You know a flat horse very well by the time he reaches the age of six and don't expect him to take his career in a new and upward direction, yet Suedois's profile has undergone a dramatic change in 2017.
He was a Group 3 winning sprinter in his native France in 2015, gelded at the end of that four-year-old season – after finishing down the field behind Make Believe in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret – before moving to England to join the David O'Meara team.
He continued performing with credit in the sprinters' division in 2016, chasing home Limato in the Group 1 July Cup and Magical Memory in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes, finishing third to Quiet Reflection in the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and to Limato in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret at Chantilly, and fourth to Signs Of Blessing in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest.
He was clearly talented, but just below top class and unlikely to hit the top.
His first three starts of 2017 were over six furlongs – yielding one third and two unplaced efforts – but then he was a half-length third to Breton Rock in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes over seven, beaten by a similar margin when third to Talaayeb in the Group 3 City of York Stakes over the same trip, before trying something he had not done since October of his two-year-old season.
That first attempt at a mile as a mature horse came at Leopardstown a month ago and he beat True Valour and Psychedelic Funk by half a length and a head, with Sir John Lavery a short-head back in fourth.
It is true that this was a weak contest for the grade, but now that Suedois was a winner over a mile, his options had opened. Yesterday he notched up his first win at the highest level with a half-length defeat of Heart To Heart in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland.
Suedois is the third top-level winner for Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) winner and Haras de la Cauviniere stallion Le Havre (by Rahy), the stallion whose other big pair are the dual classic heroines Avenir Certain and La Cressonniere.
He is the first foal out of the two-time Swedish winner Cup Cake (by Singspiel) and she is a granddaughter of Deauville listed scorer Gold Script (by Script Ohio), the mare who gave us Honours List (by Danehill).
He was a talented member of the Ballydoyle juvenile team 17 years ago when he won the Group 3 Railway Stakes at the Curragh, was runner-up in the Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre and third in the Group 1 Grand Criterium.
He sired some blacktype horses at stud, and his stakes-placed half-sister Zina La Belle (by Mark Of Esteem) did her part for the family by coming up with 2014's Group 2 Oaks d'Italia runner-up Schighera (by New Approach).
Quiet Thoughts (by Thatching), the fourth dam of Suedois, won the Group 3 Athasi Stakes at the Curragh in 1985 and she was a granddaughter of Fleet Wahine (by Fleet Nasrullah), the Timeform 121-rated winner of the Yorkshire Oaks and Ribblesdale Stakes of 1971.
With what he had achieved in the first few years of his career, Suedois was a somewhat unlikely candidate to succeed at the highest level, but the move from sprinting to competition at a mile has brought about a positive change in direction and it would be no surprise to see him perform with credit over that trip in Europe next year, at the age of seven.