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.
One of the best bred horses in training became a pattern winner this afternoon as Gold Luck got her nose in front on the line to beat Monroe Bay and Hebah in a three-way photo for the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux over nine furlongs at Chantilly.
This was a promising effort from the previously twice-raced stakes-placed winner and the Wertheimer brothers' homebred, who is trained by Freddy Head, is now one of the leading candidates for potential classic honours in France this year.
Clearly plenty of improvement is needed, but this daughter of Australian champion sire Redoute's Choice (by Danehill), who shuttled from Arrowfields Stud in New South Wales to Haras de Bonneval in both 2013 and 2014, is out of Born Gold (by Blushing Groom) and that makes her a half-sister to one of the great fillies of the turf.
Her dam is a full-sister to Gold Splash and although that sibling won the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and finished third in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Born Gold won just once and that was as a four-year-old. Their respective race records would have suggested that the more talented of the pair had the greater potential as a broodmare but things have turned out the other way around.
Gold Splash is the dam of a listed winner – Royal God (by Royal Academy) - and she is the grandam of the Grade 3-placed stakes winning miler Sweet Acclaim (by Acclamation), but Born Gold has given us Gold Sound (by Green Tune), Gold Round (by Caerleon), Anodin (by Anabaa), Galikova (by Galileo) and, of course, the great Goldikova (by Anabaa).
Gold Sound won the Group 3 Prix de Guiche whereas Gold Round won the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre and is the dam of the Group 3 scorers Goldwaki (by Dalakhani) and Golden Valentine (by Dalakhani). Galikova won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and her first foal is the three-year-old Galikeo (by Dansili), who has been runner-up in both his starts to date.
Goldikova, a Timeform 133-rated triple French champion, won 17 times in a glittering international career that included four wins in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild, three editions of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, two runnings of the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, and one each of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, Group 1 Prix de la Foret, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois.
Her lightly-raced four-year-old Goldikovic (by Galileo) finished third in a seven and a half furlong Chantilly maiden in February and her second produce is the Freddy Head-trained three-year-old Terrakova (by Galileo) whose only start to date resulted in a three and a half-length victory over nine furlongs on the polytrack at Chantilly in November.
Anodin, a full-brother to Goldikova, achieved a Timeform rating of 124, he won the Group 3 Prix Paul de Moussac, was placed in each of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, and Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, and he covered 138 mares in his first season at Haras du Quesnay, some of the results from which will be at the yearling sales this summer and autumn.
Born Gold and Gold Splash were among three winners from eight foals out of the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary winner and Group 1 Prix de Diane runner-up Riviere d'Or (by Lyphard) and their winning sibling could be described as being their three-parts sister because Gold Bust is a daughter of Nashwan (by Blushing Groom).
She has produced only four winners from 11 foals of racing age but one of her unsuccessful daughters is Beyond Compare (by Galileo) who is compensating for her lack of racing talent by excelling at stud. Three of her first four foals are winners and they include Australian Group 3 scorer Beyond Thankful (by Whipper) and his younger half-sister Turret Rocks (by Fastnet Rock).
Jim Bolger bred and trains that four-year-old, who won the Group 2 May Hill Stakes and was runner-up to Ballydoyle in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp as a juvenile. Fourth behind Seventh Heaven in the Group 1 Irish Oaks was the closest she got to being in the frame in four starts at three, but she holds a string of big-race entries over the next two months, including the Group 2 Camelot Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes, Group 2 Betfred Middleton Stakes, and Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, so is clearly still held in high regard.
The third dam of Gold Luck is Gold River (by Riverman) and that Timeform 132-rated champion won the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak, and Group 1 Prix du Cadran.
There are plenty of other talented horses in the family but the stars noted above are more than enough to show why this young filly has the potential to become one of the leaders of her generation and, later, to excel at stud.