Dalham Hall Stud's classic-winning miler Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) is well-known around the world as being one of the very best sires in active service. He gets top two-year-olds, sprinters, milers and middle-distance horses, and one of the brightest stars of the latter group in 2016 is his five-year-old son Postponed.
Some horses have impressed once or twice, but Postponed has won four times, by an aggregate of almost 11 lengths, three of those at the highest level, and he has not met with defeat since June 2015.
That was his third-place finish to Snow Sky and Eagle Top in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot, back when we knew him as a Group 1-placed Group 2 scorer with the potential to hit the top.
A month later he beat Eagle Top by a nose in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the same course and distance, and his only subsequent outing that season was his win in the Group 2 Prix Foy on very soft ground at Longchamp in September. It was shortly after that victory that he left the Luca Cumani stable to join Roger Varian's team.
Postponed kicked off 2016 with a three-length defeat of subsequent Group 1 scorer Dariyan in the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold over 12 furlongs at Meydan in early March, he beat Japanese star Duramente by two lengths in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic over the course and distance three weeks later, and then trounced Breeders' Cup heroine Found by four and a half lengths in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom in June.
Yesterday, he dropped back to the extended 10 furlongs of the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York and, in a quick time, beat last month's King George hero Highland Reel by one and a quarter lengths, with Mutakayyef another length back in third.
Given his age and all that he has achieved, it is to be expected that he will be taking up a prominent stallion role in either 2017 or 2018, a career path that is already under way for one of his relations.
Dubawi is 14 years old, his tally of 112 stakes winners includes 23 who have won at least once at the highest level somewhere in the world, and although it is still early for him as a sire of stallions, his first one with runners is Haras de Bonneval's classic winner and classic sire Makfi and his second is the Group 1-winning miler and pattern sire Poet's Voice. That is promising, but no more than that: we need more data before being able to determine what sort of long-term impact his male line might have.
Some of the progeny of his top-level winners Akeed Mofeed, Al Kazeem, Hunter's Light, Monterosso, Night Of Thunder, and Waldpark, and those of Group 2 scorers Aljamaaheer, Universal and Worthadd, will have appeared on the track before the first offspring of Postponed get there, so by that time we should know a lot more.
Bred by St Albans Bloodstock Llp and a 360,000gns graduate of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Postponed is the second foal out of Ever Rigg (by Dubai Destination), a mare whose sole win in five starts came over 12 furlongs on the polytrack at Kempton.
Her first foal, Neamour (by Oasis Dream), was placed four times from seven starts, from seven to 12 furlongs, and her first foal is an Archipenko (by Kingmambo) colt born last August.
Their three-year-old half-brother Avoidable (by Iffraaj) ran three times on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton earlier in the year, with a two-length fifth on his second start being the most distinguished of his performances. Their two-year-old half-sister has been named God Given (by Nathaniel), the mare had a Makfi (by Dubawi) colt in 2015, and that three-parts brother to Postponed was followed by a full-brother to the Group 1 star, who arrived at the end of April.
Ever Rigg was the sixth foal out of the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Bianca Nera (by Salse), she is a half-sister to several winners, including the five-times scorer Glencairn Star (by Selkirk), but it is three of her half-sisters who deserve more detailed comment.
Bite of The Cherry (by Dalakhani) was twice listed-placed, Bijou A Moi (by Rainbow Quest) is the dam of the Group 3 Winter Derby scorer Robin Hoods Bay (by Motivator), and Pietra Dura (by Cadeaux Genereux) is the stakes-placed dam of Turning Top (by Pivotal), who won the Grade 3 Beverley Hills Handicap and was runner-up to Hibaayeb in the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.
That filly was also placed in the Grade 2 Robert J Frankel Stakes, in the Grade 2 Santa Anita Stakes and in the Grade 2 Las Palmas Handicap, and on her penultimate start in graded company, was fourth (no blacktype) behind Dubawi Heights in another edition of the Grade 1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes.
Bianca Nera, the top-rated juvenile filly in Ireland in 1996, had an Exceed And Excel (by Danehill) colt in 2014 and a Farhh (by Pivotal) filly in May, and she was the best of several winners out of Birch Creek (by Carwhite), a Group 3-placed half-sister to Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes winner and Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes runner-up Great Deeds (by Forzando).
Her full-sister My Mariam is the dam of the twice listed-placed filly In The Ribbons (by In The Wings), but it is two of her other siblings who have made the more notable contributions to the family's reputation.
Hotelgenie Dot Com (by Selkirk) was a leading juvenile, who was placed in both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Fillies' Mile, and she is the dam of the classic-placed dual Group 1 star Simply Perfect (by Danehill).
That Jeremy Noseda-trained grey first caught the eye when runner-up in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes just 16 days after chasing home Dutch Art in a Windsor maiden, and she rounded off that first season with wins in the Group 2 May Hill Stakes (at York that year) and Group 1 Fillies' Mile.
