If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again. It's an often-quoted motivational statement, but even the most enthusiastic could be forgiven for calling a halt when the number of misses reaches double digits.
But Lightning Spear's connections persevered, they got within a short-head of taking the Group 1 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May – pipped by Rhododendron – and just reward finally came at Goodwood on Wednesday, the entire's 16th attempt at the highest level.
He beat high-class three-year-old Expert Eye by one and a half lengths in the Qatar Sussex Stakes, with Lord Glitters another half-length back in third, a nose and neck ahead of Gustav Klimt and Beat The Bank.
The dual Group 2 Celebration Mile winner has six Group 1 placings to his name, including third to Accidental Agent in this year's Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot, but when he joins the stallion team at Tweenhills Farm & Stud he will do so as a Group 1-winning son of a leading international sire.
He was bred by Newsells Park Stud, is a good-looking horse who made 260,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, he is by the sire of multiple Group 1-siring stallions Kyllachy and Siyouni, and he comes from the family of a European champion sire – which makes him a likely candidate to get stakes and pattern-winning offspring at all levels, mostly in the six to 12-furlong range.
Lightning Spear was trained by Ralph Beckett when he won his only start as a juvenile – over seven furlongs at Kempton in August – and he was in the Olly Stevens stable when taking his only race at three – and eight-and-a-half-furlong contest at Nottingham. He won two more handicaps at four, lost his unbeaten record when chasing home Arod in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot, and was fourth to Esoterique in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville a month later, his first Group 1 attempt.
Timeform rated him 125 as a five-year-old, when he won his first Group 2 Celebration Mile – now trained by David Simcock – before taking third to Minding and Ribchester in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and that organisation had him on 124 for this year before his Goodwood success.
The best of four blacktype earners out of multiple stakes-winning sprinter Atlantic Destiny (by Royal Academy), the half-brother to 10-furlong listed scorer Ocean War (by Dalakhani) is out of a half-sister to Make No Mistake (by Darshaan), who did well for the Dermot Weld stable.
That talented colt carried the famous Moyglare Stud colours to victory in the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes and Group 3 Meld Stakes at the Curragh, he was third in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the same venue, and was also a Grade 2-placed dual Grade 3 winner in the USA.
Grandam Respectfully (by The Minstrel) was unplaced in a single start in France, and third dam Treat Me Nobly (by Vaguely Noble) – who made a record 1,300,000 francs as a yearling – was unraced, but the latter was out of What A Treat (by Tudor Minstrel), the US three-year-old filly champion of 1965, and so she was a half-sister to Be My Guest (by Northern Dancer).
What A Treat, whose 11 wins included the Beldame Stakes, Alabama Stakes, and Gazelle Handicap, was out of the prolific Rare Treat (by Stymie) – which made her a half-sister to the dam of ill-fated Derby hero Golden Fleece (by Nijinsky) – and her star son was one of the early standout stallions for Coolmore Stud.
Be My Guest first came to prominence when setting a short-lived European record yearling price of 127,000gns when topping the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale in 1975. The Vincent O'Brien-trained, white-faced chestnut won the second of his two starts at two, kicked off his three-year-old campaign with an easy win in the Blue Riband Trial over eight and a half furlongs at Epsom, but was beaten twice when stepping up in trip – including in the Derby – before returning to a mile.
He easily won the Desmond Stakes at the Curragh before, on soft ground at Goodwood, he fought to hold off the challenge of Don in the Waterford Crystal Mile. A bruised foot denied him the chance to run in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and he went to stud as a Timeform 126-rated son of leading sire Northern Dancer (by Nearctic), whose growing list of major winners included that year's Derby hero, The Minstrel.
Be My Guest was crowned European champion sire in 1982 when his first crop of three-year-olds featured Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), Group 1 Benson & Hedges Gold Cup (now Juddmonte International Stakes) and runaway Group 1 Irish Derby hero Assert, and star miler On The House, who took both the Group 1 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Sussex Stakes.
His career roll of honour also featured Group 1 aces Double Bed, Go And Go, Luth Enchantee, Pelder, Pentire, and Valentine Waltz, and Group 2 Lockinge Stakes winner and Group 1 Derby runner-up Most Welcome, and although his sons met with mixed success at stud, many of his daughters excelled in that role.
If you go back farther on the page then you find that the sixth dam of Lightning Spear was the speedy stakes winner Rare Perfume (by Eight Thirty), which made his fifth dam a half-sister to 1962's Belmont Stakes winner and US three-year-old champion Jaipur (by Nasrullah), whose progeny included dual Group 1 scorer and sprint champion Amber Rama, and Timeform 120-rated sprint juvenile Mansingh (sire of Petong).
Lightning Spear, currently the winner of seven of his 24 starts and over £1.3 million in prize money, has a pedigree that could see him do well as a sire, and he will be among the brightest prospects joining the stallion ranks in 2019.
Group 1-winning Australian sprinter Foxwedge (by Fastnet Rock) was a reverse-shuttle stallion to Whitsbury Manor Stud, in England, for four seasons, and although he has not yet set the world alight here, he has come up with three Group 1 winners from his global first crop.
Foxplay has won at the top level over a mile in Australia, Volpe Veloce achieved the feat over six furlongs in New Zealand in January, and Urban Fox put up the performance of her life, so far, to take the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. The stallion is based at Newgate Stud in New South Wales, Australia.
Urban Fox was a talented two-year-old who was third in each of the Group 1 Fillies' Mile, Group 2 May Hill Stakes and Group 3 Prestige Stakes, but she was disappointing at three, was sold for 425,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mare Sale in Newmarket and left the James Tate yard to join William Haggas.
She won a mile handicap on the straight course at Ascot on her seasonal reappearance in May, finished fourth to Aljazzi in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes over the same course and distance in June, and then sprang something of a surprise with her Irish success, beating Oaks heroine Forever Together by three and a quarter lengths on her first attempt at 10 furlongs.
The now Timeform 118-rated bay holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes, Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, and Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes, and it will be interesting to see how much more improvement there is to come from her, if any.
Urban Fox was bred by Mascalls Stud, who sold her for 10,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. A half-sister to the blacktype-placed chaser Hollow Penny (by Beat Hollow), and to several flat winners, she is a daughter of the winning Nashwan (by Blushing Groom) mare Lomapamar and is not the first member of family to surprise at the Curragh.
The best of her dam's eight winning siblings was Mons (by Deploy), the impressive Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner who went on to be placed in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy, Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club, Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes and Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, but they also include Inforapenny (by Deploy) who finished third, at 100/1, to Petruskha in the Group 1 Irish Oaks.
Their dam, Morina (by Lyphard), won once in France as a three-year-old and was a half-sister to 10 winners out of Arewehavingfunyet (by Sham), who got the best of her blacktype wins in the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes, Grade 2 Del Mar Debutante Stakes and Grade 3 Landaluce Stakes, all as a two-year-old.
That star is the dam of listed scorer Have Fun (by Topsider) and ancestor of a host of blacktype-placed horses, and this daughter of listed race winner Just Jazz (by Exclusive Native) is a half-sister to a stakes-winning filly called Northern Jazz (by Northern Jove) and from a branch of an Argentine family.
Urban Fox is a much improved filly this year and it will be interesting to see what other value-enhancers she can add to her record before going to stud.
The great stallion Danzig (by Northern Dancer) had a profound impact on global racing and breeding. Until recently we've been able to say that there are two major branches of his line: those formed by Danehill and by Green Desert – but we are now seeing a third one emerge, one being forged by War Front.
Tuesday's shock winner of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot, however, represents the first of those branches as he is a grandson of Danehill, and he comes from the first crop of the late classic-placed, Group 2 Duke of York Stakes winner Delegator (by Dansili), who spent four seasons at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire.
Delegator's initial crop also includes the talented filly Delectation, who won a Group 3 contest over six furlongs at Ayr as a juvenile before going on to further pattern success in the Group 3 Schwarzgold Rennen and Group 3 Grosse Europa Meile – that treble being scored by an accumulated margin of eight and a quarter lengths.
Accidental Agent, on the other hand, was notching up his first blacktype success when beating old rival Lord Glitters by half a length over the straight mile at Ascot. He had put up an eye-catching performance when sixth behind Rhododendron in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes a month before, was third to Century Dream in a mile listed contest at Ascot on his seasonal reappearance, and was a high-class handicapper in 2017, rated 120 by Timeform.
Now that he has won at the highest level he has set up the prospect of a stallion career in his future. Hitting a peak as a four-year-old may suggest that he was a late maturer, but this colt won two of his four starts as a juvenile, one over seven furlongs at Chepstow in late July and the other a valuable six-furlong sales race over six at Newmarket two months later.
Accidental Agent is owned and bred by Gaie Johnson Houghton, who has had the family for several generations. He was bought back for just 8,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, and he is trained by the owner's daughter, Eve Johnson Houghton.
He is the first foal out of Roodle (by Xaar), who won over five and seven furlongs, and his dam's string of successful siblings feature Prize Exhibit (by Showcasing). She finished third in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes and fourth (no blacktype) in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at two but went on to become a prolific blacktype performer in the USA.
The best of her seven wins came in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar, plus the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes, Grade 3 Senorita Stakes and Grade 3 Megahertz Stakes all at Santa Anita, and the races in which she was placed included the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Invitational Handicap.
They are out of Roodeye (by Inchinor), who earned her blacktype when third in the Listed Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury as a juvenile, and that mare is one of four blacktype earners out of Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes runner-up Roo (by Rudimentary). Two of those were listed placed, but Gallagher (by Bahamian Bounty) was second in each of the Group 1 Prix Morny, Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes and Group 2 Richmond Stakes – all over six furlongs.
It was over that trip that Roo's star sibling and relations got their best wins. Half-brother Bannister (by Inchinor) won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York, 'nephew' Astaire (by Intense Focus) – who is out of the unraced Runway Dancer (by Dansili) – took the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and Dead Certain (by Absalom), who is a half-sister to Roo's dam Shall We Run (by Hotfoot), was the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine of 1989.
That star filly also won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes and Group 3 Queen Mary Stakes that year, she went on to add the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest and take second in the Group 3 Cork and Orrery Stakes (now Diamond Jubilee Stakes), and her descendants include several stakes winners.
Pounelta (by Tachypour), a winning half-sister to Dead Certain, also deserves a mention as she was the dam of 1999's Group 3 Jersey Stakes winner Lots Of Magic (by Magic Ring), a grandson of Green Desert (by Danzig).
Accidental Agent's emergence as a Group 1 winner is something of a surprise, despite his 120 Timeform figure from last year, and it remains to be seen if it remains a career highlight for him or is a level of form that can be replicated.
His only big race entry is next month's Bunbury Cup Handicap at Newmarket, a race he will surely bypass in favour of more lucrative pattern options, especially as his newfound status could see him get a berth at stud upon completion of his racing career.
