Coolmore Stud's late Danehill (by Danzig), the prolific champion sire whose early success served as the catalyst for the enduring might of the business of shuttling stallions, holds the world record for the number of stakes (348) and Group/Grade 1-winning (83) offspring and he forged a dynasty that will ensure his name lives on in pedigrees for a long time to come.
His long list of sons who have at least one top-level winner to their name at stud gained an extra name recently when Teppal scored a narrow victory in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) as she is the first to win at the highest grade for her sire, Camacho.
Apart from a single season spent at Mickley Stud in England, the Yeomanstown Stud stallion – a stakes-winning half-brother to Showcasing (by Oasis Dream) – is now in his 12th year with the O'Callaghans in Co Kildare.
His low double-digit tally of stakes winners consists of Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes scorer Green Door, Group 3 Prix de Cabourg winner My Catch, Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes heroine Puff, and nine listed scorers – plus his new classic star. The most recent addition is Listed Marygate Stakes winner Signora Cabello, a John Quinn-trained two-year-old.
Teppal, who is trained in Newmarket by David Simcock, made a winning debut over seven furlongs on turf at Lingfield in late August, followed that with a four-length score over the same distance on the polytrack at Kempton, and was not seen out again until lining up for the mile classic at ParisLongchamp.
The 14 runners were covered by just six lengths at the line, which suggests that the form of the race be treated with caution, but having hit the front about half a furlong from home, she kept on well to hold off Coeur De Beaute, Wind Chimes, and Capla Temptress by a short-neck, head and head.
Will she stay farther?
Teppal's sire was six to seven-furlong horse from a speed branch of a family once noted for middle-distance stamina, and her dam is a seven-furlong winner who missed out on blacktype when fourth in the Listed Radley Stakes over that same trip at two before going on to be unplaced over a mile and over nine furlongs.
She was bred in France by Gestut Zur Kuste Ag and she was snapped up for €60,000 by noted judge Con Marnane from Book 2 of the Arqana August Sale. Marnane then sold her on for €105,000 at the Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale.
Her siblings include the ill-fated prolific blacktype-placed colt Another Party (by Pomellato), who was effective from five to seven furlongs, and her dam, Jummana (by Cadeaux Genereux), is a full-sister to Listed Radley Stakes scorer Party.
That stakes-winning filly has also done her part for the family at stud as she is the dam of Observational (by Galileo), a multiple blacktype scorer from eight to 10 and a half-furlongs – including a Group 3 contest at Caulfield – and stakes placed at a few metres short of the mile and a half.
Forty Belles (by Forty Niner), who is the grandam of Teppal, was placed a few times but a half-sister to a string of successful runners, several of whom were blacktype horses. Those include pattern-placed French listed scorer Bellona (by Bering) – who is the grandam of Group 1 Hong Kong Vase winner Dominant (by Cacique) and of Group 2 Lennox Stakes winner Es Que Love (by Clodovil) – and In Clover (by Inchinor), the Group 3 Prix de Flore-winning dam of Group 1 Prix de l'Opera heroine We Are (by Dansili).
Third dam Bellarida (by Bellypha), who was inbred 3x3 to Le Fabuleux (by Wild Risk), won the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont over 12 furlongs and was a granddaughter of Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Lalika (by Le Fabuleux), but the speed being contibuted by Camacho makes it seem unlikely that her young descendant will stay those distances.
Timeform rated Teppal's classic performance 113p, and while there is every reason to hope that she will indeed improve on that figure as the season develops, it seems likely that the mile may be as far as she will want to go.
We have long been able to say that there are two major branches of the Danzig (by Northern Dancer) line, those forged by his classic-placed, Group 1-winning sprint sons Danehill and Green Desert. It is still too early to know for certain, but the early signs are that a third branch may be developing thanks to one of the last of the Danzigs, War Front.
A six-furlong Grade 2 scorer who was Grade 1-placed at six and seven furlongs, the Claiborne Farm resident has become one of the most expensive stallions in the world thanks to a growing string of top-level winners on both sides of the Atlantic. Many of his best are colts, they are going to stud, and now two of them have sired a Group/Grade 1 winner of their own.
Two promising sons in early stages of their careers do not make a sire line, but this is an encouraging beginning. The Factor, who stands at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky, was the first of the War Fronts to hit the Grade 1 mark at stud, and now Ashford Stud stallion Declaration Of War has done it too.
