After his first start of the current campaign, when he finished last of five behind Capri in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes over 10 furlongs at Naas, Cliffs Of Moher's record showed just two wins and a single place from 10 starts.
That does not sound like the record of a good horse, but those wins included the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester, which came just a few weeks before he chased home Wings Of Eagles in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
He was then fourth to Ulysses in both the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, but unplaced in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 Champion Stakes, and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf. Timeform rated the Aidan O'Brien-trained bay 123, and his earnings topped £500,000.
He finally got a first pattern success to his name when staying-on well to beat Success Days by one and three-quarter lengths in the Group 2 Coolmore Camelot Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes over 10 furlongs at Naas six days ago. Yucatan and Mustajeer were another head and nose back in third and fourth.
Cliffs Of Moher is a son of prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells), he was bred by the Wave Syndicate, and he is the first foal out of five-furlong winner Wave (by Dansili), a half-sister to two horses of note and from the family of many more.
Francis Of Assisi (by Danehill Dancer) won the Listed Knockaire Stakes over seven furlongs at Leopardstown when trained by Aidan O'Brien, was a Grade 2-placed multiple winner over hurdles when trained by John Ferguson, then switched to the Charlie Appleby team, won Group 3 contests over 12 and 13 furlongs in Australia, and was last seen in action when down the field behind Frankuus in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock last August.
That gelding's full-sister Look At Me did all of her racing for the Ballydoyle team, getting the better of her two wins in the Listed Navigation Stakes over eight and a half furlongs at Cork, taking the runners-up spot in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes and Group 3 Kilternan Stakes, and finishing third in both the Group 2 Blandford Stakes and Group 3 Dance Design Stakes.
Look At Me's first foal is Kind Of Magic (by Galileo), a close relation to Cliffs Of Moher and whose only placing in seven starts was her victory in the Listed Flame Of Tara Stakes over a mile at Curragh as a two-year-old.
Their dam, Queen Cleopatra (by Kingmambo), got her only win in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a mile at Leopardstown before taking third in both the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and she, in turn, is a daughter of Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes scorer Sequoyah (by Sadler's Wells).
This makes Cliffs Of Moher inbred 2x4 to Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer), 4x4 to Mr Prospector (by Raise a Native), and 3x5x5 to Northern Dancer (by Nearctic).
In addition to Queen Cleopatra, Sequoyah is also the dam of that filly's star full-brother Henrythenavigator, who won the Group 1 2000 Guineas, Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes and Group 1 Sussex Stakes, was runner-up in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic, Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, but a disappointment at stud.
His first crop included Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Pedro The Great and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf scorer George Vancouver, and he later got another Phoenix Stakes winner in Sudirman, but a total of 20 stakes winners worldwide, despite serving shuttle time in Australia and Chile, is a weak record.
The first two of those top-level winners were freshman sires in France in 2017, both have come up with a string of winners, and Pedro The Great has shown some promise with the pattern-placed stakes winner Feralia and last month's nine-furlong Grade 3 Providencia Stakes heroine Fatale Bere on his roll of honour.
There are plenty more good horses in the family as third dam Sequoyah is out of Brigid (by Irish River), which makes her a full-sister to Group 1 Fillies' Mile winner and blacktype producer Listen, a full-sister to Coeur De Beaute's (by Dabirsim) grandam Clara Bow, and half-sister to Lady Windermere (by Lake Coniston), the unraced grandam of Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf star Magician (by Galileo).
The latter, a full-brother to 12-furlong Grade 3 winner Apple Betty and to Listed Naas Oaks Trial scorer and Grade 1 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes third Outstanding, began his stallion career at Coolmore's US division Ashford Stud, his first yearlings made up to 210,000gns in England and up to $80,000 in Keeneland last year, and in a rather unusual step, he left Kentucky mid-season to move to Ireland where he has joined the roster at Castle Hyde Stud and will finish out the current season at a fee of €7,500.
Brigid, of course, is a full-sister to Or Vision, the dual stakes-winning dam of Group/Grade 1 stars Dolphin Street (by Bluebird), Insight (by Sadler's Wells), and Saffron Walden (by Sadler's Wells). The first named took the Prix de la Foret, the filly won the E P Taylor Stakes, and her full-brother landed the Irish 2000 Guineas.
A poor strike rate of wins and places to races run appears to be something of a surprising family trait among the better horses within the most recent generations of the family – Henrythenavigator and Magician being notable exceptions – but there is clearly plenty of talent there.
Cliffs Of Moher holds entries in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and, at his best, he has the ability to make the frame or, with luck, even pick up one of those.
It remains to be seen if he will earn a place at stud when his racing days come to an end, but as a classic-placed Group 2-winning son of Galileo from this family, he is likely to have some appeal.