Fashions and attitudes change and around 50 years ago the top two-year-old sprint races were seen as the potential source of the next season's milers, while the seven-furlong and mile events were from where the middle-distance and staying types would come. Those bred to be milers often ran in the former; those bred to be Derby types ran in the latter, and it was the mile prospects who tended to top the juvenile rankings.
Timeform's Racehorses of 1971 pointed out an emerging shift, noting that whereas a Middle Park Stakes and five-furlong Seaton Delaval Stakes winner could usually have been expected to top the Free Handicap, this time he was only sixth in the rankings. Winners of events such as the Dewhurst Stakes, Champagne Stakes, and Observer Gold Cup (now Racing Post Trophy) represented stamina and it was those horses who were now topping the table.
Decades later, two-year-old sprint speed is still in demand, but in a different way. When that 1971 essay said that "stamina, not speed, is becoming the order of the day" it did not mean the same as what such a statement would mean now.
Those who will be the potential mile to 10-furlong stars run over seven furlongs at two, while those who run at a mile in their juvenile season are considered to be potential Derby and Oaks horses, and what the breed needs, in this time of over-reliance on early-season five and six-furlong pace, is more stamina – middle-distance stamina and stayers. The new funding level and championship series for the stayers' division is to be applauded.
The decades-old essay in which Timeform made those observations was their one on Sharpen Up, unbeaten winner of those two speed events named above and rated 127 by them that year. One of only six stakes winners sired by the Native Dancer (by Polynesian) stallion Atan, he had some middle-distance stamina in the distaff side of his pedigree but had given the reviewer the impression that sprinting would be his game rather than having the stamina necessary for the Guineas.
As it turned out, he ran just three times the following year, losing his unbeaten record when runner-up in the seven-furlong Greenham Stakes, then second again when beaten by Parsimony in the July Cup, and unplaced in Deep Diver's Nunthorpe Stakes. The white-faced chestnut with two hind stockings then retired to Side Hill Stud, but eventually crossed the Atlantic to join the team at Gainesway.
The mix of speed and stamina in his pedigree enabled him to sire his best winners over a variety of distances, and for a time the Sharpen Up stallion line was a frequent source of stakes and pattern winners in the broad five to 12-furlong range, his top stallion sons featuring the brothers Kris and Diesis, plus Group 1-siring stallions such as Beveled, Sharpo and Trempolino, among others of note.
They also featured the outstanding miler Selkirk, who sired 17 Group 1 stars among a total 96 stakes winners during his career at Lanwades Stud, but sadly the male line has been weakening in recent years and in danger of disappearing from top-level races.
One of the last of Selkirk's sons, however, was a freshman sire of 2017, and he achieved a notable career landmark last weekend when getting not one but two stakes winners. Cityscape's racing and pedigree profile suggested that it would be with his three-year-olds and older horses that he would get his best results, while still getting some two-year-old winners of course, and that, depending on the mares, they could come over a wide range of distances.
Cityscape was a notable miler, a Group 1 winner over nine furlongs and showing a possible stamina limitation when only fourth to Nathaniel in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes. And yet had he been assessed in a Timeform essay through the eyes of a 1971 perspective, excellence at a mile would likely not have been predicted – he ran only at that distance at two and followed a nine-length win with second place in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes.
Like his grandsire, Cityscape achieved a peak Timeform rating of 127. Selkirk was on 129.
The first stakes winner for Cityscape was Dan's Dream, who beat prior pattern scorer Tajaanus by a length and a quarter in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes (registered as the Fred Darling Stakes) over seven furlongs at Newbury last Saturday. Then the Adrian Keatley-trained gelding The Broghie Man made it two with victory in the Listed Committed Stakes over five and a half furlongs at Navan the following day.
Dan's Dream, who is trained by Mick Channon, finished fourth over six furlongs at Chepstow in mid-July, was not see out again until taking a five and a half-furlong contest by four and a half lengths at Bath in late March, and she is now a contender for Group 1 honours, albeit with plenty more improvement required.
She holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
The January-born brown filly was bred by Hunscote Stud, she the first foal out of an unraced mare called Royal Ffanci (by Royal Applause), and her grandam, Madamoiselle Jones (by Emperor Jones), is a winning half-sister to Penkenna Princess (by Pivotal).
That filly won the Listed Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket and was runner-up in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes as a juvenile, added the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at three, and then failed by the narrowest of margins to beat Saoire in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Their half-brother Salut Saint Cloud (by Primo Dominie) stayed farther and, in addition to six wins from 10 to 16 and a half furlongs on the flat, he won several times over obstacles, notably the Grade 2 Summit Junior Hurdle at Lingfield.
They are all out of Tiriana (by Common Grounds), who did not win but whose eight successful siblings included Head Over Heels (by Pursuit Of Love), who was a five-furlong listed scorer at two in England.
On pedigree and the manner in which she won at Newbury, Dan's Dream should stay a mile, and it will be fascinating to find out how high in the rankings she can go. Her sire is also at a promising stage of his career and he, Cityscape, could be the one to revive Sharpen Up's line. Time will tell.
Every year we see some graduates of the bargain basement achieve prominence on the track, winning stakes and pattern races and sometimes even scoring at the highest level.
There have already been several emerge in 2018 that were cheaply bought as yearlings, including recent pattern scorers Who's Steph (€40,000), Psychedelic Funk (£30,000), Forest Ranger (26,000gns), Sands Of Mali (€20,000), Pharrell (€15,000) and Butzje (€5,500).
Last year's included a filly who was led out unsold in Doncaster at just £14,000. She had been an €8,000 Arqana December foal and, given her pedigree, the difficulty she had in attracting much attention was both understandable yet still disappointing.
Different League represents the large first crop of French juvenile star Dabirsim (by Hat Trick), she won her first two starts at minor venues before springing a surprise with a neck defeat of Alpha Centauri in the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot, then finished third to Unfortunately in the Group 1 Prix Morny before chasing home Clemmie in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
The Matthieu Palussiere-trained bay then went to the Tattersalls December Mares Sale where she changed hands for 1,500,000gns.
Now a member of the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien team, she holds entries in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Qipco Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 3 Coolmore Mastercraftsman Irish EBF Athasi Stakes, but is due to make her seasonal reappearance in the Listed Committed Stakes over five and a half furlongs at Navan on Sunday.
Dabirsim's first crop also includes recent Group 3 Prix Imprudence winner Coeur De Beaute. He began his stallion career at Gestüt Karlshof in Germany, moved to Haras de Grandcamp in France after two years, has received large books of mares, and created such a favourable impression with his first juveniles that his fee has more than tripled, now standing at €30,000.
His star daughter is the third winner from three runners out of Danseuse Corse (by Danehill Dancer), who won several times at around 10 furlongs, which would raise hope that she might stay a mile, although her chosen first target of the year suggests that the pace she has been showing at home puts that in doubt.
Her grandam Corse (by Indian Ridge), who won once, came up with just two winners from eight foals – and is the grandam of two blacktype-placed Brazilian winners – and the third dam is unraced Par Un Nez (by Cyrano de Bergerac), who was out of Listed Cambridgeshire third Miss Bali Beach (by Nonoalco).
Before Different League, the only stakes winner in the first four generations of the family was Carrowkeel (by Waajib) – one of four winners among seven foals out of Par Un Nez – and that Group 1 Middle Park Stakes runner-up took the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York in 1997.
That a fifth generation can appear on a catalogue page is a sign of how light the distaff side of a pedigree is, and its details took up a large part of her page in the December Sale catalogue.
There is plenty of blacktype there – her fourth dam is a half-sister to Italian listed scorer Miss Waterloo (by Brigadier Gerard) and to Listed Britannia Handicap winner and Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes runner-up Bali Dancer (by Habitat), and the first of that pair is the dam of Grade 1-winning South African sprinter Cataloochee (by Al Mufti).
Their siblings also include Miss Kuta Beach (by Bold Lad IRE) and that triple winner's descendants include Group 3 Prix de Meautry scorer Andreyev (by Presidium), Group 2-placed juvenile listed sprint winner Hoyam (by Royal Applause), and the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes winners Asian Heights (by Hernando) and St Expedit (by Sadler's Wells).
Different League holds both official and Timeform ratings of 110 so needs to show improvement if she is to be up to doing well in all-aged Group 1 company, over any distance. Her pedigree suggests that she could be a sprinter who might stay a mile, and it will be interesting to find out how good she really is.
Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) is long-established as one of the world's leading sires and he will soon hit two new landmarks in his already glittering career.
When Godolphin's homebred Soliloquy won the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket yesterday she became her sire's 96th pattern winner among an overall total of 147 blacktype scorers. Numbers 100 on the first tally and 150 on the second may be just weeks away.
There are 35 top-level winners on his roll of honour, and although that figure will also increase in 2018, it remains to be seen if the Charlie Appleby-trained filly will be good enough to add her name to the list.
She was runner-up in a seven-furlong maiden on the July Course at Newmarket in late August, beat the useful-looking Sheikha Reika by half a length over a mile at Ascot, but was not seen out again until this week.
She made most of the running to beat Altyn Orda by one and three-quarter lengths, with Eirene a neck back in third and another three and a half lengths back to Billesdon Brook in fourth. Both the second and fourth were prior pattern winners, and the third a pattern-placed stakes winner, so the form looks decent.
A half-sister to dual mile winner Musical Terms (by Shamardal), Soliloquy is the second foal out of the prolific Dysphonia (by Lonhro) who won eight times in Australia from six and a half furlongs to a mile and including two listed races.
She finished third in the Group 1 Meyer Classic over a mile and in a Group 2 contest over seven – both at Flemington – and she from four starts in England, she was third to Chachamaidee in the Group 3 Chartwell Fillies' Stakes over seven on the polytrack at Lingfield.
The mare's siblings include a prolific middle-distance to staying horse – Shearer (by Reset) – but his stamina is greater than might have been expected from the immediate family as he's out of speedy five-time scorer Stutter (by Night Shift) and she, in turn, is out of an unraced half-sister to Ivory (by Gold And Ivory) – the mile stakes winning dam of New Zealand mile Group 1 winner Sir Kinloch (by Rhythm).
Simmer (by Canny Lad), a six-time successful half-brother to Stutter, got his wins at up to seven and a half-furlongs, as did their pattern-placed half-sister Lament (by Mighty Avalanche) – dam of dual 10-furlong listed scorer Jeremiad (by Octagonal) – and nine-time winner Scarf (by Lonhro).
The latter is out of Muffle (by Quest For Fame), who is an unplaced half-sister to Stutter, and he supplemented his string of Australian wins with two seven-furlong scores at Newbury, notably a neck defeat of Producer in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup, achieving an official handicap mark of 108.
All of this suggests that Soliloquy has the potential to prove best at around a mile and that there is a chance she may stay 10 furlongs. The Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas is currently her only big-race entry, but the season is young and there should be plenty of opportunities for us to assess her further.
Two sons of Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) shared top billing at the 2016 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, each fetching a staggering 2,600,000gns. One was maiden winner Emaraaty, who was unplaced in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes in his final outing at two but is odds-on for a novice event at Newcastle tomorrow evening, and the other was Glorious Journey.
