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.