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.
US racing welcomed its 13th Triple Crown hero last month when Justify took the Grade 1 Belmont Stakes in style in New York, just three years after American Pharoah swept the classic series. The previous horse to achieve the feat had been Affirmed, back in 1978, one year after Seattle Slew.
The original Triple Crown is the English series of the 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger, and no horse has successfully completed it since Nijinsky in 1970. In 1985, Oh So Sharp won the 1000 Guineas, Oaks and St Leger – called the Fillies' Triple Crown – something that had not been done since Meld, in 1955.
There have been horses who have won two legs, and since Nijinsky those have been Nashwan, Reference Point and Sea The Stars.
Nashwan, whom Timeform rated 135, bypassed the St Leger in favour of an Arc attempt that ultimately did not happen, whereas many believed that, like Blue Peter in 1939, it was sheer bad luck that denied the Sir Henry Cecil-trained Reference Point his chance at history in 1987. The Timeform 139-rated champion missed the Guineas due to illness. Sea The Stars, of course, did win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe after bypassing Doncaster; Timeform rated him 140.
Camelot, however, ran in all three classics and, in 2012, he came so close to becoming the 13th winner of the Triple Crown (16th if you include the three who won the races when they were all held at Newmarket during World War I). A mile Group 1 winner at two, he won the 2000 Guineas by a neck from French Fifteen, trounced Main Sequence by five lengths at Epsom, and failed by just three-parts of a length to beat the ill-fated Encke at Doncaster. In between those latter two classics he added the Irish Derby at the Curragh, beating Born To Sea by two lengths.
Camelot won the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes and chased home Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup from four starts at four, and he retired to Coolmore Stud with a top Timeform rating of 128. Now he is a star member of Europe's sophomore stallions, with seven stakes winners in his first crop, one already in his second, and a first Group 1 classic winner to his name.
That rising star is Latrobe, who beat Rostropovich and Saxon Warrior by a half-length and neck in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh last week. He was ridden by Donnacha O'Brien, the now triple classic-winning teenager whose brother Joseph trained the winner and father Aidan supplied the second, third, fourth and fifth.
Latrobe had been runner-up to James Cook in a mile maiden on soft ground at Leopardstown on his only start at two, was a neck second to Hunting Horn over 10 furlongs on softer ground at Naas in April, then chased home Platinum Warrior in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes before running away with a 12-furlong Curragh maiden three weeks before his classic success.
Latrobe, who was bred by Sweetmans Bloodstock, was originally bought by Margaret O'Toole for €88,000 in Goffs as a foal and then sold on to Joseph O'Brien for 65,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket.
He is the third foal of six-furlong, three-year-old polytrack winner Question Times (by Shamardal), who earned her blacktype when runner-up in a listed contest over six furlongs at Newmarket as a two-year-old, and both of his older siblings are multiple winners.
Entangling (by Fastnet Rock) won over 10 furlongs at Yarmouth and 12 furlongs on the polytrack at Kempton last year, whereas that one's full-sister Diamond Fields won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes at Naas first time out as a four-year-old having been Grade 2-placed in the USA the previous season.
Forever Times (by So Factual), the grandam of Latrobe, won six times from five to seven furlongs, all on turf and mostly on good or fast ground, and that mare's other offspring include Group 3 Sceptre Stakes winner and Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes runner-up Sunday Times (by Holy Roman Emperor).
Classical Times (by Lawman), a four-year-old daughter of Sunday Times and, like her dam, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, won the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock in late May and was third in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes over six furlongs on the tapeta at Newcastle last Saturday.
As you might expect of a daughter of Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes scorer So Factual (by Known Fact), Forever Times is a half-sister to some speedy horses, and although Majestic Times (by Bluebird) won a listed sprint, Welsh Emperor (by Emperor Jones) is the more notable of her half-brothers.
That 13-time scorer was trained by Tom Tate, he won the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, the Group 3 Bentinck Stakes, and two listed contests, he chased home Toylsome in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, failed by just a neck to beat Caradak in another edition of that same contest, and he was short-headed by Group 1 Lockinge Stakes heroine and subsequent Group 1-producer Red Evie when bidding for a repeat success in the Hungerford.
Latrobe holds entries in the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes and Group 1 Comer Group International Irish St Leger and connections – he is owned by Lloyd Williams – have spoken of a possible Group 1 Melbourne Cup bid. Will he stay 14 furlongs or two miles?