Simply Perfect chased home Finsceal Beo and Arch Swing in the Group 1 1000 Guineas on her seasonal reappearance, was well-beaten in the Oaks, and then took the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes over a mile at Newmarket shortly before finishing third behind classic star Darjina in the Group 1 Prix d'Astarte at Deauville, beaten by just a length.
She was only beaten by a total of two lengths when fourth behind Majestic Roi in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes over the same trip at Newmarket that October and then put up that bizarre display in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Monmouth Park, pulling her way to the front, leading the pack for a bit, and then hanging right across the course, taking a couple of her rivals with her, before being pulled up.
Her second foal is Mekong River (by Galileo), who ran away with the Listed Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown as a juvenile, won the Group 3 International Stakes over 10 furlongs at the Curragh at three, and later went to race in Scandinavia. His full-brother Graphite is entered in next year's Derby, and she had another Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) colt in 2015.
Simply Perfect's unraced full-sister One Moment In Time had a couple of fillies in Australia before returning to the country of her birth in 2009. She too had a Galileo colt last year, and he is a full-brother to three winners, most notably Bondi Beach.
For just under two weeks last year he was the Group 1 St Leger winner of 2015, but the stewards' room decision that awarded him the prize on the day was reversed on appeal and so first-past-the-post Simple Verse got her name on the roll of honour for the oldest classic instead.
Before then he had short-head Order Of St George in the Group 3 Curragh Cup and chased home Storm The Stars in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes, and this season he has won twice from three starts.
Bondi Beach, who is trained by Aidan O'Brien, kicked off the year with a two and three-quarter length win in the Listed Martin Molony Stakes over 12 and a half furlongs at Limerick, he followed-up with an odds-on success in the Group 3 Vintage Crop Stakes over 14 furlongs at Navan and then finished third behind Stellar Mass in the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes over 12 at Leopardstown. As you might expect, his entries include the Group 1 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger and the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup.
Bianca Nera's other notable sister is Crackling (by Electric), a dual winner who came up with the Listed Warwickshire Oaks scorer Ronaldsay (by Kirkwall) and whose descendants include a popular young Irish stallion. That horse is Gale Force Ten (by Oasis Dream), the first foal out of that stakes-winning mare.
He was second in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes and third in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes as a juvenile, kicked off his three-year-old campaign with listed success over seven furlongs at Dundalk, and was beaten by less than a length when fourth behind Style Vendome in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), splitting subsequent Group 1 stars Intello (third) and Havana Gold (fifth) in that five-way finish.
Just 13 days after that he chased home Magician in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh, then justified favouritism in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Ascot before finishing sixth in the Group 1 July Cup. The best of his subsequent placings was fourth (no blacktype) in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp. Gale Force Ten stands at the Irish National Stud and some of his first foals will be on offer later this year.
Crackling is also the dam of the dual US Grade 3 scorer Pickle (by Piccolo) and that mare, in turn, is the dam of the prolific listed-winning sprinter Gusto (by Oasis Dream), whose half-sister Beauly (by Sea The Stars) was only beaten half a length by Abingdon in the Listed Lord Weinstock Memorial Stakes over 10 furlongs at Newbury in May.
If you go back to the sixth generation of the family then you will find two other notable individuals.
Life Sentence (by Court Martial), who was placed in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, Chesham Stakes and St Hugh's Stakes, became the dam of 1963's 2000 Guineas and King Edward VII Stakes winner Only For Life (by Chanteur), sire of the Timeform 124-rated Observer Gold Cup (now Racing Post Trophy) scorer The Elk.
Her half-brother Double Bore (by Borealis) was a talented middle-distance and staying horse in England, who won the Goodwood Cup in 1955 and was Timeform-rated 123, before going on to sire the prolific Australian big-race winner Scotch And Dry and also 1965's Caulfield Cup hero Bore Head.
The connection between those horses and Postponed is remote, but should he or his Irish-based relative sire big race winners then they will not be the first ones in their family to do so.
Before then, however, there are more races to be run, and with over £4.36 million already to his name, he is among the highest-earning European-trained horses of all time.
Postponed is one of a glittering array of stars with an entry in next month's Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, he is one of the ante-post favourites for the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in October, and so there is a good chance that he could pass the £5 million mark so narrowly missed by the ill-fated pair St Nicholas Abbey (£4,954,590) and Red Cadeaux (£4,998,408) before he embarks on the next phase of his career.
Timeform 140-rated champion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross) wasted no time in establishing himself as one of the most important stallions in Europe. The 30 stakes winners that have emerged from his first three crops include the classic stars Harzand (Derby, Irish Derby), Sea The Moon (Deutsches Derby) and Taghrooda (Oaks) and the latter also won the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and finished third in the Arc.
By the end of June the stallion had proved over and over that he can get excellent middle-distance horses, but then he recorded an important double in early July, one that showed him to be capable of getting leading milers too. Zelzal won the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat at Chantilly and Mutakayyef took the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot.
