Ten furlongs is a long way for a two-year-old and those who can win over that distance tend to prove best from a mile and a half and upwards as three-year-olds and older horses. The Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket is one of the few blacktype events for them at that trip and in 2017 it was won in promising style by Kew Gardens.
This was his fifth start, his second win and his second piece of blacktype. He'd chased home the fellow Aidan O'Brien-trained Nelson in a mile Group 3 contest at Leopardstown on his third run and then finished fourth behind another stablemate, Saxon Warrior, in the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes on soft ground at Naas.
His first four outings suggested that he could be a useful middle-distance horse in the making, his three-and-a-half-length defeat of Dee Ex Bee at Newmarket gave him the look of a future pattern winner and possible Group 1 William Hill St Leger Stakes candidate, and Timeform rated him 108p.
As it turned out, he was indeed a contender for the final classic of the year, and he won it by two and a quarter lengths from rising star Lah Ti Dar. What's more, this was his second victory at the highest level as, two months before, he beat Neufbosc by a length and a quarter to take the Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris over 12 furlongs at ParisLongchamp.
This came a few weeks after he'd beaten Southern France by four and a half lengths to take the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, and between his two Group 1 scores he finished third to Old Persian in the Group 2 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, giving the winner 2lbs and the runner-up, Cross Counter, 5lbs.
Kew Gardens's overall record stands at five wins and four placings from a dozen starts and he is due to line-up in tomorrow afternoon's Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Those efforts include third in the Listed Feilden Stakes at Newmarket in April and a second-place finish to the front-running Knight To Behold in the Listed Betfred Derby Trial Stakes at Lingfield in May, and his only time out of the frame in 2018 is when he finished well-beaten behind Masar in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
One of 73 top-level scorers among a remarkable 284 stakes winners for Coolmore Stud's prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), Kew Gardens is the best of several multiple winners out of Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Chelsea Rose (by Desert King).
She beat Pictavia by three-parts of a length to take that prestigious seven-furlong juvenile contest, she went on to win listed races at nine, 10 and 12 furlongs as a three-year-old, and she came within a neck of beating Alexander Goldrun in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh the following summer.
Chelsea Rose earned a 121 rating from Timeform, 4lbs ahead of her best daughter, Thawaany (by Tamayuz). That Freddy Head-trained filly is by a Group 1-winning miler whose offspring tend to be best in the five-to-eight-furlong range and so it was no surprise to see her follow that pattern.
She won the Listed Prix Coronation over a mile at Saint-Cloud as a three-year-old but dropped in trip the following summer, winning the Group 3 Prix de Ris-Orangis over six furlongs before chasing home half-length winner Garswood in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over a half-furlong farther – both at Deauville.
Chelsea Rose's full-sister to Kew Gardens is catalogued as lot 298 during Wednesday's session of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. The mid-February-born chestnut is consigned by Barronstown Stud, who bred the classic star and so many other top horses.
The mare's siblings include the mile listed scorer European (by Great Commotion) and she is out of Cinnamon Rose (by Trempolino), a winning half-sister to Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam winner and Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano Handicap runner-up River Warden (by Riverman).
If you go back farther you will find that Servilia (by Aureole), the unraced fourth dam of Kew Gardens, was a half-sister to Snob (by Mourne) – who won the Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs, the Prix de Lutece over 12, and finished fourth in the Arc – while the fifth dam is Prix Penelope scorer Senones (by Prince Bio), a full-sister to 1951's Prix du Jockey-Club (then 12 furlongs) and Grand Prix de Paris (then 15 furlongs) star and classic sire Sicambre, whom Timeform rated 135.
Kew Gardens's current Timeform rating is 127, he is a top-class 12-furlong colt who stays a bit farther, and it will be fascinating to see what he does as a four-year-old. Might he become a King George candidate and the stable's next middle-distance globetrotter?