If only his sire mattered then you would have little doubt that such distances would be within his compass, but the amount of speed on the distaff side of his family casts a shade of doubt.
He clearly stays 12 furlongs, however, and that suggests that it is not the speed element of the female side of his family that he has inherited from his dam but, instead, possibly the middle-distance side of his broodmare sire, Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway). That stallion, the son of a star mile to 10-furlong colt and grandson of an Irish Oaks heroine, gets his best winners over a wide range of trips.
It will be interesting to see how the racing career of Latrobe turns out, and with a Timeform rating of 119p he still has a lot of progress to make if he is going to hit the very top, but he is progressive, looks likely to stay at least 14 furlongs, and he could do well on the international circuit.
Merchant Navy (by Fastnet Rock) was a listed and Group 3 scorer for trainer Ciaron Maher, switched to Aaron Purcell, and then got up on the line to take the six-furlong Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington in November.
He was only beaten by half a length when Group 2-placed on his next start, then by a neck when third to Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap in March, over the course and distance of his major win. With a stallion berth at Coolmore Australia already secured, he had one more mission to complete.
For that he travelled to Europe and joined the all-conquering Aidan O'Brien stable. Winning the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot was that target, but first he had a warm-up in the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.
There was a possible hitch due to the weight he would have to carry in both races. When racing in the northern hemisphere he is counted as being a four-year-old as he was born before 1st January 2015. His actual date of birth is 14th November 2014, making him a late-season three-year-old in his native land, but not entitled to that weight allowance when running here. So, in effect, he was carrying penalties in both his European starts, which makes his performances more meritorious.
Calculating that based on what a three-year-old receives from an older horse at this time of the year is perhaps not the accurate way to do it as, again, he did it as a late-season three-year-old, just shy of being classed as a four-year-old in his home territory.
It was close, very close, and also quite fortunate given how the race went for the runner-up, but Merchant Navy held on by a short-head to take the Ascot feature from the French colt City Light, with American challenger Bound For Nowhere third and English runner The Tin Man fourth. Mission accomplished.
There was some brief speculation about whether or not he would remain a bit longer, to take up his entry in the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket, but that soon ended. Merchant Navy is in quarantine for a return trip to Australia.
His performance at the Curragh was an outstanding one. The race is for older horses and, rather than receive a weight allowance for being three, he not only met his rivals on their terms but had to give them 3lbs on top because of his Group 1 success in Australia.
Despite all of this, he beat Spirit Of Valor by a length, with Tasleet another length and a quarter back in third and an additional neck back to Brando in fourth.
So, Merchant Navy returns home with two notable European wins to his name, plus a Timeform rating of 126 and a profile that will make him an attractive prospect for breeders should he return in the spring as a reverse-shuttle stallion.
He was bred by Chris Barnham, and although there as aspects of the distaff side of his family that won't be familiar to many here, his sire needs no introduction.
Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) is one of the most successful of all the reverse-shuttle stallions and his global tally of 137 stakes winners includes 35 who have won at the highest level, including the European-trained Group 1 stars Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock, Intricately, Laganore, Qualify, Rivet, and Zhukova.
All but two of that list are fillies, Fascinating Rock is a member of the stallion team at Ballylinch Stud, and this male line got another advertisement at the Curragh this afternoon when Urban Fox, a daughter of Australian Group 1 scorer Foxwedge (by Fastnet Rock) – who reverse-shuttled to Whitsbury Manor Stud for four seasons – sprang a surprise in the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes.
Merchant Navy is out of the Group 1-placed, Group 3-winning sprinter Legally Bay (by Snippets) and that makes him a full-brother to Jolie Bay. Also bred by Barnham, she was a short-head winner of the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes over six furlongs at Randwick a month before chasing home Nechita in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes over the same trip at Flemington.
Their dam is among a string of winners produced from the seven-furlong and mile scorer Decidity (by Last Tycoon) and those siblings include three of note. The prolific Bonaria (by Redoute's Choice) won the Group 1 VRC Myer Classic over a mile, Time Out (by Rory's Jester) was a six-furlong Group 3 scorer as a juvenile, and four-time sprint winner Chatoyant (by Flying Spur) made her name at stud.
That mare's best are by stallions who are very familiar to those in this part of the world. Smart two-year-old Montsegur (by New Approach) won a five-and-a-half-furlong Group 3 at Caulfield and one over six furlongs at Flemington, whereas Tessera (by Medaglia d'Oro), who was stakes-placed at seven, got his best win in a five-and-a-half-furlong juvenile Group 3 contest at Rosehill.
