It is not often that a horse is asked to make its racecourse debut in a pattern race, but an Aidan O'Brien-trained juvenile came out on top in the Group 3 Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies' Sprint Stakes at Naas on her first start, beating Peace Charter and Celtic Beauty by half a length and the same.
One of several horses currently sporting the name Etoile, she is the one whose full name is Etoile (USA) and she should not be confused with the Japanese three-year-old Etoile (JPN) or the France-based Etoile (FR) who won this afternoon's Group 3 Prix Cleopatre at Saint-Cloud.
The Irish filly is the latest notable winner bred by Orpendale, Cheltson & Wynatt, and although the bare form of what she achived is open to question, this is a horse who is bred to show her best as a three-year-old and over a trip in excess of yesterday's six furlongs.
She is the sixth foal of her dam, her four winning siblings include Galateia (by Dansili) who was stakes-placed over seven furlongs in France and also Most Gifted, a filly who won twice for the Ballydoyle team last year, aged three. Those wins came over seven furlongs at Cork and six furlongs at Naas and she finished fourth in the Listed Cairn Rouge Stakes over a mile at Killarney, missing out on blacktype by just half a length.
Gagnoa (by Sadler's Wells), their dam, won the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs over a mile at Deauville as a two-year-old, added the ten-and-a-half-furlong Group 3 Prix Penelope the following spring, failed by just three-parts of a length to beat Belle Et Celebre in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary, chased home Zarkava in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), and then finished a two-length third to Moonstone in the Group 1 Irish Oaks.
That mare's most notable siblings could be described as being three-parts ones rather than half, as both are by sons of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer), and the ten-furlong listed scorer Kissed (by Galileo) is the lesser of the pair. That thrice-raced former Ballydoyle inmate is the dam of a dual sprint winner called Leo Minor (by War Front) and that close relation to Etoile picked up some blacktype when finishing third in a seven-furlong listed contest at Dundalk.
However, Gagnoa's more notable sibling is 2011's Group 1 Investec Derby star Pour Moi (by Montjeu), the sire of Wings Of Eagles, who won the 2017 edition of that same classic. Both are members of Coolmore's National Hunt stallion division.
Gwynn (by Darshaan), the grandam of Etoile, is out of a half-sister to Awaasif (by Snow Knight), the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club heroine whose Oaks-winning daughter Snow Bride (by Blushing Groom) gave us the Derby and Arc hero Lammtarra (by Nijinsky).
One would expect that a filly with these family connections would be much better at three than as a juvenile and that she could be an eight-to-ten-furlong performer in her classic year. It will be interesting to see how her career progresses from this promising start.
European auction houses are no strangers to selling horses that go on to classic success. Usually those wins happen on this continent. but an Arqana May Breeze-Up Sale graduate has won the Group 1 Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the US Triple Crown.
War Of Will is an American-born son of Claiborne Farm's outstanding stallion War Front (by Danzig) and the Keeneland September Yearling Sale was the location of his first public appearance. He failed to meet his reserve that day, led out unsold at $175,000, and although catalogued as lot 63 for the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale last year, missed that event and went to the French auction instead.
It was there that Justin Casse bought him for €250,000, three months before the colt began his career with a third-place finish in a seven-furlong Woodbine maiden. He was a three-quarter-length runner-up to Fog Of War in the Grade 1 Summer Stakes over a mile on turf at the same venue three weeks later, then finished fourth in a Grade 3 contest at Keeneland before taking fifth to Line Of Duty in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. Then he won his maiden, scoring by five lengths over eight and a half furlongs on dirt at Churchill Downs.
A four-length win in the Grade 3 Lecomte Stakes over the same trip at Fair Grounds in January was followed by a two-and-a-quarter-length defeat of Country House in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes over the same course and distance a month later, but he disappointed when an odds-on favourite for the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby next time before enduring a troubled passage in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.
He was one of those impacted by the move that led to Maximum Security being disqualified that day but gained some compensation with his length-and-a-quarter defeat of Everfast at Pimlico. Owendale was a nose back in third, a length and a quarter in front of his stable companion Warrior's Charge.