Winner of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes for the Aidan O'Brien stable, Declaration Of War spent one season at Coolmore before moving to their US branch. His first crop are three-year-olds, they include Group 3 scorer Actress and listed race winner Eirene, and also Olmedo.
He made a winning debut over seven and a half furlongs at Deauville in August, was short-headed by Stage Magic in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes over a mile at Chantilly a month later and then chased home Happily in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) over the same course and distance in early October.
This was enough to see him crowned champion French two-year-old colt, and although he was again runner-up when pipped by Wootton in the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau over a mile on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp on his seasonal reappearance, he came home in front in the recent Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) on good ground at the same venue.
Four lengths covered the first seven home, with longshots in sixth and seventh, but there is reason to believe that this colt can improve further. For the record, he beat Hey Gaman by a neck, with Dice Roll a nose back in third, then one and three-quarter lengths back to fourth-placed Wootton, who was a length in front of Europe's overall champion juvenile U S Navy Flag.
Olmedo is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, he was bred by the Dream With Me Syndicate and he is a €100,000 graduate of the Arqana August Yearling Sale. He is the second foal of his dam, Super Pie (by Pivotal), and is a half-brother to multiple winner Super Mac (by Makfi).
The mare won once at Deauville, her half-brother Art Contemporain (by Smart Strike) was third in the Group 2 Prix Noailles, and her dam, Super Lina (by Linamix), is a Group 3 Prix Penelope runner-up whose siblings feature Super Celebre (by Peintre Celebre). That colt won the Group 2 Prix Noailles and he was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Prix Lupin.
Southern Seas (by Jim French) is the fourth dam of Olmedo, and that four-time scorer is best known as being the dam of multiple US Grade 1 star Steinlen (by Habitat) – who won the Breeders' Cup Mile and Arlington Million, among other top races – and grandam of runaway Group 1 Irish Derby star Zagreb (by Theatrical).
She is also a more distant ancestor of Stacelita (by Monsun), and not only did that champion win the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, Group 1 Prix Vermeille, Group 1 Prix Jean Romanet, Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes, and Grade 1 Beverley D Stakes, but she is the dam of Japanese champion and classic heroine Soul Stirring (by Frankel).
Olmedo looks likely to stay the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club distance and it will be interesting to see how he progresses.
Prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) has developed an outstanding record as a sire of sires and his latest promising stallion son is Intello, the French champion and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club winner who is back at Cheveley Park Stud following two seasons at Haras du Quesnay.
His racing and pedigree profile suggested that he would get some promising two-year-olds but excel with three-year-olds and older horses running over a mile and upwards, and so far he is on track to fulfil that potential.
Listed Prix Saraca scorer Sonjeu was among his juvenile winners in 2017 and now that first crop has yielded two pattern winners: Intellogent and Young Rascal. The latter took the Group 3 MBNA Chester Vase on Wednesday, two days after Intellogent got up in a tight finish to take the Group 3 Prix de Guiche over nine furlongs at Chantilly.
He beat Patascoy and Glorious Journey by a head and half a length, and this trio finished five lengths clear of the fourth, Efraan. A mile winner on his only start at two, the Fabrice Chappet-trained chestnut was runner-up in a listed contest at Fontainebleau in March and also only beaten by half a length when third in a conditions event over the same trip at ParisLongchamp last month.
His pattern success came on his first time running on good ground – his other runs have been on soft or very soft – and it is no surprise that he holds entries in the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Intellogent was bred by Ecurie Des Monceaux and he is a €320,000 graduate of the Arqana August yearling sale in Deauville. He is inbred 4x4 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer), his stakes-placed half-sister Lightupthenight (by Dutch Art) has won at up to a mile, and the pair are among the first three foals out of Nuit Polaire (by Kheleyf).
The mare won once, as did grandam Night Teeny (by Platini), but she comes from a famous German classic family that has already added to its Group 1 tally in 2018.
Nuit Polaire's siblings include listed scorer Night Serenade (by Golan) but, more notably, also the full-sisters Night Of Magic (by Peintre Celebre) and Neele. The latter was Group 3-placed in Germany before becoming the dam of Group 1 Deutsches Derby scorer Nutan (by Duke Of Marmalade) of Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin heroine and Group 1 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) runner-up Nymphea (by Dylan Thomas).
Night Of Magic, on the other hand, won the Group 2 Oaks d'Italia, was runner-up in the all-aged Group 3 Deutsches St Leger, and is the dam of classic and multiple Group 1-placed dual Group 1 Preis von Europa star Nightflower (by Dylan Thomas).
