Blacktype is an important commodity for any filly or mare and if that comes from winning in pattern company then the boost to her perceived value, and to the opportunities that she may be afforded at stud, is greater.
The popular chestnut Creggs Pipes picked up a Group 2 at the Curragh recently, despite having an official rating that still entitles her to run in handicaps. She had already won six of her 21 starts, including a listed contest over a mile at Killarney last summer and just days before adding a premier handicap at Galway.
She was runner-up to Tanaza in the Group 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes a month later, unplaced behind Alice Springs in the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown, and the beaten by even farther when out of the frame behind Jet Setting in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes over a half-furlong less at Tipperary in early October.
It would have been entirely understandable if she had been retired to the paddocks then, but the Andy Slattery-trained daughter of Rip Van Winkle (by Galileo) returned to action in April, at the age of five.
She was only fifth to Somehow in a listed contest over nine and a half furlongs at Gowran Park on her seasonal reappearance, beaten by five and a half lengths, but then stepped up to 10 furlongs and took third to Turret Rocks in the Group 3 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes at the Curragh.
It was a fortnight after that when she benefitted from the combination a weak line-up for the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes over a mile and some of her more highly rated rivals performing below expectations, as she made all, under Declan McDonogh, to beat Opal Tiara by three and three-quarter lengths.
Her official rating was raised to 109 after this win, 1lb above her previous career-best figure, and still a long way below what you expect to see in a Group 2 winner.
She has an ambitious list of big-race entries, which includes the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes, Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, and Group 1 Qipco Irish Champion Stakes. The first-named represents his best chance, but even if she fails to make the frame in any of those prestigious events, she will still go to stud with an eye-catching profile.
Creggs Pipes was bred by John Hayes, she is among the best representatives of her sire and she is the first foal out of an unraced mare called Sophie Germain (by Indian Ridge). Her grandam, Nydrion (by Critique), won the Group 1 Oaks d'Italia and her third dam, Nabila (by Foolish Pleasure), was a winning half-sister to several winners.
Those siblings included the Grade 3-placed multiple stakes winner Forty Weight (by Quadratic), whose stakes-placed daughter Forty Fran (by El Gran Senor) produced the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity winner and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Square Eddie (by Smart Strike).
Nabila was also a half-sister to Turn Down The Heat (by Key To The Mint), a three-time winner whose Grade 2-placed and stakes-winning daughter Flying Heat (by Private Account) was the dam of the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap heroine Pompeii (by Broad Brush).
Flying Heat, who won nine times and was placed 19 times from 34 starts, was also responsible for the Grade 3 winner Omi (by Wild Again) and for dual listed scorer Ground Storm (by Summer Squall), she is the grandam of Take The Cake (by Fly So Free), who won the Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes and finished second in the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes, and third dam of the prolific listed sprint winner Free As A Bird (by Hard Spun).
Some of those horses are remotely connected to Creggs Pipes, but their presence on page shows that this is distaff line that is no stranger to blacktype success and that, combined with being a pattern-winning granddaughter of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) will make her a very interesting broodmare prospect.
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.
It is still too early to know for certain, but the early indications are that Coolmore Stud's multiple champion sire Galileo may end up having an even greater impact on the breed that did his own great sire, Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer).
His daughters have produced the European classic stars Galileo Gold (by Paco Boy), La Cressonniere (by Le Havre), Night Of Thunder (by Dubawi) and Qualify (by Fastnet Rock), among others who have won at the highest level, and his early stallion sons include the classic sires New Approach and Teofilo, plus the now Ireland-based Soldier Of Fortune whose six flat stakes winners feature a pair of South American Grade 1 scorers.
His Timeform 147-rated superstar Frankel already has three blacktype earners among his first juveniles, Sixties Icon has had winners at listed, Group 3 and Grade 2 level so far this year, and the early Galileo stallions also include Rip Van Winkle, whom Timeform rated 134, the same figure they awarded to his sire.
