Shuttle stallions changed the face of the global bloodstock industry. Those termed as 'reserve shuttle' horses – southern hemisphere-born horses who come north for stud service – have not been as successful on the whole, but some have stood out.
Fastnet Rock, Exceed And Excel and Choisir (by Danehill Dancer) are three striking examples, and given the influence of his line 'down under', it is no surprise that all of those represent prolific champion sire Danehill (by Danzig) or his line.
This made Australian champion sire Redoute's Choice (by Danehill) a particularly interesting reverse-shuttler when he spent two seasons at Haras de Bonneval in France, especially given that he represents a branch of the family of El Gran Senor (by Northern Dancer) – among many others of note – but as yet the fruits of his time in this part of the world have not made a big impact.
These were not his first offspring born to northern hemisphere time – there were a few such horses in 2008, for example, including Group 2-placed stakes winner and young Ballyhane Stud stallion Elzaam – but there is a potentially high-class colt among those from his second French-conceived crop.
Sevenna Star, a Gestüt Ammerland homebred trained by John Gosden, created quite an impression when taking a 10-furlong novice event by 14 lengths on heavy ground at Windsor on his first outing of this year, and he followed that with a short-head defeat of Ispolini in the Group 3 bet365 Classic Trial on good-to-soft at Sandown 11 days later.
He had been placed on his only two starts at two – both at around a mile – and had a wind procedure done in late November. He holds entries in both the Group 2 Betfred Dante Stakes and Group 1 Investec Derby, and is currently available at around 25/1 for the latter.
Sprinter-miler Time's Arrow, who won a six-furlong listed contest at Maisons-Laffitte two days before Sevenna Star's pattern success, is another of the stallion's European-bred representatives, as is last year's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) fourth Spotify, a pattern-placed colt who won a listed contest over 10 furlongs at Cagnes-sur-Mer in February.
So too are Gold Luck, who won the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at Chantilly last year, was runner-up in the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham and third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat, plus 2017's Group 3 Prix Chloe winner Ibiza, and mile listed scorer Lilac Fairy.
These are all good results, yet some way behind the string of Group 1 stars that he has produced in Australia, a list that includes Miss Finland, Royal Descent and Samantha Miss – a trio selected for mention because they were top-level winners over 12 furlongs.
With Sevenna Star proven over a mile and a quarter at this point in his career, and being out of a daughter of the phenomenal stallion Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), it looks odds-on that he too will stay at least that distance, especially given what his siblings have achieved.
His half-brother Samurai (by Shamardal) and half-sister Sassella (by Lope De Vega) have won 12-and-a-half-furlong listed contests in Switzerland and France respectively, and their half-sister Savanne (by Rock Of Gibraltar), who won the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont over a half-furlong less, was placed in both the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret and Group 2 Prix de Pomone.
Sevenna Star will need to improve a lot when stepped up in trip for the Derby and/or other top events at the distance, but he is bred to do so. Indeed, it is possible that this colt could be a leading candidate for the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster in September. His dam, Sevenna, won the Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes over 14 furlongs at Goodwood when she was four years old.
The mare is a half-sister to Scatina (by Samum), who won the Group 2 Schwarzgold-Rennen over 11 furlongs on good ground at Cologne, and they are out of Silvassa (by Darshaan), a daughter of 1984's Group 2 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) dead-heater Slenderella (by Alpenkonig).
Silvassa was the only winner among eight foals out of that dual classic scorer – the mare also won the Group 3 Schwarzgold-Rennen (German 1000 Guineas) – and in addition to being a full-sister to pattern-winning miler Slenderhagen, Slenderella was also a full-sister to Scilla, the unraced dam of Solon (by Local Suitor).
Rated 123 by Timeform, that prolific colt took the Group 1 Europa-Preis over 12 furlongs at Cologne in 1995, beating Sternkoenig by two and a half lengths. The best of Solon's offspring was the tragically ill-fated Solwhit, whose string of Grade 1 wins over obstacles featured the Irish Champion Hurdle over two miles at Leopardstown and the World Hurdle over three miles at the Cheltenham Festival.
Sevenna Star deserves a crack at the Derby, but his best classic chance may come at Doncaster in September. If he stays the St Leger distance – as his pedigree suggests he will – then that will make him a potential player for the Cup scene of 2019, a programme whose enhanced value should strengthen its appeal among owners and breeders alike.