The latter is five years old, so represents his sire's first crop, and he was bred by Cheveley Park Stud. They sold him in Newmarket as a yearling and the 260,000gns purchase carries the colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum. He was multiple blacktype-placed over nine and 10 furlongs at three and four years of age, but this season his two runs have been over the mile.
He kicked off with a length defeat of Sovereign Debt in the Listed Best Western Hotels Ganton Stakes at York and then beat Dutch Connection by two and a quarter lengths at Ascot.
Mutakayyef is the second foal out of Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes winner Infallible (by Pivotal) and that makes him a half-brother to the Stewards Cup scorer Intrinsic (by Oasis Dream). He won four of his 10 starts and did not earn any blacktype, but he is a well-bred and talented horse, who has a Group 1-winning relation standing at a major farm, and he has completed his first season at Hedgeholme Stud.
Their half-sister Intimation (by Dubawi) has won twice, their dam has a yearling filly named Veracious (by Frankel) and she had a full-brother to Mutakayyef in early March.
In addition to her pattern success, Infallible has the distinction of having been runner-up in both the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Falmouth Stakes. She is a full-sister to the pattern-placed sprinter Watchable and to the listed-placed gelding Remarkable, and her siblings also include Penchant (by Kyllachy), the unraced dam of Garswood.
Also bred by Cheveley Park Stud, that son of their stallion Dutch Art (by Medicean) won the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, Group 2 Lennox Stakes, Listed European Free Handicap and Listed Harry Rosebery Stakes, he was runner-up in both the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes and Group 3 Criterion Stakes, and he finished third in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret. He stands alongside his sire and grandsire and had his first foals this year.
Irresistible (by Cadeaux Genereux), who is the grandam of Mutakayyef, won the Listed Kilvington Stakes and was placed in the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes, making her the most successful runner for her dam, the one-time scorer Polish Romance (by Danzig).
That mare is the grandam of the pattern-placed juvenile blacktype scorers Parliament Square (by Acclamation) and Queen Bee (by Le Havre), and she is a full-sister to an American listed race winner called Polish Love. The next dam, however, is more notable as she is the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes and Grade 1 Matron Stakes heroine Some Romance (by Fappiano).
That top filly was placed in the Santa Anita Oaks, Las Virgenes Stakes, Monmouth Oaks and Ashland Stakes – all Grade 1 – and she was the best of several blacktype winners out of the prolific Zippy Do (by Hilarious), a 15-times scorer whose haul included the Grade 2 Columbiana Handicap.
Jane's Dilemma (by Master Derby), a half-brother to Some Romance, also won 15 times and his tally included the Grade 2 Gallant Fox Handicap and Grade 3 Display Handicap. Vilzak (by Green Dancer), another of their notable siblings, 'only' won three, but they included the Grade 1 Hollywood Turf Cup Handicap, he was multiple graded-placed and he was fourth behind classic-placed champion Theatrical in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf.
Zippy Do's offspring also included the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning seven-times scorer Casey's Romance (by Miswaki) and Mint Cooler (by Key To The Mint), who won a listed contest and three other races and who was runner-up to Fiesta Gal in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks over 12 furlongs at Belmont Park.
Mutakayyef is engaged in tomorrow's Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes over the extended 10 furlongs at York and he holds an entry in the Group Qipco Champion Stakes in two months time, but he has also been entered in the Group 2 Celebration Mile and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes Sponsored by Qipco.
It will be interesting to see if this gelding's newfound form level will hold up over 10 furlongs, a distance we know he stays, or if it is the shorter trip that will continue to bring out his best.
Dalakhani's retirement from active service was announced recently. An undefeated Group 1-winning juvenile who went on to add the Group 1 Prix Lupin, Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) and Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, his only defeat in a nine-race career was his shock half-length loss to the top-class Azamour in the Group 1 Irish Derby.
The grey son of classic star and influential sire Darshaan (by Shirley Heights) was rated 133 by Timeform, and given what his half-brother Daylami (by Doyoun) achieved as an older horse, reaching a peak Timeform mark of 138, one wonders what heights he might have achieved had he too raced on at four and five.
Dalakhani joined the team at Gilltown Stud in 2004 and remained there until moving to Haras de Bonneval for the 2016 season. The 16-year-old has been represented by 48 stakes winners, eight of whom have won at least once at the highest level: Chinese White, Conduit, Duncan, Integral, Moonstone, Reliable Man, Second Step, and Seismos.
Conduit is at stud in Japan, and Group 2-winning stayer Alex My Boy was retired earlier this season and may be going to stud in 2017. Reliable Man, who won the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly and the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes over a half-furlong shorter at Randwick, stands at Gestüt Röttgen and will have some of his first yearlings on offer at next week's Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale and, of course, at the Baden-Baden September Yearling Sale.
Three of Dalakhani's Group 1 stars are fillies and already one of those has become one of the leading broodmares in Europe. The first four foals of Moonstone, who won the Group 1 Irish Oaks, are listed scorers Nevis (by Dansili) and Stubbs (by Danehill Dancer), Group 3 Munster Oaks heroine Words (by Dansili), and current three-year-old US Army Ranger (by Galileo), the pattern scorer whose only defeat so far is his length and a half second to Harzand in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom.
