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.