He's back! Jack Hobbs, the Timeform 129-rated star who was a five-length winner of the Group 1 Irish Derby at the Curragh two years ago, easily beat Seventh Heaven and Postponed to take the Group 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic in style over 12 furlongs at Meydan this afternoon.
One of a growing number of top-level winners who began their racing careers on the all-weather tracks, Godolphin's five-year-old made his debut in an eight and a half furlong contest at Wolverhampton in late December of his juvenile year and followed that with a hugely impressive 12-length victory in a 10-furlong handicap on turf at Sandown four months later.
Such was the impression he created that day that he shot to prominence in the ante-post markets for the Group 1 Investec Derby, and after losing his unbeaten record when runner-up to Golden Horn in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York next time out, he chased home that same star at Epsom before his easy classic success in Ireland.
After the Curragh, Jack Hobbs won the Group 3 September Stakes on the polytrack at Kempton, he finished third to Fascinating Rock and Found in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot, but then apparent disaster struck when he was pulled-up and dismounted over a furlong from home in the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket on his four-year-old reappearance.
The injury was a stress fracture of his pelvis and not only did he make it back to the track just five and a half months later, but his first run after the absence was a third place finish to Almanzor and Found in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Today's victory brings his record to five wins from 10 starts and the manner of it suggests that he could be one of the brightest stars of 2017.
Jack Hobbs was bred by Willie Carson's Minster Stud, he is the best of four Group 1 stars and three millionnaires by the late Dalham Hall Stud stallion Halling (by Diesis), and he is out of a three-time US winner called Swain's Gold (by Swain).
The mare has produced three other multiple winners, including Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes third Niceofyoutotellme (by Hernando), and she is out of the prolific Golden Pond (by Don't Forget Me), a seven-time scorer who was a listed race winner in France before going on to add the Grade 2 Orchid Handicap and Grade 3 Suwanee River Handicap in the USA.
Golden Pond's offspring also include Brazilian (by Stravinsky), who is the stakes-winning dam of the dual listed scorer La Malaguena (by English Channel), and she was one of four winners out of an unraced mare called Golden Bloom (by Main Reef).
The quartet also included Group 3 Chester Vase third Golden Wells (by Sadler's Wells), but is is their non-winning half-sister Ceanothus (by Bluebird) who is most notable and that is because of her record at stud.
The most prolific of her progeny is the eight-time scorer Competitor (by Danzero), but Pollenator (by Motivator) won the Group 2 May Hill Stakes as a two-year-old and Wedding Party (by Groom Dancer), who was runner-up in the Listed Radley Stakes at that age, is the dam of three blacktype earners, one of whom is last year's Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes runner-up Rosebride (by Mayson).
These are the highlights of the first three generations of the pedigree of Jack Hobbs, but if you go back another step then you will find that he is not the only Group 1 star in the family.
That's because, in addition to being a half-sister to the Group 3 Matron Stakes winner Spring Daffodil (by Pharly), Golden Bloom was a half-sister to the Group 1 Australian Derby winner Dance The Day Away (by Seattle Dancer), and her dam, Daffodil Day (by Welsh Pageant), was a half-sister to Connaught (by St Paddy).
One of many top horses who ran in the famous Jim Joel colours, Connaught chased home Sir Ivor in the Derby at Epsom, he took the Eclipse Stakes in record time, won two editions of the Prince of Wales's Stakes, and also had the King Edward VII Stakes and Great Voltigeur Stakes on his tally, achieving a career-best Timeform rating of 130 at the age of five.
His offspring included the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks winner Connaught Bridge, Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois scorer Lirung, Guineas and Derby-placed pattern scorer Remainder Man, and the high-class filly Sauceboat, to name just a few, and this success augurs well for the prospects of Jack Hobbs when he eventually takes up his place at stud.
Nagaika (by Goyama), who was the dam of Connaught, is the fifth dam of Jack Hobbs, her wins included the Solario Stakes, Princess Royal Stakes and Lonsdale Stakes, and she was rated 117 by Timeform.
It is great to see Jack Hobbs back in action at the highest level and this dual Group 1 star should be one of the top contenders for all of the best middle-distance events in Europe in 2017. Given all that he has achieved, it is remarkable to think that he made just 60,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.