Night Teeny, in turn, was out three-time German winner Nightrockettte (by Rocket) and that makes her a half-sister to the Group 2 Preis der Diana winner Night Petticoat (by Petoski), who went on to become the dam of Group 1 Deutsches Derby star Next Desert (by Desert Style) and Group 1 Preis der Diana scorer Next Gina (by Perugino).
And it is here that the latest top-level winner in the family comes in as Next Gina's dual 10-furlong stakes-winning daughter Nina Celebre (by Peintre Celebre) is the dam of the enigmatic Pakistan Star (by Shamardal), three-length winner of the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup over 10 furlongs at Sha Tin, in Hong Kong, 11 days ago.
This is a solid middle-distance blacktype family and it would be no surprise to see Intellogent figure prominently in some of the better 12-furlong contests in France, this year and next.
The great Frankel (by Galileo) has made an exciting start to his stallion career. Yes, given the level of support he has received, you would expect him to be getting a large number of stakes and pattern winners, but that support is no guarantee of success. His first two crops have yielded 22 stakes winners so far, 17 of them pattern scorers and with Cracksman (Timeform 136) and Japanese champion Soul Stirring his top-level stars.
Four-year-old Cracksman has already won again at the highest level in 2018 and the stallion's second crop includes blacktype classic trial winners Nelson (Group 3 Ballysax Stakes) and Rostropovich (Listed Dee Stakes), Group 1 2000 Guineas fourth Elarqam (Timeform 120p), and the exciting Without Parole whose first two starts, both runaway wins over a mile, have earned that John Gosden trainee a Timeform figure of 117p.
Frankel's second crop also includes Qatar Racing Ltd's promising homebred Lightening Quick. The Ger Lyons-trained bay narrowly beat Bye Bye Baby over seven furlongs at Leopardstown on her debut (video below), disappointed when down the field behind Juliet Capulet in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes three weeks later, but made a winning start to the new campaign at Naas on Monday.
She will need to improve on this three-quarter-length and head defeat of four-year-old Xenobia and three-year-old Broadway if she is to fulfil the potential of her entry in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, but she is bred to be suited to the step up in trip.
The race she won was the Group 3 Coolmore Mastercraftsman Irish EBF Athasi Stakes over seven furlongs and it catches the eye that her entries also include next month's Group 3 TRM Ballyogan Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh.
Lightening Quick is a full-sister to the late Timeform 100-rated dual mile winner Lightening Fast and she is the second foal out of Lightening Pearl (by Marju), the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine of 2011.
The mare was unplaced in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her only attempt at a mile, she was a Group 2-placed winner over seven furlongs, and a five-length winner of the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes over six at the Curragh. Timeform rated her 113, and although it is possible that she did not stay beyond seven, that may not hinder her daughter's prospects of becoming a talented mile or even middle-distance performer.
Lightning Pearl is a full-sister to Jolie Jioconde and Satono Crown. The former was Group 3-placed over seven furlongs, won at up to 10 and a half, and is the dam of Fast Approach (by Dawn Approach) who has been Grade 3-placed over nine furlongs in Japan.
Satono Crown, on the other hand, is rated 127 by Timeform, he has won the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase over a mile and a half at Sha Tin and the Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen over 11 furlongs at Hanshin, he was only beaten a neck by Kitasan Black in the 10-furlong Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) in late October and, earlier in his career, was third to Duramente in the Grade 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby).
They are out of Jioconda (by Rossini), who won the Listed Silken Glider Stakes as a two-year-old, and their third dam, Lust (by Pursuit Of Love), is an unraced half-sister to Group 1 stars Classic Cliche (by Salse) and My Emma (by Marju).
The former won the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot and Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster before becoming a somewhat successful dual-purpose stallion, while Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Prix Vermeille heroine My Emma is the grandam of Group 1 Gold Cup runner-up and dual Group 3 Sagaro Stakes winner Mizzou (by Galileo).
These are the highlights of the first five generations of the pedigree, and although there is some speed in there, the family's recent tendency has been towards middle-distance and staying talent.
The way Lightening Quick stayed on to win her maiden at two suggested that a mile and/or 10 furlongs would suit her in 2018, which makes her sprint entry interesting. It remains to be seen how good she is – and it was reported that she had not been working well before her Naas victory – but there is no doubt that she is bred to be a good filly, and one who could benefit from a step up in trip.
