One of the earliest articles posted on this website was a review of the Newsells Park Stud stallion Equiano, the dual Group 1-winning sprinter whose first crop two crops had yielded several stakes winners, including the Group 1-placed Strath Burn and promising speedster The Tin Man, the latter a smart handicapper who rounded off his three-year-old campaign by finishing fourth in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot.
The conclusion was that it was only a matter of time before this promising young sire got his first Group 1 winner, and, thanks to The Tin Man, that time was Saturday afternoon.
A member of his sire's first crop, the James Fanshawe bay kicked off his current campaign with listed success over six furlongs at Windsor in late May, and although he disappointed when only eighth in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot the following month, he has bounced back from that in style.
He narrowly beat Divine in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, chased home Quiet Reflection in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock, and then showed a clean pair of heels to his dozen rivals in the Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The gelding is an exciting prospect for 2017, and if he can stay happy, healthy and sound, he could become one of those popular horses who complete in the best races for several years. Winning at four, five and older is something that his family tends to do.
Equiano's overall tally of 11 individual stakes winners includes the US Grade 3 scorers Baciami Piccola and Belvoir Bay, the Australian Group 3 winner Sewar – all of whom have been in action in 2016 – and, of course, the high-class juvenile Medicine Jack, who won the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh in June before finishing third to Caravaggio in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the same venue.
His prior runners of note include the pattern-winning juveniles Dark Reckoning and Fly On The Night, and two-year-old listed scorer Waipu Cove, and the aforementioned Group 1-placed sprint pattern winner Strath Burn is going to Bridge House Stud for 2017, thereby giving him his first stallion son.
The Tin Man was bred by Elizabeth Grundy and he is an 80,000gns graduate of Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. His Poet's Voice (by Dubawi) half-brother is catalogued as Lot 765 for the upcoming Tattersalls December Foal Sale and so his victory on Saturday will be among the biggest updates in that book.
His dam, Persario (by Bishop Of Cashel) won a seven-furlong maiden at three and got her second score with a six-furlong handicap success at Kempton at the age of five. She was also trained by Fanshawe and so too was her other top-class son Deacon Blues (by Compton Place).
He won on the second of his two starts as a juvenile and picked up a Yarmouth handicap at three, but at the age of four and following a seasonal reappearance when he was a neck runner-up over six furlongs at Ascot, the gelding went unbeaten for the rest of that campaign, culminating in an impressive length and a half defeat of Wizz Kid in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes.
Getting two winners of that race is a notable achievement for Persario, and her other three runners are the stakes-placed multiple sprint handicapper Holley Shiftwell (by Bahamian Bounty), four-times scorer If So (by Iffraaj), and current juvenile Hilario (by Sepoy), a twice-raced Charles Hills-trained colt who got off the mark over six furlongs at Kempton last month.
Deacon Blues's tally in 2011 also included the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury and the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes at the Curragh – all over six furlongs – plus the Group 3 Dubai International World Trophy over the minimum trip at Newbury.
His official rating was 120, but Timeform placed him on a figure of 130, making him one of the best European sprinters of recent years and giving his younger sibling quite a target to chase.
Persario is one of four winners from six foals out of dual scorer Barford Lady (by Stanford) and they include two performers of note. Her full-brother Heretic did not earn any blacktype, but this capable miler won at two, three, four, five and six years of age, reaching a peak handicap mark of 110.
Their half-brother Warningford (by Warning), who could be described as being their three-parts brother, notched up 10 wins from three to eight years of age. Those included three editions of the Group 3 Leicestershire Stakes, two renewals of the Listed John of Gaunt Stakes, plus one running of the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup.
Warningford was only beaten a neck by Medicean in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, he was third to Mount Abu in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret, and fourth (no blacktype) to Slickly in the Group 1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, he achieved a peak handicap mark of 116 and, at the age of seven, was rated 119 by Timeform.
Barford Lady was among six winners from 10 foals out of the stakes-placed triple scorer Grace Poole (by Sallust) and the best of those was Ansellman (by Absalom), who won the Listed Doncaster Stakes over five furlongs as a juvenile and got the final of his 11 wins, from 128 starts, at the age of 10.
Last year The Tin Man was Timeform-rated 120, and for his Group 1 success that organisation raised his figure to 126. He is a fine advertisement for his sire and unlikely to remain Equiano's only top-level winner for long.