He joined the Charlie Appleby stable, made a winning debut over six furlongs at Newmarket in June and then beat Feralia by a length and a quarter to take the Group 3 Prix La Rochette over a furlong farther at Saint-Cloud three months later. Timeform gave him a rating of 105p.
He holds several classic entries, as you would expect, and he is due to make his seasonal reappearance in Thursday's Group 3 bet365 Craven Stakes over a mile at Newmarket.
Glorious Journey was bred by Normandie Stud Ltd and he is the second foal out of their Group 1 Coronation Stakes heroine Fallen For You (by Dansili). That Timeform 121-rated mare won three of her seven starts and her other piece of blacktype came when a neck runner-up to Lyric Of Light in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster.
Her late half-brother Fallen Idol (by Pivotal) was a mile stakes winner who stayed 10 furlongs, and their half-sister Fallen In Love (by Galileo) chased home Barshiba in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock before going on to become the dam of the smart Loving Things (by Pivotal).
That filly raced in her breeder's well-known pink and white colours, she won the Group 3 Prix de Flore over 10 and a half furlongs at Saint-Cloud and the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes over a mile and a half, and she was only beaten a length when third to Endless Time in the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks.
Fallen Star (by Brief Truce), who is the grandam of Glorious Journey, was also a talented performer, winning three of her nine starts including a listed contest at Ascot. She was only beaten a head when losing out in a similar contest at that venue the previous autumn, she was a half-length runner-up to Welsh Diva in the Group 3 Premio Sergio Cumani, and she finished third to Dress To Thrill in the Group 3 Matron Stakes – all over a mile.
This was, of course, the distance over which her star half-brother excelled, as Fly To The Stars (by Bluebird) won the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, Group 2 Prix du Rond Pont and Group 3 Prix Messidor.
Their dam, Rise And Fall (by Mill Reef), was unplaced but a valuable broodmare prospect as she was by a hugely influential stallion and out of Light Duty (by Queen's Hussar), a stakes winner who was runner-up in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, third in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, and a full-sister dual classic star and hugely influential mare Highclere.
It is from that Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine that Group 1 standouts such as Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence), Ghanaati (by Giant's Causeway), Nashwan (by Blushing Groom), Nayef (by Gulch), Talismanic (by Medaglia d'Oro), and Wind In Her Hair (by Alzao) descend.
Those celebrities are remotely connected to Glorious Journey, but if he lives up to his immediate pedigree and to the expectations that come with a seven-figure yearling price tag, then he could a Group 1 winner in waiting, likely at a mile or 10 furlongs.
Moorestyle, Danehill, Lapierre, Green Desert, Mystiko, So Factual, Desert Prince, Indian Haven and Garswood are horses who used victory in the Listed European Free Handicap as a springboard to Group 1 success in the last 40 years, and although Anna Nerium may not be in their class, the manner of her victory in today's bet365-sponsored edition of that seven-furlong contest suggests that she is a high-class miler in the making.
The daughter of Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) was only rated 100 after five starts as a two-year-old – and just 97 by Timeform – even though she had followed her narrow seven-furlong maiden success on Newmarket's July Course with a neck defeat of Eirene in the Group 3 Bathwick Tyres Dick Poole Fillies' Stakes over six at Salisbury.
Her final start resulted in nine-place finish in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, crossing the line 10 lengths behind the winner, Altyn Orda, and so it was no surprise that she was sent off as one of the outsiders on her seasonal reappearance.
The farther she went, the better she was going, and she landed the spoils by three lengths from Finniston Farm. She holds entries in both the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), and although more improvement is needed to have a realistic chance of winning either of those classics, she is bred to be suited by a mile, and possibly even stay 10 furlongs.
The Richard Hannon-trained chestnut was bred by Stowell Hill Ltd, she was a buy-back at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, and she is fifth blacktype horse among racing-age offspring of dual German winner Anna Oleanda (by Old Vic).
Middle Club (by Fantastic Light) won the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale and was runner-up in the Group 2 Oaks d'Italia, Anna Mona (by Monsun) was third in the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont over 12 furlongs, and Anna Royal (by Royal Dragon) was listed-placed over that trip in Germany, but perhaps the most notable is Piping Rock.
A full-brother to Anna Nerium, he looked a potential star in the making after three starts as a juvenile, which he won by a total of eight lengths. His debut was on good ground, the other two were on heavy, and in that latter pair he beat Hartnell by four lengths over seven furlongs at Salisbury and Galiway easily in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at Newbury. Timeform rated him 113, he was snapped up by Godolphin, but tragically lost a battle with colic that December.
Anna Oleanda, who is also notable as being the grandam of last year's Group 3 Prestige Stakes winner Billesdon Brook (by Champs Elysees), is out of the Group 2 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) champion Anna Paola (by Prince Ippi) and that makes her a sister to several mares of note.
Her full-sister Anno Luce is the pattern-winning dam of Grade 1 Champion Hurdle heroine Annie Power (by Shirocco), two-time scorer Anna Petrovna (by Wassl) is the dam of ill-fated classic-placed multiple pattern winner Annus Mirabilis (by Warning), and Anna Of Brunswick (by Rainbow Quest) is the grandam of a string of blacktype scorers, including German juvenile Group 2 winner and champion Smooth Operator (by Big Shuffle).
Most notable of the siblings, however, is Anna Matrushka (by Mill Reef).
In addition to being the dam of Group 2 Prix Hubert de Chaudenay winner Pozarica (by Rainbow Quest) and of Annaba (by In The Wings), who won the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu and Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris, she is the grandam of Group 1 stars Anna Monda (by Monsun), Epaulette (by Commands), and Helmet (by Exceed And Excel), the third dam of US Grade 1 scorer Ave (by Danehill Dancer), and fourth dam of Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium winner National Defense (by Invincible Spirit).
The latter is, of course, standing his first season at the Irish National Stud, while both Helmet and Epaulette are reverse-shuttle stallions, with the former being responsible for international Group 1 star Thunder Snow, who pushed his earnings past the £6.3 million mark when running away with the Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan last month.
It remains to be seen just how good Anna Nerium is, but she is on the upgrade and bred to improve further, especially when stepped up to the mile.
Banstead Manor Stud's Timeform 147-rated great Frankel (by Galileo) has made an exciting start to his stallion career and his 21 stakes winners, from his first two crops, include Elarqam. Hamdan Al Maktoum's colt ran only twice in 2017 but took those seven-furlong contests by a combined margin of six lengths, earning a Timeform rating of 112p.
His York maiden success was followed by a two-and-a-quarter-length defeat of Tip Two Win in the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket just 18 days later.
That Roger Teal-trained runner-up, a two-length listed scorer at Doncaster on his previous start, has easily won his only two races since, both at Doha in Qatar, and the second of those was in the Al Biddah Mile, a local Group 2 contest. That Dark Angel colt's next outing is due to be in the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
That classic is also the intended target for Elarqam, whose entries also include the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes, Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, and Group 1 Investec Derby. The latter is, of course, over 12 furlongs which, if he stays, is likely to be the outer margin of his stamina.
Frankel's progeny can be sprinters, milers or middle-distance horses, which is hardly a surprise given his pedigree and race record, and the variety of mares that have been sent to him. Both his Group 1 stars – Cracksman and Soul Stirring – stay 12 furlongs, and although it is possible that Elarqam might be able to handle that trip too, there is also a good chance that about 10 and a half furlongs may be as far as he really wants to go.
He is the latest talented performer out of star miler Attraction (by Efisio), Europe's juvenile filly champion of 2003 and who went on to take the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Coronation Stakes, Group 1 Matron Stakes and Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes, earning a rating of 125 from Timeform.
Each of her first seven foals to race has been a winner. Her daughter Cushion (by Galileo) has been runner-up in a pair of nine-furlong Grade 3 contests in the USA and was previously listed-placed at up to 12 furlongs in England – where Timeform rated her 103 – and her sons include Fountain Of Youth (by Oasis Dream).
He was Timeform-rated 103p at two and 111 at three, he was fourth (no blacktype) in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot as a two-year-old and earned his blacktype when beating Extortionist (who won that Ascot race) by a head in the Group 3 Sapphire Stakes over five furlongs at the Curragh the following year.
Fountain Of Youth, a 420,000gns Tattersalls October Yearling Sale graduate, was unplaced on his only attempts at seven furlongs and a mile, even though his sprint-champion sire is a proven source of horses who can excel at a mile to 12 furlongs – in addition to his star sprinters, of course. He stands at Bearstone Stud, had 70 foals in his first crop, and those offered in the auction ring fetched up to 45,000gns in Newmarket in late November.
Attraction's considerable talent was something of a surprise. There are some talented horses in her family, but they are quite distantly related to her, and hence to her offspring. Her younger half-sister Federation (by Motivator) has since been Grade 3-placed over nine furlongs, and two of her siblings have produced blacktype horses.
Aunty Mary (by Common Grounds) is the dam of Mary's Daughter (by Royal Applause), who was runner-up in the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes over six furlongs at Ayr as a juvenile, and Titivation (by Montjeu) is the dam of Titi Makfi (by Makfi), a listed winner over 12 furlongs on the polytrack at Kempton in November.
Carmita (by Caerleon), a half-sister to Attraction's unraced dam Flirtation (by Pursuit Of Love), was a capable middle-distance performer who won the Listed Grand Prix du Sud-Ouest and took third in the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu, and their siblings also include Malaya (by Last Tycoon), the dam of Group 3 Polar Cup scorer You Never Know (by Diaghlyphard).
If you go back to the fourth dam, the thrice unplaced mare Land Ho (by Primera), then you will find that descendants of some of her daughters and granddaughters include Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre winner Lord Of Men (by Groom Dancer), lightly-raced Japanese filly champion and dual Group 1 mile star Major Emblem (by Daiwa Major), and several horses who have won at the highest level in South America.
All of those horses are between distantly to remotely connected to Elarqam, as are his Timeform 121-rated, July Cup-winning fifth dam Lucasland (by Lucero), her 12-furlong Group 3-winning daughter Lucent (by Irish Ball), and her outstanding great-granddaughter Sonic Lady (by Nureyev), a Timeform 129-rated mile star of the 1980s.
Elarqam, who was bred by Floors Farming and was sold for 1,600,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, could be anything.
Attraction's current two-year-old, who is also trained by Mark Johnston for Hamdan Al Maktoum, made 1,350,000gns at the 2017 edition of that famous sale and he has been named Maydanny (by Dubawi).
Timeform 129-rated sprint champion Kyllachy (by Pivotal) was a long-time popular member of the Cheveley Park Stud stallion team and he retired from active service last year at the age of 19. His Group 1-winning son Twilight Son is now in his second season at that important Newmarket base and the veteran's other top-level stars include the seven-figure earners Sole Power and Krypton Factor.
Although primarily associated with sprinters, Kyllachy was always a horse who, with the right mares, had the potential to get high-class seven-furlong horses and milers too, and this he has done. Group 2 Joel Stakes and Group 2 bet365 Mile winner Penitent, whose placings include second to Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, is a fine example.