There was some understandable disappointment when 1989's US champion three-year-old and Horse of the Year was exported to take up stallion duties at Shadai Stallion Station in Japan, after a career where won the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes, Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, Grade 1 Super Derby and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic, and earned close to $5 million.
We can only speculate as to how a US stallion career may have turned out for him, but as a big fish in the comparatively smaller pond in Japan, the black son of Halo (by Hail To Reason) transformed that nation's racing and bloodstock industry and forged one of the world's most powerful dynasties.
Sunday Silence's influence as a sire of sires and as a broodmare sire has also ensured that his name will live on for a long time to come, and although he has many excellent stallion sons among a total of 171 stakes winners, one is building up a profile that may some day rival that of his father.
Deep Impact was arguably his most brilliant son and the Timeform 134-rated star, who came from his penultimate crop, quickly took over the mantle as both the chief flag bearer for Shadai Stallion Station and that of the most dominant stallion in the region.
The 16-year-old is currently on a total of 113 stakes winners, with 34 of those having won at least once at the highest level, and awareness of his might has been raised in Europe in the past year, with the Coolmore team making greater use of him for their star mares, and track notables September and Saxon Warrior doing them proud.
The latter gave Deep Impact a second European Group 1 classic winner on Saturday when taking the 2000 Guineas in style at Newmarket, and it was second-crop daughter Beauty Parlour who was his first. She took the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) in 2012 and lost her unbeaten record when chasing home the ill-fated Valyra in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) the following month.
His current three-year-olds also include the Pascal Bary-trained Study Of Man, a Flaxman Stables Ireland Ltd homebred who holds entries in both the Group 1 Investec Derby and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club and who put up a visually impressive performance in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe at Saint-Cloud on Tuesday.
The ground was good, but the pace steady and the final time for the 2200 metres almost a furlong slow – which may make the form unreliable – yet it is hard not to see the winner as being a colt with Group 1 potential.
Runaway German stakes winner Alounak chased home home – beaten three and a half lengths – there was another two and a half lengths back to third-placed Alhadab, and the only other runner, Assiro, was another half-length away. The latter comes from the first crop of Declaration Of War (by War Front) and the other pair are first-crop sons of Camelot (by Montjeu).
Study Of Man is the best of a few winners out of Second Happiness (by Storm Cat), a placed mare whose siblings feature classic stars East Of The Moon (by Private Account) and Kingmambo (by Mr Prospector) and whose dam is, of course, the brilliant Miesque (by Nureyev).
Also a Niarchos homebred, she was a top filly at two, a Timeform 131-rated classic heroine at three, and retired at the end of her four-year-old season with a Timeform figure of 133 and career total of 10 Group/Grade 1 wins, including two editions of the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Her triple Group 1-winning son Kingmambo, of course, became a leading international sire, with 24 top-level winners among a total of 85 blacktype scorers, and although his sons have met with mixed success at stud – leading sires King Kamehameha and Lemon Drop Kid stand out – his broodmare daughters have excelled.
Kingmambo's Group 3-winning full-brother Miesque's Son has sired the Group/Grade 1 winners Miesque's Approval and Whipper, and his full-sister Monavassia is the dam of juvenile Group 1 star Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill) and so grandam of that filly's classic-placed, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks-winning daughter Tapestry (by Galileo). She is also the grandam of dual classic-placed Group 1 Dubai Turf winner Real Steel (by Deep Impact).
Their stakes-winning three-parts sister Moon Is Up (by Woodman) is the dam of South African mile Grade 1 winner Amanee (by Pivotal) and grandam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile ace Karakontie (by Bernstein), who stands at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky and will have first-crop yearlings at the sales this summer and autumn.
East Of The Moon, of course, completed the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches and Group 1 Prix de Diane double in 1994.
Miesque was out of the dual French listed scorer Pasadoble (by Prove Out) and her siblings included seven-furlong Saint-Cloud blacktype winner Massaraat (by Nureyev), a mare who produced only four winners from 11 foals but whose descendants include Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Silkwood (by Singspiel), Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes scorer Silent Honor (by Sunday Silence), and also Permian (by Teofilo).
That tragically ill-fated colt was a notable middle-distance three-year-old in 2017 – Timeform-rated 117 – when he won the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and failed by just a nose to take the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris.
