Usually I review only pattern winners here, but it is early in the season and so few such contests have yet been held. And with the way he has won both of his starts in 2017, Orderofthegarter looks odds-on to pick up a first group success before long.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained son of prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) was runner-up in a pair of Leopardstown seven-furlong maidens on his only outings at two and he stormed home an 11-length winner over a mile at Naas last month when ridden by leading apprentice Ana O'Brien.
Seamie Heffernan was in the saddle for the one-mile Listed Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial Stakes yesterday afternoon and the pair made all to beat Taj Mahal by three and three-quarter lengths.
The bay was bred by Barronstown Stud and, as you would expect, he comes from a Group 1-producing family.
Orderofthegarter is out of Kitty Kiernan (by Pivotal), a speedy dual winner who was runner-up in the Group 3 Naas Juvenile Sprint Stakes and third in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes. That record makes her the best offspring of Alstemeria (by Danehill), a full-sister to three pattern winners and half-sister to two broodmares of note.
Spartacus won both the six-furlong Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and one-mile Group 1 Gran Criterium as a juvenile but disappointed at stud, the prolific Meteor Shower won at up to Group 3 level in South Africa, but the most accomplished of Alstemeria's brothers was Johan Cruyff.
He began his career in Ireland where he won the Group 2 Gallinule Stakes and Group 3 Beresford Stakes before going on to become a high-class performer in Hong Kong. There his wins included the Listed (local Group 1) Hong Kong Derby, and he earned over £1 million in prize money during his career.
His half-sister Mantles Princess (by Rock City) is the dam of the New Zealand-bred Hong Kong Derby winner Super Satin (by Danehill Dancer), and another half-sister, Leukippids (by Sadler's Wells), is the dam of dual Hong Kong Group 1 star and multimillionaire Blazing Speed (by Dylan Thomas). His top-level wins have been in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Champions and Chater Cup.
Lady Bones (by Royal Applause), an unraced half-sister to Blazing Speed, has done her part for the family by producing Laganore (by Fastnet Rock), last year's 10-furlong Listed Pride Stakes winner, short-head Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes runner-up, and Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio third.
Orderofthegarter's two wins have come in the style of a potentially top-class miler. He is bred to be a Group 1 horse, his entries include next month's Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, and his pedigree gives him a strong chance of being equally well-suited to 10 furlongs.