It remains to be seen how good Altyn Orda will be at her peak and how far she will stay, but the Roger Varian-trained chestnut is also among his 32 stakes winners, and the way she won the Group 3 Godolphin Oh So Sharp Stakes over seven furlongs on good ground at Newmarket in mid-October suggested that she will be one of her sire's milers.
Indeed, this filly, who is due to make her seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on Wednesday could be a leading Guineas contender next month and a high-class miler after that.
A remarkable aspect of her neck and one-length defeat of Gavota and I Can Fly was that this was her first success. She had chased home Bye Bye Baby in a maiden over the course and distance two weeks before, and she was a half-length runner-up to Peace Trail – another daughter of Kyllachy – on their debut at the July Course in mid-August.
Altyn Orda was bred by Hesmonds Stud Ltd and is the second foal out of an unplaced mare named Albanka. As that chestnut is by multiple US champion sire Giant's Causeway (by Storm Cat) and out of listed scorer Alidiva (by Chief Singer), she certainly looks like 'the right mare' to get a miler by Kyllachy.
She is a full-sister to the nine-furlong Grade 2 scorer Oonagh Maccool, half-sister to Group 1 1000 Guineas heroine Sleepytime (by Royal Academy), to Group 1 Sussex Stakes winner Ali-Royal (by Royal Academy) and to middle-distance Group 1 scorer Taipan (by Last Tycoon), and she is out Alligatrix (by Alleged).
That makes Alidiva a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Lupin and Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan winner Croco Rouge (by Rainbow Quest), a colt who was a neck runner-up to Dream Well in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) when it was still run over 12 furlongs.
But back to Alidiva's offspring.
Sleepytime is the dam of Group 3 Winter Derby winner Gentleman's Deal (by Danehill), of Group 2-placed, pattern-winning miler Hathal (by Speightstown) and of US stakes winner Dame Ellen (by Elusive Quality), and she is the third dam of Don't Be (by Cape Cross), a prolific mare whose tally includes two listed races over a mile and one over 10 furlongs.
Sometime, an unraced full-sister to the classic heroine, has also done her part at stud as she is the dam of Australian mile Group 1 handicap scorer It's Somewhat (by Dynaformer), who was third in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes and in the 12-furlong Group 3 Gordon Stakes when racing in England under the name Somewhat.
She is also responsible for Group 3 Dee Stakes winner Art Deco (by Peintre Celebre) who missed out on classic placing when short-headed for third in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club, won by Darsi in a blanket finish.
There are plenty of other talented horses in this family, but those noted here are the best of those who feature among the closest relations to Altyn Orda. She was rated 106p by Timeform as a juvenile, and with this strong pedigree behind her there is every reason to hope that she can improve a lot on that figure, especially at around a mile.
Dark Angel (by Acclamation) has exceeded expectations at stud and the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winner had a phenomenal year in 2017, headlined by his brilliant sprinting sons Battaash and Harry Angel, Group 1 stars rated 136 and 132 respectively by Timeform.
He has also proved his ability to get high-class milers, which gives him the potential to get classic horses, and his best in that division include Timeform 123-rated Persuasive who beat Ribchester by a length in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October.
Stage Magic is not yet in their league, but the Charlie Appleby-trained bay won the Group 3 Prix de Chenes over a mile on soft ground at Chantilly in early September, holding on in a three-way photo to deny Olmedo and Zyzzyva by a short-head and neck, and with a six-length gap back to the fourth.
This came just over two weeks after he had been short-headed by Francesco Bere in the valuable Listed Criterium du Fonds Europeen de l'Elevage over the same trip at Deauville – in which subsequent dual stakes winner Alounak was fourth.
He was a neck runner-up over seven furlongs at Haydock on his debut in mid-June, won by four and a half lengths over the same trip at Newbury the following month, but disappoined in very soft ground at Chantilly – in the nine-furlong Group 3 Prix de Conde – on his only other outing.
He is due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Listed bet365 Fielden Stakes over that same trip at Newmarket tomorrow, and if has inherited some of the family's stamina, as shown by his dam's half-brother and others farther back on the page, then Stage Magic could be a smart 10-furlong horse in the making.
The early March-born colt was bred by Paul and Billy McEnery, he cost 160,000gns in Newmarket as a foal, and he carries the famous Godolphin colours. He is the second foal of the twice-raced Witnessed (by Authorized), who beat Esentepe by a length at Beverley on her only juvenile start, and his now two-year-old Bungle Inthejungle (by Exceed And Excel) half-sister made €55,000 at the Goffs Sportsmans Sale in late September.
His grandam is the Grade 1-placed mile to 10-furlong filly Magic Mission, whose best win came in the Grade 3 Royal Heroine Stakes, and that makes him inbred 3x3 to her sire Machiavellian (by Mr Prospector). The combination of that cross with being a son of Dark Angel might suggest he has a future as a miler – and that is possible – but the exploits of his dam's star brother offer hope that he will stay farther.
That colt is the distinctively marked Talismanic (by Medaglia d'Oro), winner of the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil over 14 furlongs before returning to the mile and a half to beat Beach Patrol by half a length in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar in early November. He then chased home Highland Reel in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December and made a winning seasonal reappearance at over nine and a half furlongs at Chantilly last month, beating Cloth Of Stars by one and three-quarter lengths on the polytrack.
Talismanic holds an entry in the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup at Epsom, while Stage Magic is engaged in both the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Magic Mission is a half-sister to the dam of Japanese mile Group 3 scorer Logi Cry (by Heart's Cry) and she is a granddaughter of Capo Di Monte (by Final Straw), the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes winner and Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes runner-up who took a Grade 3 handicap in the USA and whose Group 1-winning half-sister Wind In Her Hair (by Alzao) is the dam of Japanese Triple Crown hero and phenomenal stallion Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence).
The fifth dam of Stage Magic is, therefore, Burghclere (by Busted), daughter of dual classic heroine Highclere (by Queen's Hussar) and so a half-sister to Height Of Fashion (by Bustino). That pattern-winning filly is best known as being the dam of Nashwan (by Blushing Groom), Nayef (by Gulch) and Unfuwain (by Northern Dancer), grandam of Group 1 1000 Guineas star Ghanaati (by Giant's Causeway), and ancestor of many others of note.
It remains to be seen if he is good enough to justify his classic and other Group 1 entry, but it will be disappointing if Stage Magic fails to improve on the official 106 and Timeform 107 figures that he earned last year, especially as the distaff side of his pedigree suggests that progress is likely.
The Mark Johnston-trained Threading looked a future Group 1 star in the making when eased down to take a six-furlong Goodwood maiden by six lengths on soft ground in early August, and although her next start was nowhere near as visually impressive, the daughter of leading international sire Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) won that too.
It was the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York where she beat listed scorer Madeline and dual pattern-placed Mamba Noire by one and three-quarter lengths and three-parts of a length. Her only other start at two was in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in late September, but that day she disappointed, finishing only seventh behind Clemmie.
The Timeform 110-rated bay is due to make her seasonal reappearance in Wednesday's Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes, she is also engaged in next month's Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, and Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, and a quick glance at her pedigree suggests that the step up to seven furlongs and a mile should suit her well.
However, it catches the eye that she has also been entered in the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes over six furlongs, and that suggests she has been showing enough speed at home to have connections thinking that she may have inherited more of the family's sprinting speed than mile to middle-distance talent.
Her Kildangan Stud sire is well known as a source of both sprinters and milers, he himself was a sprint champion in Australia, and he has been champion sire in that country. What is key, however, will be what Threading has inherited through her dam.
The Darley-bred is a half-sister to sprint winner Camargue (by Invincible Spirit), to mile scorer Chequers (by Pivotal) and to Beachy Head (by Shamardal), a multiple seven-furlong winner who has been placed at both a mile and 10 furlongs. None shares the level of talent shown by their young relation, but their dam, Chaquiras (by Seeking The Gold), has one of the most famous siblings of recent decades.
She is a daughter of Colorado Dancer (by Shareef Dancer), who won the Group 2 Prix de Pomone over 13 and a half furlongs at Deauville and Group 3 Prix Minerve over 12 furlongs at Evry, and that makes her a full-sister to Timeform 140-rated champion Dubai Millennium.
A dual Group 1-winning miler who was brilliant over 10 furlongs, with wide-margin wins in both the Group 1 Dubai World Cup and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, he died during his first season at stud, but the stakes winners he left behind featured juvenile star and classic-winning miler Dubawi, now one of the world's leading sires.
If you look no further – and it may not be necessary to do so – then it seems obvious that Threading will stay a mile.
But not all of the mare's offspring showed the ability to stay middle-distances. Ragsah (by Shamardal), a half-sister to Dubai Millennium, won over seven furlongs, earned her blacktype when runner-up in the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes over six, and was well-beaten on her three attempts at a mile.
Colorado Dancer's half-brother Hamas (by Danzig) won the Group 1 July Cup, his full-brother Bianconi easily won the Group 2 Diadem Stakes over six furlongs at Ascot a few months after finishing a nine-length fourth to Desert Prince in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, and that pair are quite closely related to Threading.
So too is sprint champion and Group 1 July Cup hero Elnadim (by Danzig), who is out of Colorado Dancer's Group 2 Prix d'Astarte-winning and Group 2 Prix de l'Opera-placed half-sister Elle Seule (by Exclusive Native) and so a half-brother to Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas star Mehthaaf (by Nureyev) and to the dam of Group 1 Prix de la Foret and Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest heroine Occupandiste (by Kaldoun).
Clearly there is a chance that, like the other talented Danzig-line horses in her immediate family, Threading will ultimately prove best at six furlongs, even though so much on her page suggests that a mile should be ideal.
As a daughter of US Grade 1 Matron Stakes winner Fall Aspen (by Pretense), Colorado Dancer's siblings also included Fort Wood (by Sadler's Wells), who won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris over 10 furlongs, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner and Grade 1 Kentucky Derby third Timber Country (by Woodman), and also Mazzacano (by Alleged), who won the Group 3 Goodwood Cup when it was run over two miles, four and a half furlongs.
There are also many other notable descendants of Fall Aspen – including Charnwood Forest (by Warning), Kabool (by Groom Dancer), Khulood (by Storm Cat), Medaaly (by Highest Honor), Mondialiste (by Galileo), and Najah (by Nashwan) – but they don't tell us anything more than we already know about Threading and her prospects.
She is one of the best bred horses in training, she has the long-term potential to become a broodmare of note, and she could be a leading member of the three-year-old filly class of 2018. What remains to be seen is how highly she can go in the rankings and over what distance(s) her talent will best be expressed.
Classic trials are important races in their own right, but they are also about potential, and the most visually impressive winner of one of those events in Europe so far this year is Butzje, a filly who won't be physically three years old until May 1st.
She was eased down shortly after being hampered a furlong out in the Group 3 Preis der Winterkonigin over a mile on soft ground at Baden-Baden in October, passing the post over 22 lengths behind the front-running winner Rock My Love.
