The Danehill (by Danzig) sire line has proved to be one of the most successful around the world and it added to its Group 1 tally yesterday when Librisa Breeze sprang a mild surprise in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
The Dean Ivory-trained gelding was known to possess plenty of ability and, having finished fourth to The Tin Man in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes and runner-up to Massaat in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes, he was clearly one with the potential to succeed at pattern level.
He had a Timeform rating of 120, which is excellent, but it put him well below his most illustrious and Group 1-winning rivals. Soft underfoot conditions no doubt played a part, adding a relative stamina emphasis to the six-furlong trip, but his one and quarter-length defeat of Tasleet still represents another big step forward.
This is a horse who, as was no surprise given his pedigree, began his career over a mile, got his first win over 10 furlongs, and has been gradually coming down in trip. Now the five-year-old has the potential for a rewarding season at six and seven furlongs in 2018, even if he may again need fortune to swing his way if he is to pick up another top-level win.
Librisa Breeze was bred by Newsells Park Stud, which is where his sire stood for eight seasons before moving to Boardsmill Stud in Ireland. He, Mount Nelson (by Rock Of Gibraltar), won the Group 1 Criterium International over a mile at two, added the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse Stakes at four, and has sired a variety of blacktype horses over a wide range of distances.
These include Group 2 scorers Berkshire, Boscaccio and Highlands Queen, dual classic-placed Volume, stakes-winning sprinter Ninjago and promising young stayer Mount Moriah.
The Group 1 victory came 10 days too late to add extra gloss to the catalogue page of his Lawman (by Invincible Spirit) half-brother who made just 25,000gns in Newmarket. The pair are out of stakes-placed Bruxcalina (by Linamix) and that half-sister to Group 3 Prix La Force winner and Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) third Baraan (by Dalakhani) comes from a famous family.
Brusca (by Grindstone), the grandam of Librisa Breeze, won three times and, although out of an unraced mare called Chic Corine (by Nureyev), she is a half-sister to the Grade 1 Diana Stakes heroine Somali Lemonade (by Lemon Drop Kid).
She is also a half-sister to listed scorer Rasta Farian (by Holy Bull) and, as her name might suggest, she is a daughter of Chic Shrine (by Mr Prospector), the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes-winning full-sister to Grade 1 star Queena and both dam and grandam of several horses of note.
Her son Waldoboro (by Lyphard) won the Grade 2 True North Handicap over six furlongs at Belmont Park and her best daughter, Tara Roma (by Lyphard), took the Grade 2 Ladies Handicap over 10 furlongs at Aqueduct before going on to become the dam of Grade 1 Go For Wand Stakes heroine Serra Lake (by Seattle Slew) and third dam of shock Grade 1 Travers Stakes scorer Keen Ice (by Curlin).
Chic Corine's half-sister Flying Passage (by A.P. Indy) won only once but is the dam of the Grade 1-placed dual Grade 2 winner Hungry Island (by More Than Ready) and of Grade 3 scorer Soaring Empire (by Empire Maker), while unplaced sibling Enchanted Rock (by Giant's Causeway) is the dam Grade 1 star Verrazano (by More Than Ready) and his Grade 2-winning half-brother El Padrino (by Pulpit), both of whom are in early stages of their stallion careers.
Chic Shrine's aforementioned star sibling, Queena, won the Grade 1 Ballerina Stakes, Grade 1 Maskette Stakes and Grade 1 Ruffian Handicap before becoming the dam of Grade 1 Hollywood Derby scorer and Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile third Brahms (by Danzig), and of Grade 3 winner and blacktype producer La Reina (by A.P. Indy).
Their dam, Too Chic (by Blushing Groom), won the Grade 1 Maskette Stakes and she, the fifth dam of Librisa Breeze, was a granddaughter of Monade (by Klairon), 1962's winner of the Oaks at Epsom.
Now that Librisa Breeze has found his forte, it will be interesting to see how his career develops from this point and if he can find further improvement at the age of six.