Decidity was out of Class (by Twig Moss), which made her a half-sister to nine-furlong Group 2 scorer Classy Fella (by Kenmare) and what could be described as being a three-parts sister to 12-furlong Group 3 winner Vestey (by Last Tycoon).
It is not impossible that some of the talented future offspring of Merchant Navy will also stay that distance, although it seems likely – given his racing profile and the achievements of those most closely related to him – that he will mostly get sprinters and milers, along with some who will be effective at 10 furlongs.
Winners of most of the better juvenile contests get ante-post classic quotes for the following spring and then, when the early-season trials come around, a considerable amount of time and space is devoted to examination of those who enhanced their prospects following victory, or perhaps unlucky defeat, in the events expected to pinpoint the so-to-be-crowned classic stars.
Even when a longshot surprises on the day, that classic scorer will at least have taken a maiden en route to their big moment. But not Forever Together.
She finished fourth and third in the mile maidens won by Who's Steph and the ill-fated Contingent on her only starts at two – well-beaten both times – and chased home stablemate Magic Wand in the Listed Cheshire Oaks on her seasonal reappearance. Then she headed to Epsom to contest the Group 1 Investec Oaks.
The classic came just one week after her physical third birthday and there did not appear to be any fluke about the way she stormed home to beat last year's Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac heroine Wild Illusion by four and a half lengths. There was a gap of three and a half lengths back to the front-running Bye Bye Baby, who was another three clear of Magic Wand, this pair – like the winner – trained by Aidan O'Brien.
The ground was soft, the time suggestive of good-to-soft, and it will be interesting to see how she gets on when tackling fast ground at the Curragh tomorrow, in the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes over 10 furlongs.
Aside from the margins and the style of her victory, it was also striking that this was her maiden success. She is, of course, not the first horse to get off the mark in a classic, or even to do so in the Oaks.
Sun Princess routed the opposition by 12 lengths and more in the 1983 edition of this classic before going on to take high rank among the best middle-distance fillies of the modern era, Group 1-placed Snurge opened his winning account in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster in 1990, and both Ballymore and Lady Capulet were making their racecourse debuts when taking the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas in 1972 and 1977 respectively.
Forever Together is one of 71 Group 1 scorers among a total of 274 stakes winners by Coolmore Stud's dual Derby hero and prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells). The great stallion is rapidly closing in on his own great sire's tallies of 73 top-level winners from 294 blacktype scorers although still some way short of the final figures achieved by the mighty Danehill (by Danzig) – 83 Group 1 winners from 348 stakes winners.
She is inbred 3x4 to Northern Dancer (by Nearctic) and 4x4 to Special (by Forli), which may or may not have any bearing on her talent. More significant is that her big win has elevated her dam to that elite club of broodmares who have produced at least three Group/Grade 1 winners.
Green Room (by Theatrical) was unraced but as a granddaughter of Rare Treat Handicap scorer Chain Store (by Nodouble) there was always the chance that she could excel at stud, especially given what some of her relations had achieved. Hitting the Group 1 target so many times, however, could not be expected of any mare.
Her unraced half-sister Rusty Back (by Defensive Play) came up with Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap winner Heatseeker (by Giant's Causeway), half-sister Dayville (by Dayjur) is the grandam of Group 1 Gran Criterium scorer Hearts Of Fire (by Firebreak), but sadly their half-sister Spanish Fern (by El Gran Senor), who won the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Santa Anita, died before getting the chance to go to stud.
They are all out of the unraced Chain Fern (by Blushing Groom), a half-sister to Peplum (by Nijinsky) and Bloudan (by Damascus). The latter is the dam of Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam winner Radevore (by Generous) and third dam of both Group 2 Hungerford Stakes scorer Richard Pankhurst (by Raven's Pass) and Group 1-placed Group 3 Molecomb Stakes winner Havana Grey (by Havana Gold).
Peplum won the Listed Cheshire Oaks, finished third in the Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes, and her pattern-winning descendants include Hong Kong top-level mile scorer Giant Treasure (by Mizzen Mast) and US Grade 2 winners Jibboom (by Mizzen Mast) and Aviate (by Dansili).