The second, third and fourth from that race – one of the top juvenile contests in Germany – met again in the Group 3 Karin Baronin Von Ullmann - Schwarzgold-Rennen over the same trip at Cologne this afternoon, also on soft ground. Dina dropped a placing to fifth this time around, and Angelita turned a one-and-a-quarter-length deficit into a four-length margin of superiority over Suada, but she was no match for Butzje.
The Markus Klug-trained bay set off in front, was several lengths clear with a quarter-mile to go, and extended that margin further in the final furlong, winning by seven lengths.
Butzje is a daughter of German Group 2 winner It's Gino (by Perugino), whose final start resulted in a surprise third-place finish in the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, beaten two lengths and half a length by Zarkava and Youmzain and dead-heating with Soldier Of Fortune.
He is in his first season at Haras de Rosieres Aux Salines in France, having spent the previous seven years at Union-Gestüt and one year at Gestüt Reitberg, and his offspring include Group 2-placed stakes winners Forgino and Rosebay, plus the Kayley Woolacott-trained Lalor who won the Grade 1 Betway Top Novices' Hurdle at Aintree on Friday.
Like Butzje, that talented gelding was bred by Stall 5-Stars – in whose colours It's Gino raced – and both were bargain-basement purchases in Baden-Baden. The filly, now a major contender for this year's German classics, was bought by owner Holger Renz as a yearling for just €5,500.
She is a full-sister to the 12-furlong winner Baby Love, her dam Beltana (by Areion) won a six-furlong listed contest as a two-year-old, and her grandam Bat Sheva (by Dashing Blade), a half-sister to seven-furlong listed scorer Baroness Happyness (by Always Fair), is a daughter of the multiple stakes-placed sprinter Be Happy (by Homing).
Fourth dam Balafallay (by Priamos) was unplaced, but she was out of Friedrichsruh (by Dschingis Khan), the Group 2 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) winner and Group 3 Schwarzgold-Rennen (German 1000 Guineas) runner-up of 1977.
That star only contributes 3.125% of the make-up of Butzje but the produce record of two of her daughters show that Germany's newest rising star comes from a weak branch of what has been a successful family.
Friedrichslust (by Caerleon) was unraced but her blacktype descendants are headed by her notable son Faberger (by Dashing Blade), a somewhat close relative of Butzje's grandam, and winner of the Group 1 Premio Vittorio di Capua and Group 3 Prix Messidor, both over a mile.
Blessed Event (by Kings Lake), on the other hand, won the Listed Ballymacoll Stud Stakes at Newbury and was runner-up in each of the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and Group 2 Pretty Polly Stakes before going on to become the dam of dual middle-distance Group 2 scorer Sacrament (by Shirley Heights) and ancestor of a string of talented performers.
They include her Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes-winning granddaughter Chorist (by Pivotal), Group 2 Yorkshire Cup scorer Gospel Choir (by Galileo), 10-furlong listed scorer and 14-time winner Sennockian Star (by Rock of Gibraltar), Group 3 Prestige Stakes heroine Icicle (by Polar Falcon) and her Group 2-placed, pattern-winning son Icelandic (by Selkirk).
Butzje is a fascinating prospect who has shown a hint of brilliance over a mile. It is possible that this may prove to be her best trip, despite her sister's stamina and that of her famous ancestor, but it is just as likely that she could stay middle-distances and so become a Group 1 Preis der Diana or even Group 1 Deutsches Derby candidate.
Classic trial season is under way and, as these listed and pattern events are used by some of the horses who will contest the classics and other Group 1 events in the weeks and months ahead, it is generally hoped that they will produce some clear-cut winners and informative results.
The Group 3 Prix Noailles at ParisLongchamp produced a three-way photo finish, which is usually disappointing, but these colts finished eight lengths clear of their closest pursuer so it may be decent form. The ground was heavy, which can exaggerate the margins, and perhaps some of those who were well-beaten will be seen to better effect on a sounder surface.
It is possible that the runner-up, Alhadab, could ultimately prove best of the trio as that first-crop son of Camelot (by Montjeu) was the least experienced, having just his fourth start. Third-placed Flag Of Honour, an Aidan O'Brien-trained Galileo colt who won the Group 3 Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown in late October, was favourite and running his fifth race, but could be a smart 10-12 furlong performer.
The winner, however, could be a leading stayer in the making.
A 30th individual stakes winner for Haras du Logis stallion Manduro (by Monsun), whose six top-level winners include Group 1 Prix du Cadran, dual Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak and triple Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup star Vazirabad, he comes from a family whose stakes and pattern winners have come over the full range of flat racing distances.
Pharrell began his career at La Teste De Buch in July, finishing third over seven furlongs on good ground, and got off the mark over a furlong farther at the same venue a month later. He was then a one-and-three-quarter-length third to Latita – who filled that same placing behind Musis Amica in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte today – over nine furlongs on soft ground at Salon-de-Provence in late September.
After that, he stepped up to 10 furlongs and won two races on soft ground at Angers, one by two and a half lengths in late October and the other a two-length victory in late November. His pattern success came on his sixth start.
The colt was bred by Pierre Camus-Denais and Bruno Camus-Denais and he was snapped up by trainer Jean-Claude Rouget for just €15,000 at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale. Between prize money and premiums, he had earned almost €73,000 before today's race.
He is the fourth foal out of Censure (by Kendor), whose three wins from 20 starts included a pair of races over nine furlongs as a four-year-old, and is a half-brother to the lightly-raced 11-furlong winner Sage De La Gesse (by Soldier Of Fortune). The mare had a Dabirsim (by Hat Trick) filly last year.
Grandam Nebraska (by Octagonal) was unraced but has produced several multiple winners, notably stakes-placed Mogadishio (by American Post) who won 10 of his 84 starts. Third dam Touraille (by Jim French) was only placed but has 10 winning offspring among 18 foals and her blacktype trio include dual juvenile listed scorer Kandakiev (by African Song) and also Skatesheba (by Green Tune).
The latter is the stakes-placed dam of Perfectly Majestic (by Majesticperfection), a US-based gelding whose prolific blacktype placings, including the runners-up spot in a mile Grade 2 event at Santa Anita, have pushed his earnings to just under $400,000.
It is under the fourth generation of the pedigree that you find the branches leading to the stayers in the family, and although their relationship to Pharrell is distant to remote, their presence on the page shows that there is a stamina element that pops up from time to time in this distaff line.
Fourth dam Trelex (by Exbury) did not race, and her best representative on the track was the speedy Big John (by Gift Card) who won the Group 3 Prix de Ris-Orangis, Group 3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord, and Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon.
Her grandson Bannaby (by Dyhim Diamond), who is out of a Lashkari (by Mill Reef) mare, won the Group 1 Prix du Cadran at Longchamp, granddaughter Quirinetta (by Ardross) won the Grade 3 Transvaal Cesarewitch in South Africa, and great-grandson Motivado (by Motivator), later a Group 3 winner in Australia, was fourth in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket in 2012.
There are many other stakes and pattern winners to be found among Trelex's descendants, including Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap heroine Passing Shot (by A.P. Indy), Grade 1-placed Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap winner Blue Moon (by Lomitas) and her 10-furlong Grade 2-winning daughter Malibu Pier (by Malibu Moon), Group 3 Prix de Flore scorer Tamise (by Time For A Change; dam of Motivado), and Group 1-placed, Group 3-winning sprinter Morawij (by Exceed And Excel) – all distantly or remotely connected to Pharrell.
He holds an entry in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby), but having been effective over 10 furlongs on soft ground as a two-year-old it seems likely that it will be when racing over 12 furlongs and farther that we see him to best effect. He is a bright prospect who could become a notable member of the stayers division in France.
The first stakes winner is a notable landmark in any stallion's career and for Kildangan Stud stallion Dawn Approach the one to get him off the mark is Godolphin's homebred filly Musis Amica, winner of the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte over a mile on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp.
The Andre Fabre-trained bay made a winning debut over a half-furlong less on soft ground at Saint-Cloud in early November, and in maintaining her undefeated record this afternoon she beat Sea Prose by one and a quarter lengths. There was another half-length back to Latita in third, with Magical and Wind Chimes performing below their best in fourth and fifth.
As you might expect, she holds entries in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and it will be fascinating to find out how good she is. Sounder underfoot conditions should suit, and she could be effective anywhere from a mile up to 12 furlongs.
As for Dawn Approach, the juvenile champion and subsequent classic star has had six blacktype horses in his first crop. They include Group 2 Debutante Stakes third Mary Tudor, Group 3 Tyros Stakes third Dawn Delivers, and also Fast Approach and Gongs, who have been pattern-placed in Japan and Australia respectively.
This is below the level of success that could have been expected of a horse who won the first two-year-old race of the Irish season, went on to become an unbeaten, Group 1-winning champion at that age, and then a Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes hero at three, but it would be a mistake to write him off at this point of his career.
He comes from the first crop of juvenile champion and Derby-winner New Approach, and so represents the Galileo branch of the mighty Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) line, and much about the distaff side of his pedigree suggests the likelihood of better results with three-year-olds and older horses.
Don't forget, Galileo did not set the world alight with his first two-year-olds. Just imagine what would have been lost had he been written off then! Give him time – Musis Amica is the first of what should be many stakes winners for Dawn Approach.
Musis Amica is the twelfth foal of White Star (by Darshaan) and the best of her siblings is the lightly raced Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam scorer Harland (by Halling), who was trained by Michael Jarvis. Her dam won twice, stayed middle-distances, and earned her blacktype with placings in the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont and Group 2 Prix de Mallaret.
The best of White Star's half-sisters is Group 2 Prix de Pomone winner Whitehaven (by Top Ville) – the dam of listed scorer Copeland (by Generous) and grandam of Australian pattern scorers Samara Dancer (by Hinchinbrook) and Eclair Big Bang (Savabeel) – and the best of her half-brothers is the Grade 3-placed, Listed Acomb Stakes scorer Native Wizard (by In Reality).
Her winning half-sister Hill Of Snow (by Reference Point) contributed to the family's honour by giving us the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine and Irish juvenile filly champion Preseli (by Caerleon), but another of her siblings has done even more.
Lustre (by Halo), whose only win came at the age of two, earned her blacktype for a fourth-place finish in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury – a performance that would miss out on that value-enhancer nowadays – and she went on to produce both Valley Of Gold (by Shirley Heights) and Dublin (by Carson City).
The latter was a leading two-year-old who won the Group 3 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and finished third in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, but Valley Of Gold won the Group 1 Oaks d'Italia, was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and third in the Group 1 Irish Oaks before going to stud.
There she came up with Group 3 Gordon Stakes winner Cap O'Rushes (by New Approach) and Group 3 Joel Stakes scorer Splendid Era (by Green Desert), and she is the grandam of French listed race winner Meteoric (by Lope De Vega).
This is a well-known family and many will quickly recognise that the grandam of Musis Amica is White Star Line (by Northern Dancer), the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Grade 1 Delaware Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama Stakes heroine of 1978.
