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.