That augurs well for the future of the Aga Khan's homebred filly Candarliya, the Alain de Royer-Dupre trained four-year-old who was an odds-on winner of last month's Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil over 14 furlongs at Saint-Cloud.
She was third to Speedy Boarding in the 10 and a half furlong Group 2 Prix Corrida on her previous start, only beaten a neck by Fly With Me in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville the month before, and in 2015 she won the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu and Group 3 Prix Minerve, performances between which came her second-place finish behind Treve in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille.
Candarliya, who has only been out of the first three once in 13 starts, is the first foal out of Candara (by Barathea), a mare who was placed over 12 furlongs in France.
Her second foal is the Mikel Delzangles-trained Canessar (by Kendargent), who won twice over 10 furlongs before finishing fourth behind Spring Master in the Group 3 Prix du Lys over a quarter-mile farther at Chantilly in June, and he was followed by a full-sister to Candarliya in 2014, a Sinndar (by Grand Lodge) filly in 2015, and a daughter of Motivator (by Montjeu) born in late April of this year.
Candara is a half-sister to a few winners and her dam, one-time scorer Caribbeandriftwood (by Woodman), is a half-sister to the 14-times winner Mr Irish Love (by Rahy).
Drifting (by Lyphard), who is the third dam of Candarliya, is inbred 2x3 to Northern Dancer (by Nearctic) and she is an unraced half-sister to several horses of note. Wixim (by Diesis) won the Group 2 Sandown Mile and was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, Run Softly (by Deputy Minister) won a Grade 3 handicap in the USA, and Berceau (by Alleged) won the Group 3 Prix de Royaumont.
The latter is the dam of listed scorer Birthplace (by King Of Kings), but her half-sister Lakab (by Manila) is the dam of three stakes winners, most notably Hessonite (by Freud), plus a stakes-placed filly who went on to produce a New Zealand champion. Hessonite won 11 of her 22 starts, including the Grade 3 Beaugay Stakes over eight and a half furlongs at Belmont Park and eight listed races from seven to nine furlongs, and she earned over $879,000.
The southern hemisphere star is King's Rose (by Redoute's Choice), daughter of Nureyev's Girl (by Nureyev), and winner of the Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas, Group 2 Royal Stakes, Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies' Classic, Group 2 WH Stocks Stakes, Group 2 Memsie Stakes, and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes. The races in which she was placed include the Group 1 Toorak Handicap, Group 1 Emirates Stakes, Group 1 Coolmore Classic and Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes, and she was crowned champion three-year-old filly of 2010/11.
European Rose, a stakes-winning full-sister to Nureyev's Girl, is also a full-sister to two other mares of note. Lakabi is the once-raced dam of triple Group 3 scorer Soneva (by Cherokee Run) who is, in turn, the dam of The Blue Eye (by Dubawi), twice a major winner this year in Qatar.
The other one is the unraced Great Notice and her progeny feature the pattern-placed stakes winner Gybe (by Fastnet Rock) and, even better, juvenile champion and classic-placed dual New Zealand Group 1 star Anabandana (by Anabaa), a filly who was runner-up in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas.
If you go back another generation then you find that the fifth dam of Candarliya is Aladancer (by Northern Dancer), a talented filly won the Firenze Handicap and California Oaks and whose siblings includes both the Group 1 Premio Roma scorer Duke Of Marmalade (by Vaguely Noble) and Naval Orange (by Hoist The Flag), a one-time scorer who became the dam of multimillionaire and classic-placed four-times Grade 1 star Cryptoclearance (by Fappiano).
Those horses are remotely connected to Candarliya, but there is more than enough in more recent generations of her pedigree to suggest that she could have a bright future at stud, whenever her racing days come to an end.
Reaching a total of 100 individual stakes winners is a huge landmark in the career of any stallion, and it is one that few will ever achieve. Kildangan Stud's classic hero and classic sire Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway) is almost there, and the high-class sprinter Toscanini is among his tally of 99 blacktype scorers.
A Darley-bred, Godolphin's four-year-old is trained by Michael Halford, all five of his wins have come over six furlongs, he won a listed contest at the Curragh in June and, at the same venue on Sunday, he beat Eastern Impact by one and a quarter lengths to take the Group 3 Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes, a race in which he was short-headed a year before.
The Shamardal horse Lord Of The Land was another two lengths behind in third, one length of his grand-daughter Fort Del Oro. That filly is by the Ballylinch Stud stallion Lope De Vega, who is the sire of this year's Group 1 stars Belardo and Jemayel, and the first of the Shamardal stallions with runners. Others are Shakespearean and current freshman sire Casamento, and he has a growing number of other sons who are at earlier stages of their stud careers.