That daughter of one-time winner Fast Line (by Mr. Busher) was a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Morny scorer Filiberto (by Ribot; sire of Group 1 winner Grease), to Alcibiades Stakes winner and blacktype producer Fairway Fun (by Prince John), and also to Trick Chick (by Prince John), the unraced dam of Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Prix 1 Prix Vermeille heroine and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Northern Trick (by Northern Dancer).
That three-parts sister to White Star Line has been influential at stud and the Group/Grade 1 winners who descend from her include Cloth Of Stars (by Sea The Stars), Light Shift (by Kingmambo), Main Sequence (by Aldebaran), Shiva (by Hector Protector), and new Cheveley Park Stud stallion Ulysses (by Galileo).
Throttle Wide (by Flying Heels), the fourth dam of Musis Amica, was born in 1936 – and you don't see that era showing up very often this close-up in a pedigree! In addition to be being the dam of Fast Line, she was responsible for Miss Request (by Requested). That 12-time winner's haul of big races included the Beldame Handicap, Ladies Handicap, and Delaware Oaks and she was 1948's US champion three-year-old filly.
Musis Amica has a long way to go yet if she is to become as well-known as some of her close and distant relations, but she has made a highly promising to career and could be anything.
One star does not make a horse a top sire, but it can be the catalyst he needed to boost his support, thereby improving his prospects of making a real impact. There are many stallions who have just that one Group 1 winner standing out among a handful of career stakes winners, but sometimes that initial one-hit-wonder makes the most of his better mares and goes on to become a sire of real note.
It is too early to know into which group Haras d'Etreham's Wootton Bassett (by Iffraaj) will ultimately fall, but his third-crop son Wootton has shown a lot of promise in his first three starts and could be the next Group 1 winner for him.
Right now the stallion has only three stakes winners to his name, from three crops of racing age, plus three others who have been blacktype placed, but his first crop to benefit from the 'Almanzor effect' are only foals so it could be 2020 and 2021 before we start to see what he can really do. And before then, his blacktype tally will have increased and could include some notable individuals.
The Henri-Alex Pantall-trained Wootton was bred by Ecurie Haras de Quetieville, in whose colours he ran when taking a mile newcomers' race on good ground at Deauville by six lengths in late August, and he now runs in the Godolphin blue. His second race was the Listed Isonomy over the same course and distance two months later, and despite the very soft ground, he won it by five lengths.
Today's race was more challenging, easily the strongest opposition he has faced so far, but he extended his unbeaten record to three with a head defeat of last year's top-rated French-trained juvenile colt Olmedo in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau at ParisLongchamp. The ground was heavy, and this colt's ability to perform on a variety of surfaces should serve him well in the coming months.
He holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and, as you might expect of a colt of such potential, he is also engaged in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Wootton is the best of the first four foals out of American Nizzy (by American Post), a juvenile winner who earned her blacktype with placings in the Group 3 Prix du Calvados, Listed Prix Roland de Chambure, and Listed Prix Finlande. Her dam, Quietude (by Woodman), was placed in Belgium, and the next dam is Listed Prix Isola Bella winner Quittance (by Riverman), a daughter of dual US three-year-old scorer Quarrel Over Halo (by Halo).
Those are the highlights of the first four generations of the pedigree, which suggests that much of the credit for the talent and potential shown by this colt can be given to his sire. Wootton Bassett has upgraded the mare.
There are two main reasons why we usually only look at the first three or four generations of a horse's pedigree when trying to analyse its strengths and weaknesses and to highlight its owner's future potential. One is that there is usually more than enough to say about the good horses in those early generations, the other is that any ancestor farther back makes little meaningful contribution.
Each ancestor in the fifth generation only contributes 3.125% of the genetic makeup, each one in the sixth is responsible for only 1.5625% – and that's the direct ancestors. Their offspring and descendants make zero contribution. What they do provide, however, is academic interest and indications of the strength or weakness of that distant part of the pedigree, the roots from which the current horse eventually developed.
In the case of Wootton, an examination of the fifth generation of the pedigree shows us that he comes from a weak branch of what was a successful blacktype family, one that even yielded classic horses.
His fifth dam, Quarrel Over (by One For All), won five times, was runner-up in the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland and fourth in the Grade 1 Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes, a placing that counted for blacktype in those days.
She produced 10 winners from 14 foals, of whom Grade 2 Del Mar Oaks winner and Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes runner-up Suivi (by Diesis) was best, and the stakes winners who descend from her include multiple graded sprint scorer Mr Nightlinger (by Indian Charlie) and the smart Waterway Run (by Arch), who won a Grade 3 at Belmont Park as well as the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket as a juvenile.
Sixth dam Quarrel (by Raise a Native), who was out of the track record-setting, stakes-winning sprinter-miler Rhubarb (by Barbizon), was a half-sister to the Grade 1-placed juvenile Grade 3 winner Bottle Top (by Topsider) – the dam of dual classic-placed colt Strodes Creek (by Halo) – and her own siblings included ill-fated Grade 1 Arlington-Washington Futurity star Lets Dont Fight (by Drone), classic-placed Grade 3 scorer Fight Over (by Grey Dawn II) and Group 3 Desmond Stakes winner Wise Counsellor (by Alleged).
These horses have no bearing on the talent or potential of Wootton but there is value in noting their presence in the family history. He represents a weak branch on a tree that has strong roots, and if he becomes a Group 1 star and so earns a good berth at stud, then this son of Wootton Bassett could be the seed from which a new sapling sprouts.
Horses who change hands at the very bottom end of the market seldom amount to much in the racing and bloodstock world, but every now and then something from that tier hits the headlines.
In October 2011, a three-year-old filly of limited talent changed hands for just €800 in Goffs. Llew Law (by Verglas) had made the frame in middle-distance handicaps at Tramore, Killarney and Down Royal but was well-beaten in many of her other dozen starts, including when tailed off in a juvenile hurdle at Thurles – hardly the stuff of dreams.
She was bought that day by Emer McNamara, but sold on again for €5,000 at the same venue 13 months later. New owner Patrick Headon first sent her to Footstepsinthesand (by Giant's Causeway), which resulted in the dual 12-furlong winner Thunder Crash – who was a €37,000 Goffs yearling – and then she went to Zoffany (by Dansili).
The result of that second covering is Who's Steph.
She made €20,000 in Goffs as a foal, was snapped up for €40,000 by trainer Ger Lyons at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale, was a three-length winner of a mile maiden at Naas on her second start last year, and had a winning return to action at Leopardstown today when making most of the running to take the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud 'Priory Belle' 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes.
She landed that seven-furlong contest by a length and a half from Yulong Gold Fairy, with the initial race leader I Can Fly another half-length back in third. The ground was heavy, she holds an entry in next month's Group 3 Coolmore Mastercraftsman Irish EBF Athasi Stakes over the same trip at Naas, and she is an intriguing member of the current classic generation.
Llew Law is out of Harlem Dancer (by Dr Devious), a dual mile and a quarter winner in the famous Wildenstein colours and who earned her blacktype when finishing third to Shamdala in the Listed Prix de Thiberville over 12 furlongs on good ground at Longchamp 13 years ago.
That mare's only winner is Hototo (by Sleeping Indian), who took the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and finished third in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes, both in 2012, and those are the highlights of the first three generations of Who's Steph's distaff line.
What happens farther back in the family history has little bearing on the current member but it would be not be right to ignore the next generation of this filly's pedigree. She represents a weak line that also has a low percentage of winners to foals born – with the notable exception of her dam – but her fourth dam was 1973's French juvenile filly champion Hippodamia (by Hail To Reason).
She won the Group 1 Criterium des Pouliches and took third in the Group 1 Prix Robert Papin that year and then went on to be runner-up in both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) and Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary.
Eight of her 14 foals were successful, including US Grade 2 winner Globe (by Secretariat), French listed scorer Hoya (by Secreto), and two blacktype-placed fillies, and in addition to Who's Steph's third dam Hymenee (by Chief's Crown), they also include Housatonic (by Riverman).
That one-time scorer is the dam of Group 2 Prix Niel winner Housamix (by Linamix) and of blacktype winner Housa Dancer (by Fabulous Dancer), she is the grandam of Grade 1 Garden City Stakes heroine Alexander Tango (by Danehill Dancer) and of Group 3 Diomed Stakes scorer Bushman (by Maria's Mon), and she is the third dam of an Argentine-bred Grade 2 winner.
Hippodamia's half-brother Bad Conduct (by Stalwart) also deserves a mention as he won the Group 3 Prix de Guiche and finished third in the Group 1 Prix Lupin in 1986.
Who's Steph represents a weak branch of a former Group 1-producing family, which suggests that a lot of the credit for her talent is due to her sire, and it catches the eye that, like her, one of its top-level stars represents a stallion from the Danehill (by Danzig) line.
It remains to be seen how good she will be when she reaches her peak. We already know that she stays a mile, and given the stamina shown by her dam and grandam there is every chance that she too could stay at least 10 furlongs.
No horse has won the Triple Crown since Nijinsky swept the 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger in 1970, but Camelot (by Montjeu) came close in 2012. He beat French Fifteen by a neck in the first leg, thrashed Main Sequence by five lengths in the second, and then failed by three-parts of a length to beat the ill-fated Encke at Doncaster.
He won the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh first time out as a four-year-old, chased home Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup over a half-furlong farther at that venue three weeks later, and finished fourth behind that same rival in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Ascot on his final start. His top Timeform rating was 128.
He has been an understandably popular member of the Coolmore stallion team since retiring from the track, and although he was not precocious – his only two juvenile outings were over a mile, spaced three months apart, and featured defeat of Zip Top in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy – it was always on the cards that he would get plenty of first-crop winners in the second half of the season.
His final total was 20 winners from a large number of runners, they include the pattern-placed Italian stakes winner Wait Forever and German listed scorer Alounak, plus two stakes-placed individuals, and they are headed by Fighting Irish, who took a three-runner edition of the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte in mid-October.
The Harry Dunlop-trained colt took that six-furlong contest by a head and three lengths from Nebo and French Pegasus, and this came three weeks after he ran away with a nursery over the same trip at Yarmouth. He got off the mark at the third attempt, when scoring at Salisbury in late July, but has been out of the frame in his other three starts.
Of course, six furlongs is not the sort of trip over which you would expect to see a son of Camelot prove best, even one who, like Fighting Irish, comes from a family that is strongly associated with producing Group 1 milers. It seems likely, therefore, that he will stay that distance and that would give him plenty of options.
Depending on what he has inherited from his sire, it is also possible that he will stay 10 furlongs – Camelot can be expected to get his best winners anywhere from a mile and upwards – and the stallion has already been represented this year by the aforementioned Alounak, who ran away with an 11-furlong listed Derby trial on soft ground at Dusseldorf on Sunday.
Fighting Irish is yet another notable horse bred by Pat O'Kelly's Kilcarn Stud, he made €50,000 in Goffs as a foal, £70,000 in Doncaster as a yearling, and earned almost £102,000 last season. He has an official handicap mark of 104, and Timeform rate him 102, so he clearly needs to show a lot of improvement if he is to be up to winning again in pattern company.
He is entered in Wednesday's Listed bet365 European Free Handicap at Newmarket and presumably a good effort there could see him travel to ParisLongchamp next month to take his place in the line-up for the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas).