GIlltown Stud's Timeform 140-rated champion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) is well-established as one of Europe's leading sires and, in Knight To Behold, he has another high-class prospect on his roll of honour.
The Harry Dunlop-trained colt was a nose runner-up to White Mocha in a mile conditions race on his debut 13 months ago, he followed that with a narrow win over the same trip at Newmarket, and showed himself to be a potentially leading middle-distance three-year-old when, having gone to the front a mile from home, he won the Listed Derby Trial Stakes by three and a quarter lengths at Lingfield.
The horse who chased him home there has improved a lot since that day as he – Kew Gardens – has won the Group 2 Queen's Vase, Group 1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris and Group 1 William Hill St Leger Stakes. That Aidan O'Brien-trained star runs in tomorrow's Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Knight To Behold finished well-beaten in both the Group 1 Investec Derby and Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, but then dropped back to 10 furlongs for the prestigious Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville and made all for an impressive four-length win, chased home by Patascoy and with Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club scorer Study Of Man another two lengths back in third.
Homebred by Neil Jones's Abergwaun Farms, Knight To Behold is a half-brother to Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes winner Beauty O' Gwaun (by Rainbow Quest) and to Japanese Group 3 scorer Cosmo Meadow (by King's Best) who earned just short of £1 million in prize money.
Their dam, Angel Of The Gwaun (by Sadler's Wells), is an unraced full-sister to Group 1 Derby third Let The Lion Roar and to Group 3 Gallinule Stakes third King In Waiting, but two of her half-siblings are of considerably more note.
Head In The Clouds (by Rainbow Quest) won the Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes, she was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix de Pomone and in the Group 3 St Simon Stakes, and in addition to her talented daughter Roses For The Lady (by Sadler's Wells), who won the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes and was second in the Group 1 Irish Oaks, her descendants include listed scorer and Group 1 Oaks third Lady Of Dubai (by Dubawi).
Her older full-brother Millenary was Europe's top three-year-old stayer in 2000 when his top success came in the Group 1 St Leger Stakes at Doncaster, and by the time he retired to stud his tally of wins was at 12, including the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes, Group 2 Lonsdale Stakes, Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, and two editions of both the Group 2 Doncaster Cup and Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes.
Ballerina (by Dancing Brave), the winning grandam of Knight To Behold, is a half-sister to Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes winner and dual Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks runner-up Dancing Bloom (by Sadler's Wells), and also to River Dancer (by Irish River), the stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Champion Stakes star Spectrum (by Rainbow Quest). He sired blacktype winners at all levels and under both codes.
Spectrum's full-brother Stream Of Gold was a Grade 1-placed Grade 2 scorer on turf in the USA, his winning half-sister Ballet Shoes (by Ela-Mana-Mou) became the dam of Group 1 Irish Oaks, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Prix de l'Opera heroine Petrushka (by Unfuwain), and their siblings also included an unraced mare called Well Head (by Sadler's Wells).
Her final foal was the champion and multimillionaire Conduit (by Dalakhani), winner of the Group 1 St Leger Stakes, Group 1 King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and two editions of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf. Timeform rated him 130 at both three and four years of age.
There are also major winners in the fourth generation of the pedigree as third dam Dancing Shadow (by Dancer's Image) – who was placed in the Group 2 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood – was out of Sunny Valley (by Val De Loir) and that made her a half-sister to Sun Princess (by English Prince) and Saddlers' Hall (by Sadler's Wells).
The latter won the Group 1 Coronation Cup, Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, he was runner-up in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and in the Group 1 St Leger, was rated 126 by Timeform, and went on to become a successful dual-purpose sire.
Sun Princess, of course, won the Group 1 Oaks by 12 lengths at Epsom, added the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 St Leger, was third in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and chased home All Along in the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. The Timeform 130-rated champion became the dam of ill-fated juvenile Group 1 scorer Prince Of Dance (by Sadler's Wells) – who died due to cancer shortly after disappointing at Epsom.
