to Daban (by Acclamation) in the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket, and his exciting daughter Dabyah won the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (registered as the Fred Darling Stakes) at Newbury last week.
The John Gosden-trained bay beat Urban Fox by one and a quarter lengths in that seven-furlong classic trial and she may now bid for glory in next month's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) at Deauville.
That will not be her first visit to France as she finished a one-length third to Wuheida in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile at Chantilly in October, and that good performance is her only defeat among four starts. Timeform rated her 110p at two.
She was a half-length winner of a seven-furlong Newmarket maiden on her debut in July and followed that with an impressive nine-length victory against three rivals at Newbury two months later, that time on soft ground.
Her sire was a top Australian sprinter, her siblings include a multiple 14-furlong scorer, and the family from which she comes is a famous one, all of which makes her an intriguing prospect.
We know that she stays a mile, her pedigree makes it likely that she will handle 10 furlongs, but whether or not she can follow in the hoofprints of some of her star relations by staying 12 furlongs will probably depend on what she has inherited from her sire.
Dabyah was bred by Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd and this 100,000gns graduate of Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale is the fifth foal of a one-time scorer named Samdaniya (by Machiavellian). The mare is a half-sister to the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes winner Queen's Best (by King's Best) – dam of last year's Timeform 122-rated Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Queen's Trust (by Dansili) – and also to Reverie Solitaire (by Nashwan), the pattern-placed stakes-winning dam of Group 2 Badener Meile heroine Royal Solitaire (by Shamardal).
Cloud Castle (by In The Wings) is the grandam of Dabyah. That Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes winner was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille over a mile and a half at Longchamp and she is one of four top-level performers for her dam, the Listed Sweet Solera Stakes winner and Listed Cheshire Oaks third Lucayan Princess (by High Line).
Luso (by Salse), a joint-champion older horse in both Italy and Germany, notched up 10 wins on the track including the Group 1 Deutschlandpreis, the Group 1 Derby Italiano, and two editions of the Group 1 Aral-Pokal. He also won a pair of Group 2 Hong Kong International Vases, and two runnings of the Group 2 Premio Ellington, before going on to a somewhat successful career as a National Hunt sire.
His top-class half-brother Warrsan (by Caerleon) would have been a popular addition to the stallion ranks but died before getting his chance. His nine wins included two editions of each of the Group 1 Coronation Cup and Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden.
Needle Gun (by Sure Blade) is the other notable sibling, a Group 2 Gallinule Stakes and Group 3 Meld Stakes winner whose string of pattern placings included the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, Group 1 Derby Italiano, Group 1 Premio Roma, and three editions of the Group 1 Premio Presidente della Republica.
These high-class horses also have a blacktype half-sister in Luana (by Shaadi) and although her only piece of it came when finishing third in the Listed Bentinck Stakes, she is the dam of the Group 1-placed triple pattern scorer Hattan (by Halling) and his Group 3-winning stayer half-brother Tastahil (by Singspiel).
A total of six of Lucayan Princess's progeny were winners but three of her lesser daughters have made their names at stud. Maskunah (by Sadler's Wells) is the dam of dual middle-distance pattern winner Laaheb (by Cape Cross), Mantesera (by In The Wings) is the dam of Group 3 Winter Derby scorer Nideeb (by Exceed And Excel), and the third one is Lunda (by Soviet Star).
Ten of Lunda's 15 foals are winners and the most high-profile of those is her gelded son Blue Monday (by Darshaan). He won the Group 3 La Coupe at Longchamp, the Listed Festival Stakes at Goodwood, and two runnings of the Group 3 Arc Trial at Newbury, and the races in which he was placed include the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes and Group 1 Eclipse Stakes.
His full-brother Lundy's Lane was runner-up in the Group 3 Craven Stakes and third in the Group 1 Derby Italiano, and his half-brother Rugged Cross (by Cape Cross) is a Group 3-placed listed race winner in Australia.