Of course, considerably more notable is that Chain Fern is a full-sister to Al Bahathri, the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 2 Coronation Stakes heroine whose sons feature Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 Champion Stakes star Haafhd (by Alhaarth) and Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner Munir (by Indian Ridge), and whose descendants include four top-level stars.
Triple 10-furlong Group 1 ace Military Attack (by Oratorio) did most of his racing in Hong Kong, Gladiatorus (by Silic) got his top win in the Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Nad Al Sheba, star stayer Big Orange (by Duke Of Marmalade) landed the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot in 2017, and ill-fated multimillionaire Red Cadeaux (by Cadeaux Genereux) was a popular globetrotter whose tally included the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin.
As for Green Room, in addition to her newly crowned classic heroine, she is also responsible for Lord Shanakill (by Speightstown) and Together Forever (by Galileo). The latter was also trained by Aidan O'Brien and the Group 1 Fillies' Mile heroine was not seen out again after finishing fourth (no blacktype) to Covert Love in the Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh three years ago.
Lord Shanakill, on the other hand, was trained by the late Sir Henry Cecil. He won the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes and was short-headed by Intense Focus in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at two, took the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over a mile at Chantilly at three, and added the Group 2 Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood at four. He began his stallion career at the Irish National Stud, from where he sired Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes scorer and young Bridge House Stud sire My Dream Boat, and he is now based in Pennsylvania.
Forever Together was bred by Vimal and Gillian Khosla, she is a €900,000 Goffs Orby Sale graduate, and she holds a long list of Group 1 entries. Her late foaling date – May 25th – adds an eye-catching dimension to her profile and it would be no surprise to see her return to action as a four-year-old when the physical advantage enjoyed by many of her rivals would not be so pronounced.
We have seen some outstanding fillies and mares in action in recent decades and the Niarchos family's Miesque (by Nureyev) is among them. A star at two, three and four – with Timeform ratings of 124, 131 and 134 – the François Boutin-trained bay won 10 times at the highest level including the 1000 Guineas, Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), two editions of the Prix Jacques le Marois and back-to-back runnings of the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Many champion racemares have disappointed at stud, but not her. She went on to have a considerable influence on the global racing and bloodstock scene, and that impact is not only still strong but it may be strengthening.
Already in 2018, for example, she is the direct female ancestor of two European Group 1 classic winners and, like her, one of those is a miler who has generated plenty of excitement.
Miesque's grandson Study Of Man (by Deep Impact) won this month's Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Chantilly shortly her great-granddaughter Alpha Centauri (by Mastercraftsman) gave trainer Jessica Harrington a first classic success at the Curragh. That Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine then put up one of the most impressive performances of the week at Royal Ascot, smashing the track record while thrashing her rivals by six lengths and more in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
Threading was the one who chased her home, the promising Veracious was another length and three-quarters back in third, and it the same margin again back to the fourth, Group 1 1000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook, a filly bred to stay farther.
Timeform rated her 127 for this win, placing her equal with Mendelssohn at the top of the three-year-old division, and it will be fascinating to see if she can increase that figure by the end of the year.
A sound surface suits her well – it was fast at Ascot and had heavy in the description on both occasions that she's been out of the frame – and although her entries include the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks, it would be no surprise to see her stick at a mile to 10 furlongs.
Her Coolmore Stud-based sire excelled at both distances – she is one of nine top-level scorers for him among 50 stakes winners – and her grandam is East Of The Moon (by Private Account), who won the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois and Group 1 Prix de Diane (by French Oaks).
That dual classic heroine is, of course, a half-sister to triple mile Group 1 star and leading international sire Kingmambo (by Mr Prospector), to pattern scorer and Group 1 sire Miesque's Son (by Mr Prospector), and to broodmares of note, including Second Happiness (by Storm Cat), dam of the aforementioned Study Of Man.
Another is Monevassia (by Mr Prospector), a non-winner on the track. Her daughter Rumplestiltskin (by Danehill) was a champion at two, when she won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, and that star's offspring include Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks heroine and Group 1 Irish Oaks runner-up Tapestry (by Galileo).
Monevassia is also the dam of Group 3 Grangecon Stud Balanchine Stakes winner I Am Beautiful (by Rip Van Winkle), and those produced by her other daughters include Japanese ace Real Steel (by Deep Impact), a dual classic-placed winner of the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan.
Miesque's stakes-placed daughter Moon Is Up (by Woodman) is another of note as she is the dam of South African mile Grade 1 winner Amanee (by Pivotal) and grandam of Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile scorer Karakontie (by Bernstein). He stands at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky and will have first-crop yearlings at the sales this summer and autumn.
