A potential sprint star emerged in France recently when the Pia Brandt-trained three-year-old Fas came home and impressive three and a half-length winner of the Group 3 Prix Sigy over six furlongs on good ground at Chantilly.
Bred by his part-owner Zalim Bifov, and a half-length listed scorer over the same course and distance, but on soft ground, on his seasonal reappearance a few weeks before that fine effort, the colt showed useful form at two.
He beat Dolokhov by two lengths on his debut at Deauville in August, was third to Dame Du Roi in a listed contest at Maisons-Laffitte the following month, and then took third and fourth respectively in pattern events that were won by Sans Equivoque.
The first was the Group 3 Prix Eclipse in which he finished only half a length behind that filly, in third place, and then the Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte where he was a two and a half length fourth.
Fas is a son of the Australian champion sire Fastnet Rock (by Danehill) whose handful of shuttle-seasons at Coolmore have thus far yielded the European Group 1 stars Qualify, Diamondsandrubies, Fascinating Rock, and potential 2017 classic contenders Intricately and Rivet. His many talented northern hemisphere runners also include the recent Group 3 Gladness Stakes heroine Diamond Fields.
Sotka (by Dutch Art), the dam of Fas, was a listed-placed winner at two in France and, in addition to being a half-sister to Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes runner-up and 15-time scorer Cornus (by Inchinor), she is a half-sister to a recently retired sprint champion who was among the most popular Irish-trained flat horses of recent years.
The Eddie Lynam-trained multimillionaire Sole Power (by Kyllachy) notched-up 12 wins in a 65-race career from two to 10 years of age, with the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint and two editions of both the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes and Group 1 King's Stand Stakes highlights on his resume.
His dam, Demerger (by Distant View), is an unraced half-sister to five winners, including Como (by Cozzene), the dam of Listed Marble Hill Stakes winner Pencil Hill (by Acclamation), and his grandam is a dual winning half-sister to three horses of note.
That mare is Merida (by Warning), she is the third dam of Fas, and the best of her talented trio is Tychonic (by Last Tycoon). The top performances among his 13 wins came in the Grade 2 Arcadia Handicap and Grade 2 El Rincon Handicap, both at Santa Anita.
She was also the dam of Group 2 William Hill Sprint Championship (previously and now the Nunthorpe Stakes) runner-up Fine Edge (by Sharpen Up) and of Meteoric (by High Line), the Group 3 Waterford Candelabra Stakes (now Prestige Stakes) runner-up whose descendants include the Group 1-placed juvenile Group 2 scorer Auction House (by Exbourne).
There is no doubt that Fas is bred to achieve anything, and if he fulfils the potential suggested by his eye-catching Group 3 success then he is likely to be a major contender for all of the top six-furlong races of the year, starting with the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June.