Last weekend was a good one for horses who got at least one of their earliest wins on an all-weather track, with Hawkbill taking the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, Endless Time winning the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock, Silverwave starring in the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and Al Wathna making the breakthrough in pattern company with victory in the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret earlier on that same card.
A three-year-old trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, Al Shaqab Racing's filly was bred by Petra Bloodstock Agency Ltd and she is a €72,000 graduate of the Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale. She was runner-up over a mile on heavy ground on the first of two starts as a juvenile, got off the mark with a win over 11 furlongs on soft turf at Cagnes-sur-Mer in early February, and then followed-up over 10 and a half furlongs on the polytrack at Chantilly in March.
Her next two outings were on the turf track at that venue, finishing third behind The Juliet Rose in a listed contest and then chasing home that same filly in the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont, and the latter came a month before her neck defeat of Impressionist at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.
Al Wathna is one of 24 stakes winners for the top-class middle-distance performer Nayef (by Gulch). That Nunnery Stud-based half-brother to Nashwan (by Blushing Groom) and Unfuwain (by Northern Dancer) is also responsible for the Group 1 stars Lady Marian and Tamayuz (Group 1 sire at Derrinstown Stud) and for the Group 1-placed Group 2 scorers Forgotten Rules, Mustajeeb (stands at Overbury Stud), Snow Sky (stands at Ballycurragh Stud), Spacious, and Tasaday. His Group 2-winning son Valirann (stands at Whytemount Stud) was lightly-raced and did not get the chance to tackle Group 1 company.
His latest pattern star is the second foal out of Lemon Twist (by Marju), she has an as yet unnamed juvenile full-sister, and her unraced dam had a son of Motivator (by Montjeu) in 2015. The mare is out of the stakes-placed Lia (by Desert King), which makes her a half-sister to the Listed Prix Urban Sea winner Lake Palace (by Nayef), and the next dam is Lisheba (by Alysheba).
That mare was only placed but produced six winners, as did her most notable sibling. Laramie (by Gulch), who was placed just once, is the dam of the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Latice (by Inchinor), of the Group 3 Prix du Palais Royal winner and Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest runner-up Satri (by Mujadil) and, of course, of the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Prix Jean Prat star Lawman (by Invincible Spirit).
He is a member of the stallion team at Ballylinch Stud and his early crops feature Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Just The Judge, juvenile mile Group 1 scorers Law Enforcement and Marcel, and the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes winner Most Improved, who is a member of the Coolmore stallion team.
The presence of Lawman in the family will look good when it comes to assessing the prospects of any future sons of Al Wathna that might achieve enough on the track to earn a berth at stud. His current three-year-olds include the pattern scorer Dicton, who has been third in both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club.
Her fourth dam is the Group 2 Prix de Pomone winner and Group 1 Prix Vermeille third Light The Lights (by Shirley Heights), who was a half-sister to the middle-distance pattern scorers Liastra (by Artaius) and Last Light (by Round Table) and out of the Group 3 Prix de Flore winner and Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary runner-up Lighted Glory (by Nijinsky).
There are plenty of other blacktype horses to be found in the branches of these first few generations of the pedigree, including the Group 2 scorers L'Amour De Ma Vie (by Dansili) and Lights Out (by Crystal Glitters), Group 1-placed stakes winner Fencing (by Street Cry), and last month's Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes third The Black Princess (by Iffraaj).
Al Wathna is a Group 2-winning filly who could be capable of further improvement, she holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, for which she is available at around 25/1, and with her family relations there is every chance that she could also go on to make an impact at stud whenever her racing days come to an end.