Timeform 140-rated champion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) has made an excellent start to his stallion career at Gilltown Stud with 47 stakes winners to his name, eight of whom have won at the highest level.
The octet include dual Derby hero Harzand, runaway Deutsches Derby star Sea The Moon, French champion Cloth Of Stars, staying ace Stradivarius, and Oaks and King George heroine Taghrooda, and it is a fair bet that at least one more name will be added to the list by the end of 2018.
Whether or not that will be Crystal Ocean remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that he is a colt of considerable talent, one who is bred to improve as he ages.
A neck runner-up over seven furlongs at Newbury on his only start at two, he was third to the ill-fated Permian in both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes before beating Khalidi easily in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood. He then failed by just half a length to beat Group 1 Irish Derby winner Capri in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, finishing that campaign with a Timeform rating of 123p.
Sir Evelyn de Rothschild's homebred has run twice so far in 2018, first short-heading Fabricate in the Group 3 bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes over 10 furlongs at Sandown in April and then trouncing Second Step by six lengths in the Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes (registered as the Aston Park Stakes) over 12 furlongs on fast ground at Newbury this afternoon.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained bay is one of four stakes winners produced from Crystal Star (by Mark Of Esteem), who won the Listed Radley Stakes at two and was runner-up in the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes at three, and he is most closely related to the first of them, Crystal Capella (by Cape Cross).
She won the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes, Group 3 Middleton Stakes, Listed Princess Royal Stakes, and two editions of the Group 2 Pride Stakes, and the closest she came to being Group 1 placed was when fourth to Midday, Snow Fairy and Principal Role in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, missing out on that valuable CV-enhancer by a neck. Timeform rated her 116 at three, 119 at four, 122 at five, and 121 at the age of six.
Their half-brother Hillstar (by Danehill Dancer), a Garryrichard Stud stallion whose first crop are yearlings, got his best win in the Grade 1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine. He also won the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Arc Trial, he was third to Novellist in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and was Timeform-rated 121 at both three and four years of age.
Crystal Zvezda (by Dubawi), who achieved a Timeform rating of 110 as a three-year-old, won a 10-furlong listed contest at Newbury and was second in similar contests at Newmarket and York, and the siblings also include Sandor (by Fantastic Light), a handicapper who notched up 10 wins from ages three to nine.
Crystal Star, who is a half-sister to Listed Aphrodite Stakes winner and Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes third Waila (by Notnowcato), is out of Crystal Cavern (by Be My Guest), a mare who won over seven furlongs at Redcar as a two-year-old and later scored twice in the USA at four.
That mare's half-sister Rose Gypsy (by Green Desert) took the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) in 2001, although that classic performance proved to be easily the highlight of a short career for the Aidan O'Brien-trained bay, whom Timeform rated just 114. The best of her offspring has been the Scandinavian 12-furlong Group 3 scorer Chinese Mandarin (by Kingmambo).
Krisalya (by Kris), the third dam of Crystal Cavern, was one of the 13 winners from 16 foals produced by Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes fourth Sassalya (by Sassafras) and so a half-sister to Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan winner Sasuru (by Most Welcome), to ill-fated Group 2 Challenge Stakes and Group 3 Jersey Stakes heroine Sally Rous (by Rousillon), to listed scorers Sossus Vlei (by Inchinor) and Little Bean (by Ajdal), and to three other blacktype earners.
One of that trio was Group 3 Park Hill Stakes and Listed Galtres Stakes runner-up The Faraway Tree (by Suave Dancer) and she went on to become the dam of Grade 1 star Tuscan Evening (by Oasis Dream). That filly had been placed in the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes and Group 2 Debutante Stakes when trained in Ireland by John Murphy, but blossomed Stateside where she won 12 times.
She was a Grade 1-placed dual mile Grade 2 winner as a four-year-old and was as good, if not better, at five. She kicked off that campaign in the Grade 3 Monrovia Handicap over six and a half furlongs at Santa Anita, followed that with victory in the Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap, Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap, and Grade 2 Santa Barbara Handicap over eight, nine furlongs and 10 furlongs at the same venue, and then beat Forever Together by half a length in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes over nine at Hollywood Park.
The Jerry Hollendorfer-trained million-dollar earner extended her unbeaten seasonal record to six with an odds-on success in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap over nine and a half furlongs at Arlington, moved on to Del Mar, but died from a heart attack there after a workout.
This is a family with an established tradition of producing high-class horses who do well at three, four and five years of age, and so it is no surprise that Crystal Ocean's career is following such a path.
He is a talented performer from 10 to 14 and a half furlongs, he holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, as well as in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes, and there is every reason to hope that he can win at least once at the highest level before his racing days come to an end.
After his first start of the current campaign, when he finished last of five behind Capri in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes over 10 furlongs at Naas, Cliffs Of Moher's record showed just two wins and a single place from 10 starts.
That does not sound like the record of a good horse, but those wins included the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester, which came just a few weeks before he chased home Wings Of Eagles in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
He was then fourth to Ulysses in both the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, but unplaced in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 Champion Stakes, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf. Timeform rated the Aidan O'Brien-trained bay 123, and his earnings topped £500,000.
He finally got a first pattern success to his name when staying-on well to beat Success Days by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 2 Coolmore Camelot Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes over 10 furlongs at Naas six days ago. Yucatan and Mustajeer were another head and nose back in third and fourth.
Cliffs Of Moher is a son of prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), he was bred by the Wave Syndicate, and he is the first foal out of five-furlong winner Wave (by Dansili), a half-sister to two horses of note and from the family of many more.
Francis Of Assisi (by Danehill Dancer) won the Listed Knockaire Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown when trained by Aidan O'Brien, was a Grade 2-placed multiple winner over hurdles when trained by John Ferguson, then switched to the Charlie Appleby team, won Group 3 contests over 12 and 13 furlongs in Australia, and was last seen in action when down the field behind Frankuus in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last August.
That gelding's full-sister Look At Me did all of her racing for the Ballydoyle team, getting the better of her two wins in the Listed Navigation Stakes over eight and a half furlongs at Cork, taking the runners-up spot in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes and Group 3 Kilternan Stakes, and finishing third in both the Group 2 Blandford Stakes and Group 3 Dance Design Stakes.
Look At Me's first foal is Kind Of Magic (by Galileo), a close relation to Cliffs Of Moher and whose only placing in seven starts was her victory in the Listed Flame Of Tara Stakes over a mile at Curragh as a two-year-old.
Their dam, Queen Cleopatra (by Kingmambo), got her only win in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a mile at Leopardstown before taking third in both the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and she, in turn, is a daughter of Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes scorer Sequoyah (by Sadler's Wells).
This makes Cliffs Of Moher inbred 2x4 to Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer), 4x4 to Mr Prospector (by Raise a Native), and 3x5x5 to Northern Dancer (by Nearctic).
In addition to Queen Cleopatra, Sequoyah is also the dam of that filly's star full-brother Henrythenavigator, who won the Group 1 2000 Guineas, Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and Group 1 Sussex Stakes, was runner-up in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic, Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, but a disappointment at stud.
His first crop included Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Pedro The Great and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf scorer George Vancouver, and he later got another Phoenix Stakes winner in Sudirman, but a total of 20 stakes winners worldwide, despite serving shuttle time in Australia and Chile, is a weak record.
The first two of those top-level winners were freshman sires in France in 2017, both have come up with a string of winners, and Pedro The Great has shown some promise with the pattern-placed stakes winner Feralia and last month's nine-furlong Grade 3 Providencia Stakes heroine Fatale Bere on his roll of honour.
There are plenty more good horses in the family as third dam Sequoyah is out of Brigid (by Irish River), which makes her a full-sister to Group 1 Fillies' Mile winner and blacktype producer Listen, a full-sister to Coeur De Beaute's (by Dabirsim) grandam Clara Bow, and half-sister to Lady Windermere (by Lake Coniston), the unraced grandam of Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf star Magician (by Galileo).
The latter, a full-brother to 12-furlong Grade 3 winner Apple Betty and to Listed Naas Oaks Trial scorer and Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes third Outstanding, began his stallion career at Coolmore's US division Ashford Stud, his first yearlings made up to 210,000gns in England and up to $80,000 in Keeneland last year, and in a rather unusual step, he left Kentucky mid-season to move to Ireland where he has joined the roster at Castle Hyde Stud and will finish out the current season at a fee of €7,500.
Brigid, of course, is a full-sister to Or Vision, the dual stakes-winning dam of Group/Grade 1 stars Dolphin Street (by Bluebird), Insight (by Sadler's Wells), and Saffron Walden (by Sadler's Wells). The first named took the Prix de la Foret, the filly won the E P Taylor Stakes, and her full-brother landed the Irish 2000 Guineas.
A poor strike rate of wins and places to races run appears to be something of a surprising family trait among the better horses within the most recent generations of the family – Henrythenavigator and Magician being notable exceptions – but there is clearly plenty of talent there.
Cliffs Of Moher holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and, at his best, he has the ability to make the frame or, with luck, even pick up one of those.
It remains to be seen if he will earn a place at stud when his racing days come to an end, but as a classic-placed Group 2-winning son of Galileo from this family, he is likely to have some appeal.
Darley-bred grey Defoe was a progressive middle-distance colt in 2017, winning his first four starts – including the Listed Glasgow Stakes and Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes – in a manner that saw him sent off one of the favourites for the Group 1 William Hill St Leger on his final start.
He disappointed that day and was eased when beaten, but bounced back to form on his reappearance at Newbury this afternoon, beating Danehill Kodiac by two and a half lengths in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes (registered as the John Porter Stakes) over 12 furlongs.
Timeform-rated 119 as a three-year-old, the Roger Varian-trained colt has now won six of his nine starts and it is possible that his next start will be a return to Group 1 company in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in late May.
Defoe is by the Timeform 133-rated star and retired Gilltown Stud and Haras de Bonneval stallion Dalakhani (by Darshaan), the Arc and Prix du Jockey Club hero whose 52 stakes winners include nine who have won at the highest level.
He is the first foal out of 10-furlong Nottingham winner Dulkashe (by Pivotal), he has a two-year-old Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway) half-brother, and his dam is among eight winners from a dozen foals out of an unraced mare called Saik (by Riverman).
Saik's offspring also include the multiple listed-placed Irish filly miler Akira (by Acclamation), and as she is out of the unraced Close Comfort (by Far North), her own siblings feature Husyan (by Alleged) plus some fillies of note.
Husyan won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes and Group 3 Scottish Classic, he was runner-up in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes, and he had some success as a National Hunt stallion, whereas his non-winning half-sister Badrah (by Private Account) is the dam of pattern-placed Irish juvenile stakes winner Desert Sky (by Green Desert) and grandam of US mile Grade 2 scorer No Jet Lag (by Johar).