Initial runners for his daughters include the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas hero Awtaad (by Cape Cross) and the dual Group 2-placed dual Group 3 scorer Gifted Master (by Kodiac), so the early indicators are that Shamardal may be a force in pedigrees for a long time.
Toscanini, who chased home Gleneagles in the Group 1 National Stakes as a two-year-old, is a gelding. His string of other blacktype placings include the runners-up spot in the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes, Listed Rochestown Stakes, last year's Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes, and the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes, and in each of those he was beaten by less than a length. Last month he was third behind Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs.
A half-brother to the Grade 2-placed miler Tybalt (by Storm Cat), Toscanini is out of Tuzla, a mare who was, on breeding, an unlikely candidate for stardom. Easily the best flat representative of her mostly jumps sire, Panoramic (by Rainbow Quest), she is out of the moderate mare Turkeina (by Kautokeino), who was inbred 2x3 to Relko (by Tanerko), and her grandam, Turquoise Bleue (by Blue Tom), was also unremarkable as a runner and producer.
Tuzla showed some promise as a three-year-old in France, but did not win until she crossed the Atlantic, and from then there was no stopping her. By the time she retired, just over two years after landing in the USA, she had won a dozen races, was a millionaire, Grade 1 star, and placed at the Breeders' Cup.
Her wins included the Grade 1 Ramona Handicap, Grade 2 Dahlia Handicap, Grade 2 Buena Vista Handicap, Grade 2 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile Handicap and Grade 3 Palomar Handicap. She failed by a neck to beat Silic in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, and by the same margin to beat Happyanunoit in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes, and those were her final two starts.
This half-sister to a multiple hurdles winner outran her pedigree and that was always going to make her a fascinating broodmare prospect. There is lots of Group 1 and Group 2 form in more distant branches of family, but there was no guarantee that the weak branch she represented could find renewed strength.
The aforementioned Turquoise Bleue was unplaced, but that made her the only unsuccessful runner for Prix La Rochette scorer Mia Pola (by Relko), the fourth dam of Toscanini. A daughter of the Prix du Bois winner Polamia (by Mahmoud), a filly who was placed in races such as the Prix du Gros-Chene, Prix d'Arenberg and Prix de Saint Georges in the late fifties, Mia Pola was a broodmare of considerable influence.
Her best son was Regal Bearing (by Viceregal), a prolific winner whose top results came in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap and Grade 3 Golden Gate Handicap in California, and her stakes-winning daughter was Keep In Step (by Dance In Time), later the dam of South African Grade 1 sprint star Super Sheila (by Last Tycoon) and grandam of Group 2 Goldene Peitsche scorer Stormont (by Marju).
Mia Pola's stakes-placed daughter Normia (by Northfields) became the dam of the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap winner Metamorphose (by Lord Avie) and the grandam of the European classic stars Sulamani (by Hernando) and Dream Well (by Sadler's Wells). The latter, who has sired blacktype winners on the flat and over jumps, won both the Group 1 Irish Derby and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) in 1998, four years before his half-brother Sulamani won the same Chantilly classic.
That colt also won the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, the Grade 1 Turf Classic Invitational, Grade 1 Canadian International Stakes, Grade 1 Arlington Million, and Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, and his progeny include the Group 1 St Leger scorer Mastery, several South American Grade 1 winners and this year's Grade 3 Grand National hero Rule The World.
Two of Mia Pola's other daughters also produced at least one stakes winner and the more notable of the pair is Midnight Lady (by Mill Reef). She won one of her two starts on the track, her son Kathmandu (by Kaldoun) won a listed contest at Nantes, but her juvenile stakes-winning daughter Party Doll (by Be My Guest) became the dam of two high-class offspring, one of whom has enjoyed some success as a stallion.
That son is Titus Livius (by Machiavellian), a high-class sprinter who won the Group 2 Criterium des 2 Ans and the Group 2 Prix du Gros-Chene, and his talented progeny include the Hong Kong mile Grade 1 winner Tiber and also the Group 2-winning German miler Sehrezad. The first crop by that former Andreas Lowe-trained bay includes Millowitsch, a Group 3 winner over eight and a half furlongs at Krefeld in April, shortly before finishing fourth (no blacktype) behind Knife Edge in the Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen (German 2000 Guineas) at Cologne.
Party Doll's other notable runner is Briseida (by Pivotal), who beat the subsequent Group 1 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) heroine Rosenreihe by two and a half lengths in the Group 2 German 1000 Guineas.
The classic scorer's three-year-old Orania (by Sea The Stars) was a neck runner-up in a 10-furlong Vichy maiden 15 days ago, a few days before her older half-brother Brisanto (by Dansili) finished out of the frame behind Elliptique in the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis – Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich. Listed-placed over the same trip at Compiegne the previous month, that colt was twice pattern placed in 2015 and he won the Group 3 Preis der Winterfavoriten over a mile at Cologne as a juvenile.
These are the plentiful highlights of the first four generations of the pedigree, and although we cannot know for certain what led to Tuzla's surprising level of talent, given how weak her branch of the family had become, it does look likely that she has passed on some speed that lay dormant for a while.