Pasadoble was also the dam of Yogya (by Riverman), the unraced mare who gave us the classic-placed Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Six Perfections (by Celtic Swing). That Timeform 124-rated champion is, in turn, the dam of Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene scorer Planet Five (by Storm Cat), US Grade 3 winner Faufiler (by Galileo), and Group 1-placed Yucatan (by Galileo).
With pedigree connections like these, Study Of Man is clearly bred to achieve anything on the track and, if he earns the opportunity, to make an impact at stud.
He won over a mile on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud on his only start at two, chased home Chilean in the Group 3 Prix La Force over nine furlongs on heavy at ParisLongchamp last month, and so whichever of the middle-distance classics he tackles will come on just his fourth start.
He is not absolutely guaranteed to stay 12 furlongs, given that his dam is a Storm Cat (by Storm Bird) mare out of Miesque, but what we have seen of him so far, combined with being a son of Deep Impact, makes it likely that the distance will be within his range.
The aforementioned Real Steel takes on additional relevance here and strengthens further the prospect of Study Of Man staying the trip, as he too is out of a daughter of Storm Cat and his grandam is a full-sister to Miesque. His Group 1 success came at nine furlongs but one of those classic placings came in the Group 1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger), which is over 3000 metres (one mile, seven furlongs).
If he lives up to his potential then Study Of Man could become one of the leading stars of 2018.
Shuttle stallions changed the face of the global bloodstock industry. Those termed as 'reserve shuttle' horses – southern hemisphere-born horses who come north for stud service – have not been as successful on the whole, but some have stood out.
Fastnet Rock, Exceed And Excel and Choisir (by Danehill Dancer) are three striking examples, and given the influence of his line 'down under', it is no surprise that all of those represent prolific champion sire Danehill (by Danzig) or his line.
This made Australian champion sire Redoute's Choice (by Danehill) a particularly interesting reverse-shuttler when he spent two seasons at Haras de Bonneval in France, especially given that he represents a branch of the family of El Gran Senor (by Northern Dancer) – among many others of note – but as yet the fruits of his time in this part of the world have not made a big impact.
These were not his first offspring born to northern hemisphere time – there were a few such horses in 2008, for example, including Group 2-placed stakes winner and young Ballyhane Stud stallion Elzaam – but there is a potentially high-class colt among those from his second French-conceived crop.
Sevenna Star, a Gestüt Ammerland homebred trained by John Gosden, created quite an impression when taking a 10-furlong novice event by 14 lengths on heavy ground at Windsor on his first outing of this year, and he followed that with a short-head defeat of Ispolini in the Group 3 bet365 Classic Trial on good-to-soft at Sandown 11 days later.
He had been placed on his only two starts at two – both at around a mile – and had a wind procedure done in late November. He holds entries in both the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes and Group 1 Investec Derby, and is currently available at around 25/1 for the latter.
Sprinter-miler Time's Arrow, who won a six-furlong listed contest at Maisons-Laffitte two days before Sevenna Star's pattern success, is another of the stallion's European-bred representatives, as is last year's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) fourth Spotify, a pattern-placed colt who won a listed contest over 10 furlongs at Cagnes-sur-Mer in February.
So too are Gold Luck, who won the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Chantilly last year, was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham and third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, plus 2017's Group 3 Prix Chloe winner Ibiza, and mile listed scorer Lilac Fairy.
These are all good results, yet some way behind the string of Group 1 stars that he has produced in Australia, a list that includes Miss Finland, Royal Descent and Samantha Miss – a trio selected for mention because they were top-level winners over 12 furlongs.
With Sevenna Star proven over a mile and a quarter at this point in his career, and being out of a daughter of the phenomenal stallion Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), it looks odds-on that he too will stay at least that distance, especially given what his siblings have achieved.
His half-brother Samurai (by Shamardal) and half-sister Sassella (by Lope De Vega) have won 12-and-a-half-furlong listed contests in Switzerland and France respectively, and their half-sister Savanne (by Rock Of Gibraltar), who won the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont over a half-furlong less, was placed in both the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret and Group 2 Prix de Pomone.
Sevenna Star will need to improve a lot when stepped up in trip for the Derby and/or other top events at the distance, but he is bred to do so. Indeed, it is possible that this colt could be a leading candidate for the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster in September. His dam, Sevenna, won the Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes over 14 furlongs at Goodwood when she was four years old.