Their stakes-placed half-sister Miss Waikiki (by Miswaki) is the third dam of the tragically ill-fated US sprinter Rock Fall (by Speightstown), who won the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes, Grade 1 Alfred G Vanderbilt Handicap and Grade 2 True North Stakes in 2015, while dual winner Gazayil (by Irish River) did her part for the family by giving us Arc-placed multiple Group 2 scorer Mubtaker (by Silver Hawk).
The appearance of a top-class sprinter among those branches of the family is no surprise when you consider that the next dam is five-furlong ace Caterina (by Princely Gift) who, in addition to Close Comfort, was the dam of Group 1 Prix Morny heroine Ancient Regime and Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest scorer Cricket Ball, both by Olden Times (by Relic).
Caterina was runner-up in the Nunthorpe Stakes at two-year-old but won the race the following year, earning a Timeform rating of 124. Her dam Radiopye (by Bright News) won eight times and earned a peak Timeform rating of 108 as a six-year-old, and that sprinter's offspring also featured Group 1 Eclipse Stakes winner and Group 1 Irish Derby runner-up Scottish Rifle (by Sunny Way).
Defoe shows the family's middle-distance stamina rather than its speed and part of that is due to Dalakhani's influence. He is a talented colt who may still be improving and it would be no surprise to see him perform with credit in Group 1 company this year.
In a week when two-year-olds made 900,000gns, 800,000gns and 775,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale, it's worth noting that several of this season's pattern races have gone to horses who cost considerably less than that as yearlings, ones who would fall into the bottom end of the market.
Group 3 1000 Guineas Trial heroine Who's Steph was a €40,000 buy, Group 3 Gladness Stakes winner Psychedelic Funk made just £30,000 at that age, Group 3 Prix Sigy scorer Sands Of Mali (£75,000 breeze-up horse) was sold for €20,000, Group 3 Prix Noailles winner Pharrell cost just €15,000, and runaway Group 3 Schwarzgold-Rennen star Butzje changed hands for just €5,500.
The list of low-priced yearlings excelling on the track in 2018 also includes Forest Ranger who beat Deauville by half a length to take the Group 3 bet365 Earl of Sefton Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket yesterday. Trainer Richard Fahey picked him up for just 26,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
This was a third win from 10 starts for the four-year-old and his first since being gelded in October. He chased home Mustashry in the Group 3 Strensall Stakes at York last year, finished third to Beat The Bank in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood, and Timeform rated him 115. His earnings now stand at over £155,000.
Forest Ranger is a son of Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club scorer Lawman (by Invincible Spirit), a notable member of the Ballylinch Stud stallion team and whose 24 stakes winners include classic stars Harbour Law and Just The Judge as well as three others who have been successful at the highest level.
Fahey also trained his older half-sister Home Cummins (by Rip Van Winkle), whose four wins came from six and a half to eight and a half furlongs, and she picked up some valuable blacktype when finishing third in the Listed Fleur de Lys Stakes over a mile on the polytrack at Lingfield as a four-year-old.
Their dam, Alava (by Anabaa), on the other hand, won a listed contest over nine and a half furlongs in France and she is out of Cerita (by Wolfhound), a triple stakes-placed half-sister to several talented horses, notably Group 3 Prix de Flore scorer Tamise (by Time For A Change).
That filly went on to become the dam of Motivado (by Motivator) and his best win came in a 12 and a half-furlong Group 3 race in Australia, but before going 'down under', he was twice a wide-margin winner over 14 furlongs in England and he was not beaten far when fourth in the Cesarewitch Handicap over two and a quarter miles at Newmarket.
His stamina is not an isolated occurrence either as Cerita's siblings also include Quirinetta (by Ardross), who won the Grade 3 Transvaal Cesarewitch in South Africa.
They also include quicker types, such as the pattern-placed stakes winner Tarzan Cry (by Anabaa), Grade 1-placed US stakes winner Luthier's Launch (by Relaunch), and My Cherie Amour (by Sham), a four-time winner who became the grandam of Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap heroine Passing Shot (by A.P. Indy).
This is a branch of the same family from which the aforementioned Pharrell comes, and while that three-year-old looks like a potentially high-class stayer in the making, Forest Ranger is quicker and appears to be best in the mile to 10-furlong range.
He does not hold any big race entries, but he looks a useful prospect for the coming summer months, and although further improvement is required to have realistic prospects of making the frame, the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes was nominated as a potential target for him after this promising return to action.
Top-class sprinter Choisir (by Danehill Dancer), who was Group 1 placed in both his starts over a mile, is among the most successful of the reverse shuttle stallions. The long-time Coolmore team member has given us top-level winners such as Olympic Glory, Obviously and The Last Lion from his northern hemisphere crops and standouts such as Starspangledbanner, Sacred Choice and Divine Prophet from his southern hemisphere offspring.
His final Irish crop are members of this year's classic generation and his penultimate one includes Psychedelic Funk, the Ger Lyons-trained colt who won the Group 3 Gladness Stakes over seven furlongs at Naas this afternoon. He gave Downforce 3lbs and a two-and-a-quarter-length beating, with Making Light, who was another half-length behind, finishing a length in front of fourth-placed Larchmont Lad.
Both the second and third had 2018 blacktype-winning form but for the winner this was a first outing since he beat Downforce by half a length in the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home of Champions Concorde Stakes over a half-furlong farther at Tipperary at the start of October, also on heavy ground.
His five wins from 13 starts also include a four-length defeat of Panama Hat over a mile on good ground at Naas last July plus both his first two starts as an early-season two-year-old, and the races in which he has been placed include the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, Group 3 Anglesey Stakes, Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes, Group 2 Boomerang Stakes, and Group 3 Lacken Stakes.
The first and last of those pattern events were sprints won by Caravaggio, and the penultimate one on that list was a third-place finish, over a mile, to Suedois and True Valour, who were just three-parts of a length and a head in front of him.
Psychedelic Funk was bred by Joanna Imray of Eildon Hill Stables in the Scottish Borders and he has proved to be a tremendous bargain as he made 13,000gns in Newmarket as a foal and £30,000 at the DBS Premier Yearling Sale, and his latest victory took his earnings to just over £147,000.
He is the third foal out of Parabola (by Galileo), a lightly raced mare who was placed several times between seven to 10 and a half furlongs, and both of his older siblings are winners. Indeed, Gurkha Friend (by Showcasing) has won five times from six to nine furlongs.
The mare had a daughter of Gale Force Ten (by Oasis Dream) in 2016, her current yearling, an Ivawood (by Zebedee) filly, made 48,000gns in Newmarket in late November, and she is out of Zietory (by Zieten) who won the Listed Atalanta Stakes at Sandown and Listed Prix de Lieurey at Deauville, both over a mile.
Zietory's half-brother Welenska (by Danzig Connection) was a stakes-placed six-time winner, there are two blacktype-placed hurdlers among the siblings of third dam Fairy Story (by Persian Bold), who won five times from two to five years of age, and these are the highlights of the first few generations of the pedigree.
Fifth dam Epithet (by Mill Reef) was runner-up in the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont and Group 3 Cheshire Oaks and, in addition to Certain Story (by Known Fact) – the unraced fourth dam of Psychedelic Funk – her offspring included Kiltimony (by Sharpo) and Shomoose (by Habitat).
Irish racegoers may remember the former as she won four sprints plus a mile handicap for trainer Con Collins. Shomoose, on the other hand, was unraced, but in 1997 her son Shaamit (by Mtoto) won the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, finished third to Pentire and Classic Cliche in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and was fourth to Timarida in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Shaamit was only eight when he died, and even though those he left behind featured Group 1 St Leger scorer Bollin Eric, he was a disappointing stallion.
Psychedelic Funk, who is inbred 4x4 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer), is a Group 2-placed, dual pattern-winning sprinter-miler whom Timeform rated 106 at two and 112 at the age of three. He was a precocious two-year-old who made the frame at Royal Ascot and he appears potentially better than ever now that he's a four-year-old.
It is true that his relationship to Shaamit is remote, but should he be given a chance at stud then the fact that his fourth dam is a half-sister to the dam of that classic horse adds a little to his appeal and to his prospects of success.
Yes, that Derby hero was a poor sire with just one big hit to his name, but his young and distant relation is not only speedier and more precocious than he was, but he represents a much more successful sire line – attributes that the market views favourably – and so would receive notably different support than Shaamit got.
Psychedelic Funk appears to be effective on any ground, even though both of his pattern wins have come when there was heavy in the description, and that should give him more opportunities to show his talent. He holds entries in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes and Group 1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes, both over a mile, and it will be interesting to see how highly he will be ranked among his peers at the end of the year.
A surprising number of stallions have died in the first few months of 2018 and although some of them have been, as one might expect, elderly horses living in retirement, several were much younger. The latter include Group 1 winning miler and Dalham Hall Stud resident Poet's Voice, one of the early sire sons of Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium).
His initial foals and yearlings lit up the auction ring, his eldest offspring are five years old, he shuttled to Australia, and has accumulated a double-digit tally of stakes winners. As yet, however, he has no Group 1 winner to his name and the best of his 13 blacktype scorers include Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) winner Poetic Dream and Italian Group 3 mile classic scorers Mi Raccomando (Premio Regina Elena) and Poeta Diletto (Premio Parioli).
The southern hemisphere stint has yielded the Group 1-placed Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes winner Viridine – who is out of an Anabaa (by Danzig) mare – three listed race scorers, and also Group 1 Australian Oaks runner-up Perfect Rhyme, who is out of a daughter of Danehill (by Danzig).
For a horse of whom so much was expected, this is a disappointing overall record, but there is one among the 13 who could strike at the highest level in 2018, and of course it is all but guaranteed that there are more stakes and pattern winners still to emerge from his younger offspring. Perhaps some of those could become racehorses of real note: his story has several chapters still to go.
Poet's Word is that standout performer and the Sir Michael Stoute-trained bay represents his late sire's first crop. He was bred by Woodcote Stud, was fourth over seven furlongs on his only start at two, won handicaps over 10 and 11 furlongs at Nottingham and Goodwood from five starts at three, and was among the leading older horses in Europe at the age of four.
He began that campaign with handicap success at Chelmsford, was only beaten a neck by Deauville in the Group 3 Huxley Stakes over the extended 10 furlongs at Chester and then landed the Group 3 Betfred Glorious Stakes over 12 on soft ground at Goodwood, beating Second Step by a length and a half.
That was a useful effort but it is what he has done since then that has been impressive, even though those four runs have all ended in defeat.
First, he failed by just half a length to beat Decorated Knight in the Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, he chased home Cracksman in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, was only beaten about five lengths when sixth to Time Warp in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin, and then chased home Hawkbill in the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan just last week.
Timeform rated him 124 last year – his sire received a figure of 126 from that same organisation – and it would be no surprise to see him win at the highest level in 2018, something that would surely earn him a place at stud.
It would be interesting to see how Poet's Word would fare if given the opportunity for a stallion career and he is related to a horse who sired several Group 1 winners despite dying at a young age.
