It is hard to know the merit of the form, but on visual impression Gold Town appears to be a young horse with a big future. Godolphin's homebred three-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby, he has run twice at Meydan this year, both on dirt, and been highly impressive each time.
The first of those outings came in a seven-furlong conditions race, which he took by four and a quarter lengths, and the second was Thursday's Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas over a mile, which he took by a 10 and a half-length margin.
The nine and a half-furlong, Group 2 UAE Derby is an obvious next target for him and, after that, perhaps some of the leading events for the classic generation. But where? He is a gelding and that excludes him from the European Group 1 classics, so this exciting prospect could become a candidate for the US Triple Crown series.
He was gelded after the third consecutive defeat that followed a debut success over five furlongs at Newbury last year, then finished third in a seven-furlong Newmarket nursery in July before taking a similar contest over the same course and distance a month later. His pattern victory appears to be a massive step forward on all of this.
Gold Town is a son of the late Street Cry (by Machiavellian), the Group 1 Dubai World Cup winner who stood in Kentucky, shuttled to Australia – where he was crowned champion sire – and whose offspring include top sprinters and milers, a Kentucky Derby hero in Street Sense and, of course, two of the greatest fillies of the modern era: Winx and Zenyatta.
He is the second foal of Pimpernel (by Invincible Spirit) who won four times in England as a two-year-old, including the Listed Radley Stakes at Newbury, and was second in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes.
Her dam, Anna Pallida (by Sadler's Wells), got her sole victory over 10 furlongs and as she is a daughter of three-time scorer Masskana (by Darshaan) it was always on the cards that she could become the ancestor of some high-class performers. Why? Because that mare is one of those rare gems with at least three individual Group/Grade 1-winning offspring to her name.
Eagle Mountain (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin and was placed in each of the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh, Group 1 Champion Stakes at Newmarket, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita.
His half-sister Dank (by Dansili) won both the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes, while Sulk (by Selkirk) took the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at two before going on to earn placings in the Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Royal-Oak – all Group 1.
Sulk is the dam of the Group 2-placed stakes winner Ibn Battuta (by Seeking The Gold), while her unraced full-sister Slink is responsible for Bye Bye Birdie (by Oasis Dream), winner of the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Balanchine Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh as a two-year-old.
Masskana, who is also the dam of the pattern-placed stakes winner Wallace (by Royal Academy), is a half-sister to Grade 1-placed US Grade 3 scorer Madjaristan (by Irish River) and to Massyar (by Kahyasi), who won the Group 2 Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh a few weeks after finishing third to Barathea in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas.
The fourth dam of Gold Town is, therefore, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Prix Robert Papin heroine Masarika (by Thatch).
It remains to be seen just how good Gold Town will be when he reaches his peak, but there is every reason to hope that he can succeed at the highest level. That may come on dirt and at anywhere from a mile to 10 furlongs – and the Belmont Stakes trip may not be beyond his reach – but it is also going to be interesting to see how he fares if returning to turf.
Shergar (by Great Nephew) is one of the most famous names in the world of horse racing but, sadly, a large part of that recognition is due to the circumstances of his disappearance and presumed demise rather than for his brilliant 10-length winning performance in the Derby at Epsom.
He left behind just one crop of foals, a very small one by modern standards but of normal size for the time, and the stakes winners among them included the Group 1 Irish St Leger, Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Group 1 Underwood Stakes star Authaal, the colt who made 3,100,000 Irish guineas in Goffs in 1984.
They also include Tashtiya, winner of the Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes, and it is her great-grandson Tribal Beat (by Street Cry) who won the Group 3 Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes over a mile at Leopardstown on Thursday.
This was a second win from six starts for the Darley-bred three-year-old and it was his first outing since he chased home Blue De Vega in the Group 3 Killavullan Stakes over seven furlongs at the same venue last October. He took a six-furlong Naas maiden by five lengths just six days before that run and had been in the frame in one of his previous three starts.
Street Cry, the son of Group 1 stars Machiavellian (by Mr Prospector) and Helen Street (by Troy), was a full-brother to Helsinki, the stakes-placed dam of classic star and Kildangan Stud stallion Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway), who got his 100th individual stakes winner on Sunday.