Their half-sister Jakarta (by Machiavellian), who won just once, is the dam of Group 2 Rockfel Stakes third Puggy (by Mark of Esteem) and it is that filly who went on to become the dam of dual French classic heroine Avenir Certain (by Le Havre).
Lucina (by Machiavellian) was the only one of Lunda's offspring who never raced, but as her progeny include Mehmas (by Acclamation), she has compensated for that and made a notable contribution to the family.
He was a notable juvenile of 2016, when he won the Group 2 July Stakes and Group 2 Richmond Stakes and was placed in each of the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes, Group 1 Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes, Group 2 Coventry Stakes, and Listed National Stakes. Timeform rated him 115, but rather than stay in training to try for the top three-year-old sprints, he retired to Tally-Ho Stud where he commands a first season fee of €12,500.
Avenir Certain and Mehmas are distantly connected to Dabyah but she is clearly not short on notable relations closer up on the page. It would be still be an eye-catching family double if she can take either, or both, of the French fillies' classics and it will be interesting to see how far in the rankings this first-crop Sepoy filly can climb.
Acclamation (by Royal Applause) is a veteran of the stallion ranks, a well-established source of speed and of precocity. His son Dark Angel is among the leading sires in Europe, last year his top-class son Equiano made a breakthrough at stud when getting his first Group 1 winner, and it was also in 2016 that Marsha gave her Rathbarry Stud-based sire his third winner at the highest level.
Now, in 2017, Acclamation has a potential classic contender as his John Gosden-trained daughter Daban won the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket.
Her only other start was in a seven-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Kempton in early November and, despite her sire's speed, she looks likely to stay the extra furlong of the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas.
Daban's pattern success was achieved by three-quarters of a length from Unforgettable Filly, with another length and a quarter back to Poet's Vanity in third and a slightly larger gap back to the Andre Fabre-trained Pampelmousse in fourth.
Pattern winners Sea Of Grace and Kilmah came next, although the performances of Roly Poly (seventh) and Brave Anna (tenth) – two of last year's leading juvenile fillies – are best ignored as they were well below what we know that pair can do.
Daban was bred by Kildaragh Stud, she is a 260,000gns graduate of Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-Up Sale and, in addition to being a half-sister to the pattern-winning miler Thikriyaat (by Azamour), she could be described as being a three-parts sister to the similarly talented Johnny Barnes (by Acclamation).
His wins include the Group 3 Prix Quincey, his places feature second in the Group 1 Criterium International, and he is out of Listed Prix Imprudence scorer Mahalia (by Danehill), the grandam of Daban.
Mahalia is the dam of the Group 3 Prix de Flore winner and Group 2 Prix de Sandringham third Albisola (by Montjeu) and, in addition to Daban's dam Malaspina (by Whipper), she has two other offspring who also require mention.
Bufera (by King's Best) was placed in both the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs and Listed Criterium de Lyon as a juvenile and is the dam of Chartreuse (by Lawman), who was also third in that same Deauville pattern event but won the Listed Prix La Sorellina and took the runners-up spot in both the Group 3 Prix Chloe at Chantilly and the Group 3 Prix de Lieurey at Deauville.
More notable, however, are the achievements of the two blacktype sons of Mahalia's unplaced daughter Tonnara (by Linamix). Ectot (by Hurricane Run) has won the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes over 12 furlongs at Belmont Park and the Group 1 Criterium International over a mile at Saint-Cloud, while Most Improved (by Lawman) won the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes before joining the Coolmore stallion team. His first two-year-olds will be in action this year.
Mahalia's success and influence at stud is no surprise. She is by one of the great sires and broodmare sires, she is a half-sister to the Group 3 winner Muroto (by Busted) and to two listed scorers, and her siblings also include the stakes-placed four-time winner and excellent producer Zivania (by Shernazar).
That mare's sons Ivan Luis (by Lycius), Stagelight (by Montjeu) and Zero Problemo (by Priolo) were Group 2, Group 3, and listed race winners respectively, but three of her daughters have also made contributions to the family's honour.