The first point of note about the distaff side of his pedigree is that he is the sixth foal of Whirly Bird (by Nashwan) and that makes him a half-brother to two fillies of note: the talented former Mick Channon-trainee Malabar (by Raven's Pass) and two-time scorer Whirly Dancer (by Danehill Dancer).
The latter is the dam of last year's Group 2 Railway Stakes winner Beckford (by Bated Breath), who was runner-up in the Group 1 National Stakes and Group 1 Phoenix Stakes for the Gordon Elliott stable and is set to continue his career in the USA.
Malabar, on the other hand, won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes over seven furlongs at two, added the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile at three – both at Goodwood – and although the performances do not count for blacktype, she was fourth in each of the Group 1 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Their dam was trained by Amanda Perrett, won five of her seven starts, and earned her blacktype when finishing third in the Listed Harvest Stakes over 11 and a half furlongs at Windsor on her final outing, so it is no surprise that Poet's Word stays middle-distances.
Her half-brother Ursa Major (by Galileo) won a 14-furlong Group 3 contest at the Curragh a month before finishing fourth to Encke, Camelot and Michelangelo in the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, and the pair also have two half-sisters of note.
Inchiri (by Sadler's Wells) won a listed contest over 12 furlongs and Inchberry (by Barathea) was a maiden in eight starts but listed-placed over a mile at Pontefract and missed out on a more notable accolade – classic placing – when finishing a two and a half-length fourth to Casual Look in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom. She is also the dam of Measuring Time (by Dubai Destination) who was placed in several middle-distance pattern events.
They are all out of one-time scorer Inchyre (by Shirley Heights) and so the third dam of Poet's Word is Inchmurrin (by Lomond).
A stakes-winning sprinter at two, she went on to beat classic-placed Dabaweyaa by five lengths in the Group 2 Child Stakes (now Falmouth Stakes) at Newmarket, shortly after chasing home Magic Of Life in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot, and her final start resulted in a fourth-place finish to Sudden Love in the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine.
The best of her offspring was the Group 1-placed triple Group 3 scorer Inchinor (by Ahonoora) – who died at the age of 13 – and so Poet's Word's grandam is a half-sister to the sire of Group 1 stars Cape Of Good Hope, Latice, Notnowcato, Silca's Sister and Summoner.
Inchinor's stakes-winning half-sister Ingozi (by Warning) is the dam of Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Miss Keller (by Montjeu) and grandam of Group 1 St Leger star Harbour Law (by Lawman), and the long list of stakes and pattern winners among Inchmurrin's descendants also include Agent Murphy (by Cape Cross), Ayaar (by Rock Of Gibraltar), Blue Bayou (by Bahamian Bounty), Fantastic Pick (by Fantastic Light), Hatta Fort (by Cape Cross), and Venus De Milo (by Duke Of Marmalade).
If you go back another step and take a look at the record of fourth dam On Show (by Welsh Pageant) then you find that Inchmurrin was a half-sister to Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes winner Welney (by Habitat) and full-sister to Balnaha, the winning dam of Group 1 Coronation Stakes scorer Balisada (by Kris).
It is Poet's Word's relationship to Inchinor, however, that is most eye-catching when it comes to considering a future stallion career for him. Before then, of course, there are more good prizes to be won on the track and it will be important for his prospects that he picks up at least one Group 1 victory on the way.
It is breeze-up sales time here again and the victory of Stormy Antarctic in this afternoon's Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc was a timely reminder of the sort of horse who can emerge from those auctions. Three years ago he made 200,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale in Newmarket.
The Ed Walker-trained chestnut won twice from five starts at two, rounding off that campaign with a head second to Johannes Vermeer in the Group 1 Criterium International over seven furlongs at Saint-Cloud, and he kicked off his three-year-old season with a three and a half-length defeat of Foundation in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket.
He was well-beaten in the 2000 Guineas but bounced back from that to chase home Zelzal in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat over the same trip at Chantilly. Since then, however, he has had his limitations exposed while remaining a high-class performer.
Twice he has been short-headed in listed races, and he was only third to Spirit Of Valor in last year's Group 2 Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh.
He was an easy winner of a mile listed contest on soft ground at Chantilly in mid-October, then unplaced on the polytrack at Kempton, and his all-the-way success on heavy ground at Saint-Cloud today came on his first start since then. He benefitted from an enterprising ride by Christophe Soumillon to beat Nice To See You by a length, with Jimmy Two Times another half-length back in third.
Stormy Antarctic is a son of sprint stakes winner and veteran Hill 'N' Dale Farm stallion Stormy Atlantic (by Storm Cat), who does not have many runners in Europe but has a global tally of over 100 stakes winners, including Grade 1 scorers Get Stormy, Stormello, Stormy Lucy, Victor Security, Up With The Birds, and last year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint star Stormy Liberal.
He was bred by East Bloodstock Ltd, is the first foal out of Bea Remembered (by Doyen) – a dual winner whose blacktype placings featured third in the Group 3 Meld Stakes over nine furlongs at Leopardstown – and his siblings include the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes and Group 2 Prix Robert Papin runner-up Al Johrah (by Bated Breath).
The mare is a daughter of triple winner Leinster Mills (by Doyoun), who is a half-sister to the stakes winners and blacktype producers Alalja (by Entitled) and Cheviot Amble (by Pennine Walk), and the next dam is Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes third Miss Turnberry (by Mummy's Pet), who won at two and three years of age.
Alalja got her listed success in the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh as a juvenile and her star son is the prolific Italian colt Absolut Taft (by King's Theatre) whose double-digit tally of wins included a listed contest.
Cheviot Amble was also prolific, her eight wins featured the Listed Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh, and her daughter Amalia (by Danehill) notched up five, including the Listed Hoppings Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newcastle.
If you go back farther on the page then you will find that the fifth dam of Stormy Antarctic is Blue Galleon (by Alycidon), the Timeform 110-rated triple winner who was runner-up in each of the Yorkshire Oaks, Nassau Stakes and Ribblesdale Stakes in 1957, three years after her half-brother Blue Sail (by Tehran) took the Great Voltigeur Stakes.
There may be a perception among some that breeze-up sales are all about precocious two-year-old talent, but Stormy Antarctic, a five-year-old with an entry in next month's Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, had an official handicap rating of 111 going into today's race – down from a career peak of 114 – and the dual Group 1-placed, dual Group 3 scorer has earned over £315,000, and counting.
Sprint star Pivotal (by Polar Falco) is now 25 years old but still an active and hugely popular member of the team at Cheveley Park Stud, the farm where he was bred. He gets his top horses over a wide variety of trips and his tally of over 140 stakes winners now includes 27 Group/Grade 1 stars following the victory of Blair House in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan.
Godophin's homebred five-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby and he seemed to be no more than a smart handicapper before this first step into blacktype company. He beat Benbatl by three-parts of a length in the nine-furlong feature, with Janoobi a head back in third and another length back to the talented mare Promising Run.
It remains to be seen if this gelding can duplicate this improved form and go on to add further pattern race success to his tally, but there is no doubt that he is bred to be a high achiever. Not only is he by one of Europe's best stallions, but he is out of Patroness (by Dubawi), a placed full-sister to mile Group 1 star and Dalham Hall Stud stallion Poet's Voice.
That Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner has not yet sired as many stakes winners as might be hoped at this point of his career, but his double-digit tally includes Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) scorer Poetic Dream and also Poet's Word, the Group 3 winner who was runner-up in both the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes and Group 1 Champion Stakes in 2017.
Patroness and Poet's Voice are out of Bright Tiara (by Chief's Crown) and their siblings include three notable broodmares. Best Boot (by Storm Boot) is the winning grandam of Japanese classic-placed Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup heroine Mozu Katchan (by Harbinger), Queen's Park (by Relaunch) is the stakes-winning dam of Grade 1-placed US Grade 3 scorer Gemswick Park (by Speightstown), and Japanese star Gold Tiara (by Seeking The Gold) is the grandam of the multiple Grade 1-placed pattern winner Staphanos (by Deep Impact).
Bright Tiara got her only win as a two-year-old but her full-brother Chief Honcho improved with time, getting his best success in the Grade 1 Brooklyn Handicap at the age of five. Also placed in a string of Grade 1 contests, he had some success at stud, as did his 'nephew' American Chance (by Cure The Blues).
That Grade 1-placed Grade 2 Forego Handicap and Grade 2 Jersey Derby winner was out of Bright Tiara's half-sister American Dance (by Seattle Slew) and her siblings also include Dance To Dawn (by Louiz Quatorze), the dam of Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes heroine Dance To Bristol (by Speightstown).
Expressive Dance (by Riva Ridge), the third dam of Blair House, won a dozen races, including the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes, Grade 3 Comely Stakes and Grade 3 Ballerina Stakes, and that daughter of Prioress Stakes winner Exclusive Dancer (by Native Dancer) was a half-sister to classic-placed Grade 1 star and blacktype sire General Assembly (by Secretariat).
She was also a half-sister to Mime (by Cure The Blues), who is the third dam of Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes scorer R Heat Lightning (by Trippi), and to the more notable Ten Cents A Dance (by Buckpasser), a Grade 2 Firenze Handicap runner-up who was influential at stud.
The best of that mare's offspring was the multiple Grade 1 star Versailles Treaty (by Danzig), winner of the Alabama Stakes, Test Stakes, Gazelle Stakes and Ruffian Handicap. That celebrity later became the dam of Grade 1 winner and young French stallion George Vancouver (by Henrythenavigator) and of Grade 1-placed Grade 2 scorer Saarland (by Unbridled).
Arabian Dancer (by Damascus), who was runner-up in the Grade 1 Matron Stakes, was also a daughter of Ten Cents A Dance and, in addition to being the dam of Grade 3 scorer and successful sire Out Of Place (by Cox's Ridge), she was the grandam of Grade 1 star and stallion Gold Fever (by Forty Niner), third dam of Grade 1 winner Boisterous (by Distorted Humor), and fourth dam of Grade 1 Wood Memorial Stakes scorer Bellamy Road (by Concerto).
Blair House is a gelding, so obviously there's no future stud career for him, bu there should be some more good prizes to be won with him before he eventually retires from the track.
Classic-winning miler and leading international sire Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) gets most of his best representatives in the very broad five to 12-furlong range – as one might expect of a stallion with his pedigree – but he also gets a few who stays farther. Rare Rhythm is one of those.
The lightly-raced six-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby for the Godolphin team and he notched up his first pattern race success when beating Vazirabad by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy over 14 furlongs at Meydan. The pair pulled seven and three-quarter lengths clear of Sheikhzayedroad, with the mare Natural Scenery a half-length back in fourth and Red Galileo fifth.
This result was striking from a pedigree point of view as, with four of those first five home being offspring of the star of Dalham Hall Stud's stallion team, a newcomer to the industry, or someone inexperienced on pedigrees, could get the impression that he's an ideal source of stayers.