Massaraat, a stakes-winning full-sister to Miesque, also deserves mention as her descendants include last week's Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes winner Old Persian (by Dubawi), who is out of a full-sister to 2007's Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes heroine Silkwood (by Singspiel).
Alpha Centauri is the sixth foal out of East Of The Moon's unraced daughter Alpha Lupi (by Rahy) and that makes her a half-sister to former Ballydoyle team member Tenth Star (by Dansili) who showed his best form as a two-year-old.
He took the seven-furlong Listed Golden Fleece Stakes by four lengths, was odds-on when only third to Remember Alexander in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes a few weeks later, but then put up a better performance to chase home stablemate Daddy Long Legs in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile at Newmarket.
Alpha Lupi's current two-year-old is a daughter of international Group 1 star So You Think (by High Chaparral) – whose offspring have so far done much better in the southern hemisphere than here – and her yearling is a second-crop daughter of runaway Group 1 Deutsches Derby hero and Lanwades Stud stallion Sea The Moon (by Sea The Stars).
The mare's siblings include Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg scorer Moon Driver (by Mr Prospector), and the stakes-placed trio Helike (by Rahy), Mojave Moon (by Mr Prospector) and Canda (by Storm Cat), with the latter being of particular note because of what she achieved at stud.
The Jonathan Pease-trained bay was runner-up in both the Listed Prix Yacowlef and Listed Criterium de Vitesse at two, and her second foal was blacktype sire Evasive (by Elusive Quality), who won the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes at two and finished fourth to Mastercraftsman in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot the following summer.
Last year, Canda's son Autocratic (by Dubawi), a Cheveley Park Stud homebred trained by Sir Michael Stoute, won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown.
Dual Group 1 star Alpha Centauri was a high-class juvenile who trounced Actress in a listed contest at Naas before failing narrowly against Different League in the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Ascot, both over six furlongs, but that pales in comparison to what she has achieved so far in 2018.
It will be disappointing if she fails to win at least once more at the highest level, it would be great to see her in action as a four-year-old, and with her pedigree and connections there is also every reason to hope that she could eventually go on to become a broodmare of influence.
The Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, a six-furlong event for three-year-olds, has been one of the best additions to the European racing calendar in recent years and the 2018 edition, its fourth one, has a tough act to follow.
The inaugural running went to sprint champion Muhaarar, who was chased home by subsequent Group 1 scorer Limato, and the second edition went to star filly Quiet Reflection from the current Timeform 123-rated Kachy. Last year Caravaggio led home subsequent Group 1 winners Harry Angel and Blue Point.
Now the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Eqtidaar, a Shadwell homebred, has added his name to the race's roll of honour. He beat Sands Of Mali by half a length, with Emblazoned another length back in third and a pair of long-shots – Stone Of Destiny and Hey Jonesy – heads back in fourth and fifth, followed another half-length away by the American raider Gidu and last year's Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes and Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes winner Heartache, who flashed past the post together.
With just two and a half lengths covering these first seven, the impression is that this was not a particularly strong renewal of the race. However, the winner was running for just the fifth time, he had been runner-up to Invincible Army in the Group 3 Pavilion Stakes on his seasonal reappearance over Friday's course and distance in early May – on soft ground – and he looks open to plenty of improvement.
He is an early May foal and, indeed, his physical third birthday was not until two days after that Ascot second.
Eqtidaar is the 16th Group 1 winner for the Irish National Stud's flag bearer Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert), a stallion who has over 100 stakes winners to his name, who also supplied the aforementioned Emblazoned, and who has emerged as a source of successful sire sons – something that will add to the attraction of this newest star when his time to retire comes about.
The colt is the third foal and third winner out of Madany (by Acclamation) and the better of those siblings is Massaat (by Teofilo), the Owen Burrows-trained colt who chased home Galileo Gold in the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket before going on to win the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes over seven at Newbury, beating Librisa Breeze by one and three-quarter lengths.
Massaat's only runs after that victory have been his third-place finish to Ribchester and Taareef in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp at Chantilly in September and his runners-up spot to Limato in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Newmarket a month later.
Madany was trained by Barry Hills, won six-furlong contests at Haydock in July of her juvenile year, was runner-up in the valuable Tattersalls Millions 3YO Sprint at Newmarket, and missed out on blacktype when only fifth to Perfect Tribute in the Pavilion Stakes at Ascot, which carried listed status that year.