Also striking about Toscanini's pedigree is that his broodmare sire, Panoramic, is a half-brother to the top US filly Mariah's Storm (by Rahy) – he could even be described as being her three-parts brother – and she, of course, is the dam of the prolific Group 1 star and multiple US champion sire Giant's Causeway (by Storm Cat), the sire of Shamardal. The gelding is, therefore, inbred 4x3 to the Grade 3-winning mare Immense (by Roberto).
Perhaps that inbreeding has played a significant part in the emergence of Toscanini as a high-class racehorse, or maybe it has input nothing of direct relevance to his ability; it is impossible to know.
There is also something else about his pedigree that deserves mention, even though its relevance, beyond academic interest, has waned since he was gelded.
Polamia was a lot more than just his speedy fifth dam, as her offspring also included 1966 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches heroine Right Away (by Right Royal), Prix Maurice de Gheest scorer Tryptic (by Tyrone), blacktype winner Timolina (by Timmy My Boy), and 1964 French juvenile champion Grey Dawn (by Herbager).
He won the Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre and Grand Criterium that season, in the latter inflicting the only defeat that Timeform 145-rated great Sea Bird II ever met. Grey Dawn became a leading sire and his tally of 73 stakes winning progeny was complimented by one of more than 125 as a broodmare sire of stakes winners.
If you want to go back another generation of Toscanini's pedigree then you will find more sprinting speed because Polamia's half-sister Sly Pola (by Spy Song) won both the Prix Robert Papin and Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp, and her half-brother Takawalk (by Native Dancer) won or placed in a string of good races from five to seven furlongs.
Toscanini's career may not have gone in the direction that might have been predicted after he chased home Gleneagles at the Curragh two years ago, but he is among the leading sprinters in the country. He holds an entry in next month's Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh, a race in which he finished fourth to Sole Power in 2015, and it will be interesting to see how he gets on there as he has yet to win over the minimum trip.
As for Shamardal, sire of the 2016 Group 1 winners Dariyan and Tryster, this outstanding young stallion has a chance to bring up the century tomorrow as his daughters Orcia and Burma Star are among the entries for the Listed Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Hurry Harriet Stakes over nine and a half furlongs at Gowran Park.
When the Francois Rohaut-trained gelding Signs Of Blessing won the Group 1 LARC Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville this afternoon he brought his sire one step closer to what could be thought of as a type of immortality.
There is an internationally agreed list that contains just over 3000 names, none of which is allowed for use again on a registered thoroughbred.
Those who win one of the 11 specified international races (three in Europe, two in the USA, two in South America, four in Asia) automatically have their name added, as do mares and stallions who reach specific qualifying criteria. For the latter, that means siring at least 15 individual Group/Grade 1 winners from those events listed under Part I of the International Cataloguing Standards.
There is also provision for an application to be made on behalf of racehorses whom it is felt deserve inclusion, but who did not win a qualifying race, and the complete list of 34 new additions made earlier this year named four such horses, including the outstanding miler Kingman and the great hurdler Hurricane Fly.
When the next update is published, early in 2017, the names of California Chrome (Dubai World Cup) and Highland Reel (King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes) will be there, and if he can get one more new Group 1 winner before the end of this year, then so will that of Invincible Spirit (by Green Desert).
Signs Of Blessing is the 14th individual Group 1 winner for the Irish National Stud's main flag bearer. The aforementioned Kingman is his best son, the prolific Group 1 star and triple Prix Maurice de Gheest heroine Moonlight Cloud is both his best daughter and one of 3000+ horses on the protected list, and the horse who gave their sire his 13th top-level scorer was Profitable, winner of the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
Signs Of Blessing, who was only beaten by a neck and a short-head when coming out third best in a five-way photo for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at that same meeting, had the Group 3 Goldene Peitsche and three listed wins to his name before his one and a quarter-length defeat of Donjuan Triumphant on Sunday. Jimmy Two Times was a neck back in third and he, in turn, was the same margin ahead of Sudeois (fourth) and Dutch Connection (fifth). Tragically, the Hong Kong ace Gold-Fun was fatally injured, so video footage of the race is not included here.
The newly crowned Group 1 star made the unusual price of €102,000 at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale in 2012, he is the third foal and best winner out of an unraced mare called Sun Bittern (by Seeking The Gold), and he comes from a branch of a strong international family that is no stranger to producing high-class horses.
His dam is one on double-digit tally of offspring out of Listed Cheshire Oaks third Sunray Superstar (by Nashwan), yet is a half-sister to just three winners. Although that mare's full-sister Nadia won the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary and chased home Aquarelliste in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), she too failed to make an impact at stud: her string of winners includes one listed-placed individual.
Sunray Superstar and Nadia are half-sisters to an unraced mare called Principium (by Hansel), and in addition to the listed scorer and blacktype producer Baroness Richter (by Montjeu), she is the dam of the Group 1-placed dual Group 2-winning Japanese seven to 10 furlong horse Kongo Rikishio (by Stravinsky).