Stakes-placed Viscaria (by Barathea) is the grandam of the high-class Irish gelding Onenightidreamed (by Footstepsinthesand) whose wins include the Group 3 Gladness Stakes and Group 3 Amethyst Stakes.
Hathrah (by Linamix) won the Listed Masaka Stakes by nine lengths at Kempton and finished third to Attraction in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Newmarket before becoming the dam of Hadaatha (by Sea The Stars), a listed scorer who got her Group 1 placing when third in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp, beaten just a neck and a neck by We Are and Ribbons.
Amathia (by Darshaan), who is inbred 3x3 to Mill Reef (by Never Bend), got her listed race win at that same Paris venue. She is the dam of the Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes scorer Distant Memories (by Falbrav) and also of Mutatis Mutandis (by Mastercraftsman), the Listed Nottingham Oaks winner who went on to take third in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes at Belmont Park.
In addition to being descendants of a once-placed mare called Maresca (by Mill Reef), what all of the talented horses noted above have in common is that they have shown talent over at least a mile.
That tilts the odds in favour of Daban staying that trip, one over which her three-parts brother has done well, and that makes her both a classic candidate and a potentially prominent performer in some of the other top fillies' mile prizes of the year.
Early season classic trials are all about potential and although time analysis has cast doubt over the reliability of the form, the recent Group 3 Prix de la Grotte – Etalon Kengardent may have identified a trio of fillies who will do well at higher levels in France this year.
The one-mile Chantilly contest was won by the favourite, Senga. The 31/1 longshot La Sardane was a length second, and in addition to the winner, both the third and fourth look highly promising.
The previously once-raced Lady Frankel was a half-length behind La Sardane and this half-sister to Lope De Vega was, in turn, a short-neck in front of last season's pattern scorer Toulifaut, with these four finishing seven lengths clear of the fifth.
Senga is trained by Pascal Bary for the Niarchoses' Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd and the mid-March born homebred is one of nine stakes winner for Blame (by Arch), the distant relation of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) who pipped Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic. He stands at Claiborne Farm.
The filly got off the mark at the second attempt, scoring by two lengths over a mile at Saint-Cloud in early September, and her only subsequent start at two was when finishing a one and three-quarter length fourth to Wuheida in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over the same trip at Chantilly a month later.
With just four runs to her name so far, Senga should be capable of improvement and she could figure prominently in both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks).
She is a half-sister to the seven-furlong stakes winner Bolting (by War Front) and is out of Beta Leo (by A.P. Indy), a winning daughter of Denebola (by Storm Cat).
France's juvenile filly champion of 2003, when taking both the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 3 Prix de Cabourg, as well as third place in the Group 1 Prix Morny, Denebola represents a famous and influential family and it would be no surprise if any of her descendants were to succeed at the highest level.
The third dam of Senga is 1993's French juvenile filly champion Coup De Genie (by Mr Prospector), a Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre and Group 1 Prix Morny heroine who went on to finish third to Las Meninas and Balanchine in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, beaten by just a short-head and a neck.
Only five of her 13 offspring made it to the track but four were stakes winners, and in addition to Denebola, they were US Grade 3 scorer Snake Mountain (by A.P. Indy), Group 1-placed juvenile Group 3 winner Loving Kindness (by Seattle Slew), and Glia (by A.P. Indy) who won the Listed Prix Imprudence in France before going on to be Grade 2-placed in Kentucky.
Loving Kindness is the dam of a listed race winner, but Glia is the grandam of the top-class Emollient (by Empire Maker) whose wins include the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes, Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes, Grade 1 Ashland Stakes and Grade 1 American Oaks.
Coup De Genie's unraced daughter Moonlight Box (by Nureyev), however, can beat that as her progeny feature the multiple Group 1 stars Bago (by Nashwan) and Maxios (by Monsun).
The former was European champion at two and three and top-class again at four, he was rated 121p, 130 and 127 by Timeform in those three seasons, and he won the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, Group 1 Prix Ganay, Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, and Group 1 Criterium International. Sadly, despite being the grandson of a full-sister to a hugely influential stallion, Bago has disappointed at stud.