With family connections like these, it is no surprise that Knight To Behold has become a talented middle-distance performer. It will be interesting to see how high he can climb in the rankings.
I Can Fly (by Fastnet Rock) gave her future paddocks value another boost when she swept past Kenya to take the Group 2 Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes over a mile at Leopardstown last month. This was only her third win from nine starts, but it added to a prior listed success over the same trip at Killarney.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained three-year-old, who was third to Altyn Orda in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket on the latter of two runs at two, is a daughter of one of the world's leading reverse-shuttle stallions and she comes from a branch of one of the most famous families in the stud book.
Her half-brother Viscount Barfield (by Raven's Pass) – who is also bred by Rockwell Bloodstock – won the Listed City Plate Stakes over seven furlongs at Chester last year before finishing third to Dutch Connection in the Group 3 Supreme Stakes at Goodwood, and he was a one-length runner-up to Hakam in the Group 3 Polar Cup at Ovrevoll, in Norway, in late August – also over seven.
Their dam, Madonna Dell'Orto (by Montjeu), was placed over eight and 10 furlongs in England and she has two brothers of note.
Ikhtyar (by Unfuwain) was a six-length winner of a 10-furlong listed contest at Sandown, he was only beaten a neck when runner-up to Bandari in the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes, and he had Sulamani just behind when finishing third to Rakti and Powerscourt in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Landseer (by Danehill) was even better. He won the Group 3 Coventry Stakes at two – when also he was short-headed by Rock Of Gibraltar in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes and a half-length runner-up to Act One in the Group 1 Criterium International – and he went on to take both the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Grade 1 Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile Stakes at three.
With these performances to his name, plus a second-place finish to old rival Rock Of Gibraltar in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and fourth to Continent in the Group 1 July Cup over six furlongs, there was every reason to hope that he would make a good stallion, but sadly he sustained a fatal injury in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile.
Sabria (by Miswaki), the grandam of I Can Fly, was an unraced daughter of Flood (by Riverman), who was a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up Sabona (by Exclusive Native) and out of Hail Maggie (by Hail To Reason), an unraced full-sister to Trillion and half-sister to Doff The Derby (by Master Derby).
Trillion's wins included the Group 1 Prix Ganay, Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt, and two editions of the Group 2 Prix Dollar, her star daughter Triptych (by Riverman) was a prolific Group 1 star and international traveller dubbed 'The Iron Lady', and Trillion's descendants feature the brilliant dual Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve (by Motivator).
Triptych, who beat the colts in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas in 1985, notched up a career tally of 14 wins that also included the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 Prix Ganay, Group 1 International Stakes at York, two Group 1 Coronation Cups, and two editions of the Group 1 Champion Stakes, and she achieved a top end-of-year Timeform rating of 133 – 1lb below Treve's best mark. She was in foal to Mr Prospector (by Raise a Native) when fatally injured in a freak paddock accident in her first season at stud.
Doff The Derby, of course, is the unraced dam of Timeform 139-rated Group 1 Derby, Group 1 Irish Derby and Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes hero Generous (by Caerleon), and of Group 1 Oaks and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas ace Imagine (by Sadler's Wells), plus classic-placed dual stakes winner Strawberry Roan (by Sadler's Wells) and Group 1-placed dual pattern scorer Wedding Bouquet (by Kings Lake).
Her descendants, therefore, include ill-fated Group 1 juvenile winner Horatio Nelson (by Danehill), and the Timeform 129-rated Moonlight Cloud (by Invincible Spirit), who won the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and three editions of the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest.
There are many more good horses to be found in the various branches of this family, and everything about her racing and pedigree profile suggests that I Can Fly has a considerable amount of potential for a notable second career as a broodmare.
She is due to run in tomorrow's Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes over a mile at Newmarket, and it catches the eye that, in addition to an entry in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot in two weeks' time, she has also been put into the six-furlong Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes that same day.