Multiple Group 1 star Rip Van Winkle (by Galileo) has had an eye-catching year and the Coolmore Stud stallion's career tally of stakes winners is now in double figures. The juvenile Group 1 scorer Dick Whittington, now aged four and reviewed here after his Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes victory earlier in the year, heads his roll of honour and the colt represents his first crop.
Capella, Magic Dancer, and First Impressions are New Zealand-bred pattern winners, the latter a 12-furlong Group 3 scorer in Australia, while the dual Group 2-placed two-year-old Arcada, talented sprinter The Happy Prince, and popular pattern-placed stakes-winning filly Creggs Pipes have done well for him in Ireland in 2016. That latter pair also come from his first crop.
The Happy Prince has been very busy and was running for the 14th time this season when unplaced in the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home of Champions Concorde Stakes over a few yards short of seven and a half furlongs at Tipperary today, eased down when his chance was gone. For the Andy Slattery-trained Creggs Pipes, who finished fifth, that race was her ninth run of the season. The wide-margin winner was the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Jet Setting.
Fifth of 22 in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden on his only start at two, The Happy Prince was an odds-on winner over six and a half furlongs at Limerick on his three-year-old debut. He added a six-furlong premier handicap at Naas and picked up a trio of blacktype placings, rising to a mark of 108, but had a disappointing start to his latest campaign.
He did not make the frame until his ninth start of the year, but after that second place finish to Moviesta in a six-furlong Dundalk handicap, he chased home Spirit Quartz in a listed contest over five at Tipperary, beat In Salutem by one and three-quarter lengths in a conditions race over six at Naas, and then came within a short-head of beating Breton Rock in the Group 2 Saint Gobain Weber Park Stakes over seven furlongs at Doncaster.
That performance saw his rating jump to a career-best of 112, he followed it with a three-quarter-length defeat of Flight Risk in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes on heavy ground at the Curragh seven days ago.
The Happy Prince was bred by Floors Farming, he made £90,000 in Doncaster as a yearling, he is trained by Aidan O'Brien, and he is the first foal out of Maid To Dream (by Oasis Dream), who was placed over seven furlongs at Lingfield (turf) and Wolverhampton (all-weather) from four starts at three.
She has twice changed hands at Tattersalls since then, making 80,000gns each time, she had a Nathaniel (by Galileo) filly in 2015 and first-crop daughter of ace miler Toronado (by High Chaparral) in March.
Eight of her siblings have won at least once, including her speedy stakes-placed full-brother Run For The Hills and middle-distance stakes-placed half-sister Maid To Perfection (by Sadler's Wells), and both that filly and two of their siblings have produced stakes winners at stud.
Maid To Treasure (by Rainbow Quest) was only placed a few times but is the dam of the Listed Esher Stakes winner and Group 2 Lonsdale Cup third King Of Wands (by Galileo), one-time scorer Green Tambourine (by Green Desert) is the dam of Californian listed scorer Maid For Music (by Dubai Destination), and Maid To Perfection is responsible for Caucus and Queen Of Pentacles.
The former, a son of Cape Cross (by Green Desert), is a triple stakes winner over two miles in England and chased home Estimate in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. Queen Of Pentacles (by Selkirk) ran six times, all but one of those over 10 furlongs, she won a listed contest at Doncaster on her final start, and her three-year-old, Queen Of The Stars (by Sea The Stars), won a Pontefract maiden by seven lengths over that trip two weeks ago.
The grandam of The Happy Prince is Maid For The Hills (by Indian Ridge), who won a six-furlong listed contest at Newmarket as a two-year-old, the third dam, Stinging Nettle (by Sharpen Up), was a six-furlong listed scorer at Ascot on her only start at two, and those who descend from the latter include a string of stakes and pattern winners over a wide variety of distances.
The Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes winner and Group 1 Nassau Stakes runner-up Lady In Waiting (by Kylian) is among them, as are the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes scorer Stroll (by Pulpit), the Group 3 Prix de Lutece winner Savannah Bay (by In The Wings), Group 2-winning miler Lovelace (by Royal Applause), and the Group 1-placed pattern-winning South African sprinters Welwitschia (by Oasis Dream) and Headstrong (by Pivotal).
The Happy Prince is a capable performer without being good enough to trouble the best, he is entered in Friday's Group 2 Dubai 100 Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket, and regardless of whether or not he makes that journey, there should be more good prizes to be earned with him.