The mare is among a string of winners produced from one-time scorer Belle De Cadix (by Law Society) and her siblings include two horses of particular note.
Dolled Up (by Whipper) won the Group 3 Prix de Bois, was placed in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin and Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, and her second foal – the first one died as a yearling – is current French three-year-old Fou Rire (by Iffraaj). That Fabrice Chappet-trained filly has won twice and finished fourth in the seven-furlong listed contest won by Intello Kiss at San Siro late last month.
Madany's other notable sister is four-time stakes winner and successful broodmare Zeiting (by Zieten). She is the dam of the Group 2-winning miler Combat Zone (by Refuse To Bend), of Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner Royal Empire (by Teofilo), of Group 3 Strensall Stakes scorer and Group 1 Caulfield Cup runner-up Scottish (by Teofilo), and of three stakes-placed daughters.
That trio includes Zut Alors (by Pivotal), the Group 3 Prix Miesque third whose daughter Precieuse (by Tamayuz) won last year's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas).
There is plenty of blacktype to be found also under the third generation of the pedigree, but those stakes winners out of and descended from Gourgandine (by Auction Ring) achieved their honours in India, and although those include classic wins and places in that country, and horses who showed plenty of stamina, it is connections under the fourth dam that tell us more about the strength of the family.
That mare is Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes runner-up North Forland (by Northfields) and, in addition to Gourgandine, she was the dam of Group 3 Prix des Chene heroine and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac third Harmless Albatross (by Pas De Seul), of Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt scorer Fortune's Wheel (by Law Society), and of Group 2 winner Libertine (by Hello Gorgeous) who was third in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
Fortune's Wheel could be described as being a three-parts brother to Belle De Cadix, and Libertine has additional note as having Group 2 Lowther Stakes winner Infamous Angel (by Exceed And Excel) among her descendants, and Harmless Albatross excelled at stud.
Her star son is Grade 2 winner Volochine (by Soviet Star), she was also responsible for the listed scorers Almass (by Elnadim), Ghataas (by Sadler's Wells), Kahtan (by Nashwan) and Sakha (by Wolfhound), and for two others who were blacktype placed.
North Forland, in turn, was a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Ganay and Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club Coppa d'Oro heroine Infra Green (by Laser Light), and that star filly was both the dam of Group 3 scorers Ecologist (by Rainbow Quest), Green Reef (by Mill Reef) and Infrasonic (by Dancing Brave), and of Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes runner-up Greensmith (by Known Fact), and grandam of 1991's Group 1 St Leger hero Toulon (by Top Ville).
Eqtidaar holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Darley July Cup, and although it remains to be seen just how good he will be at his peak, he is a colt with a lot of potential, especially given his birth date.
In 2012, John Gunther was at Royal Ascot on the day that Frankel produced that incredible 147 Timeform rating with an 11-length victory in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Two years later he sent his unraced but well-related mare Without You Babe (by Lemon Drop Kid) to visit the champion at Banstead Manor Stud, and four days ago the result of that mating gave his owner-breeder one of his favourite moments in racing.
The colt is Without Parole who extended his unbeaten record to four with a half-length defeat of Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas third Gustav Klimt in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, the pair finishing three and a quarter lengths clear of the third, French pattern scorer and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) fourth Wootton.
Six-length debut winner on the tapeta at Newcastle in mid-December, the March-born bay thrashed Ostilio – Thursday's Britannia Stakes winner – by the same margin at Yarmouth in April, and with a setback making him miss a crack at the Group 1 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, he took a mile listed contest at Sandown in late May instead, beating Gabr by three-parts of a length.
Timeform had him on 117p before his latest success and it will be interesting to see how high he can go in the rankings by the end of the year.
For Gunther, this Group 1 success competed a remarkable international double as he is, of course, also the breeder of undefeated US Triple Crown hero Justify (by Scat Daddy).
When Without You Babe met Frankel it was just a few months after her first foal had taken his record to three wins from five starts for the Saeed bin Suroor Stable. His 2014 campaign was short and disappointing, but a month before his star sibling arrived he notched up a first blacktype success with a four-length score in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes over a mile on the dirt at Meydan.
