The 2018 Qatar Prix du Cadran was a somewhat weak affair for a race of that level but the Group 1 honours went to Call The Wind, a lightly-raced four-year-old in the Freddy Head stable.
He was unraced until March of this year, when he finished third over eight and a half furlongs on heavy ground at Machecoul, and he was out of the frame on his next two starts – both over 12 furlongs. He then stepped up to 14 furlongs at ParisLongchamp for a third-place finish in a conditions race in June.
Although he had been given some blacktype entries, he was next seen out over 12 furlongs at Clairefontaine, where he won by almost two lengths, and his only other start before today's big win was a successful one over an extended 13 furlongs at Deauville. Both those races were conditions events.
The chestnut gelding is owned and bred by George Strawbridge, he is yet another blacktype winner for Banstead Manor Stud stallion Frankel (by Galileo) and he is the third Group 1 star for his dam, In Clover (by Inchinor).
She won the Group 3 Prix de Flore, her daughters We Are (by Dansili) and With You (by Dansili) have won the Group 1 Prix de l'Opera and Group 1 Prix Rothschild respectively, and she is also responsible for the stakes-winning Oasis Dream (by Green Desert) fillies Dream Clover and Incahoots.
As for Frankel, the Timeform 147-rated great has now been represented by 33 stakes winners, all but one of whom has come from either his first or second crop. The sole member of his current batch of juveniles to have won a blacktype event, so far, is yesterday's unbeaten Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon Jockey Club de Turqie heroine East, who topped the Goresbridge Breeze-Up Sale in March when sold for €315,000. She is trained by Kevin Ryan.
It was no surprise to see In Clover becoming a successful broodmare – she is out of Group 3 Prix de Royaumont scorer Bellarida (by Bellypha) and is a half-sister to several blacktype producers – but what she has achieved surpasses all expectations.
Her pattern-placed, stakes-winning half-sister Bayourida (by Slew O' Gold) is the dam of the similarly talented Telluride (by Montjeu), her Group 3-placed, stakes-winning sibling Bellona (by Bering) is the grandam of several talented horses – I'll return those below – and her other half-sisters include three who have achieved note at stud.
Forty Belles (by Forty Niner) is responsible for Party (by Cadeaux Genereux), who is the stakes-winning dam of Group 3 scorer Observational (by Galileo), and she is also the grandam of this year's Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) heroine Teppal (by Camacho).
The placed mare Belesta (by Xaar), on the other hand, has come up with last year's Scandinavian champion Giuseppe Piazzi (by Galileo) – a dual Group 3 winner – and with Assign (by Montjeu), who raced in Ireland under the name Adjusted.
That one won twice over middle-distances at the Curragh, he has won a 12-furlong Group 2 at Caulfield and a 10-furlong Group 3 at Rosehill, and he finished a nine-length fourth behind Winx in last year's Group 1 Turnbull Stakes at Flemington, also over the mile and a quarter.
The third of these notable siblings of In Clover is Noyelles (by Docksider), the mare who gave us Group 3 Chartwell Stakes winner and Group 1 Matron Stakes runner-up Lily's Angel (by Dark Angel) and her Group 2-placed, stakes-winning half-sister Zurigha (by Cape Cross).
But back to Bellona. Her most notable offspring is the one-time scorer Es Que (by Inchinor) and that's because that close relation to In Clover is the dam of Hong Kong Group 1 star Dominant (by Cacique), of Group 2 Lennox Stakes scorer and young Rathasker Stud stallion Es Que Love (by Clodovil), and of two listed race winners, one of whom is the dual Group 2-placed Listen In (by Sea The Stars).
All of this talent is packed in under the various branches of first two generations of Call The Wind's pedigree, and although it is worth mentioning that his fourth dam, Lalika (by Le Fabuleux) won the Prix Saint-Alary in 1970, that success came over 48 years ago.
Being a son of Frankel and from a family whose best tend to show their talent at anywhere from six to 12 furlongs, there was no guarantee, on pedigree, that Call The Wind would stay two and a half miles, but clearly he handles it well. It was no surprise, therefore, to hear that he may now have 2019's Group 1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot on his schedule.