His half-brother Maxios represents a completely different sire line, being by the horse responsible for the Group 1-siring stallions Manduro and Shirocco, and he got his top-level wins in the Prix d'Ispahan and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. He stands at Gestut Fahrhof, his first yearlings made up to €240,000 in 2016, and he has the potential to do well in his new career.
Bago's poor record could, in part, be an artefact of the generally disappointing stud performances of Nashwan's (by Blushing Groom) sons and daughters. If that is the case, then the Monsun (by Konigsstuhl) factor could work in Maxios's favour. After all, his grandam's full-brother was the classic-placed juvenile champion Machiavellian (by Mr Prospector) so you would expect him to sire stakes and pattern winners.
Machiavellian's 13 Group 1 stars include leading international classic sire Street Cry, plus Almuwakel, Medicean, Storming Home and Vettori, each of whom have enjoyed success at stud, and the string of Group 1 stars produced from his daughters includes Goldream (by Oasis Dream), Territories (by Invincible Spirit), Gallante (by Montjeu), Move In Time (by Monsieur Bond), Red Rocks (by Galileo), Verxina (by Deep Impact), Victoire Pisa (by Neo Universe) and Group 1 sires Dark Angel (by Acclamation), Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway) and Zoffany (by Dansili).
Senga needs to improve if she is going to win at the highest level, but there is no doubt that she is bred to do so.
As one would expect when the first crop of a racing superstar reach the track, there has been a considerable amount of coverage and attention given to the early sons and daughters of Frankel (by Galileo). He has not disappointed.
When the Martyn Meade-trained Eminent won the Group 3 bet365 Craven Stakes at Newmarket recently, he became the seventh individual pattern winner for his young sire, joining an early role of honour that is headed by the classic-placed Japanese champion Soul Stirring.
Frankel's fee has been £125,000 since he began his breeding career at Banstead Manor Stud, so it is no surprise that so many of his talented offspring represent distaff families with a strong tradition of producing Group 1 horses, and Eminent is related to several classic stars and and Group 1 aces.
His only start at two was in a mile maiden on fast ground at Newmarket in late September and he went into a lot of notebooks as one to follow when taking that contest by two and three-quarter lengths from Vantage Point.
The form of that has not amounted to much, with only the second, fourth, seventh and tenth, successful since all the all-weather tracks, with the seventh being the pattern-placed Taj Mahal. That full-brother to two classic stars won just once from eight starts at two but has been highly tried and, on his seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown recently, he chased home Orderofthegarter in a mile listed contest.
The Craven Stakes was just Eminent's second race and last year's Group 1 Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet is the colt who chased him home, beaten by one and three-quarter lengths. Benbatl was a neck back in third and the time for the race was good.
Eminent is now a leading contender for next week's Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas. His entries also include the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes at York and the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom, and his pedigree gives him every chance of being effective at anywhere from a mile to 12 furlongs.
He was bred by Premier Bloodstock, he made 150,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, he is a half-brother to the Richard Fahey-trained dual six-furlong scorer As Good As Gold (by Oasis Dream), and he is out of the Group 1 Fillies' Mile third You'll Be Mine (by Kingmambo).
The mare is a half-sister to three blacktype earners, of whom Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Diamondsandrubies (by Fastnet Rock) is easily most notable, and she is out of Quarter Moon (by Sadler's Wells), the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner who was runner-up in each of the Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 Irish Oaks and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
Quarter Moon's full-sister Yesterday got her top-level win in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and the races in which that classic star was placed featured the Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 Prix de l'Opera, Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Stakes.
Four of their other siblings are blacktype horses, although just placed rather than being stakes winners. That said, Betterbetterbetter (by Galileo) was runner-up in the Group 3 Noblesse Stakes, Hold Me Love Me (by Sadler's Wells) was third in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes before becoming the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes winner Renew (by Dansili), and the other pair include All My Loving.