This was Rare Rhythm's first start since he beat Barsanti easily in a listed contest over the same trip at York last July, which came a few weeks after he took a 12-furlong handicap at Ascot, and those have been his only runs since June 2016 when, on his only four-year-old outing, he finished down the field in a valuable handicap at Royal Ascot.
Rare Rhythm was bred in England by Highclere Stud and Floors Farming and the 650,000gns Book 1 graduate of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale is the best of three winners from the first three foals out of the stakes-placed Demisemiquaver (by Singspiel).
Her siblings include the Grade 2-placed US Grade 3 scorer Miss Caerleona (by Caerleon) and a trio of listed-placed runners: Mr Academy (by Royal Academy), Mister Shoot (by Shining Steel), and Tincture (by Dr Fong). The latter was third in the Listed Cheshire Oaks and the first-named got his blacktype over 15 furlongs.
Miss Caerleona came up with two high-class daughters. Miss Coronado (by Coronado's Quest), who won the Grade 2 Davona Dale Stakes at Gulfstream Park and is the dam of the Grade 1-placed stakes winner Arethusa (by A.P. Indy), and the other one is the high-class miler Karen's Caper (by War Chant). That Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup runner-up won the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket, the Grade 3 Eatontown Stakes at Monmouth and Grade 3 Noble Damsel Handicap at Belmont Park, and she is the dam of Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas scorer Kinglet (by Kingmambo).
Miss Caerleona is also responsible for the unraced Miss Kilroy (by A.P. Indy), who is the dam of two US stakes winners and of Group 1 Irish Oaks runner-up Miss Jean Brodie (by Maria's Mon), in addition to being the grandam of Chilean-bred seven and a half-furlong Grade 2 scorer Ludy Lucia (by Aragorn) and of Group 1-placed, pattern-winning sprinter Comicas (by Distorted Humor).
The grandam of Rare Rhythm is, therefore, Listed Prix Melisande winner Miss D'Ouilly (by Bikala) and that mare's daughters also include Night Frolic (by Night Shift), a heavy-ground mile maiden winner whose Group 1-placed son Bonfire (by Manduro) won the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York and whose Grade 1-placed daughter Joviality (by Cape Cross) took both the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at that same venue and the Group 2 Winter Forest Stakes at Ascot.
Third dam Miss Satin (by Satingo) also won a listed race in France and her star runner is Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois heroine Miss Satamixa (by Linamix). She is also responsible for Mrs Annie (by Bolkonski), the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg-placed dam of pattern winners Mister Sicy (by Sicyos), Manninamix (by Linamix), and Mister Riv (by River River), and also of Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary third Mrs Arkada (by Akarad).
With these family connections one might have expected Rare Rhythm to be best in the mile to 12-furlong range. The time of his pattern success was good and it will be interesting to see how the rest of his season goes as he will need to step up again in trip, to at least two miles, if he is to make an impact in the stayers' division.
The first pattern event of the new European season – the Group 3 Betway Winter Derby Stakes over 10 furlongs on polytrack at Lingfield – proved quite dramatic, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained favourite Clear Skies badly impeded and dropping back at a key point and then the David Simcock-trained Mr Owen veering to his right near the finish, causing interference and passing the post a head in front of the one he bumped, with just four lengths covering the first nine home.
The placings were inevitably reversed and so it is the David Elsworth-trained seven-year-old Master The World, a first-crop son of Coolmore Stud's classic sire Mastercraftsman (by Danehill Dancer), whose name goes into the record books.
He won the Listed Churchill Stakes over the same course and distance in mid-November, carried 9st 7lbs to victory in the valuable Betfred Mile Handicap at Goodwood in August, his blacktype placings include the runners-up spot to Zonderland in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in 2016 and he finished third in the valuable Balmoral Handicap over a mile at Ascot the year before.
He had an official handicap mark of 107 going into this afternoon's big race, has achieved a career-high of 108, and it seems likely that his pattern victory will remain a highlight for the talented grey.
Mastercraftsman's first crop also includes the Group 1 stars Amazing Maria, Kingston Hill and The Grey Gatsby, his second features US Grade 1 scorer Off Limits, and his current batch of three-year-olds includes several potential Group 1 candidates, notably the stakes-winning fillies Alpha Centauri and Wind Chimes.
Master The World is the second foal out of the two-year-old fibresand winner Zadalla (by Zaha), who is a half-sister to the juvenile Group 1-placed listed scorer Hearthstead Wings (by In The Wings), who later stayed two miles.
Their siblings also include Innishmore (by Lear Fan), who is the unraced dam of the Grade 1-winning hurdler Guitar Pete (by Dark Angel), and they are out of Inishdalla (by Green Desert), a Listed Athasi Stakes winner who was a three-quarter-length runner-up to Capricciosa in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, when it was still run over six furlongs.
That speedy filly was, in turn, a half-sister to Group 3 Gladness Stakes and multiple listed race scorer Great Lakes (by Lomond), to Listed Easter Stakes winner Severn Bore (by Corvaro) and to Group 3 Prix Chloe heroine Swept Away (by Kris), the latter also notable as being the grandam of Taisho (by Namaqualand), another winner of the Listed Athasi Stakes.
The third dam of Master The World is, therefore, Costly Wave (by Caro), the top-rated three-year-old filly in Italy in 1979 following her victory in the Group 2 Premio Ribot. She was also a triple stakes winner in France and the races in which she was placed included the Group 3 Prix du Calvados, Group 3 Prix Chloe, and Group 2 Prix de l'Opera.
She was out of Arctic Wave (by Arctic Slave), who finished third to Lupe in the Oaks at Epsom in 1970, and so was a half-sister to Icy More (by Ballymore), the winning dam of Group 3 Prix de la Grotte and Group 3 Prix des Chenes heroine Captive Island (by Northfields), who became a notable success at stud.
Her star son Single Empire (by Kris) took both the Group 1 Derby Italiano and Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap, his classic-placed half-brother Court Of Honour (by Law Society) won the Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club and was also a Group 1-placed pattern winner in Australia, while Rubhahunish (by Darshaan) was third in the Group 1 Derby Italiano before going on to win the Grade 1 Champion Stayers' Hurdle at Punchestown.
Master The World, who made €38,000 in Goffs as a foal, €32,000 at that venue as a yearling, and just 15,000gns at the Tattersalls July Sale the following summer, has won six of his 50 starts and accumulated over £388,000 in earnings. He is a credit to his connections and there should be some more good prizes to be earned with him before he eventually retires.
Intercontinental travel has become a common feature in the careers of many racehorses and it has enabled the better ones to accumulate massive earnings totals as well as developing a wide fan base.
Folkswood is not a leading light among them but he is a talented performer with some good efforts in top company. Godolphin's five-year-old is trained by Charlie Appleby and his narrow victory in this afternoon's Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes at Meydan was both his first pattern success and the run that pushed his earnings past the £500,000 mark.
It was his first start since finishing a two-length fifth to Tosen Stardom in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington in November, which was his third run in Australia in the space of a month. His first outing there saw him easily win a listed handicap at Cranbourne, his second was an honourable third to Winx and Humidor in the Group 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate at Moonee Valley – beaten by a half-length and four and a quarter lengths – and those races, like today's, were over 10 furlongs.
A seven-furlong Goodwood winner on the second of two starts as a juvenile, he won a mile handicap at Newmarket from four runs at three, and the first half of his four-year-old campaign was split between Dubai and England, featuring a neck second to Decorated Knight in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta and placings in both the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket and Group 3 Huxley Stakes at Chester.
Folkswood was bred in England by Hascombe & Valiant Studs and the 160,000gns Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 2 graduate represents one of that team's famous families.
The son of Darley's leading international sire Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) is the first foal out of Magic Nymph (by Galileo), an unraced daughter of Group 1 Coronation Stakes heroine Balisada (by Kris). His dam is, therefore, a full-sister to Group 2-placed 12-furlong stakes winner Galactic Star and also to the stakes-placed Irish Cesarewitch winner El Salvador, a Killack Stud stallion whose first crop are now two-year-olds.
A half-sister to the stakes-placed four-time scorer Stirring Ballad (by Compton Place), Balisada is the best of a string of winners out of Balnaha (by Lomond), a winning full-sister to the talented and influential Inchmurrin.
That small filly won the Listed Harry Rosebery Challenge Trophy at Ayr as a juvenile, went on to take the Group 2 Child Stakes (now Falmouth Stakes) at Newmarket, was runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot and fourth in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, and became the dam of Inchinor (by Ahonoora) and Ingozi (by Warning).
The former won the Group 3 Greenham Stakes and Group 3 Hungerford Stakes, he was runner-up in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, and although he was only 13 when he died, his progeny feature the Group 1 stars Cape Of Good Hope, Notnowcato, Silca's Sister and Summoner, and he has made an impact as a broodmare sire too.
Ingozi was a mile listed race winner at Sandown, her daughter Miss Keller (by Montjeu) took the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine, and her grandson Harbour Law (by Lawman), who has been sidelined since taking third to Big Orange and Order Of St George in the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot last summer, won the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster in 2016.
Folkswood, who has now won five of his 16 starts, is a talented performer from eight to 10 furlongs and there should be plenty more good prizes to be earned with him on the international circuit, even though his official rating before this latest success was just 112.
Danzig (by Northern Dancer) was one of the world's all-time great stallions and a horse who had a profound and global influence on the breed. His tally of 198 stakes winners – 46 of whom won at the highest level – is among the highest ever recorded and yet he held court during a time when a stallion's full book was of a size that the industry would currently consider small. And, of course, he never shuttled.
Two major branches of his male line have established themselves – those extending from his classic-placed, Group 1-winning sprinters Danehill and Green Desert – and there are early indications that a third branch may be in its infancy, one headed by War Front.
It is a pity that the majority of the major male winners sired by the horse who has the distinction of being the final top-level winner by Danzig are geldings, but that stallion has only just turned 14, he commands a fee of $40,000 in Kentucky, and that he might come up with a few notable sons who could extend his legacy is not impossible.
That horse is, of course, Darley's Breeders' Cup and dual classic-placed Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes scorer Hard Spun, who stands at Jonabell Farm. He had 17 individual stakes winners in the northern hemisphere half of his global first crop, his overall tally has passed the 60-mark, his nine top-level winners include Wicked Strong, and that Spendthrift Farm resident will have his first yearlings on offer this year.
Three of his daughters have been Grade 1 winners in the USA – including three-year-old champion Questing – and the best of his European-trained runners is also female, the now four-time Group 2 heroine Promising Run.
Godolphin's homebred is a member of the Saeed bin Suroor team, she is five years old, and her latest victory was a short-head one in the Group 2 Balanchine over nine furlongs on turf at Meydan this afternoon.
She gave 3lbs to each of her rivals in that race, although in pipping 105-rated Furia Cruzada and with 102-rated Opal Tiara two and a half lengths back in third, the bare form of what she achieved is below what you would expect for the grade.
