In mid-September of last year, Melesina finished only sixth in a one-mile nursery at Ayr, a race for which she had been a 20/1 longshot. It was her seventh start, she had been unplaced at 50/1 and 100/1 in blacktype events at Naas and Royal Ascot respectively, and her sole success came in a seven and a half-furlong Beverley maiden on her sixth start.
She was now rated 80, seemingly well-exposed and with no realistic hope of achieving prominence on the track. She was beaten by 31 lengths in a mile listed contest at Meydan on her seasonal debut last month, and yet few can have been surprised by her victory in the Listed Prix La Camargo over the same trip at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.
That's because of what she achieved in both her eighth start of 2016 and in her second one of 2017. She sprang a 14/1 surprise in the former, beating Turf Laurel by one and a quarter lengths in the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs over a mile on good ground at Deauville, and was a staying-on three-length fourth to Nomorerichblondes in the latter, the Group 3 UAE Oaks over nine and a half furlongs on the dirt at Meydan.
With 11 runs behind her now, including three this year, it is reasonable to suggest that Melesina is unlikely to improve much on the 102-rating she brought with her to France. If we ignore her first five starts and take a view that perhaps she just needed more time than expected to work it all out, then she would be sitting on a record of three wins from six starts, which would make the prospect of further progress sound more plausible.
It will be interesting to see how her season turns out, but regardless of whether she has already peaked or has more to give, this Richard Fahey-trained daughter of Yeomanstown Stud's star stallion Dark Angel (by Acclamation) will go to the paddocks with both Group 3 and listed success to her name, and that is more than most can do.
Melesina was bred by Duggan Bloodstock, she made just 22,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket and she is a half-sister to the seven-furlong winner Lastmanlastround (by Azamour).
That she is one of her sire's milers, rather than a sprinter, was to be expected given that her dam, Lastroseofsummer (by Haafhd), was a capable stayer who won over 13, 15 and 17 furlongs on the flat and at up to two miles, three and a half furlongs over hurdles. Indeed, given how she finished in the UAE Oaks, it is possible that Melesina will handle 10 furlongs in Europe.
The mare's half-brother Romantic Affair (by Persian Bold) won the Listed Stubbs Stakes over two miles and was placed in the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil, Group 3 Henry II Stakes and Group 3 Sagaro Stakes, and each of her other three blacktype siblings stayed at least 12 furlongs.
Broken Romance (by Ela-Mana-Mou), the unraced grandam of Melesina, was a half-sister to the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby winner Foscarini (by Rusticaro), to Group 2 Dante Stakes runner-up Guns Of Navarone (by Bold Lad IRE) and to Group 2 National Stakes second Cobblers Cove (by Realm), and there is a plethora of stakes winners under the fourth generation of the family.
Those include Pelerin (by Sir Gaylord), the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Baden winner who finished fourth to Henbit in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, and also Gwen (by Abernant), the speedy multiple stakes winner who, in 1964, chased home Pourparler in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. Her siblings included Broken Flush (by Busted), the winning third dam of Melesina.
The Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Matiya (by Alzao) also appears under a branch of the fourth generation of the pedigree but she and Melesina only share their fourth dam, Donna (by Donore), a four-time scorer whose multiple blacktype placings included the Fred Darling Stakes.