He followed-up in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar a few weeks later and made it a hat-trick when short-heading Sloane Avenue in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile, eight days after Without Parole was born. Those wins were for trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri, but then he crossed the Atlantic to join the Kiaran McLaughlin stable, running seven times and rounding off his career with a three and a half-length defeat of Gun Runner in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
That top performer is, of course, Tamarkuz (by Speightstown) and he stands at Shadwell Farm in Kentucky. His first foals arrived this year.
Without You Babe has also produced the multiple US winners Tempietto (by Bernardini) and Always On My Mind (by Congrats), and her two-year-old is a first-crop Kingman (by Invincible Spirit) filly named She's Got You. She had an Oasis Dream (by Green Desert) filly last year and has a Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) colt at foot.
The mare is out of one-time scorer Marozia (by Storm Bird) and that makes her a half-sister to three Grade 1 performers, most notably Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap star Stay Thirsty (by Bernardini). That classic-placed horse has stood six seasons at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and his offspring include Grade 2-winning sprinter Coal Front and Peruvian classic star Golden Leaf.
The other pair are Grade 1-placed stakes winner Superfly (by Fusaichi Pegasus) and his classic-placed, nine-furlong Grade 3-winning full-brother Andromeda's Hero, who has sired stakes winners.
Make Change (by Roberto), the third dam of Without Parole, had a listed race success among five wins from two to four years of age but far more notable is the string of top races in which she was placed: Alabama Stakes, Monmouth Oaks, Coaching Club American Oaks, Acorn Stakes, Ladies Handicap, Ruffian Handicap, and Shuvee Handicap – all Grade 1s.
Time Changes (by Danzig), who won a listed contest in France, was the best of her offspring and produced the Group 1 Gran Premio di Milano runner-up Age Of Reason (by Halling). The next dam is the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks runner-up Equal Change (by Arts And Letters) and her descendants – all remotely connected to Without Parole – include Grade 1 scorers Crisp (by Elusive Quality) and Whywhywhy (by Mr Greeley), Group 1-placed Group 2 Lennox Stakes winner Nayyir (by Indian Ridge), and classic-placed pattern winners Sky Hunter (by Motivator) and Highest (by Selkirk).
It will be fascinating to find out just how good Without Parole is. He holds an entry in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, as you'd expect, and also in both the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. His Grade 1 winning half-brother was never asked to go beyond the mile, but with two Belmont Stakes-placed relations – one of whom was a 10-furlong Grade 1 scorer – there is every reason to believe that the young rising star can handle that trip.
The colt is one of 26 stakes winners from the first two crops by Frankel and he is the fourth of those to win at the highest level, following Cracksman, Japanese juvenile champion and classic heroine Soul Stirring, and recent Grade 1 Yasuda Kinen scorer Mozu Ascot. All together it represents a promising start for the great champion.
"A stallion with the potential to sire classic winners" – that was my assessment of Holy Roman Emperor (by Danehill) in the Irish Racing Yearbook 2010, which was published several months before Coolmore's juvenile star had his first runners.
On May 26th of this year, he notched up his fourth Group 1 classic star when Romanised put up an impressive performance to beat last year's two-year-old champion U S Navy Flag by two and a quarter lengths in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Before then, his daughter Homecoming Queen had run away with the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2012, several months before Rollout The Carpet won the New Zealand 1000 Guineas, and followed by triple Group 1 ace Mongolian Khan who took both the New Zealand Derby and Australian Derby in 2015.
His overall tally stands at 73 stakes winners worldwide, of whom 11 have won at least once at the highest level. Much of his most notable success has come abroad – including with Hong Kong standouts Designs On Rome and Beauty Only – and his current fee is just €15,000. His yearlings made up to 210,000gns last year and that transaction, at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, came just under two months before his seven-year-old daughter Inca Princess changed hands for €1,900,000 in Goffs.
Romanised, whom Timeform rated 104 at two and 122 after his classic success, has always been held in high regard by trainer Ken Condon. He made a winning debut over six furlongs at Navan last April, was only beaten just over two lengths when unplaced behind Rajasinghe in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Ascot, and by over three lengths when out of the frame behind Sioux Nation in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.
His final outing of 2017, however, was full of promise and that second-place finish looks even better now when you consider that the colt who beat him by two lengths in the Group 3 Solario Stakes over seven furlongs at Sandown was none other than Masar, this year's Group 1 Investec Derby hero and runaway Group 3 Craven Stakes winner.