That full-sister to Quarter Moon and Yesterday was runner-up in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and Group 2 Park Hill Stakes, she was third in both the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom and Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh, and her offspring feature Thomas Chippendale (by Dansili), the tragically ill-fated Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes winner.
Having just these stars among his close relations would be more than enough to advertise Eminent's Group 1 potential, but they only tell part of the story of this remarkable family. This branch, all descendants of the placed mare Jude (by Darshaan), is one strongly associated with the Coolmore team, but the next dam is Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace), ancestor of so many stars for the Lanwades Stud team.
Jude's eight winning siblings include her Group 1-placed, stakes-winning full-sisters Arrikala and Alouette, the Group 3 Doncaster Cup scorer Alleluia (by Caerleon), and Last Second (by Alzao) who won both the Group 2 Nassau Stakes and Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes.
The latter is the dam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) scorer and successful sire Aussie Rules (by Danehill), Alleluia is the dam of the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak star Allegretto (by Galileo), and Alouette is the mare who gave us the multiple Group 1 stars Albanova (by Alzao) and Alborada (by Alzao).
Albanova won the Group 1 Preis von Europa, Group 1 Rheinland Pokal, and Group 1 Deutschlandpreis – all over 12 furlongs – and she is the dam of triple stakes winner All At Sea (by Sea The Stars) who is best at around 10 furlongs, of 11-furlong Group 3 scorer Algometer (by Archipenko), and of Alwilda (by Hernando) who got her blacktype success over two miles, three furlongs in Germany.
Dual Group 1 Champion Stakes heroine Alborada chased home Swain in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and her quartet of blacktype progeny include the eight and a half-furlong listed scorer Nordico Hero (by Archipenko), and the lightly-raced Alvarita (by Selkirk).
That 10 and a half-furlong listed race winner has done her part for the family at stud by coming up with the 10-furlong Leopardstown Group 3 scorer Alla Speranza (by Sir Percy) and also Altesse (by Hernando), a 12-furlong listed winner at the same venue and whose seven other pieces of blacktype include her head second in the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes at Cork.
Brametot showed plenty of potential as a juvenile, winning three of his four starts, from six furlongs to a mile, and culminating with listed success at Bordeaux Le Bouscat in October. His only defeat was a three-length second to High Alpha in a similar contest at Deauville, a race for which he was 30/100 favourite.
The first-crop son of Haras de la Cauviniere sire Rajsaman (by Linamix) took a big step forward at Chantilly on Sunday when, on what was his seasonal reappearance, he beat Stunning Spirit by two and a half lengths in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over a mile.
Spotify was a head back in third, there was a gap of three lengths between that colt and recent listed scorer Markazi, and Brametot, who missed the break yet won comfortably, is clearly a leading candidate for next month's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas).
Should he go on to succeed at the highest level then this Jean-Claude Rouget-trained bay would have considerable appeal as a prospective stallion because he is out of a half-sister to one of the most famous and influential European sires of recent years.
Brametot is a half-brother to the Group 3-placed Mulan (by Marju) and he is out of Morning Light (by Law Society), a dual three-year-old winner in Germany whose five successful siblings feature Monsun (by Konigsstuhl), the triple middle-distance Group 1 star who won 12 times over four seasons on the track before going on to fame at what became his lifelong home, Gestüt Schlenderhan.
His tally of 112 stakes winners includes 22 who won at least once at the highest level, with standouts such as Manduro (sire of Group 1 winners), Shirocco (sire of Group 1 winners), Novellist, Protectionist, Stacelita (dam of classic-placed Group 1 winner Soul Stirring), Getaway (successful young National Hunt sire), Maxios, Salve Regina, Royal Highness, Fiorente, and Vadamos among them.
In addition to the growing list of high-class offspring his sons and daughters are providing for the flat, Monsun is also exerting a powerful force on the National Hunt sector where stars such as Sprinter Sacre (by Network) and Annie Power (by Shirocco), and recent Grade 1 Manifesto Novices' Chase winner Flying Angel (by Arcadio) are just three shining lights.
