Blacktype is a valuable commodity for any filly and the usual route to such success generally begins with maiden success before stepping up in grade, sometimes taking in a conditions race on the way. Bean Feasa tried the maiden route but four outings yielded just two seconds and two unplaced results.
She was also unplaced in Group 3 company, finishing only fifth behind Hydrangea in the Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown last month. Yet, despite what might sound like a somewhat unpromising record for a potential stakes winner, the Jim Bolger-trained bay was sent off favourite for the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a furlong farther at the same venue on Sunday.
This was her first time running in a tongue-tie and she boosted her rating from 99 to 103 with a two and three-quarter lengths defeat of Asking on fast ground.
Pattern race victory would enhance any filly's future paddocks appeal, but with the pedigree that this three-year-old has, it would be no surprise if she can improve again on the track before going on to what could be a notable career at stud.
She is owned by Godolphin, she was bred by Darley, but the best of her siblings was bred by Bolger, who also trained the colt. He won all five of his starts as a juvenile, including the Group 1 National Stakes and Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, and could have enhanced that profile with further Group 1 or even classic success had injury not ended his career prematurely.
Teofilo (by Galileo) is a leading member of the team at Kildangan Stud, his 65 individual stakes winners include a dozen who have won at least once at the highest level, notably Irish 1000 Guineas and Yorkshire Oaks heroine Pleascach, ill-fated Irish Derby star Trading Leather, and, also among his European runners, Prix Jean Prat scorer Havana Gold, the young Tweenhills Farm and Stud stallion who is already off the mark with his first crop.
One would imagine that Galileo and/or some of his sons would be potential future mates for Bean Feasa.
Her siblings also include Senora Galilei (by Galileo), who is the winning dam of the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes runner-up We'll Go Walking (by Authorized), and her dam is Speirbhean (by Danehill) who also won the Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial, back when it was a listed contest.
The mare is a half-sister to listed handicap scorer Graduated (by Royal Academy), to the dam of high-class hurdler Via Galilei (by Galileo) and to Elida (by Royal Academy), the grandam of the late-season staying juvenile stakes winners Dubai Sand (by Teofilo) and Glamorous Approach (by New Approach), both of whom are also trained by Bolger.
Saviour (by Majestic Light), who is the grandam of Bean Feasa, won three times and she is a full-sister to the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes winner War, one of three top-level winners produced from the Canadian champion Victorian Queen (by Victoria Park).
The other pair are Peace (by Naskra), who won the Grade 1 John Henry Handicap, and Judge Angelucci (by Honest Pleasure), who took the Grade 1 Mervyn Leroy Handicap, Grade 1 Californian Stakes, and Grade 1 San Antonio Stakes, as well as earning several top-level placings, one of which was third in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Extraterrestral (by Storm Bird), a half-sister to Saviour, has also done her part for the family because she is the dam of three stakes winners, one of whom will be known to Irish racegoers, and that one is Radharcnafarraige (by Distorted Humor), who won the Group 3 Naas Juvenile Sprint Stakes at two and later added the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes.
Bean Feasa is now a pattern-winning half-sister to a dual Group 1 star and leading international sire. She holds entries in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, Investec Oaks, Coronation Stakes, Pretty Polly Stakes, and Darley Irish Oaks – all Group 1, of course – and it will be fascinating to see how much higher in the rankings she can go before she eventually retires to the paddocks.
Galileo's domination at the top of the sires' table has been phenomenal and, although the season is still young, he is well positioned to take yet another championship title in 2017.
At Newmarket this afternoon his daughters Winter and Rhododendron were first and second in the Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, 24 hours after his juvenile champion son Churchill took the Group 1 Qipco 2000 Guineas over the same course and distance. All three are trained by Aidan O'Brien.
Today's runner-up was the big race favourite but the Group 1 star met with some trouble in running, ran on strongly, but never looked likely to catch the winner who had moved to the front two out.
Winter ran three times in 2016, when trained by the now retired David Wachman, and she made her debut in a six-furlong Naas maiden in mid May. She finished a one and a quarter-length third to Cuff that day, filled the same position behind Butterflies over a quarter-mile farther at Gowran Park in July, and then justified favouritism in a seven-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Dundalk in August.
Her first start for the Ballydoyle team was at Leopardstown last month when she got within a head of beating Hydrangea in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes over seven furlongs, looking considerably better than her official mark of 89.
She was sent off at 9/1 at Newmarket and came home two lengths clear of Rhododendron, with Daban a neck back in third and the once-raced maiden winner Talaayeb another one and a quarter lengths behind in fourth. Hydrangea was only tenth.
Winter is the second foal out of Laddies Poker Two (by Choisir), a mare who ran just five times but whose final start was quite remarkable.
Unraced at two, she skated home by six lengths in a seven-furlong maiden on the polytrack at Kempton in January of her three-year-old season and was then off the track for seven months before finishing third in a handicap over the same trip at Newmarket.
She dropped back to six and took a handicap at Ascot by one and three-quarter lengths but was a disappointing favourite in a listed contest over the same trip at Newmarket a few weeks later, finishing only sixth. She was not seen in action again until June of her five-year-old season when, despite the absence, she took the Wokingham by two and a half lengths, carrying 8st 11lbs.