Last month she was more impressive when beating the Irish filly Rehana by four and a half lengths in the Group 2 Cape Verdi over a mile at the same venue, she took the Group 2 Al Rashidiya over nine furlongs there 13 months ago, and her fourth Group 2 win is the Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket, which she took as a two-year-old.
Promising Run is a half-sister to the Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes runner-up Arabian Comet (by Dubawi) and she is both the sixth foal and sixth winner out of Aviacion (by Know Heights), a Brazilian Grade 1 heroine who was effective from eight to 12 furlongs.
That mare is a half-sister to the graded winners Cerutti (by Ghadeer) and Persane (by Tampero) and also to Tipsy (by Fort de France), the Grade 3-placed dam of Argentine Grade 1 juvenile scorer Eddington (by Contested Bid).
Those are the highlights of the first three generations of her pedigree, but if you take another step back then you will find that her fourth dam, Swansea (by Turn-To), was a full-sister to Sir Gaylord (sire of Sir Ivor, Habitat, etc) and half-sister to the great and influential Secretariat (by Bold Ruler).
This detail will not show up on the catalogue page of any future offspring of Promising Run that may appear in an auction, but that does not alter her potential to make an impact when she goes to stud.
Both her dam and grandam have achieved high strike-rates of winners to runners, her third dam had nine winners from 13 starters, and that also augurs well for her prospects, especially given the likelihood that she will join Godolphin's broodmare band and so have access to some of the best stallions in the world.
When you have a horse who has been placed in as many stakes and pattern events as Jungle Cat has, it comes as something of a surprise that a first win at that level comes so late in his career.
Godolphin's homebred six-year-old began his career in the Mark Johnston stable, winning a six-furlong Goodwood maiden and being placed in each of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, Group 2 July Stakes, Group 2 Richmond Stakes and Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes – beaten just a nose by Muhaarar in the latter.
At three, and now with Charlie Appleby, he chased home Adaay in the Listed Carnarvon Stakes at Newbury from just three starts and he had been off the track for seven months when easily taking a six-furlong handicap at Meydan on his first start at four.
He was then beaten a nose in a Group 3 contest at the same venue, was fourth in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, runner-up to Profitable in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes at Newmarket and then fourth behind that same horse in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Ascot.
Last year he won a conditions race over seven furlongs at Haydock and was multiple blacktype-placed, and when he took the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort over that same trip at Meydan at the start of the month, it was his first outing since August.
Jungle Cat is a son of Dalham Hall Stud's notably successful stallion Iffraaj (by Zafonic) and, like dual Group 1 star Rizeena, he is out of a mare from the Storm Cat (by Storm Bird) line.
His siblings include the dual Grade 3-placed six-figure earner Texas Wildcatter (by Monarchos) and his dam is Mike's Wildcat (by Forest Wildcat), a lightly raced and speedy juvenile stakes winner whose blacktype-placed dam, Mistyray (by In Reality), won seven times from two to four years of age.
There are some blacktype horses in the next generation of the pedigree, including Mistyray's listed-winning half-sister Speier's Hope (by Minnesota Mac) and a pair of South American graded scorers, but it would seem fair to say that Jungle Cat may be the best horse the family has produced in some time.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for him and, as an entire, that could include a berth at stud. He is effective from five to seven furlongs, has not yet been asked to go beyond that range, and looks a likely candidate to do well again in stakes and pattern events at those trips in Europe this coming season.
One of last year's prominent European three-year-olds, Benbatl, has already been back in action in 2018 and he has made a perfect to the campaign, signalling that he may be set to make an impact when he returns to Newmarket.
He kicked off with a two-and-a-quarter-length defeat of Emotionless in the Group 3 Singspiel Stakes over nine furlongs on turf at Meydan in January – his first outing for four months – and then followed-up with victory in the Group 2 Al Rashidiya over the same course and distance, beating Bay Of Poets by three and three-quarter lengths.
These performances demonstrate his well-being and indicate that he is at least as good now as he was last year. He still has some progress to make if he is to be up to winning at the highest level in Europe, but with his connections and pedigree it would be no surprise if does that.
The son of Dalham Hall Stud's outstanding stallion Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) did not make his racecourse debut until last April, and that seven-length score over seven furlongs at Doncaster was followed by three good efforts in defeat.
He was a two-length third to Eminent in the Group 3 Craven Stakes at Newmarket, chased home three-quarter-length winner Permian in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York and then finished fifth to Wings Of Eagles in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom, beaten by just three and a half lengths.
Less than three weeks later he picked up his first pattern success with a half-length score against Orderofthegarter in the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes over 10 furlongs at Ascot.
He was only fifth behind Enable in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at the same venue and a disappointing favourite when unplaced in a mile Group 3 on heavy ground at Haydock in early September. The latter could have been due to the trip or the ground, or both.
Benbatl is the first foal out of the high-class Nahrain (by Selkirk), whom Roger Varian trained to win five of her 10 starts.
She was unraced at two, took the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera by a nose at Longchamp before losing her unbeaten record with a second-place finish to Perfect Shirl in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Churchill Downs, and added a win in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes over 10 furlongs at Belmont Park at four.
A half-sister to dual mile listed scorer Baharah (by Elusive Quality), she is out of Bahr (by Generous), who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes and Group 3 Musidora Stakes. That talented chestnut also won the Listed Washington Singer Stakes, she was runner-up in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom and third in both the Group 1 Irish Oaks and Grade 1 Flower Bowl Invitational Handicap, making her one of the best representatives of her sire.
Bahr's half-sister Clerio (by Soviet Star) got her best win in the Group 3 Matron Stakes at the Curragh and, in addition to being the dam of a stakes winner, she is the grandam of Our Rokkii (by Roc De Cambres) who won the one-mile Group 1 Toorak Handicap in 2016.
Lady Of The Sea (by Mill Reef), who is the third dam of Benbatl, won just once but was out of New Zealand classic heroine and champion La Mer (by Copenhagen), which made her a half-sister to Listed Ballycorus Stakes winner Cipriani (by Habitat) and to Loughmore (by Artaius), the winning grandam of Group 1 Sires' Produce Stakes scorer Little Jamie (by St Jude).
The Group 1 Jebel Hatta would seem a likely next target for Benbatl, and should he win that and/or other top-level events in 2018, then his appeal as a prospective stallion would be enhanced.
There is no guarantee that a stallion who excels in one region of the world will prove as effective in another and there have been some notable examples of northern hemisphere sires who never really clicked 'down under', and vice versa.
As a multiple champion sire in Australia, there was a good chance that Fastnet Rock would do well in Europe too, especially as he's a son of Danehill (by Danzig) and out of a Royal Academy (by Nijinsky) mare, and with Group/Grade 1 stars such as Diamondandrubies, Fascinating Rock, Qualify, and Zhukova to his name he has proved beyond doubt that he's a leading sire both north and south of the equator.
His European offspring also include last year's juvenile Group 1 scorers Intricately and Rivet, plus a string who have won at stakes and pattern level, and they are coming over a wide variety of trips.
Globally, Fastnet Rock has sired 123 stakes winners and he got his 29th individual winner at the highest level when the Tony Martin-trained Laganore won the Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio over 10 furlongs at Capannelle yesterday.
This clear-cut defeat of A Raving Beauty and Absolute Beast came just over a month after she had taken the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Stakes over a half-furlong less at Gowran Park.
She won a listed contest at Newmarket last year and her string of pattern placings include third to Elizabeth Browning in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh in July and third in the 2016 edition of Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio.
Like the aforementioned Fascinating Rock – who has completed his first season at Ballylinch Stud – Laganore is owned and bred by Newtown Anner Stud.
She is the second foal of her dam, Lady Bones (by Royal Applause), and is somewhat closely related to the other top-level performers that appear in the first few generations of her pedigree.
Her grandam, Leukippids (by Sadler's Wells), was also unraced and although she produced just one winner among four foals, that son is the Hong Kong star Blazing Speed (by Dylan Thomas) whose double-digit tally of wins includes the Group 1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup and Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup, both at Sha Tin.
He, in turn, is closely related to Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and Group 1 Gran Criterium scorer Spartacus (by Danehill) and to Group 2 Gallinule Stakes winner and notable Hong Kong performer Johan Cruyff – full-brothers out of Teslemi (by Ogygian) and so half-brothers to Leukippids.
Teslemi is also the dam of a Grade 3 scorer in South Africa and her descendants include both the New Zealand-bred Listed (local Group 1 only) Hong Kong Derby winner Super Satin (by Danehill Dancer) and this year's pattern-placed Irish stakes winner Orderofthegarter (by Galileo).
All of this makes Laganore an intriguing broodmare prospect, and with Royal Applause (by Waajib) and Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) as her maternal grandsire and great-grandsire respectively, it would be no surprise to see stallions from the Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) and Acclamation (by Royal Applause) lines among her future mates.
The Danehill (by Danzig) sire line has proved to be one of the most successful around the world and it added to its Group 1 tally yesterday when Librisa Breeze sprang a mild surprise in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The Dean Ivory-trained gelding was known to possess plenty of ability and, having finished fourth to The Tin Man in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and runner-up to Massaat in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, he was clearly one with the potential to succeed at pattern level.
He had a Timeform rating of 120, which is excellent, but it put him well below his most illustrious and Group 1-winning rivals. Soft underfoot conditions no doubt played a part, adding a relative stamina emphasis to the six-furlong trip, but his one and quarter-length defeat of Tasleet still represents another big step forward.
This is a horse who, as was no surprise given his pedigree, began his career over a mile, got his first win over 10 furlongs, and has been gradually coming down in trip. Now the five-year-old has the potential for a rewarding season at six and seven furlongs in 2018, even if he may again need fortune to swing his way if he is to pick up another top-level win.
Librisa Breeze was bred by Newsells Park Stud, which is where his sire stood for eight seasons before moving to Boardsmill Stud in Ireland. He, Mount Nelson (by Rock Of Gibraltar), won the Group 1 Criterium International over a mile at two, added the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at four, and has sired a variety of blacktype horses over a wide range of distances.
These include Group 2 scorers Berkshire, Boscaccio and Highlands Queen, dual classic-placed Volume, stakes-winning sprinter Ninjago and promising young stayer Mount Moriah.
The Group 1 victory came 10 days too late to add extra gloss to the catalogue page of his Lawman (by Invincible Spirit) half-brother who made just 25,000gns in Newmarket. The pair are out of stakes-placed Bruxcalina (by Linamix) and that half-sister to Group 3 Prix La Force winner and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) third Baraan (by Dalakhani) comes from a famous family.
Brusca (by Grindstone), the grandam of Librisa Breeze, won three times and, although out of an unraced mare called Chic Corine (by Nureyev), she is a half-sister to the Grade 1 Diana Stakes heroine Somali Lemonade (by Lemon Drop Kid).
She is also a half-sister to listed scorer Rasta Farian (by Holy Bull) and, as her name might suggest, she is a daughter of Chic Shrine (by Mr Prospector), the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes-winning full-sister to Grade 1 star Queena and both dam and grandam of several horses of note.
