Mecca's Angel earned a Timeform rating of 129 after her victory in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes at York last year, making her the most highly-rated of her sire's offspring (Lethal Force was on 128) and one of the best sprinters of recent years.
Now aged five, the Michael Dods-trained mare was a neck runner-up to subsequent Group 1 Kings' Stand Stakes winner Profitable in the Group 2 Temple Stakes on her seasonal reappearance, was found to be in season when a huge disappointment in that Royal Ascot contest, she but bounced back in style at the Curragh yesterday when beating Brando by three lengths in the Group 2 Kilfrush Stud Sapphire Stakes.
The five-furlong specialist was bred by the partnership of Yeomanstown Stud and Doc Bloodstock, her trainer snapped her up for just 16,000gns in Newmarket as a yearling, and her pedigree was reviewed here several weeks ago after the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes victory of her full-brother Markaz.
So this is a quick recap of her family's achievements, along with a look at what her sire has done in 2016.
Mecca's Angel is the first foal out the stakes-placed six-times sprint winner Folga (by Clantime), Markaz is her year-younger brother, and they have a two-year-old full-sister named Dirayah, who made 825,000gns from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
The Group 1 star is on course for an attempted repeat victory in next month's Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, so long as the ground is suitable, while her brother is engaged in both the Group 2 Qatar Lennox Stakes over seven furlongs at Goodwood and in the Group 1 Haydock Park Sprint Cup over six. Their aptitudes are a nice example of how, as with humans, full-siblings can show their talents in different ways.
Their grandam, Desert Dawn (by Belfort), was a quick and precocious juvenile who won the Group 3 Prix d'Arenberg and was placed in both the Group 3 Norfolk Stakes and Listed St Hugh's Stakes, but she was also effective as a three-year-old, when she added a listed sprint at Sandown.
Desert Dawn is also the dam of a mile listed race winner called Desert Kaya, and despite the speed of the mare and her descendants, that filly's comparative stamina was not really any surprise. That is because she was by the Group 1 Prix du Jockey-Club (French Derby) winner Bikala (by Kalamoun), a half-brother to runaway Group 1 Irish Derby hero Assert (by Be My Guest) and to Group 1 Irish St Leger winner Eurobird (by Ela-Mana-Mou).
These are the highlights of the first few generations of the pedigree, which makes it likely that its recent notable upgrading is due to the influence of Dark Angel (by Acclamation).
The Yeomanstown Stud stallion raced only as a juvenile, when his best win came in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and his 30 individual stakes winners include Lethal Force, Alhebayeb, Gutaifan and Heeraat, all of whom are pattern winners standing at stud.
In Europe in 2016, Divine has won the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes and was a head runner-up in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes yesterday, Persuasive is an unbeaten mile stakes winner, and Nations Alexander a Group 2-placed juvenile listed scorer. Birchwood, who was a Group 1-placed juvenile Group 2 scorer last year, is a listed race winner this term, as are Log Out Island, Easton Angel, and Group 2-placed Gabrial.
Although the multiple blacktype scorer Sovereign Debt has been out of luck so far this year, his half-length second to Gordon Lord Byron in the Group 2 Friarstown Stud Minstrel Stakes over seven furlongs at the Curragh today was his fourth consecutive blacktype second place finish. The David Nicholls-trained seven-year-old, who was bred by Yeomanstown Stud, has more than £420,000 in earnings to his name, and has more than enough ability to add at least one more blacktype win to his record.
But back to Mecca's Angel, one of the two Group 1 stars for her sire.
She has won nine of her 17 starts, to date, and been runner-up four times, with career earnings in excess of £400,000. In addition to her Group 1 and Group 2 prizes, she has won the Group 3 Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp, the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy at Newbury, and the Listed Scarborough Stakes at Doncaster, in which she beat Reckless Abandon by two and a quarter lengths, and her four lesser wins were achieved by an impressive aggregate of 26 lengths.
It is entirely possible that she will win at least once more at the highest level before eventually going to stud, and as her offspring will have blacktype sprinters for each of their first three dams, there is every reason to hope that at least some of them will be notably talented. And as her own brother stays seven furlongs, and there is a mile stakes winner in the family, it is possible that, depending on their sires, some of her progeny could be potential Guineas-types.