Their dam, Nazoo (by Nijinsky), won the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Leopardstown as a juvenile and was a full-sister to the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes winners Lake Como and Single Combat. Her half-sister Heeremandi (by Royal Academy) won the Listed Silver Flash Stakes, was third in the Group 1 Prix Morny, and later became the dam of the Group 3 Tetrarch Stakes runner-up Emerald Cat (by Storm Cat), among several winners.
Nazoo's half-sister Miznah (by Sadler's Wells) won the Listed Debutante Stakes at the Curragh, was runner-up in the Listed Silver Flash Stakes, and her star son is the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Zindabad (by Shirley Heights). His multiple stakes-placed half-sister Geisha Girl (by Nashwan) is the dam of the Chilean Grade 2 sprint scorer Genial Boy (by Songandaprayer), and his non-winning half-sister Tithcar (by Cadeaux Genereux) has done her part for the family by coming up with the Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes scorer An Tadh (by Halling).
Nazoo also has another sibling who must be mentioned and that is her one-time winning full-sister La Confidence, dam of the Grade 3 scorer and minor blacktype sire Perfect (by Affirmed) and of his outstanding full-sister Flawlessly.
An inductee to the US Hall of Fame in 2004, prolific Grade 1 star Flawlessly was the US Champion Female Turf Horse in both 1992 and 1993, her 16 wins included multiple editions of the Matriarch Stakes, Ramona Handicap and Beverley Hills Handicap, but she had just two foals and she died at the age of 14.
Her first was Flawlessness (by Storm Cat), who won once from nine starts, but that filly died as a four-year-old. The other was the unraced Dreamlike (by Storm Cat), and she has been having a successful stud career.
Her first foal, Woke Up Dreamin (by Holy Bull), won six of his 16 starts, earned over $578,000 and got his best results at the age of five, when he won the Grade 2 True North Handicap and the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap, both over six furlongs. He began his stallion career in Kentucky, moved to Iowa four years ago, and has sired some blacktype winners.
Denomination (by Smart Strike), born when her talented brother was six, was placed in the Group 3 Prix d'Aumale at two, won the Group 3 Prix Vanteaux at three, and went on to take a trio of Grade 3 contests in the US, best at eight and a half and nine furlongs. She was followed by the Grade 3-winning sprinter Lemon Drop Dream (by Lemon Drop Kid).
These are the highlights of the first four generations of the pedigree of Signs Of Blessing, a Group 1-winning gelding who is related to the Group/Grade 1 stars Nadia and Flawlessly, and there is more than enough there to show why his dam was worthy of going to one of Europe's top stallions.
The contribution made by ancestors in the fifth (3.125% each) and sixth (1.5625% each) generations are too remote to have any meaningful influence on the current horse, beyond academic interest, but in the case of Signs Of Blessing it is worth commenting on who those ancestors are.
His fourth dam, La Dame Du Lac (by Round Table), was an unraced half-sister to the Grade 1 winner and hugely influential stallion Halo (by Hail To Reason), to triple US champion Tosmah (by Tim Tam), and to Queen Sucree (by Ribot), who was the dam of 1974 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby hero Cannonade (by Bold Bidder).
This means that the fifth dam of Signs Of Blessing is the multiple blacktype scorer Cosmah (by Cosmic Bomb), daughter of the talented Almahmoud (by Mahmoud) and so a half-sister to Bubbling Beauty (by Hasty Road) and Natalma (by Native Dancer). The former was the unplaced dam of Group 1 star and influential multiple French champion sire Arctic Tern (by Sea Bird II), and the latter was, of course, the dam of Northern Dancer (by Nearctic) and third dam of Danehill (by Danzig), founders of bloodstock dynasties.
Signs Of Blessing was bred by Serge Boucheron, he carries the colours of Isabelle Corbani, and he holds entries in both the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot. With the current crop of sprinters appearing to lack a standout performer, it is hard to rule out any of its prominent members in the top events, and so it is certainly possible that this gelding could win again at the highest level before his career eventually comes to an end.
Dual Derby hero and prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) is on his way towards potentially become an even more influential stallion than was his own great sire.
His notable early sire sons include the Derby hero New Approach, an undefeated juvenile champion who rounded off his career with a six-length victory in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket. Three stakes winners at Royal Ascot among his first two-year-olds signalled tremendous potential, and that crop featured juvenile champion and classic star Dawn Approach, Oaks winner and St Leger runner-up Talent, and Derby second Libertarian.
Sultanina, who raced only as a four-year-old, is another Group 1 winner among New Approach's oldest progeny, and the southern hemisphere half of that crop includes the Australian 10-furlong Group 1 scorer May's Dream. His current figures are 18 pattern winners and 11 listed scorers among 55 blacktype progeny.
