The first stakes winner is a notable landmark in any stallion's career and for Kildangan Stud stallion Dawn Approach the one to get him off the mark is Godolphin's homebred filly Musis Amica, winner of the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte over a mile on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp.
The Andre Fabre-trained bay made a winning debut over a half-furlong less on soft ground at Saint-Cloud in early November, and in maintaining her undefeated record this afternoon she beat Sea Prose by one and a quarter lengths. There was another half-length back to Latita in third, with Magical and Wind Chimes performing below their best in fourth and fifth.
As you might expect, she holds entries in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and it will be fascinating to find out how good she is. Sounder underfoot conditions should suit, and she could be effective anywhere from a mile up to 12 furlongs.
As for Dawn Approach, the juvenile champion and subsequent classic star has had six blacktype horses in his first crop. They include Group 2 Debutante Stakes third Mary Tudor, Group 3 Tyros Stakes third Dawn Delivers, and also Fast Approach and Gongs, who have been pattern-placed in Japan and Australia respectively.
This is below the level of success that could have been expected of a horse who won the first two-year-old race of the Irish season, went on to become an unbeaten, Group 1-winning champion at that age, and then a Group 1 2000 Guineas and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes hero at three, but it would be a mistake to write him off at this point of his career.
He comes from the first crop of juvenile champion and Derby-winner New Approach, and so represents the Galileo branch of the mighty Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) line, and much about the distaff side of his pedigree suggests the likelihood of better results with three-year-olds and older horses.
Don't forget, Galileo did not set the world alight with his first two-year-olds. Just imagine what would have been lost had he been written off then! Give him time – Musis Amica is the first of what should be many stakes winners for Dawn Approach.
Musis Amica is the twelfth foal of White Star (by Darshaan) and the best of her siblings is the lightly raced Group 2 Prix Eugene Adam scorer Harland (by Halling), who was trained by Michael Jarvis. Her dam won twice, stayed middle-distances, and earned her blacktype with placings in the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont and Group 2 Prix de Mallaret.
The best of White Star's half-sisters is Group 2 Prix de Pomone winner Whitehaven (by Top Ville) – the dam of listed scorer Copeland (by Generous) and grandam of Australian pattern scorers Samara Dancer (by Hinchinbrook) and Eclair Big Bang (Savabeel) – and the best of her half-brothers is the Grade 3-placed, Listed Acomb Stakes scorer Native Wizard (by In Reality).
Her winning half-sister Hill Of Snow (by Reference Point) contributed to the family's honour by giving us the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine and Irish juvenile filly champion Preseli (by Caerleon), but another of her siblings has done even more.
Lustre (by Halo), whose only win came at the age of two, earned her blacktype for a fourth-place finish in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury – a performance that would miss out on that value-enhancer nowadays – and she went on to produce both Valley Of Gold (by Shirley Heights) and Dublin (by Carson City).
The latter was a leading two-year-old who won the Group 3 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood and finished third in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, but Valley Of Gold won the Group 1 Oaks d'Italia, was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, and third in the Group 1 Irish Oaks before going to stud.
There she came up with Group 3 Gordon Stakes winner Cap O'Rushes (by New Approach) and Group 3 Joel Stakes scorer Splendid Era (by Green Desert), and she is the grandam of French listed race winner Meteoric (by Lope De Vega).
This is a well-known family and many will quickly recognise that the grandam of Musis Amica is White Star Line (by Northern Dancer), the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks, Grade 1 Delaware Oaks and Grade 1 Alabama Stakes heroine of 1978.
That daughter of one-time winner Fast Line (by Mr. Busher) was a half-sister to Group 1 Prix Morny scorer Filiberto (by Ribot; sire of Group 1 winner Grease), to Alcibiades Stakes winner and blacktype producer Fairway Fun (by Prince John), and also to Trick Chick (by Prince John), the unraced dam of Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) and Prix 1 Prix Vermeille heroine and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Northern Trick (by Northern Dancer).
That three-parts sister to White Star Line has been influential at stud and the Group/Grade 1 winners who descend from her include Cloth Of Stars (by Sea The Stars), Light Shift (by Kingmambo), Main Sequence (by Aldebaran), Shiva (by Hector Protector), and new Cheveley Park Stud stallion Ulysses (by Galileo).
Throttle Wide (by Flying Heels), the fourth dam of Musis Amica, was born in 1936 – and you don't see that era showing up very often this close-up in a pedigree! In addition to be being the dam of Fast Line, she was responsible for Miss Request (by Requested). That 12-time winner's haul of big races included the Beldame Handicap, Ladies Handicap, and Delaware Oaks and she was 1948's US champion three-year-old filly.
Musis Amica has a long way to go yet if she is to become as well-known as some of her close and distant relations, but she has made a highly promising to career and could be anything.