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.