His third-crop daughter Beautiful Romance, who was Group 1-placed last year, won the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York in May, his fourth-crop son Herald The Dawn won the Group 2 Futurity Stakes and was runner-up in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes in 2015, and at Munich yesterday, his second-crop son Elliptique won the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis – Bayerisches Zuchtrennen.
The Rothschild Family's homebred entire is trained by Andre Fabre, he was favourite for the 10-furlong contest, which he won by half a length from the Group 2-winning German-trained filly Royal Solitaire (by Shamardal), and another half-length back in third was dual Group 3-scorer Potemkin, also a five-year-old son of New Approach.
Not only is Elliptique a fifth individual Group 1 winner for New Approach, but he joins the roll of honour of horses who got an early start on the artificial tracks before going on to succeed at the highest level.
Last year both the Irish Derby (Jack Hobbs) and Irish Oaks (Covert Love) went to horses whose maiden success came on all-weather surfaces, and in 2016 we have seen Hawkbill (Coral-Eclipse), Seventh Heaven (Irish Oaks), Silverwave (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Zelzal (Prix Jean Prat) graduate from the all-weather surfaces to Group 1 glory.
Also notable are last month's Group 2 Lancashire Oaks scorer Endless Time and the Group 2 Dante Stakes winner Wings of Desire, who chased home Highland Reel in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot nine days ago.
Elliptique got his start in a seven and a half-furlong conditions race for two-year-olds on the fibresand at Deauville three years ago. That was a few weeks before he finished third behind Ectot in a listed contest on turf at the same venue. He chased home that same colt in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes and then rounded off his first season with victory in the Group 3 Prix de Conde at Longchamp.
His only win at three came in a 10 furlong conditions event on soft ground at Maisons-Laffitte, but at four he won the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy. He kicked off the current season with defeat of Manatee on the polytrack at Chantilly in March and then chased home Air Pilot in the Group 3 La Coupe, his only other outing before his Group 1 success.
Elliptique is out of Uryale (by Kendor) and that makes him a half-brother to the triple mile stakes winner Cicerole (by Barathea). She was only beaten by half a length when runner-up in both the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom and the Group 3 Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud, and she was also placed in the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs and Group 3 Prix la Rochette.
Their dam was listed-placed in France as a two-year-old, and that half-sister to listed scorer Wedding Night (by Valanour) is out of dual winner Green Field Park (by Akarad), a mare who has some well-known relations.
Her half-brother Majorien (by Machiavellian) won the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris and was runner-up in Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap, Group 1 Grand Criterium and Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt. She also has two notable half-sisters, one of whom is Listed Hopeful Stakes winner Rose Indien (by Crystal Glitters).
That speedy filly became the dam of eight winners, headed by the prolific Salty Sea (by Siberian Express), whose double-digit tally includes a listed handicap at Calder. His nine-times winning half-brother War Tempo (by Quiet American) has been placed in a listed contest and in more than 20 other races, and they have a stakes-placed half-sister called Darkwood (by Fit To Fight).
Rose Indien is also the grandam of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes winner and dual Grade 2-placed Guilt Trip (by Pulpit) and of Group 2 Superlative Stakes scorer Silver Grecian (by Haafhd), and the latter is a half-brother to the Grade 2-placed hurdler Lettre de Cachet (by Authorized). Guilt Trip entered stud in Louisiana in 2015.
The other notable sister of Green Field Park is the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret winner America (by Arazi) and it is she who is the dam of Group 1 Melbourne Cup hero Americain (by Dynaformer).
He also won the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, Group 2 Prix Kergorlay, Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, Group 2 Zipping Classic and Group 3 Geelong Stakes, and his blacktype placings include the runners-up spot in the Group 1 BMW Stakes and third in the Group 1 Australian Cup and Group 1 Hong Kong Vase.
Americain took up stallion duties at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, spent the 2015 season at the Irish National Stud, and then returned to Calumet. He got off the mark as a sire when his daughter Folk Magic, who is out of a half-sister to the pattern-placed multiple stakes winning sprinter/miler Chan Chan (by Spinning World), made a winning debut over six furlongs at Woodbine nine days ago.
Green Rosy (by Green Dancer), the stakes-placed third dam of Elliptique, is a full-sister to the listed scorer and successful National Hunt and sport horse stallion Big Sink Hope, she is a half-sister to the US Grade 3 scorer Rose Bouquet (by Full Out), and to two mares who have produced stakes winners at stud.
More notable of that pair is Rensaler (by Stop The Music) because she is responsible for the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap winner Jovial (by Northern Jove), Grade 3 scorer Brave Note (by Dancing Brave) and two listed scorers, whereas Aroz (by Fappiano) is the dam of two listed race winners and grandam of another one.
It is fair to say that Elliptique was well-placed to pick up a Group 1 prize and that considerable improvement would be required from him if he is to repeat the feat against a top-class field. But with this win comes the possibility that he may now get a place at stud whenever his racing days come to an end, and as a grandson of Galileo and from the family of American, it would be interesting to see how he might fare in that role.