Morning Queen, who is a winning full-sister to Monsun, is the grandam of Group 1 Prix du Cadran heroine Molly Malone (by Lomitas) and of Wekeela (by Hurricane Run), a Group 3 Prix Chloe scorer who has been runner-up in each of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, Grade 1 Gamely Stakes, and Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes.
The grandam of Brametot is, therefore, the listed scorer Mosella (by Surumu), a half-sister to stakes winner Mora (by Rocket) and to the prolific Moltaire (by Kaldoun), a blacktype scorer and 10-time winner who finished third in the Group 2 Deutsches St Leger.
Rajsaman was a high-class miler who was pattern-placed over 10 furlongs, and with the amount of stamina in the distaff side of his star son's pedigree, it seems like that the colt will have no trouble with the Prix du Jockey Club distance. Indeed, depending on whether it was the speed or stamina gene he received from his sire, Brametot may also stay 12 furlongs.
It is still too early to know how good this colt may be at his peak, but the combination of his pedigree and promising early record offer hope that he could take high rank among the best of his age group, and that there may also be a stallion career in his future.
Haras de Colleville stallion Kendargent (by Kendor) has been an unexpected hit at stud, and although none of his 16 stakes winners has won at the highest level, it seems likely that it is just a matter of time before his first Group 1 star is crowned.
He already has two pattern winners in 2017 and it is possible that either, or both, could fill that gap on his record. One is the dual Group 3 scorer Jimmy Two Times, who finished third in last year's Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, and the other is Soleil Marin.
Godolphin's colt was bred by Ecurie Peregrine SAS, he is trained by Andre Fabre, and he was winning for the fourth time from five starts when beating his odds-on stable companion Akihiro by a head in the Group 3 Prix Noailles over 10 and a half furlongs on good ground at Chantilly on Sunday.
Soleil Marin was fourth in a seven-furlong Clairefontaine maiden on his debut in August, two months before a narrow success over nine and a half furlongs on the polytrack at Deauville.
His final start at two was an odds-on seven-length score over 10 furlongs on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud in November and his return to action last month was in a listed contest over a half-furlong farther at the same venue, which he won by one and three-quarter lengths.
The colt is a half-brother to a winner and his thrice-successful dam, Sousmarine (by Montjeu), is a half-sister to Group 3 Prix de Lutece third Investissement (by Singspiel). Their dam, Underwater (by Theatrical), was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret, another edition of which was among the three races won by her half-sister Legerete (by Rahy).
Those wins also included the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont, she was third in both the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, and her progeny include Pilote (by Pivotal), a listed scorer whose pattern placings include the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano and Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam.
Underwater and Legerete are among eight winners from 10 foals out of a one-time scorer called Sea Hill (by Sea Hill) and the octet also includes Icelips (by Unbridled), a filly who made her name at stud.
Her son Numb Lips (by Olmodavor) was a stakes winner in California, daughter Iron Lips (by Iron Mask) won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse and finished third in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, but the best of her offspring is Falco (by Pivotal), the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) scorer who has sired blacktype winners on the flat and over obstacles.
Sea Hill was a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Lupin winner and classic sire Groom Dancer (by Blushing Groom) and her siblings also include Featherquest (by Rainbow Quest). That filly was only a minor winner but she became the dam of classic-placed Group 1 star Plumania (by Anabaa) and of Group 2 Prix de Royallieu scorer Balladeuse, whose daughter Left Hand (by Dubawi) won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille and was runner-up in Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) last year.
The fifth dam of Soleil Marin is, therefore, Lady Berry (by Violon d'Ingres), the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak heroine who became one of those special mares that produce at least three individual Group 1-winning progeny.
Le Nain Jeune (by Pharly) won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris, Indian Rose (by General Holme) won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and Vert Amande (by Kenmare) won the Group 1 Prix Ganay.
Soleil Marin's record to date suggests that he is a high-class middle-distance colt in the making, although that of his sire raises a question as to how far he might stay: his progeny tend to be sprinters and milers. It is possible, therefore, that Sunday's trip may be as far as he wants to go.