He won the Group 3 Tyros Stakes as a juvenile, took the Group 1 Sussex Stakes and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at three and added the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at four. He joined his sire at Coolmore Stud, and although he has not done as well as his initial results promised, there would not appear to be any reason why he won't continue to get stakes and pattern winners, and maybe even at least one more who can win at the highest level.
Dick Whittington was the first of his progeny to achieve that feat, a leading juvenile in Rip Van Winkle's first crop. He won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes (video) and Group 3 Anglesey Stakes that year, but was only seen out once as a three-year-old, finishing a disappointing fourth behind Muhaarar in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt has overcome the setbacks that kept him out of action for the rest of 2015, was unplaced in his first two starts this season, but now appears to have found his form again. He was only beaten by a head and half a length when third in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh last month and then went to Leopardstown on Thursday evening for an impressive win in the Group 3 Oliver Brady Memorial Shabra Ballycorus Stakes over seven furlongs.
Dick Whittington was bred by Swordlestown Stud, who sold him to Camas Park Stud for €55,000 in Goffs as a foal, and when he returned to that arena the following autumn he produced a decent return on that investment, this time making €280,000.
He is the best of several winners out of Sahara Sky (by Danehill), his lightly-raced three-year-old half-sister Carenot (by Iffraaj) won an eight and a half furlong maiden for the William Haggas stable at Beverley in April, and his two-year-old half-brother Winning Ways (by Lope De Vega) is also a member of that same team. That colt is entered in a newcomers' race over six furlongs at Windsor tomorrow evening and his other entries include the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh in September.
Sahara Sky was unraced but it is hardly a surprise that she could produce a pattern winner at stud, given her family connections. Her dam, Old Domesday Book (by High Top), won just once but was placed in the Listed Sir Charles Clore Memorial Stakes and in the Listed Ballymacoll Stud Stakes, both at Newbury, and the best of her nine successful offspring was Owington (by Green Desert).
He was the top-rated juvenile in Germany in 1993, the top three-year-old sprinter in Europe in 1994, and his five wins were headed by the Group 1 July Cup. He also won the Group 2 Moet et Chandon Rennen, the Group 3 Cork and Orrery Stakes and the Group 3 Duke of York Stakes, and the races in which he was placed featured the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and two editions of the Group 1 Sprint Cup.
Sadly, Owington died young and his sole crop included Group 2 Lowther Stakes winner Jemima, pattern-placed stakes winner Jezebel, Group 1 Gran Criterium runner-up Whyome, Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes third Flowington, and also Gateman, a triple Group 3 and multiple listed race winner whose earnings topped £475,000.
His half-sister Midnight Shift (by Night Shift), who won over six furlongs at Redcar and Leicester, is the dam of the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes winner Miss Anabaa (by Anabaa), of Portland Handicap scorer Out After Dark (by Cadeaux Genereux) and of the multiple sprint handicap winner Move It who achieved a peak official rating of 105. She is also the grandam of last year's Group 3 Prix du Bois winner Fly On The Night (by Equiano) and of Listed Sweet Mimosa Stakes scorer Minalisa (by Oasis Dream).
There are various other blacktype earners to be found among the descendants of Old Domesday Book, but nothing of the calibre of Owington, Dick Whittington or their pattern-winning relations, and the third dam of Thursday evening's star is Broken Record (by Busted), a handicapper who was third in the Group 3 Jockey Club Stakes.
Dick Whittington has plenty of speed, as do his best immediate relations, but being a son of Rip Van Winkle he also looks likely to get a mile.
The best of five pattern winners among eight blacktype scorers for his sire, he holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Darley July Cup over six furlongs and Group 2 Kilfrush Stud Sapphire Stakes over five, but his entries also include the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs and the one-mile Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes.
It will be interesting to see where he goes and to find out how high in the rankings he can ascend, and as a Group 1-winning grandson of Galileo and 'nephew' of pattern sire Owington, one would imagine that a place at stud is somewhere in his future.