He is the best of the first four foals out of Quixotic (by Pivotal), his dam is an unraced full-sister to Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Virtual, and the pair are three-part siblings to Iceman (by Polar Falcon), who won the Group 2 Coventry Stakes and earned placings in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes as a two-year-old.
Their dam is Virtuous (by Exit To Nowhere), who earned her blacktype when finishing third in the Listed Oaks Trial at Lingfield, and that mare is a half-sister to Dancing Debut (by Polar Falcon), who was a non-winner on the track but successful at stud.
Her daughter Dance Parntner (by Danzero) won five times over middle-distances including the Listed John Musker Fillies' Stakes over 10 furlongs at Yarmouth, the late Kindlelight Debut (by Groom Dancer) was a stakes-placed winner of 10 races from seven to nine and a half furlongs, and unraced Flames (by Blushing Flame) became the dam of Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Lahaleeb (by Redback).
That filly, who was sold for 1,000,000gns in Newmarket as a three-year-old, also won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes and Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes and she was a neck runner-up to Again in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
The fourth dam of Fighting Irish is the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest winner Exclusive Order (by Exclusive Native) and it is that high-class sprinter-miler who gave us the star siblings Entrepreneur (by Sadler's Wells) and Exclusive (by Polar Falcon) as well as Oaks-placed listed scorer Dance A Dream (by Sadler's Wells).
Although that last-named one and her stakes-winning full-brother Sadler's Image were middle-distance horses, Entrepreneur won the Group 1 2000 Guineas and classic-placed Exclusive took the Group 1 Coronation Stakes. Both of those milers then went on to success at stud.
Entrepreneur did not get as many stakes winners as would have been hoped, but they included Group 1 Irish Oaks heroine Vintage Tipple and also Damson, the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes-winning dam of Group 2 scorer and blacktype stallion Requinto (by Dansili).
Exclusive, on the other hand, is the dam of Group 1-placed, Group 2-winning miler Chic (by Machiavellian) and of prolific pattern winner Echelon (by Danehill), the Group 1 Matron Stakes heroine who gave us Group 1 Falmouth Stakes and Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes star Integral (by Dalakhani).
This is a famous Cheveley Park Stud family, and Quixotic left that team when sold for 105,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in 2010, as an unraced two-year-old.
It remains to be seen just how good her son will be at his peak, but regardless of how his career turns out, his young sire, Camelot, has made an eye-catching start to his stallion career and can be expected to supply more stakes and pattern winners as the year progresses, including some who will perform with credit in Group 1 company.
Well-bred horses who begin their careers with an eye-catching debut win can generate plenty of excitement, but just because one was well-beaten on that first visit to the racecourse does not mean that they are not destined to become leading Group 1 contenders within the next few months.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained three-year-old The Pentagon is a good example and, in an interesting coincidence, one of the horses who was beaten by a long way the day he won his maiden on fast ground at the Curragh is his Ballydoyle team-mate and exciting Grade 1 star Mendelssohn. Needless to say, the latter has improved by a massive amount since that 16 and a quarter-length defeat.
The Pentagon won by eight and a half lengths that day in mid-July, sent off the stable's second string of three, ridden by leading apprentice Ana O'Brien, and soon to become the ante-post favourite for 2018's Group 1 Investec Derby.
A month before it had been he who was the well-beaten debutant, finishing a 19 and a quarter-length sixth behind runaway first-timer and subsequent Group 1 star Verbal Dexterity over the same course and distance, but on soft ground.
Just 12 days after his maiden success, he stayed-on well to beat Theobald by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 3 JRA Tyros Stakes on good ground at Leopardstown, but it was three months before he was seen in action again, this time finishing third to Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy over a furlong farther at Doncaster, with old rival Verbal Dexterity three-parts of a length back in fourth.
The Pentagon, whom Timeform rated 114p in 2017, is due to make his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes over 10 furlongs at Leopardstown tomorrow where his rivals include talented stablemates Nelson and Delano Roosevelt, both of whom also have the potential to reach the top.
He was bred by the famous Irish farm Barronstown Stud, he is a son of Coolmore Stud's phenomenal stallion Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) and he is out of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Vadawina (by Unfuwain), which makes him inbred 3x3 to the dynasty-maker Northern Dancer (by Nearctic).
His siblings include the Group 1-placed Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris winner Vadamar (by Dalakhani) and pattern-placed stakes winner Vedouma (by Dalakhani), and his dam is a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary scorer Vazira (by Sea The Stars) and also to dual 10-furlong Group 3 winner Vadapolina (by Trempolino). The latter is the dam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) runner-up Veda (by Dansili).
This is a colt who should have no trouble staying the Derby distance.
Of course, all of those good horses are just the tip of the iceberg of his pedigree as his grandam is Vadaza (by Zafonic), a stakes-placed half-sister to Valixir (by Trempolino) and Celebre Vadala (by Peintre Celebre) and out of a stakes-winning half-sister to several other horses of note.
Valixir won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, and the races in which he was placed included the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, and Group 1 Prix Lupin.
Celebre Vadala got her best win in the Listed Prix Melisande over 10 furlongs, she was also successful over a mile and a half, and her star son is the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp star and young Tally-Ho Stud stallion Vadamos (by Monsun), who has his first foals on the ground.
Vadlamixa (by Linamix), third dam of The Pentagon, got her blacktype success in a mile listed contest at Deauville, but her half-brother Val Royal (by Royal Academy) won the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile and a trio of Group/Grade 2 contests from eight to 10 furlongs before going on to sire Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas hero Cockney Rebel in a short stallion career: he died at the age of 12.
Their half-sister Grand Vadla (by Grand Lodge) won a pair of listed contests, half-brother Vadlawys (by Always Fair) won the Group 2 Prix Hocquart over 12 furlongs at Longchamp, and his full-sister Vadlawysa is the grandam of ill-fated Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) heroine Valyra (by Azamour) and of Group 2 Prix Chaudenay winner and Whytemount Stud stallion Valirann (by Nayef).
If you go back to the fifth dam then you will find branches leading to classic-winning miler Vahorimix (by Linamix) and to Group 1 Irish St Leger heroine Voleuse De Coeurs (by Teofilo), both of whom are, of course, only distant relations to The Pentagon.
The heavy ground, lack of a recent outing, and a small field may combine to produce a result that is not truly reflective of the long-term potential of each of the runners in tomorrow's classic trial, but there is every reason to hope that The Pentagon, and his two stable companions, can go on to become leading members of the current three-year-old crop.
Dabirsim (by Hat Trick) lit up the two-year-old scene in France in 2011, going unbeaten in five starts that included both the Group 1 Prix Morny and Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere. He had kicked off that campaign with a 10-length debut score over six furlongs at La Teste De Buch in early June and his end of season Timeform rating was 120p.
The grandson of Group 1 Oaks d'Italia heroine Bright Generation (by Rainbow Quest) promised to be a classic colt and top miler at three, with the potential to stay the Prix du Jockey Club distance too, and that added to the disappointment of his truncated career.
He was short-headed by Dragon Pulse in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over a mile at Longchamp in mid-April and was then beaten by only about half a length in a blanket finish to the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), passing the post in sixth place. Lucayan won the race.
He began his stallion career at Gestut Karlshof in Germany but moved to Haras de Grandcamp, in France, after two years. He has received large books of mares, his fee was €9,000 in each of his first four seasons, and the impression he made with his first juveniles is reflected in the more than tripling of his fee for 2018. It's now €30,000.
His double-digit tally of winners is headed by Different League, the Group 3 Albany Stakes winner who was runner-up in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, third in the Group 1 Prix Morny, and then sold for 1,500,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale to join the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien team in Ireland.
He has also had three blacktype-placed runners and, at Deauville on Monday, his Mauricio Delcher Sanchez-trained daughter Coeur De Beaute won the Group 3 Prix Imprudence, beating Zonza by half a length on heavy ground.
Last year she won the six-furlong Listed Prix Zeddaan by two lengths, she chased home Sound And Silence in the Group 3 Prix Eclipse over the same course and distance, and was only beaten by a neck when runner-up in a five-furlong listed contest on good ground at Deauville.
Coeur De Beaute was bred by Haras de Grandcamp Earl, she is a €30,000 graduate of the Osarus September Yearling Sale, and she is the third foal out of the once-raced Twilight Tear (by Rock Of Gibraltar). That mare is out of one-time winner Clara Bow (by Sadler's Wells) and comes from a famous family.
Clara Bow is a full-sister to the Group 1 stars Sequoyah and Listen, both of whom have done well at stud.
Listen, the youngest of the trio, was the champion two-year-old filly in Ireland in 2007, she won the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Ascot, was runner-up in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, and is the dam of the Group 1-placed Japanese Group 2 scorer Touching Speech (by Deep Impact).
Sequoyah won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in 2000, she is the dam of dual Guineas star Henrythenavigator (by Kingmambo) and of his full-sister Queen Cleopatra, the dual classic-placed pattern winner whose stakes-winning grandson Cliffs Of Moher (by Galileo) chased home Wings Of Eagles in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom last year.
Clara Bow's sisters also include Lady Windermere (by Lake Coniston), the unraced dam of pattern-placed Irish listed sprint winner Absolutelyfabulous (by Mozart) and so the grandam of that one's most talented offspring, the full-siblings Magician (by Galileo), Apple Betty, and Outstanding.
The latter won the Listed Oaks Trial at Naas and finished third in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes, Apple Betty was a listed race winner in France before going on to become a Grade 2-placed Grade 3 scorer in the USA, and Magician is the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf star who stands at Ashford Farm in Kentucky and is a freshman sire of 2018.
Brigid (by Irish River), the third dam of Coeur De Beaute, won once in France as a three-year-old, she is out of the stakes-placed dual US winner Luv Luvin' (by Raise a Native), and so is a full-sister to Or Vision, the stakes-winning dam of Group 1 stars Dolphin Street (by Bluebird), Insight (by Sadler's Wells) and Saffron Walden (by Sadler's Wells).
Their stakes-winning full-sister Litani River is the grandam of Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes scorer Beethoven (by Oratorio), and there are many other blacktype horses to be found within the various branches of these first four generations of the pedigree.
Coeur De Beaute has not yet tried a mile but, on pedigree, there would not appear to be any reason why that trip would be beyond her. Whether or not she will be good enough to make the frame in a well-run edition of the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) remains to be seen, but there should be plenty of good prizes to be won with her from six furlongs to a mile, with a chance that she will also be effective at 10 furlongs.
Classic-placed Group 1 sprint star Green Desert forged one of the two most powerful branches of the Danzig (by Northern Dancer) line and there are now several subdivisions emerging in Europe thanks to the exploits of Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit and Oasis Dream, each of whom has stallion sons of note. Right now it is the Invincible Spirit branch that appears strongest, but it is early days yet.
The early Oasis Dream stallions include Showcasing, a Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes winner and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes third whose three-year-old campaign consisted of an excellent second to Prime Defender in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and then two crushing defeats.
