Dual Derby hero and prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) is on his way towards potentially become an even more influential stallion than was his own great sire.
His notable early sire sons include the Derby hero New Approach, an undefeated juvenile champion who rounded off his career with a six-length victory in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket. Three stakes winners at Royal Ascot among his first two-year-olds signalled tremendous potential, and that crop featured juvenile champion and classic star Dawn Approach, Oaks winner and St Leger runner-up Talent, and Derby second Libertarian.
Sultanina, who raced only as a four-year-old, is another Group 1 winner among New Approach's oldest progeny, and the southern hemisphere half of that crop includes the Australian 10-furlong Group 1 scorer May's Dream. His current figures are 18 pattern winners and 11 listed scorers among 55 blacktype progeny.
His third-crop daughter Beautiful Romance, who was Group 1-placed last year, won the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York in May, his fourth-crop son Herald The Dawn won the Group 2 Futurity Stakes and was runner-up in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes in 2015, and at Munich yesterday, his second-crop son Elliptique won the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis – Bayerisches Zuchtrennen.
The Rothschild Family's homebred entire is trained by Andre Fabre, he was favourite for the 10-furlong contest, which he won by half a length from the Group 2-winning German-trained filly Royal Solitaire (by Shamardal), and another half-length back in third was dual Group 3-scorer Potemkin, also a five-year-old son of New Approach.
Not only is Elliptique a fifth individual Group 1 winner for New Approach, but he joins the roll of honour of horses who got an early start on the artificial tracks before going on to succeed at the highest level.
Last year both the Irish Derby (Jack Hobbs) and Irish Oaks (Covert Love) went to horses whose maiden success came on all-weather surfaces, and in 2016 we have seen Hawkbill (Coral-Eclipse), Seventh Heaven (Irish Oaks), Silverwave (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Zelzal (Prix Jean Prat) graduate from the all-weather surfaces to Group 1 glory.
Also notable are last month's Group 2 Lancashire Oaks scorer Endless Time and the Group 2 Dante Stakes winner Wings of Desire, who chased home Highland Reel in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot nine days ago.
Elliptique got his start in a seven and a half-furlong conditions race for two-year-olds on the fibresand at Deauville three years ago. That was a few weeks before he finished third behind Ectot in a listed contest on turf at the same venue. He chased home that same colt in the Group 3 Prix des Chenes and then rounded off his first season with victory in the Group 3 Prix de Conde at Longchamp.
His only win at three came in a 10 furlong conditions event on soft ground at Maisons-Laffitte, but at four he won the Group 3 Grand Prix de Vichy. He kicked off the current season with defeat of Manatee on the polytrack at Chantilly in March and then chased home Air Pilot in the Group 3 La Coupe, his only other outing before his Group 1 success.
Elliptique is out of Uryale (by Kendor) and that makes him a half-brother to the triple mile stakes winner Cicerole (by Barathea). She was only beaten by half a length when runner-up in both the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom and the Group 3 Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud, and she was also placed in the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs and Group 3 Prix la Rochette.
Their dam was listed-placed in France as a two-year-old, and that half-sister to listed scorer Wedding Night (by Valanour) is out of dual winner Green Field Park (by Akarad), a mare who has some well-known relations.
Her half-brother Majorien (by Machiavellian) won the Group 2 Prix du Conseil de Paris and was runner-up in Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap, Group 1 Grand Criterium and Group 2 Prix d'Harcourt. She also has two notable half-sisters, one of whom is Listed Hopeful Stakes winner Rose Indien (by Crystal Glitters).
That speedy filly became the dam of eight winners, headed by the prolific Salty Sea (by Siberian Express), whose double-digit tally includes a listed handicap at Calder. His nine-times winning half-brother War Tempo (by Quiet American) has been placed in a listed contest and in more than 20 other races, and they have a stakes-placed half-sister called Darkwood (by Fit To Fight).
Rose Indien is also the grandam of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes winner and dual Grade 2-placed Guilt Trip (by Pulpit) and of Group 2 Superlative Stakes scorer Silver Grecian (by Haafhd), and the latter is a half-brother to the Grade 2-placed hurdler Lettre de Cachet (by Authorized). Guilt Trip entered stud in Louisiana in 2015.
The other notable sister of Green Field Park is the Group 2 Prix de Mallaret winner America (by Arazi) and it is she who is the dam of Group 1 Melbourne Cup hero Americain (by Dynaformer).
He also won the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier, Group 2 Prix Kergorlay, Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, Group 2 Zipping Classic and Group 3 Geelong Stakes, and his blacktype placings include the runners-up spot in the Group 1 BMW Stakes and third in the Group 1 Australian Cup and Group 1 Hong Kong Vase.
Americain took up stallion duties at Calumet Farm in Kentucky, spent the 2015 season at the Irish National Stud, and then returned to Calumet. He got off the mark as a sire when his daughter Folk Magic, who is out of a half-sister to the pattern-placed multiple stakes winning sprinter/miler Chan Chan (by Spinning World), made a winning debut over six furlongs at Woodbine nine days ago.
Green Rosy (by Green Dancer), the stakes-placed third dam of Elliptique, is a full-sister to the listed scorer and successful National Hunt and sport horse stallion Big Sink Hope, she is a half-sister to the US Grade 3 scorer Rose Bouquet (by Full Out), and to two mares who have produced stakes winners at stud.
More notable of that pair is Rensaler (by Stop The Music) because she is responsible for the Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap winner Jovial (by Northern Jove), Grade 3 scorer Brave Note (by Dancing Brave) and two listed scorers, whereas Aroz (by Fappiano) is the dam of two listed race winners and grandam of another one.
It is fair to say that Elliptique was well-placed to pick up a Group 1 prize and that considerable improvement would be required from him if he is to repeat the feat against a top-class field. But with this win comes the possibility that he may now get a place at stud whenever his racing days come to an end, and as a grandson of Galileo and from the family of American, it would be interesting to see how he might fare in that role.