Street Cry won the Group 1 Dubai World Cup and Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap in 2002, spent his career as a star member of the team at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, and also shuttled to Australia. His progeny include the outstanding fillies Zenyatta and Winx, the Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, Melbourne Cup hero Shocking, and many others of note, and he was recently and posthumously crowned Australian champion sire for 2015/16.
Tribal Beat is the third foal out of Tashelka (by Mujahid), whom Andre Fabre trained to win the Group 3 Prix de la Nonette and Group 3 Prix Fille de l'Air, and that makes him a half-brother to the high-class grey Tasaday (by Nayef) whose career earnings came to just short of £500,000.
She began her career with Fabre, was an unbeaten winner of the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs as a juvenile, was third to Flotilla in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) the following spring, and then won both the Group 3 Prix de Psyche and Group 2 Prix de la Nonette. She then joined the Godolphin team, won listed races at Meydan and York, and was third behind Tapestry in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks.
Tasaday's first foal is a Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) colt who arrived at the end of February. Tashelka had a filly by that same sire last year and her two-year-old is a colt who has been named Silver River (by Tamayuz).
The best of Tashelka's siblings is Tashkandi (by Polish Precedent), who beat King's Drama easily in a mile listed contest at Chantilly shortly before taking third behind Vespone in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over a furlong farther at the same venue. He was only beaten by a short-neck when runner-up to Special Kaldoun in the Group 3 Prix Messidor the following month, was then off the track for nearly two years and went on to win several times over hurdles.
Their dam, Tashiriya (by Kenmare), earned her blacktype when runner-up in the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux and she was the best of several winners out of the aforementioned Tashtiya.
As one might expect of a daughter of Shergar, Tashtiya has plenty of notable relations. Her siblings include the pattern scorers Tassmoun (by Kalamoun) and Tashkourgan (by Shardari), and two fillies who won listed races, but the most striking thing about her immediate relations is the number of stakes and pattern winners who descend from several of her sisters.
Listed scorer Talaja (by Kalamoun) is the dam of Group 3 Prix de la Porte Maillot winner Tiangar (by Last Tycoon) and of listed scorer Taboushkan (by Posse). Tarafa (by Akarad) is the grandam of pattern-placed stakes winner Tarakala (by Dr Fong) and third dam of the similarly talented Tarana (by Cape Cross), and Taysha (by Habitat) did her bit for the family by become the dam of a listed race winner in Italy.
Tarikhana (by Mouktar) is the stakes-winning dam of Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak winner and Group 1 Prix du Cadran runner-up Tiraaz (by Lear Fan) and she is the grandam of the strikingly different Piccadilly Filly (by Exceed And Excel), a five-furlong listed scorer who was beaten by a short-neck in the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene and finished third, at 100/1, behind Sole Power in the 2010 edition of the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
Then there's the considerable contribution made by Takrana (by Misti IV) and Tadkiyra (by Darshaan).
The former is the grandam of classic-placed pattern scorer Tarwiya (by Dominion) and of ill-fated Group 3 Norfolk Stakes winner Blue Dakota (by Namid), and her descendants also include the Group 1 stars Gilt Edge Girl (by Monsieur Bond) and Arcano (by Oasis Dream), Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes winner Godfrey Street (by Compton Place) and this year's Group 2 Curragh Cup scorer Sword Fighter (by Galileo).
Tadkiyra, on the other hand, is the dam of the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes heroine Damson (by Entrepreneur) and of Group 3 Prestige Stakes winner Geminiani (by King Of Kings), and the former is, in turn, the dam of juvenile Group 2 scorer and current freshman sire Requinto (by Dansili). The first progeny of that young Coolmore Stud stallion include the thrice-raced dual winner Broken Stones, who was third in last month's Group 2 Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket.
There is plenty more talent to be found if you go back further in the family as Tremogia (by Silver Shark), the unraced fourth dam of Tribal Beat, was out of the classic-placed Prix Saint-Alary heroine Tonnera (by Wild Risk) and she, in turn, was a daughter of the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp winner and King's Stand Stakes runner-up Texana (by Relic).
Tribal Beat is trained by Jim Bolger and he carries the famous Godolphin colours. Both his sire and half-sister stayed 10 furlongs, which makes it possible that the distance could be within his compass too, although the amount of speed he showed over six furlongs at Naas in October could indicate that the mile over which he won last week may be more to his liking.