He is a half-brother to blacktype sire Camacho (by Danehill), his stakes-winning dam is out of Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Prophecy (by Warning), and his combination of pedigree, two-year-old talent plus early three-year-old sprint form all but guaranteed he would be a popular addition to the stallion ranks.
He is a member of the team at Whitsbury Manor Stud, his 25 stakes winners feature dual Group 1 sprint star Quiet Reflection and multiple Group 1-placed Group 2 Duke of York Stakes winner Tasleet.
He has also achieved something very important with regard to his potential to take high rank in the general sires' championship title race – he has proved his ability to get milers. Projected and Prize Exhibit – the latter a Grade 1-placed filly who is a proven sprinter-miler – are Grade 2 scorers over the trip in the USA.
If Showcasing can sire good milers then he can get classic horses, and if he can get good milers then, with the right mares, he can get some high-class 10-furlong horses too.
Heavy ground can exaggerate superiority, but it was hard not to be impressed with the way that his son Dice Roll won the Group 3 Prix Djebel over seven furlongs at Deauville on Monday, and it would be no surprise to see colt make the frame in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) – or even win it – and go on to become one of the leading milers of the year.
Dice Roll was bred by Gestut Zur Kuste Ag, he is a €130,000 graduate of the Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale, and he is trained by Fabrice Chappet.
He made a short-head winning debut over six furlongs on good ground at Maisons-Laffitte in mid-July and rounded off his juvenile campaign with a one-and-three-quarter-length victory in a valuable mile sales race at Chantilly. His only defeat in five starts came when fourth of seven in a seven-furlong listed contest at Deauville a month after his debut.
The fourth living foal of 12-furlong scorer Schlague (by Pulpit), he is a half-brother to dual sprint winner Falcon (by Falco) and a grandson of Si Je N'Avais Plus (by Kaldoun), who earned her blacktype over seven and nine furlongs.
That mare's siblings include smart sprinter-miler River Of Light (by Irish River) and also two fillies who made their names at stud.
Battani (by Top Ville), who won once, is the dam of Grade 1-winning hurdler Me Voici (by Saint Des Saints) and of blacktype chase scorer St Devote (by Saint Des Saints) and she is the grandam of Grade 1-winning hurdler L'Unique (by Reefscape) and of Grade 2 hurdles scorer Baan Rim Pa (by Dyhim Diamond).
Dibenoise (by Kendor), on the other hand, was unraced but her string of successful offspring features Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud and Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner Recital (by Montjeu), Group 1 Prix Ganay star Corre Caminos (by Montjeu), and Group 2-winning miler Racinger (by Spectrum).
The third dam of Dice Roll is, therefore, the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs winner and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) runner-up Boreale (by Bellypha), a daughter of blacktype miler Princesse Tora (by Prince Taj) and so a half-sister to listed scorer Tory Conquest (by Rainbow Quest) and to Group 1 Prix Morny third Princesse Lee (by Habitat).
The latter is also notable as being the dam of Princesse Lida (by Nijinsky), France's champion two-year-old filly of 1979 when she won both the Group 1 Prix Morny and Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre. She was rated 119 by Timeform that season and went on to take third in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
It is true that, with the exception of Baan Rim Pa, the middle-distance and staying horses among those noted above are by stallions with whom you would associate such aptitude, but their presence in the family offers hope that Schlague could be "the right mare" who could get a 10-furlong horse by Showcasing. And, if so, then this colt could also be a leading contender for the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby).
Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence) was one of the most brilliant racehorses ever to be trained in Japan and the Timeform 134-rated, seven-time Group 1 ace, who stands at Shadai Stallion Station, has followed in the hoofprints of his dynasty-making sire by becoming one of the greatest stallions of the modern era.
His triple-digit tally of stakes winners consists mostly of horses who have won at Group 3 level or above, 33 of them have won at the highest level and, in addition to standouts such as Gentildonna, Kizuna, Real Steel, Tosen Stardom and Vivlos – to name just a few – they include A Shin Hikari (Prix d'Ispahan), Beauty Parlour (Poule d'Essai des Pouliches) and Saxon Warrior, each of whom has achieved the feat in Europe.
The latter is trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien and the unbeaten colt is one of the leading classic and Group 1 prospects for 2018.
So far, all of his races have been over a mile, starting with an easy debut success at the Curragh in late August. He followed that with a two-and-a-half-length defeat of Delano Roosevelt in the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes on soft ground at Naas and then, a month later, fought well to beat Roaring Lion by a neck in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy.
The pair finished two and a half lengths clear of The Pentagon, with Group 1 National Stakes winner Verbal Dexterity another three-parts of a length back in fourth, and Chilean, who won the Group 3 Prix La Force at ParisLongchamp this afternoon, another two and a half lengths farther behind in sixth.
Saxon Warrior finished his first season on an official rating of 119, just 3lbs below champion U S Navy Flag. Timeform placed the pair on 120p and 123 respectively.
Yet another top-level winner bred by Orpendale, Chelston & Wynatt, the late-January-born colt is a full-brother to the stakes-placed filly Pavlenko and he is the second foal of Maybe (by Galileo), a filly who finished a three and three-quarter-length fifth to Was in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom on her only attempt beyond a mile.
She had been a 10-length third to Homecoming Queen in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her previous start – her first defeat – and won both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 2 Debutante Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh as a juvenile.
Maybe has the potential to produce both high-class milers and middle-distance horses, and given that he's a son of Deep Impact, there is every chance that Saxon Warrior will be the latter, or both. And should he win the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom in June then he would be the latest member of his family to take a classic at that venue.
Promise To Be True, a full-sister to Maybe, was never asked to try beyond a mile, but then she only ran once as a three-year-old. At two she won the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown, chased home Wuheida in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac over a mile at Chantilly, and then took third behind Thunder Snow in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, over seven furlongs on soft ground.
There was no guarantee that she or Maybe would stay the Oaks distance, despite being Galileo and out of a stakes-winning three-parts sister to Oaks heroine Dancing Rain (by Danehill Dancer), and that's because their dam, Sumora (by Danehill), was a sprinter whose blacktype success came over five furlongs and as a two-year-old.
The odds were very good, of course, but likely to be dependant on which attribute Sumora had passed on to them. Maybe's Oaks fifth suggests that she may have got the stamina assist, and that would boost her prospects of producing offspring who can stay that trip.
Sumora and Dancing Rain are out of the unraced Indian Ridge (by Ahonoora) mare Rain Flower and, in addition to her three-quarter-length defeat of Wonder Of Wonders at Epsom in 2011, Dancing Rain also took the Group 1 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) over a furlong less on soft ground at Dusseldorf before adding victory in the Group 2 British Champions Fillies' and Mares Stakes' at Ascot.
Originally a €200,000 Goffs Orby Sale graduate, Dancing Rain made 4,000,000gns when sold at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in Newmarket four years later, and her second foal is Godolphin's exciting Magic Lily (by New Approach). That eight-length Newmarket debut winner was only beaten by three-quarters of a length when third to Laurens and September in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket in October.
It may seem surprising that a pair of three-part sisters could show such different aptitudes – one a five-furlong filly and the other an Oaks star – but it is not really so when you consider the mixed potential of their pedigrees.
Their dam is by a leading source of sprinter and miler speed, and she is a half-sister to two horses of particular note, one of whom is the high-class sprinter Archway (by Thatching).
He won the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes and Listed Waterford Testimonal Stakes when trained by Vincent O'Brien and the brightest stars among his offspring are Roman Arch, Grand Archway, Rose Archway, and Group 1 Melbourne Cup runner-up She's Archie – the latter trio all Group 1 winners over 12 furlongs. Roman Arch got his top-level wins at eight and 10 furlongs.
Strange? No, not when you consider that Archway was a half-brother to Group 1 Derby and Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes star Dr Devious (by Ahonoora) – a three-parts brother to Rain Flower – and that their dam, Rose Of Jericho, was a daughter of dual Arc hero and noted stamina influence Alleged (by Hoist The Flag).
Former Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained ace Dr Devious died recently, at the age of 29, and although his overall record as a stallion was disappointing for a horse of his calibre and pedigree, he did leave us the Group 1 winners Kinnaird (Prix de l'Opera) and Collier Hill (Irish St Leger, Canadian International, Hong Kong Vase).
Clearly, Saxon Warrior is bred for stardom on the track and with the potential to excel at anywhere in the mile to 12-furlong range. There is every reason to hope that his victory at Doncaster will be seen as just his first top-level win whenever the time comes for him to go to stud.
Siyouni is one of 27 Group 1 winners by Cheveley Park Stud's sprint star and outstanding stallion Pivotal (by Polar Falcon) and he achieved his top win at the age of two, taking the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium over seven furlongs at Longchamp.
He failed to win from six starts as a three-year-old but was placed in both the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat and Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp and improved his Timeform rating from 117 to 122. Being a high-class son of the sire of Kyllachy and out of a stakes-winning half-sister to Group 1 star Slickly (by Linamix), he went to stud as a promising prospect.
The fee for his first four years at Haras de Bonneval was just €7,000, but since then it has soared and he will busy this season at €75,000. Classic and triple mile Group 1 heroine Ervedya heads his current tally of 20 stakes winners, a roll of honour that also includes the Group 1-placed pattern winners Le Brivido, Siyoushake, Spectre and Volta, recent Australian Group 2 scorer Aylmerton, and this afternoon's impressive Group 3 Prix Vantaux winner Barkaa.
Of course, Siyouni is also the sire of Laurens, the Karl Burke-trained filly who held on in game fashion for a narrow victory in the Group 1 bet365 Fillies' Mile Stakes at Newmarket in October. This came a month after she beat Dark Rose Angel by a head in a blanket finish for the Group 2 William Hill May Hill Stakes over the same trip at Doncaster.
Laurens, who was bred by Bloodstock Agency Ltd and made £220,000 at the Goffs UK Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale, made a winning debut over seven furlongs at that same venue in mid-July and her only other start to date came at Deauville in August when she chased home Polydream in the Group 3 Shadwell Prix du Calvados.
It is fair to say that she was lucky to win the Newmarket race, as the Aidan O'Brien-trained runner-up September met with trouble in running and just failed by a nose at the line. Timeform, who had her on 105p before the race, raised her only to a mark of 112 – her official handicap figure is 113.
Laurens, a half-sister to two National Hunt winners, is the fourth foal out of Recambe (by Cape Cross), which makes her inbred 4x4 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer). Her dam's siblings include Listed Newmarket Stakes winner and top Hong Kong performer Salford Mill (by Peintre Celebre), and her grandam is the stakes-placed Razana (by Kahyasi).
That daughter of triple winner Raysiya (by Cure The Blues) is a half-sister to four blacktype producers, one of whom was herself a listed winner and two of whom are of particular note.
Profit Alert (by Alzao), a full-sister to stakes winner and blacktype producer Raysiza, is the dam of the high-class miler Shifting Power (by Compton Place). He won the Listed European Free Handicap and Listed Royal Windsor Stakes, he chased home Kingman in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, was a one-length runner-up to Charm Spirit in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, and was third to Custom Cut in the Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown.