The mare is a half-sister to Scatina (by Samum), who won the Group 2 Schwarzgold-Rennen over 11 furlongs on good ground at Cologne, and they are out of Silvassa (by Darshaan), a daughter of 1984's Group 2 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) dead-heater Slenderella (by Alpenkonig).
Silvassa was the only winner among eight foals out of that dual classic scorer – the mare also won the Group 3 Schwarzgold-Rennen (German 1000 Guineas) – and in addition to being a full-sister to pattern-winning miler Slenderhagen, Slenderella was also a full-sister to Scilla, the unraced dam of Solon (by Local Suitor).
Rated 123 by Timeform, that prolific colt took the Group 1 Europa-Preis over 12 furlongs at Cologne in 1995, beating Sternkoenig by two and a half lengths. The best of Solon's offspring was the tragically ill-fated Solwhit, whose string of Grade 1 wins over obstacles featured the Irish Champion Hurdle over two miles at Leopardstown and the World Hurdle over three miles at the Cheltenham Festival.
Sevenna Star deserves a crack at the Derby, but his best classic chance may come at Doncaster in September. If he stays the St Leger distance – as his pedigree suggests he will – then that will make him a potential player for the Cup scene of 2019, a programme whose enhanced value should strengthen its appeal among owners and breeders alike.
The sprinters' division is especially strong right now and horses who, in many years, would have been good enough to take high rank, will struggle to compile an eye-catching CV. This will make the enhanced three-year-old sprint programme especially important as a testing ground for up-and-coming speedsters, giving them a chance to gain experience and build a profile before being pitched in at the very top.
Invincible Army already has plenty of racing experience, albeit entirely against his own age group, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on when moving into open company later in the year.
Short-headed by Masar in a six-furlong Goodwood maiden in late May of his juvenile year, he ran away with a similar contest at Newmarket before disappointing in fourth behind Cardsharp in the Group 2 July Stakes at the same venue.
He chased home Havana Grey in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes on soft ground at Goodwood and Sands Of Mali on good ground in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, beat Corinthia Knight by a length and a half to take the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes on the polytrack at Kempton, and then finished a three-quarter-length second to James Garfield in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.
With what some of those rivals have already achieved in 2018, that form – which earned him a Timeform rating of 112 – still looks good. It will also catch the eye on advertisements for a likely future stallion career for the son of leading international sire Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert).
The James Tate-trained colt made his seasonal reappearance at Ascot on Wednesday, and although it remains to be seen exactly what he achieved in beating the lightly-raced pair Eqtidaar and Enjazaat easily in the Group 3 Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes over six furlongs on soft, it looked promising.
Invincible Army was bred by Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd and he is a half-brother to Master Rajeem (by Street Cry), who bypassed the flat and has won at up to three miles, two and a half furlongs over fences. Despite that stamina, however, the distaff side of the family is mostly about six to 10-furlong talent, starting with the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes victory of his dam, Rajeem (by Diktat).
She is the best of three winners out of Magic Sister, and although that mare was only placed, the daughter of Cadeaux Genereux (by Young Generation) is a full-sister to Hoh Magic, who was Europe's juvenile filly champion of 1994 after wins in the Group 1 Prix Morny, Group 3 Molecomb Stakes and Listed Dragon Trophy.
She was runner-up in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes first time out at three, finished fourth to Harayir in the Group 1 1000 Guineas, and then took third to Lake Coniston in the Group 1 July Cup. Timeform rated her 111 at two and 108 at three.
Gunner's Belle (by Gunner B), the third dam of Invincible Army, won three times at up to 10 furlongs and was among nine successful offspring – who won between three to 18 races apiece – out of triple scorer Crimson Belle (by Red God), with the brightest star among them being Crimson Beau (by High Line).
He won the Group 2 Prince of Wales's Stakes, Group 3 Prix de la Cote Normande and Listed Extel Handicap, he was runner-up to Troy in the Group 1 Benson & Hedges Gold Cup (now Juddmonte International Stakes) and to Dicken's Hill in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes, and earned a Timeform rating of 124.
From what we have seen of him so far, Invincible Army appears to be a talented sprinter. He holds entries in next month's Group 1 Commonwealth Cup and Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Ascot, and has likely already done more than enough to have attracted the attention of a few stud farms.
It is likely that he will be kept to five and six furlongs, but given that his dam won a Group 1 over a mile, that Hoh Magic stayed that trip and that Crimson Beau is in the family too, it would be interesting to see how he might get on if asked to try seven furlongs, or even a mile.