Had Romanised not run in the Listed Tetrarch Stakes at Naas on his seasonal reappearance in early May then it is likely that, with his Sandown performance being most recent on his record, he would have been sent off at shorter than the 25/1 at which he returned at the Curragh. He was unplaced behind Imaging that first day, but given his pedigree it is no surprise that he has shown such marked improvement when stepped up to a mile.
He holds an entry in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Ascot, but there is not really anything in his pedigree or race record that suggests sprinting might be his game. He is bred to be a miler who is likely stay 10 furlongs, and the way he stormed home at the Curragh bears that out.
He also holds entries in the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes, Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes, which look more suitable targets. After all, he is a three-parts brother to the aforementioned Timeform 130-rated Hong Kong four-time 10-furlong Group 1 star Designs On Rome.
Might he stay a mile and a half? Yes, it is possible.
Horses such as Mongolian Khan and notable Irish filly Banimpire – who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and was short-headed by Blue Bunting in the Group 1 Irish Oaks – prove that offspring of Holy Roman Emperor can be fully effective at that trip. And then there's all the stamina in the distaff side of Romanised's pedigree.
The best of his siblings are Rock On Romance (by Rock Of Gibraltar) and Fictional Account (by Stravinsky), both of whom stayed two miles. The former, who won the all-aged Group 3 St Leger Italiano over 14 furlongs, ran away with a two-mile listed contest on heavy ground at Hamburg, whereas Fictional Account, who sprang a surprise when beating Fame And Glory by a neck in a 14-furlong listed event at the Curragh, won the Listed Fenwolf Stakes over two miles at Ascot 11 months before.
That pair were sired by a mile champion and by a sprint champion respectively, which suggests that their dam, Romantic Venture (by Indian Ridge), has been passing on a stamina influence rather than the speed shown by her sire and grandam. And that probably comes via Alleged (by Hoist The Flag), sire of her non-winning dam, Summer Trysting.
Romantic Venture, who was a four-length debut winner of an eight and a half-furlong Galway maiden as a three-year-old, is a full-sister to Sights On Gold, who was a Group 3 scorer over 10 and 11 furlongs in England and only beaten by half a length when runner-up to Phoenix Reach in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase over 12 furlongs at Sha Tin.
Their half-brother Simple Exchange won the Listed Magnolia Stakes over 10 furlongs on the polytrack at Kempton and the Grade 2 American Derby over a half-furlong less at Arlington, they all share a dam with Designs On Rome, and they were all bred by Moyglare Stud. So too was Fictional Account.
Romanised, on the other hand, was bred by Monica Aherne, and Rock On Romance was bred by Brendan Corbett.
Rekindled Affair (by Rainbow Quest), an unraced half-sister to Summer Trysting, has also done her part for the family as her three stakes-winning offspring are headed by Australian 10-furlong Group 2 scorer Rekindled Interest (by Redoute's Choice) and the Moyglare Stud-bred filly Where We Left Off (by Dr Devious), who won a nine-furlong Grade 3 at Monmouth Park a month before failing by just half a length to add a similar contest over 11 furlongs at Saratoga. The mare's other one is 11-furlong French listed scorer Porticcio (by Lomitas) who later won over hurdles in Ireland.
The third dam of Romanised is stakes-winning sprinter Seasonal Pickup (by The Minstrel), and while one could suggest that her speed could combine with that of Holy Roman Emperor to produce a sprinter, the particular branch of her line that has yielded the recent classic star is one that has more stamina, a fairly reliable source of milers and middle-distance horses, with some who can stay farther.
She was among the quickest representatives of her Derby-winning sire, she was out of 10-furlong filly Bubinka (by Nashua), and those produced by her siblings include Group 1 Irish Derby hero Grey Swallow (by Daylami).
Farther back it is the family of Group 2-placed Taufan (by Stop The Music) – who sired Group 1 stars Tagula and Taufan's Melody – and of Best In Show (by Traffic Judge), the US Grade 3 scorer who went on to found a hugely influential female family of her own.
With all of this on the page, it is no surprise that Romanised has shown his best form to date when stepped up to a mile, and there is every reason to hope that he can become one of the season's top performers from eight to 10 furlongs.
And, as a Danehill-line (by Danzig) representative from a branch of the family of Taufan and, remotely, of the many notable male descendants of Best In Show (El Gran Senor, Redoute's Choice, Xaar, Try My Best, Bated Breath, Cityscape, etc) there is every reason to hope that a successful stallion career awaits him whenever his racing days come to an end.
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.
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.