Her son Waldoboro (by Lyphard) won the Grade 2 True North Handicap over six furlongs at Belmont Park and her best daughter, Tara Roma (by Lyphard), took the Grade 2 Ladies Handicap over 10 furlongs at Aqueduct before going on to become the dam of Grade 1 Go For Wand Stakes heroine Serra Lake (by Seattle Slew) and third dam of shock Grade 1 Travers Stakes scorer Keen Ice (by Curlin).
Chic Corine's half-sister Flying Passage (by A.P. Indy) won only once but is the dam of the Grade 1-placed dual Grade 2 winner Hungry Island (by More Than Ready) and of Grade 3 scorer Soaring Empire (by Empire Maker), while unplaced sibling Enchanted Rock (by Giant's Causeway) is the dam Grade 1 star Verrazano (by More Than Ready) and his Grade 2-winning half-brother El Padrino (by Pulpit), both of whom are in early stages of their stallion careers.
Chic Shrine's aforementioned star sibling, Queena, won the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes, Grade 1 Maskette Stakes and Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap before becoming the dam of Grade 1 Hollywood Derby scorer and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile third Brahms (by Danzig), and of Grade 3 winner and blacktype producer La Reina (by A.P. Indy).
Their dam, Too Chic (by Blushing Groom), won the Grade 1 Maskette Stakes and she, the fifth dam of Librisa Breeze, was a granddaughter of Monade (by Klairon), 1962's winner of the Oaks at Epsom.
Now that Librisa Breeze has found his forte, it will be interesting to see how his career develops from this point and if he can find further improvement at the age of six.
Group 1-winning miler Tamayuz (by Nayef) comes from a branch of the famous stallion-producing family of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) and Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) and he has had a tremendous season in 2017.
His string of stakes wins include classic victory for Precieuse in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), Group 2 success for the talented stayer Desert Skyline and a Group 2 Middleton Stakes win for Blond Me, a five-year-old mare trained by Andrew Balding.
The latter then chased home Winter in the Group 1 Nassau Stakes over 10 furlongs at Goodwood, two months before she took the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes over the same trip on soft turf at Woodbine, in Canada, yesterday evening.
In all, she has won six of her 17 starts, earned over £700,000 in prize money, and that tally includes a Group 2 win in Turkey plus listed race success at Goodwood and Sandown, all three of those coming over a mile.
It has been a breakthrough season for Derrinstown Stud's stallion and his latest batch of yearlings have fetched up to 330,000gns and 325,000gns at the recent Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket.
Blond Me was bred by Wardstown Stud Ltd and Balding had to go to 65,000gns to secure her from Book 1 of the 2013 edition of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. She is a half-sister to a couple of winners, her dam won her only start – over seven furlongs as a two-year-old – and they come one of the most famous families in the stud book.
Holda (by Docksider) cost Wardstown just 30,000gns as a three-year-old at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale, a price that would have been considerably higher had the transaction come several years later. Why? Because she is out of Spring Symphony (by Darshaan) and that makes her a half-sister to Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes winner Glass Harmonium (by Verglas) and his dual pattern-winning half-brother Arab Spring (by Monsun).
But Glass Harmonium was only a foal when the filly went through the ring, and it was just over three years before Arab Spring was even born. Spring Symphony's full-brother Hard Top had won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes the year before, but her more famous sibling was just a yearling in 2006.
Like Hard Top, he was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, but whereas that older horse ultimately disappointed and was gelded, Conduit (by Dalakhani) won the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster, Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, and two editions of the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita, retiring to stud with earnings in excess of £3.5 million.
Their dam, Well Head (by Sadler's Wells), was a half-sister to classic star and classic sire Spectrum (by Rainbow Quest) and his Grade 1-placed, Grade 2-winning full-brother Stream Of Gold, and also to Ballet Shoes (by Ela-Mana-Mou), the winning dam of Group 1 Irish Oaks, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Prix de l'Opera heroine Petrushka (by Unfuwain).
This means that the fourth dam of Blond Me is listed winner, Group 1 Prix Morny runner-up and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches third River Dancer (by Irish River).
In addition to being a half-sister to the ill-fated Group 1-placed pattern scorer Dancing Bloom (by Sadler's Wells) and also to Ballerina (by Dancing Brave) – the dam of classic star Millenary (by Rainbow Quest) – River Dancer was out of Dancing Shadow (by Dancer's Image), a half-sister to Group 1 Oaks, Group 1 St Leger and Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks heroine and Group 1 producer Sun Princess (by English Prince) and her top-class half-brother Saddlers' Hall (by Sadler's Wells).
There are many other stakes and pattern winners to be found in the various branches of this famous family and it is clear that newly crowned Grade 1 star Blond Me has tremendous potential as a future addition to the broodmare ranks.
Taareef has not yet won at the highest level but there is no doubt that he has the ability to do so. Nine days ago he became a dual winner of the Group 2 Qatar Prix Daniel Wildenstein over a mile at Chantilly, just three weeks after he was a three-quarter-length runner-up to Ribchester in the Group 1 Qatar Prix du Moulin de Longchamp over the same course and distance.
From just five starts this year, he has also won the Group 3 Prix Bertrand du Breuil Longines – beating Zelzal by one and three-quarter lengths – and the Group 3 Prix Messidor, in which he beat Al Wukair by two lengths.
Last year, in addition to his aforementioned Group 2 success, he took the Group 3 Prix Daphnis over nine furlongs, and his only runs as a two-year-old resulted in wins at Bordeaux Le Bouscat and Deauville.
He has an official rating of 122, a Timeform one of 125, and that places him among the most highly ranked sons of his sire to have raced in Europe.
Ramsey Farm's homebred star Kitten's Joy is a son of former Vincent O'Brien-trained Group 1 scorer El Prado (by Sadler's Wells), the stallion who also gave us the outstanding racehorse and sire Medaglia d'Oro.
He is well-established as one of the best sires of turf horses in North America and, in addition to Taareef, his runners in Europe include Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes star Hawkbill and young Lanwades Stud stallion Bobby's Kitten, a Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint hero who was Grade 1-placed at a mile before coming to Ireland where he ran away with a listed sprint at Cork on his only start for the Dermot Weld stable.
Taareef was bred in Kentucky by Dixiana Farms Llc and he is a $675,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He is the best of three winners out of stakes-placed five-time scorer Sacred Feather (by Carson City) and he has a two-year-old half-brother in training with John Gosden – a first-crop Point Of Entry (by Dynaformer) colt named Momtalik, who made $140,000 at the same venue as a yearling and 390,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale in Newmarket in April.
The mare has made a good start to her stud career yet has a long way to go to match the record of her dam. That's because she is one of 13 winners from 15 foals out of Grade 3 scorer Marianna's Girl (by Dewan) and so is a half-sister to five stakes winners, including the Grade 2-placed Grade 3 winners Marastani (by Shahrastani) and Christine's Outlaw (by Wild Again).
Marianna's Girl's success surpassed that of her dam, Marianna Trench (by Pago Pago), who produced 10 winners from 17 foals, notably Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap victor and Grade 1 Whitney Stakes runner-up Bold Style (by Bold Commander).
The next generation of the family includes plenty of winners too, including prolific sprinter Pocket Boy (by Full Pocket) and one-time scorer Go Feather Go (by Go Marching), the latter notable as being the dam of classic star Mutafaweq's (by Silver Hawk) multiple Irish stakes-winning dam The Caretaker (by Caerleon).
Taareef's pedigree is an outcross – a term that means no duplicated ancestors within the first five generations and yet is often misused – and he is among the most talented milers in Europe. This will make him an interesting stallion prospect, should he get that chance. Before then, however, there is every reason to hope that he can win a Group 1 on the track.
You know a flat horse very well by the time he reaches the age of six and don't expect him to take his career in a new and upward direction, yet Suedois's profile has undergone a dramatic change in 2017.
He was a Group 3 winning sprinter in his native France in 2015, gelded at the end of that four-year-old season – after finishing down the field behind Make Believe in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret – before moving to England to join the David O'Meara team.
He continued performing with credit in the sprinters' division in 2016, chasing home Limato in the Group 1 July Cup and Magical Memory in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes, finishing third to Quiet Reflection in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and to Limato in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Chantilly, and fourth to Signs Of Blessing in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest.
He was clearly talented, but just below top class and unlikely to hit the top.
His first three starts of 2017 were over six furlongs – yielding one third and two unplaced efforts – but then he was a half-length third to Breton Rock in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes over seven, beaten by a similar margin when third to Talaayeb in the Group 3 City of York Stakes over the same trip, before trying something he had not done since October of his two-year-old season.
That first attempt at a mile as a mature horse came at Leopardstown a month ago and he beat True Valour and Psychedelic Funk by half a length and a head, with Sir John Lavery a short-head back in fourth.
It is true that this was a weak contest for the grade, but now that Suedois was a winner over a mile, his options had opened. Yesterday he notched up his first win at the highest level with a half-length defeat of Heart To Heart in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland.
Suedois is the third top-level winner for Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner and Haras de la Cauviniere stallion Le Havre (by Rahy), the stallion whose other big pair are the dual classic heroines Avenir Certain and La Cressonniere.
He is the first foal out of the two-time Swedish winner Cup Cake (by Singspiel) and she is a granddaughter of Deauville listed scorer Gold Script (by Script Ohio), the mare who gave us Honours List (by Danehill).
He was a talented member of the Ballydoyle juvenile team 17 years ago when he won the Group 3 Railway Stakes at the Curragh, was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre and third in the Group 1 Grand Criterium.
He sired some blacktype horses at stud, and his stakes-placed half-sister Zina La Belle (by Mark Of Esteem) did her part for the family by coming up with 2014's Group 2 Oaks d'Italia runner-up Schighera (by New Approach).
Quiet Thoughts (by Thatching), the fourth dam of Suedois, won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes at the Curragh in 1985 and she was a granddaughter of Fleet Wahine (by Fleet Nasrullah), the Timeform 121-rated winner of the Yorkshire Oaks and Ribblesdale Stakes of 1971.
With what he had achieved in the first few years of his career, Suedois was a somewhat unlikely candidate to succeed at the highest level, but the move from sprinting to competition at a mile has brought about a positive change in direction and it would be no surprise to see him perform with credit over that trip in Europe next year, at the age of seven.
Prolific pattern winner Soldier Hollow (by In The Wings) won four Group 1s over 10 furlongs, the last of them a three-length score in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich as a seven-year-old, and he has gone on to become one of the leading sires in Germany.
He stands at Gestut Auenquelle, his fee for this year was €25,000, and his 36 stakes winners include the classic stars Pastorius and Serienholde, as well as additional Group 1 winners Our Ivanhowe and Dschingis Secret.