Laddies Poker Two is one of five winners from the first six foals out of Break Of Day (by Favorite Trick), and unraced half-sister to the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes runner-up Ma Yoram (by Dayjur). Her siblings also include Kathleen's Dream (by by Last Tycoon), who is the unraced dam of the listed scorer and 14-time winner Castor Troy (by Ali-Royal), and she is out of Quelle Affaire (by Riverman), a placed full-sister to Rami.
He was a high-class performer who won the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Tipperary and earned placings in the Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes, Group 2 Challenge Stakes, Group 2 International Stakes, and a Group 2 contest in South Africa, and he was one of three stakes-winning offspring for his Group 1-winning dam.
Crack Regiment (by El Gran Senor) won the Group 3 Prix Eclipse and was placed in the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, Group 3 Prix de Meautry, Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau and Group 3 Prix du Palais Royal, and stakes-winning half-sister La Grande Epoque (by Lyphard) was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp.
That talented sprinter became the dam of the listed scorers Prince Tum Tum (by Capote) and Matelot (by Riverman), the latter of whom was third in the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest, and her winning half-sister Diamond Snow (by Dayjur) deserves a mention for being the grandam of Group 3 winner and Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) third Meiner Frost (by Black Tide).
Ancient Regime (by Olden Times), the fourth dam of Winter, was France's juvenile filly champion of 1980 when she won the Group 1 Prix Morny and was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Robert Papin. She did pick up fourth place in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), but was also fourth in the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp and placed in each of the Group 3 Prix du Gros Chene, Group 3 Prix de Seint-et-Oise, and Group 3 Prix du Petit Couvert, so speed was her game.
Her prolific full-brother Cricket Ball won the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest, her full-sister Olden was a triple stakes winner in the USA, and her dam was Caterina (by Princely Gift), the Nunthorpe Stakes heroine of 1966.
Winter is another fine example of how sprint families can produce Group 1 stars by Galileo and, like so many good horses who represent that type of cross, there is doubt that she will stay beyond 10 furlongs.
Her entries include the Group 1 Investec Oaks, Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, so her connections have clearly not ruled out the prospect of her getting a mile and a half, but it may be that the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes – in which she is also engaged – may prove to be more suitable targets.
Every year there are a few freshman sires who make a quick start with blacktype horses, whereas others make less of a splash in that arena but may show signs that it is with their three-year-olds and older horses that they will make the greatest impact.
Excelebration (by Exceed And Excel) fell into the latter category, which is what one could reasonably have expected before the season even began.
He showed talent at two but was considerably better at three and four, a triple Group 1-winning miler whose record would have shone brighter had he not had the misfortune to be a contemporary of the great Frankel.
So far it is his Banstead Manor Stud rival who is leading the way among the stallions whose first crop are now aged three, the son of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) having notched up his eighth individual pattern winner just days ago. Frankel already has a classic-placed runner to his name and several others with classic prospects, but Excelebration also has a son who has exhibited Group 1 potential.
Barney Roy ran only once as a juvenile but created a favourable impression when taking a mile maiden on good ground at Haydock in late September. He beat Fujaira Bridge by three and three-quarter lengths, earning an official rating of 91 and a Timeform one of 94P.
His classic potential was advertised with his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 JLT Greenham Stakes at Newbury, one of the races in which his sire had chased home Frankel just a few years before.
Dream Castle hit the front two out and looked set for victory, but Barney Roy came with a strong run in the final furlong and kept on well to win by two lengths in a good time, exhibiting an eye-catching long stride.
The result may have been closer if the runner-up had waited a bit longer before making his move but both colts look like potentially top-class prospects. They finished four lengths clear of the third, Zainham, and Timeform awarded the pair ratings of 121p and 115p respectively.
We already know that Barney Roy stays the mile and that he could become a star over that distance, but it is possible that this will be as far as he will want to go, even though he is out of a daughter of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells).
His dam, Alina, was unplaced, he is her first foal, and she is a daughter of the pattern-winning miler Cheyenne Star (by Mujahid). That profilic filly won eight times in Ireland, including the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown and a three-quarter-length defeat of Heaven Sent in the Group 3 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes over a mile at the Curragh.
Charita (by Lycius), the third dam of Barney Roy, won the Listed Garnet Stakes over a mile at Naas and that half-sister to Group 1-placed Group 2-winning Italian miler Stanott (by Mukaddamah) has an unraced daughter of note because that one, Boa Estrela (by Intikhab), gave us Gordon Lord Byron (by Byron).
One of the most popular Irish-trained horses of recent years, that gelding's current figures are 15 wins from 71 starts with his tally including victory in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at Rosehill, and Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The Tom Hogan-trained seven-figure earner was bred by Roland Alder, his highest annual Timeform figure has been 126, and he has already run four times in 2017, at the age of nine. He was unplaced twice over six furlongs at Meydan, a half-length runner-up over the same trip at Dundalk in March, and last of five in the Group 3 Group 3 Gladness Stakes, won by Diamond Fields, over seven furlongs at Naas last month.
Barney Roy, who was bred by Eliza Park International Pty Ltd, made just 30,000gns in Newmarket as a foal and £70,000 when known as lot 128 at the Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale nine months later. This Richard Hannon-trained bay is now owned by Godolphin, he is bred to be a top-class miler, and all the signs we have seen so far suggest that this is exactly what he could become.