Ribot's Guest (by Be My Guest), the other mare of note, was unraced, but her son Mickdaam (by Dubawi) won the Group 3 Chester Vase and her daughter Kinnaird (by Dr Devious) won the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera before going on to success at stud.
Kinnaird is the dam of Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner Berkshire (by Mount Nelson), who is in his first season at Haras de Sorelis in France, and she is the grandam of young Coolmore stallion Ivawood (by Zebedee).
That grandson of Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert) won both the Group 2 July Stakes and Group 2 Richmond Stakes as a two-year-old, was a nose runner-up to Charming Thought in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes that autumn, and filled third place in the Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas the following spring, both won by Gleneagles. His top-priced first-crop foal made 105,000gns in Newmarket in late November.
Laurens holds entries in the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks.
She needs to improve quite a bit on her two-year-old ratings to be up to winning any of those, but she is arguably bred to be better at the age of three than she was as a juvenile, and there is every reason to hope that she can figure prominently in the best mile to 10 and a half-furlong fillies' races of 2018, possibly also staying 12 furlongs.
Heavy ground can make form unreliable and can exaggerate superiority, but it was hard not to have been impressed with Barkaa's performance in winning the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux over nine furlongs at ParisLongchamp this afternoon, on what was her turf debut.
The Fabrice Vermeulen-trained bay hit the front early in the straight and pulled clear of her rivals to win by four lengths from last year's Group 3 Prix d'Aumale scorer Soustraction, who was running for the first time since finishing out of the frame behind Wild Illusion in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac in October.
Barkaa, on the other hand, was race-fit. She made a two-length winning debut over 10 furlongs at Marseille Pont-de-Vivaux in November, followed-up with a short-head success over that same course and distance in mid-December, finished third over a mile at Cagnes-sur-Mer in January and then won a listed contest over that same track and trip three weeks later. All four of those races were on fibresand.
A €66,000 graduate of Book 2 of the Arqana Deauville Yearling Sale, Barkaa was bred by Jean-Pierre Columbu and she is a daughter of Haras de Bonneval's rising star Siyouni (by Pivotal). His eldest offspring are six years old, his 20 stakes winners include Group 1 stars Ervedya and Laurens, recent Australian Group 2 scorer Aylmerton, and several who have been Group 1 runners-up, namely pattern winners Le Brivido, Siyoushake, Spectre and Volta.
She is a half-sister to the multiple listed scorer My Old Husband (by Gentlewave) – who stays middle-distances – and to the stakes-placed broodmares Dumnonia (by Silver Frost) and Danse du Soir (by Nombre Premier), but these are the only blacktype horses on the page until you look under the fourth dam and find that she is the grandam of Irish Grade B-winning hurdler Bon Temps Rouler (by Hero's Honor).
Barkaa's dam, Dentelle (by Apeldoorn), notched up three wins and 11 places on the flat, was also placed once over obstacles and is out of Dryden (by Shernazar), an unraced daughter of one-time scorer Bedford Row. That mare, who was out of one-time winner Gnulia (by Margouillat), was a daughter of Group 2 Champagne Stakes winner R B Chesne, thereby making Dentelle inbred 2x3 to that son of the great Brigadier Gerard (by Queen's Hussar).
This is not the sort of distaff line that you expect to find on a horse who could play a leading role in the top French fillies' races, and yet Barkaa is a worthy holder of entries in both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks).
It will be fascinating to find out just how good this filly is, and to see how she eventually gets on at stud given the light distaff side of her pedigree. Both parents make a contribution, of course, but it would be fair to say that the bulk of the credit for her talent and potential must go to her sire.
Triple seven-furlong Group 2 scorer Iffraaj (by Zafonic) came within a head of getting a top-level win to his name – he was runner-up to Les Arcs in the Group 1 July Cup – but he has more than compensated at stud with Jungle Cat's recent Al Quoz Sprint victory at Meydan giving him a ninth Group 1 scorer.
It would be no surprise to see the Dalham Hall Stud stallion get a tenth or even eleventh one in the coming months, but whether or not Chilean will be the one to achieve the feat remains to be seen.
His performance in winning the Group 3 Prix La Force over nine furlongs at the newly reopened ParisLongchamp this afternoon was a good effort, albeit one still some way short of suggesting Group 1 potential, but he is clearly a colt with promise.
A 130,000gns graduate of Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, the Martyn Meade-trained bay was fourth on his debut in a seven-furlong soft-ground maiden at Newmarket in August, reappeared after 20 days to score over a mile on the Polytrack at Chelmsford, and then easily won the Listed Ascendant Stakes over the same trip on heavy ground at Haydock just nine days later.
His final juvenile outing was in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy and he was not disgraced in finishing a six-length sixth behind the exciting pair Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion. He looks likely to do well in the eight to 10-furlong range this year. Might he stay farther?
Chilean was bred by Ed's Stud Ltd and he is the first foal out of Childa (by Duke Of Marmalade), a Listed Prix Rose de Mai winner who finished third in the Group 2 Prix de Conseil de Paris and whose dam, Chill (by Verglas) showed similar talent to win the Listed Prix Finlande and take second in the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre.
Childa stayed 12 furlongs and Chill won at up to 10 and a half but was well-beaten on her sole try at 12, but this could have been expected given their respective sires. Chill's three-parts brother Remus De La Tour (by Stormy River), who took the Group 3 Prix du Lys and was placed in both the Group 2 Grand Prix de Chantilly and Group 3 Prix d'Hedouville, won at up to 13 furlongs.
This would suggest that Chilean will have no problem with a mile and a quarter, and as he is by a stallion who has proved his ability to get top winners over a wide variety of trips, including the Derby distance, it is possible that 12 furlongs could be within his range.
It is noticeable, however, that his big-race entries include the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes, and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), but not the Group 1 Investec Derby, so 10 and a half furlongs may be as far as he will be asked to try, at least for the first half of the season.
These are the highlights of the first four generations of his pedigree but if you go back another step on the page you will find a plethora of notable horses appearing under various branches of the fifth.
Those horses are so remotely connected to Chilean as to have no bearing on his potential, but it would be an oversight to ignore them especially as one is Verglas (by Highest Honor), the sire of his grandam. That makes him inbred 5x5 to the unraced mare Fager's Glory (by Mr Prospector), which is likely of no importance while still catching the eye.
Dam of nine winners from a dozen foals, including Chilean's non-winning fourth dam Queen Caroline (by Chief's Crown) and classic-placed juvenile mile Group 3 scorer Glory Forever (by Forever Casting), she is the third dam of Brazilian Grade 1-winning champion Bandido Secreto (by Romarin) and of Grade 1 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) heroine Nuovo Record (by Heart's Cry).
More notable, however, is that she is also the dam of Rahaam (by Secreto), the one-time winner who gave us the aforementioned classic-placed pattern winner and sire Verglas (by Highest Honor), plus Group 2-winning sprinter and influential broodmare Cassandra Go (by Indian Ridge).
This is, therefore, a branch of the family of Group/Grade 1 stars Halfway To Heaven (by Pivotal), Photo Call (by Galileo), and Rhododendron (by Galileo). Again, their relationship to Chilean is so remote as to have no bearing on his potential.
What they do show, however, is that if he goes on give Iffraaj another Group 1 star then he will not be the first top-level winner to have emerged from the descendants of that well-related ancestor Fager's Glory, a mare whose grandam was 1966 Kentucky Oaks heroine and Grade 1 producer Native Street (by Native Dancer).
The phenomenal legacy left by triple Group 1 star and prolific champion sire Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) has been felt around the world. In Europe many will immediately identify his sons Galileo and Montjeu as having forged mighty branches of his line, with some of us who have been around for a while also naming In The Wings – the first of the major Sadler's Wells sire sons here – as having had influence too.
In North America, however, it is the former Vincent O'Brien-trained Group 1 National Stakes winner El Prado who achieved lasting fame. The grey came from the fourth crop of Sadler's Wells, he stood at Adena Springs in Kentucky, his 83 stakes winners included eight who won at the highest level, and two of his Grade 1-winning sons have become titans: Medaglia d'Oro and Kitten's Joy.
The latter, a Ramsey Farm homebred who was a Grade 1 winner over 10 and 12 furlongs on turf, commanded a fee of $100,000 from 2014 to 2017 and now, aged 17, is in his first season at Hill 'N Dale Farms in Kentucky, covering for $60,000.
His is not a profile of a horse who would have been expected to make such an impact on that side of the Atlantic, and yet this champion sire has achieved progeny earnings in excess of $10 million every year from 2013 to 2017, gets a high number of individual stakes winners each season, and has a promising stallion son here in Europe.
That horse is Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Bobby's Kitten, a highly effective performer from six furlongs to a mile, who was a runaway winner of a listed sprint at Cork on his only start in Ireland. He stands at Lanwades Stud in Newmarket and has his first foals on the ground.
So far, Kitten's Joy has 11 top-level winners to his name, but there is every reason to believe that Hawkbill will not remain unique among them for much longer. Winner of the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan on Saturday, in which he beat Poet's Word by three lengths, the Charlie Appleby-trained chestnut has won 10 of his 20 starts to date, earned over £3.4 million, and his tally includes a half-length defeat of The Gurkha in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in 2016.
The stallion's European representatives also include Group 1-placed dual Group 2 scorer Taareef, and Qatar Racing Ltd's exciting grey Roaring Lion, who is among the ante-post market leaders for next month's Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and among the entries for the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
The John Gosden-trained colt made a winning debut over a mile at Newmarket's July course in mid-August, followed that with a six-length score over the same trip on the polytrack at Kempton, and then gamely beat Nelson by a neck in the Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes. A month later he looked set for victory in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster before veering off a straight course and then losing out by a neck to Saxon Warrior.
Roaring Lion was bred by Ran Jan Racing Inc, he is a $160,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and he is related to a string of high-class performers, most of whom did well at around a mile.
The first foal of Vionnet (by Street Sense), who was a three-quarter-length third in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita, he is a grandson of the prolific Cambiocorsa (by Avenue Of Flags), a dual Grade 3 scorer over six and a half furlongs on the downhill turf course at that same venue.
That mare, who won nine of her 18 starts, has excelled at stud, coming up with five blacktype offspring from six runners, and in addition to Vionnet, they are nine-furlong Grade 2 winner Moulin De Mougin (by Curlin), Grade 2-winning miler Schiaparelli (by Ghostzapper), and mile listed scorers Alexis Tangier (by Tiznow) and Bronson (by Medaglia d'Oro).
Cambiocorsa also has the distinction of being a full-sister to the high-class sprinter California Flag, whose double-digit tally included three editions of the six and a half-furlong Grade 3 Morvich Handicap at Santa Anita.
They, in turn, are out of Ultrafleet (by Afleet), who failed to make the frame in four attempts, and that daughter of multiple stakes-placed six-time winner Social Conduct (by Vigors) is a half-sister to Social Service (by Green Forest), the five-time winning dam of multiple stakes winning filly Princess Deelite (by Afternoon Deelites).
All of this points to Roaring Lion as being a potentially high-class mile to 10-furlong horse who, depending on the amount of stamina he has received from his sire, could stay the Derby distance.