The first pattern event of the new European season – the Group 3 Betway Winter Derby Stakes over 10 furlongs on polytrack at Lingfield – proved quite dramatic, with the Aidan O'Brien-trained favourite Clear Skies badly impeded and dropping back at a key point and then the David Simcock-trained Mr Owen veering to his right near the finish, causing interference and passing the post a head in front of the one he bumped, with just four lengths covering the first nine home.
The placings were inevitably reversed and so it is the David Elsworth-trained seven-year-old Master The World, a first-crop son of Coolmore Stud's classic sire Mastercraftsman (by Danehill Dancer), whose name goes into the record books.
He won the Listed Churchill Stakes over the same course and distance in mid-November, carried 9st 7lbs to victory in the valuable Betfred Mile Handicap at Goodwood in August, his blacktype placings include the runners-up spot to Zonderland in the Group 3 Sovereign Stakes at Salisbury in 2016 and he finished third in the valuable Balmoral Handicap over a mile at Ascot the year before.
He had an official handicap mark of 107 going into this afternoon's big race, has achieved a career-high of 108, and it seems likely that his pattern victory will remain a highlight for the talented grey.
Mastercraftsman's first crop also includes the Group 1 stars Amazing Maria, Kingston Hill and The Grey Gatsby, his second features US Grade 1 scorer Off Limits, and his current batch of three-year-olds includes several potential Group 1 candidates, notably the stakes-winning fillies Alpha Centauri and Wind Chimes.
Master The World is the second foal out of the two-year-old fibresand winner Zadalla (by Zaha), who is a half-sister to the juvenile Group 1-placed listed scorer Hearthstead Wings (by In The Wings), who later stayed two miles.
Their siblings also include Innishmore (by Lear Fan), who is the unraced dam of the Grade 1-winning hurdler Guitar Pete (by Dark Angel), and they are out of Inishdalla (by Green Desert), a Listed Athasi Stakes winner who was a three-quarter-length runner-up to Capricciosa in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh, when it was still run over six furlongs.
That speedy filly was, in turn, a half-sister to Group 3 Gladness Stakes and multiple listed race scorer Great Lakes (by Lomond), to Listed Easter Stakes winner Severn Bore (by Corvaro) and to Group 3 Prix Chloe heroine Swept Away (by Kris), the latter also notable as being the grandam of Taisho (by Namaqualand), another winner of the Listed Athasi Stakes.
The third dam of Master The World is, therefore, Costly Wave (by Caro), the top-rated three-year-old filly in Italy in 1979 following her victory in the Group 2 Premio Ribot. She was also a triple stakes winner in France and the races in which she was placed included the Group 3 Prix du Calvados, Group 3 Prix Chloe, and Group 2 Prix de l'Opera.
She was out of Arctic Wave (by Arctic Slave), who finished third to Lupe in the Oaks at Epsom in 1970, and so was a half-sister to Icy More (by Ballymore), the winning dam of Group 3 Prix de la Grotte and Group 3 Prix des Chenes heroine Captive Island (by Northfields), who became a notable success at stud.
Her star son Single Empire (by Kris) took both the Group 1 Derby Italiano and Grade 1 San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap, his classic-placed half-brother Court Of Honour (by Law Society) won the Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club and was also a Group 1-placed pattern winner in Australia, while Rubhahunish (by Darshaan) was third in the Group 1 Derby Italiano before going on to win the Grade 1 Champion Stayers' Hurdle at Punchestown.
Master The World, who made €38,000 in Goffs as a foal, €32,000 at that venue as a yearling, and just 15,000gns at the Tattersalls July Sale the following summer, has won six of his 50 starts and accumulated over £388,000 in earnings. He is a credit to his connections and there should be some more good prizes to be earned with him before he eventually retires.