The latter is the most recent of the quartet to achieve that feat and he beat Hawkbill by a length in last month's Group 1 Longines Grosser Preis von Berlin over 12 furlongs at Hoppegarten. This came after a three and three-quarter-length defeat of Iquitos in the Group 2 Hansa Preis over the same trip at Hamburg.
In early May he beat Sirius by six lengths in the Group 2 Gerling-Preis over a mile and a half at Cologne and last year, when he was a half-length third to Isfahan in the Group 1 Deutsches Derby, he was a seven-length winner of the Group 3 St Leger Italiano over 14 furlongs at San Siro.
It is his most recent effort, however, confirmed his status as a serious contender for the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as this Timeform 126-rated bay beat Cloth Of Stars and Talismanic by a length and a half and a neck in the Group 2 Qatar Prix Foy over the 12 furlongs at Chantilly. Satono Diamond was fourth and Silverwave fifth.
Dschingis Secret is a full-brother to the dual pattern-placed filly Diana Storm, he is a €200,000 graduate of the BBAG September Yearling Sale, and his mid-March-born yearling full-brother made €500,000 at the most recent edition of that auction.
His dam, Divya (by Platini), won three times at four and five years of age and she is a full-sister to Deva, the dual 10-furlong Group 3-winning dam of Devastar (by Areion), who won the 10-furlong Group 3 Preis der Deutschen Einheit last year.
Deva is also the grandam of 2015 Group 3 Preis der Winterkonigin heroine and German juvenile filly champion Dhaba (by Areion), she is a half-sister to the stakes winners Duke D'Alba (by Monsun) and Dragon Fly (by Acatenango), and out of Diana's Quest (by Rainbow Quest), a winning daughter of the Canadian-born Diana Dance (by Northern Dancer).
That Windfields Farm-bred mare also raced in Germany, where she was a Group 3 scorer over 10 and a half furlongs, runner-up in the Group 2 ARAG-Preis (German 1000 Guineas) and third in the Group 2 Preis der Diana (German Oaks).
A half-sister to Canadian juvenile filly champion Deceit Dancer (by Vice Regent) and to Grade 2 scorer and Japanese stallion Nagurski (by Nijinsky) – the sire of ill-fated champion Hokuto Vega –Diana Dance died young but was also responsible for the prolific gelding Dorlando (by Kris) whose double-digit tally of wins was backed up by several blacktype placings in sprints.
Deceit (by Prince John), the fourth dam of Dschingis Secret, was a prolific stakes winner from five and a half to nine and a half furlongs, with a tally that featured the Acorn Stakes, Mother Goose Stakes, and Matchmaker Stakes, and others of note in the family include the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes heroine Magical Allure (by General Meeting), who was out of a half-sister to Deceit.
Dschingis Secret is among the best German horses of recent years and this Group 1-winning great-grandson of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) is likely to prove a popular addition to the stallion ranks whenever his racing days come to an end.
There was a time when the Gold Cup at Ascot was one of the most prestigious races of the year and a natural target for the previous year's classic stars. It was the first race at the Royal meeting to get Group 1 status when the pattern system was introduced, but the attribute required to win it – stamina – has since become something of a dirty word.
That is a pity because not only are the top stayers' races an important and popular part of the racing calendar, but the shifting trend towards early speed and precocity is greatly reducing the number of stallions with the potential to sire Derby and Oaks stars plus, of course, St Leger and Gold Cup horses.
Order Of St George is one of the best stayers of the modern era, a horse who is as effective at 12 furlongs as he is over a mile farther, and so something of a throwback to those days of old when a Derby hero would remain in training to tackle the Ascot feature, a race that, as Timeform pointed out again in their 2016 essay on this Aidan O'Brien-trained champion, does not include the word Ascot in its title (Racehorses of 2016, p.740).
He began his career in July of his two-year-old season, finishing fourth in a mile maiden at Leopardstown and ran away with a similar contest over the same course and distance the following month. He was runner-up to Parish Boy over a furlong less at Naas 10 days before and it was that same colt who beat him in the Listed Eyrefield Stakes over nine furlongs at Leopardstown that October.
Order Of St George missed the early season classics and was short-headed by Bondi Beach on his return to action in the Group 3 Curragh Cup in late June. He then posted wide-margin wins in Her Majesty's Plate at Down Royal and the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes at the Curragh, and that seven and a half-length defeat of Sea Moon was followed by an 11-length drubbing of Agent Murphy in the Group 1 Irish St Leger.
Timeform rated him 129 that season, just 5lbs behind Horse of the Year, Derby and Arc hero Golden Horn, and although the Gold Cup was the obvious target, it was hoped by some that this exciting colt might also drop back to 12 furlongs at some point.
He ran six times as a four-year-old, duly landing the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot, in which he beat Mizzou by three lengths. A shock half-length defeat by Wicklow Brave in the Group 1 Irish St Leger was, however, followed by what was arguably the best performance of his career to that point.
Order Of St George chased home Found and Highland Reel in the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe over 12 furlongs at Chantilly, beaten one and three-quarter lengths and one and a half lengths, and securing for his trainer an historic one-two-three in Europe's most prestigious race.
He was a warm favourite for the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup, over two miles at Ascot, 13 days later but, on this occasion, he disappointed, finishing only fourth to Sheikhzayedroad.
His five starts in 2017 have yielded three wins and two seconds, and having been short-headed by Big Orange in the Gold Cup and beaten Rekindling easily when taking a third edition of the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh, he goes into tomorrow afternoon's Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe off the back of a nine-length score in this month's Group 1 Comer Group International Irish St Leger.
Order Of St George is, of course, among 70 Group 1 winners sired by Coolmore Stud's prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells). He is a $550,000 graduate of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and, as that fact might suggest, he comes from a top US family, which is part of why it would be fascinating to see how he might fare if given the chance as a flat sire.
He is the best of four stakes winners out of Another Storm (by Gone West), those siblings include the mile Group/Grade 3 scorers Angel Terrace (by Ghostzapper) and Asperity (by War Chant), and his dam is a daughter of 1996's US juvenile filly champion Storm Song (by Summer Squall).
She won the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes, Grade 1 Frizette Stakes and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, she is the grandam of the top Singapore mile to 10-furlong runner Better Life (by Smarty Jones), and she is a half-sister to the ill-fated Grade 2 Oak Leaf Stakes winner Diamond Omi (by Giant's Causeway).
Her siblings also include the unraced Happy Tune (by A.P. Indy), who is the dam of 12-furlong Grade 3 scorer Symphony Kid (by Unbridled) and of Grade 3-winning miler High Cotton (by Dixie Union).
Hum Along (by Fappiano), whose offspring included the $6.8 million yearling purchase Tasmanian Tiger (by Storm Cat), is the third dam of Order Of St George. She was only placed once as a two-year-old but each of her next three dams was a multiple stakes winner.
Minstress (by The Minstrel) was a Grade 3-placed dual listed scorer, Fleet Victress (by King Of The Tudors) won the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay Handicap and was a track record setter over eight and a half furlongs at Belmont Park, and Countess Fleet (by Count Fleet) – the sixth dam of the young Ballydoyle star – won the prestigious Milady and Vanity Handicaps, setting a new track record for nine furlongs in the latter.
On pedigree, Order Of St George had the potential to prove best in the mile to 12-furlong range and so, with the right mares, it is entirely possible that he could sire top-class performers over those distances, in addition to the stayers that he will surely get.
He will, of course, attract considerable attention from the National Hunt sector, but at a time when so many new flat recruits are good sprinters or milers, or even precocious sorts who retire early, aiming him solely at the jumps market could be a missed opportunity.
Breeding the best to the best and then hoping for the best is an oft-quoted strategy, but even when sending the cream of the broodmare band to the elite stallions there are no guarantees of success.
There are many expensively produced disappointments and many pattern winners who have come from comparatively humble origins. Even so, those supposedly lesser members of the annual foal crop tend to be by stallions who are covering at least small to medium-sized books of mares.
On rare occasions a notable performer can come from one of the most unlikeliest sources – offspring of a teaser. Many stud farms use ponies or part-bred horses for this mostly thankless yet invaluable role, but sometimes the job goes to a thoroughbred, perhaps one who was himself a talented racehorse and/or who has a good pedigree, but was not selected to stand or remain as an active stallion on the farm.
In 1989, Call To Arms was runner-up in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, splitting Dashing Blade and Anshan in a three-way photo and earning a Timeform rating of 116. He was by the well-bred teaser North Briton (by Northfields), a son of 1975's dual Oaks heroine Juliette Marny (by Blakeney).
This afternoon, the Alain Couetil-trained Tiberian made it four wins from five starts in 2017 with victory in the Group 2 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix de Deauville, his third pattern success of the year. He was Group 2-placed at three and four years of age, and now the five-year-old is set to bid for Group 1 glory in the Melbourne Cup in November.
Tiberius Caesar (by Zieten) was a talented racehorse, a mile Group 3 scorer in Germany who was multiple blacktype placed, winning a total of five of his 47 starts. He retired to Haras du Logis, but as a teaser, and he was rewarded for his efforts by the chance to cover stakes-placed Toamasina (by Marju). Tiberian was the result.
He is also the sire of the four-year-old gelding Magnentius – a winner who has twice been fifth in listed company – and the three-year-old filly Yellow Storm, who won over 11 and a half furlongs shortly before finishing eighth of 16 in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks) in June, beaten 10 and a half lengths by Senga.
With a Group 2 and two Group 3 wins to his name, Tiberian – a talented great-grandson of Danzig (by Northern Dancer) – could have a stud career in his future, and should he succeed at the highest level then, despite his apparently humble origins, he would be the third to do so within the first few generations of his family.
Toamasina is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Lady Weaseley (by Zieten) and her winning dam, Top Speed (by Wolfhound), is a half-sister to Group 1 Deutsches Derby scorer All My Dreams (by Assert).
Their dam is the dual stakes-placed French winner Marie De Beaujeu (by Kenmare), a half-sister to a multiple blacktype-placed horse in Belgium and with a few minor stakes winners in her family. That might not sound particularly promising, but that mare was also responsible for Summer Dreams (by Sadler's Wells), and that placed filly has produced two offspring of particular note.
Moudez (by Xaar) has been a prolific winner and he was Group 3-placed at Ascot before going on to blacktype success in the USA. His half-sister I'm A Dreamer (by Noverre) is the David Simcock-trained bay who was an easy winner of the Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket and later won the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington.
Her placed form includes a head second to Miss Keller in the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes at Woodbine and third to Izzi Top in both the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh and Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York. Her first foal, named Dream Warrior (by Dubawi), is a Godolphin-owned and Derby-entered juvenile who made 575,000gns in Newmarket as a yearling.
The circumstances that led to his birth may be somewhat unusual, but there is no doubt that Tiberian is a talented middle-distance racehorse. He was bred by the partnership of Heiko Volz, Julian Ince and Stefan Falk, he achieved a Timeform rating of 111 at three and 115 at four, and it is fair bet that he will finish the current year on a higher figure.