Two-year-olds who win their maiden by 10 lengths or more seldom prove anything but smart and the way that Sobetsu beat nine rivals by that distance and more over a mile at Newmarket in September put her into many notebooks as a potential Group 1 candidate for 2017.
She had been third to Spatial and Unforgettable Filly over a furlong less at that venue three weeks before, her only other juvenile outing ended in a somewhat disappointing fifth to Rhododendron in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile, also at headquarters, and she finished her first season with a Timeform rating of 103.
She had been beaten by 15 lengths on that first tilt at blacktype company so it was not really a surprise that she was sent off at 14/1 on her seasonal reappearance at Deauville last month.
She belied those odds, however, and on her first attempt at 10 furlongs, and on soft ground, Godolphin's Darley-bred took the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary by three lengths from Vue Fantastique.
Sobetsu is trained by Charlie Appleby, she was raised to an official mark of 113 after this success, and it will be interesting to see how this daughter of outstanding Dalham Hall Stud stallion Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) fits into the overall end-of-year rankings.
There is no doubt that she is bred to achieve anything, both on the track and, eventually, at stud, because in addition to having such a notable sire, she comes from one of the most famous families in the stud book.
Sobetsu is out of Lake Toya (by Darshaan), a dual listed race winner who was third in the Group 3 Prix de Flore at Saint-Cloud. That mare has nine winning siblings, three of them blacktype earners, and she is also a half-sister to Hermes Tiara (by Brian's Time), the unraced dam of Group 1 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) winner and Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) third Dee Majesty (by Deep Impact).
Shinko Hermes (by Sadler's Wells), the grandam of Sobetsu, was only placed but her full-sister Imagine won the Group 1 Oaks and Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas in 2001, and another full-sister, Strawberry Roan, won a Leopardstown listed race before chasing home Classic Park in the 1997 edition of that same Curragh classic.
Strawberry Roan is the grandam of Group 2 Rockfel Stakes winner Cape Dollar (by Cape Cross), Imagine's daughter Kitty Matcham (by Rock Of Gibraltar) won that same juvenile contest, Imagine is also responsible for the classic-placed Group 2 scorer Viscount Nelson (by Giant's Causeway), US mile Grade 3 winner Point Piper (by Giant's Causeway), and ill-fated Group 1 Grand Criterium winner Horatio Nelson (by Danehill), and those mares are only two of the notable offspring of Doff The Derby (by Master Derby).
She was unraced because of an injury sustained early in life, but she comes from a family whose many top-level stars include the prolific but ill-fated Group 1 heroine Triptych (by Riverman), that standout's dam and US champion Trillion (by Hail To Reason), and, distantly removed, the brilliant dual Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve (by Motivator).
Doff The Derby's roll of honour also includes the Group 1-placed pattern winner Wedding Bouquet (by Kings Lake), the talented Japanese colt Osumi Tycoon (by Last Tycoon), and, best of all, the Timeform 139-rated superstar Generous (by Caerleon).
That flashy chestnut sprang a 50/1 surprise in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at two, finished an eye-catching fourth behind Mystiko in the Group 1 2000 Guineas on his seasonal reappearance, and then posted a hugely impressive success in the Derby at Epsom, easily beating subsequent Group 1 scorer Marju by five lengths.
Suave Dancer had looked equally brilliant when taking the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) at Chantilly and the prospect of a match between the pair generated great excitement at the Irish Derby meeting a few weeks later.
Generous trounced his Gallic rival by three lengths – the pair well clear of the other four runners – and followed that with a seven-length victory in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, with Sanglamore, Rock Hopper, and Terimon the ones who chased him home.
It was to prove to be his final win, but his Curragh foe, who bypassed Ascot, went on to impressive wins in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, being applauded through the final furlong in the former by an appreciative Leopardstown crowd.
Generous sired winners at all levels but, like most sons of his dual champion sire, had an overall disappointing record at stud.
But back to Wedding Bouquet for a moment as her pattern-winning descendants include a brilliant granddaughter: champion and prolific Group 1 star Moonlight Cloud (by Invincible Spirit), who Timeform rated 129.
Sobetsu has a long to go yet if she is to get close to the ratings produced by some of her most famous relations, but she holds a string of Group 1 entries from eight to 12 furlongs – starting with tomorrow's Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom – so hopefully we will get plenty of opportunities to see what she can do.