There are various reasons why any particular horse will be remembered and, from a personal point of view, Rahaam is one such individual. I worked briefly with the winning daughter of Secreto (by Northern Dancer) and was there for the Indian Ridge (by Ahonoora) covering that resulted in her star daughter Cassandra Go.
In addition to her pedigree, it was aspects of her personality that made the big grey mare stand out, and although it was no surprise to see her do well as a producer, the impact that she has had exceeds expectations.
When Brundtland (by Dubawi) narrowly beat Hunting Horn in the Group 2 Qatar Prix Niel at ParisLongchamp last month he became the latest of her descendants to become a winner of note.
This was his third start, he won a 10-furlong Newmarket maiden on his only outing as a juvenile, and the race between those two is his 12-furlong listed success at Clairefontaine in August. The Charlie Appleby-trained bay is due to step up in trip tomorrow afternoon when he contests the Group 2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay over 15 furlongs.
Brundtland was bred by James Hanly and he is the first foal of Future Generation (by Hurricane Run), who won the Group 3 Desmond Stakes over a mile at Leopardstown. The mare is a half-sister to the blacktype-placed full-sisters Dancing Breeze (by New Approach) and Rasmeyaa, and she is a mare called Posterity (by Indian Ridge).
That half-sister to Group 3 Prix de Meautry scorer Do The Honours (by Highest Honor) and listed-race winner Seba (by Alzao) could be described as being as three-parts sister to the afore mentioned Group 2 King's Stand Stakes heroine Cassandra Go as both her dam and that sprint star are out of Rahaam.
Cassandra Go also won the Group 2 Temple Stakes, the Group 3 King George Stakes, and a listed contest at Bath, and it was she who chased home champion Mozart in the Group 1 July Cup. Her busy juvenile daughter Fantasy (by Invincible Spirit) was to Ten Sovereigns in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes last month and is one of four blacktype earners for the grey.
Tickled Pink (by Invincible Spirit) won the Group 3 Coral Charge and Group 3 Abernant Stakes, and Theann (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York before going on to become the dam of US Grade 1 star Photo Call (by Galileo) and of this year's Group 2 Richmond Stakes scorer Land Force (by No Nay Never).
The best of Cassandra Go's quartet is, of course, is mile ace Highway To Heaven (by Pivotal) who won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Nassau Stakes and Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes 10 years ago and is now just as well-known for her success as a broodmare thanks to the exploits of her Group 1-winning daughter Rhododendron (by Galileo) and that star's pattern-winning full-siblings Magical and Flying The Flag.
Brundtland's third dam is listed scorer Persian Secret (by Persian Heights) and, in addition to being a half-sister to Cassandra Go, she is a half-sister to the speedy classic-placed pattern winner Verglas (by Highest Honor), a former member of the Irish National Stud team and who was responsible for the top-level winners Glass Harmonium, Silver Frost and Stormy River, among others of note.
Rahaam, the fourth dam of Brundtland, was a half-sister to Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon winner and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) third Glory Forever (by Forever Casting), and their unraced dam, Fager's Glory (by Mr Prospector), was a granddaughter of Kentucky Oaks heroine Native Street (by Native Dancer).
That star's offspring included Grade 1 Florida Derby winner Royal And Regal (by Vaguely Noble), she was the grandam of Group 1 Sprint Cup scorer Dowsing (by Riverman) and of Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes heroine Fire The Groom (by Blushing Groom), and third dam of Group 1 July Cup and Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes champion Stravinsky (by Nureyev).
Those horses are remotely connected to Brundtland, a colt who shows more stamina than most in his family. It would appear, therefore, that he got that gene from his dam's sire – the top-class middle-distance horse Hurricane Run (by Montjeu) – and possibly also one from Dubawi.
If this is the case, then there is every chance that he will stay the 15 furlongs at ParisLongchamp, and could even become a Cup horse. It will be interesting to see how his career turns out, and whether his forte is within the stayers' division or back over 12 furlongs.