The Mark Johnston-trained Threading looked a future Group 1 star in the making when eased down to take a six-furlong Goodwood maiden by six lengths on soft ground in early August, and although her next start was nowhere near as visually impressive, the daughter of leading international sire Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) won that too.
It was the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York where she beat listed scorer Madeline and dual pattern-placed Mamba Noire by one and three-quarter lengths and three-parts of a length. Her only other start at two was in the Group 1 Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in late September, but that day she disappointed, finishing only seventh behind Clemmie.
The Timeform 110-rated bay is due to make her seasonal reappearance in Wednesday's Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes, she is also engaged in next month's Group 1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, and Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas, and a quick glance at her pedigree suggests that the step up to seven furlongs and a mile should suit her well.
However, it catches the eye that she has also been entered in the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes over six furlongs, and that suggests she has been showing enough speed at home to have connections thinking that she may have inherited more of the family's sprinting speed than mile to middle-distance talent.
Her Kildangan Stud sire is well known as a source of both sprinters and milers, he himself was a sprint champion in Australia, and he has been champion sire in that country. What is key, however, will be what Threading has inherited through her dam.
The Darley-bred is a half-sister to sprint winner Camargue (by Invincible Spirit), to mile scorer Chequers (by Pivotal) and to Beachy Head (by Shamardal), a multiple seven-furlong winner who has been placed at both a mile and 10 furlongs. None shares the level of talent shown by their young relation, but their dam, Chaquiras (by Seeking The Gold), has one of the most famous siblings of recent decades.
She is a daughter of Colorado Dancer (by Shareef Dancer), who won the Group 2 Prix de Pomone over 13 and a half furlongs at Deauville and Group 3 Prix Minerve over 12 furlongs at Evry, and that makes her a full-sister to Timeform 140-rated champion Dubai Millennium.
A dual Group 1-winning miler who was brilliant over 10 furlongs, with wide-margin wins in both the Group 1 Dubai World Cup and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, he died during his first season at stud, but the stakes winners he left behind featured juvenile star and classic-winning miler Dubawi, now one of the world's leading sires.
If you look no further – and it may not be necessary to do so – then it seems obvious that Threading will stay a mile.
But not all of the mare's offspring showed the ability to stay middle-distances. Ragsah (by Shamardal), a half-sister to Dubai Millennium, won over seven furlongs, earned her blacktype when runner-up in the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes over six, and was well-beaten on her three attempts at a mile.
Colorado Dancer's half-brother Hamas (by Danzig) won the Group 1 July Cup, his full-brother Bianconi easily won the Group 2 Diadem Stakes over six furlongs at Ascot a few months after finishing a nine-length fourth to Desert Prince in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, and that pair are quite closely related to Threading.
So too is sprint champion and Group 1 July Cup hero Elnadim (by Danzig), who is out of Colorado Dancer's Group 2 Prix d'Astarte-winning and Group 2 Prix de l'Opera-placed half-sister Elle Seule (by Exclusive Native) and so a half-brother to Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas star Mehthaaf (by Nureyev) and to the dam of Group 1 Prix de la Foret and Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest heroine Occupandiste (by Kaldoun).
Clearly there is a chance that, like the other talented Danzig-line horses in her immediate family, Threading will ultimately prove best at six furlongs, even though so much on her page suggests that a mile should be ideal.
As a daughter of US Grade 1 Matron Stakes winner Fall Aspen (by Pretense), Colorado Dancer's siblings also included Fort Wood (by Sadler's Wells), who won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris over 10 furlongs, Grade 1 Preakness Stakes winner and Grade 1 Kentucky Derby third Timber Country (by Woodman), and also Mazzacano (by Alleged), who won the Group 3 Goodwood Cup when it was run over two miles, four and a half furlongs.
There are also many other notable descendants of Fall Aspen – including Charnwood Forest (by Warning), Kabool (by Groom Dancer), Khulood (by Storm Cat), Medaaly (by Highest Honor), Mondialiste (by Galileo), and Najah (by Nashwan) – but they don't tell us anything more than we already know about Threading and her prospects.
She is one of the best bred horses in training, she has the long-term potential to become a broodmare of note, and she could be a leading member of the three-year-old filly class of 2018. What remains to be seen is how highly she can go in the rankings and over what distance(s) her talent will best be expressed.