War Of Will was bred by the Niarchos family's Flaxman Holdings Ltd and represents one of their most successful families. The half-brother to Group 1 National Stakes winner and successful young South African blacktype sire Pathfork (by Distorted Humor) is out of the French listed scorer Visions Of Clarity (by Sadler's Wells).
War Front's previous top-level winners out of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer) mares are the siblings Brave Anna and Hit It A Bomb, whereas Roly Poly, U S Navy Flag and the aforementioned Fog Of War are out of daughters of Galileo (by Sadler's Wells). It may appear to carry significance, but results from just four mares with a partial connection don't necessarily reflect anything more than coincidence coming from having sent well-bred individuals to a top sire. There are no magic formulae when it comes to breeding racehorses.
Visions Of Clarity is a half-sister to the classic and Breeders' Cup-winning miler Spinning World (by Nureyev) – who was a notably successful stallion – and she is out of Imperfect Circle (by Riverman), a Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes winner who was runner-up in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes and who has several siblings of note.
That mare's winning half-sister Remote Romance (by Irish River) is the dam of the middle-distance Group 1 scorer Saddex (by Sadler's Wells), her half-brother Denon (by Pleasant Colony) was a multiple winner at the highest level but a disappointing stallion, and her half-sister Chimes Of Freedom (by Private Account) won both the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and Group 1 Coronation Stakes before going on to a notable career at stud.
That star gave us the Grade 1 Atto mile winner Good Journey (by Nureyev) and US champion Aldebaran (by Mr Prospector) whose wins featured the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, Grade 1 Forego Handicap, and Grade 1 San Carlos Handicap. She is also the dam of a listed scorer and the ancestor of several others who have won in blacktype company.
Aviance (by Northfields), who won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes a juvenile, is the third dam of Will Of War, and that half-sister to Group 1 Prix du Cadran scorer Chief Contender (by Sadler's Wells) is a granddaughter of the Grade 3 winner and hugely influential mare Best In Show (by Traffic Judge).
War Of Will is a classic winner with an outstanding pedigree, one that will also make him an exciting prospect when the time comes for him to go to stud. Before then, however, there should be plenty more good prizes to be won with him. It would be great to see him take on Maximum Security again soon and, of course, the best of the older horses.
Crystal Ocean notched up his sixth pattern-race win when landing the Group 3 Al Rayyan Stakes (registered as the Aston Park Stakes) over 12 furlongs at Newbury yesterday. He beat Laraaib by two lengths and had Raymond Tusk another three lengths back in third. Last month he beat Knight To Behold by two and a quarter lengths to take the Group 3 bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes over a quarter-mile less at Sandown.
The five-year-old, whom Timeform rated 129 last year, has now won seven of his 14 starts and has never finished out of the first three. He has earned over £1.1 million in prize money, been runner-up in the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes, Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Group 1 William Hill St Leger, and is one of the best horses of recent years not to have won at the highest level.
That one blot on his CV may change this year, he holds entries in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse, will no doubt have other Group 1 targets later in the summer and autumn.
Crystal Ocean was bred by Southcourt Stud and is one of four high-class offspring out of juvenile listed scorer Crystal Star (by Mark Of Esteem). Hillstar (by Danehill Dancer) won the Grade 1 Canadian International Stakes, Crystal Capella (by Cape Cross) won the Group 2 Princess of Wales's Stakes and two editions of the Group 2 Pride Stakes, and Crystal Zvezda (by Dubawi) won a ten-furlong listed contest at Newbury.
Their dam's pattern-placed half-sister Waila (by Notnowcato) ran away with a listed race over a mile and a half at Newmarket, and they are out of Crystal Cavern (by Be My Guest), a seven-furlong scorer and half-sister to Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) winner Rose Gypsy (by Green Desert).
This means that the third dam of Crystal Ocean is Krisalya (by Kris), the winning half-sister to Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan star Sasuru (by Most Welcome), listed scorers Little Bean (by Ajdal) and Sossus Vlei (by Inchinor), ill-fated Group 2 Challenge Stakes winner Sally Rous (by Rousillon), and Group 3 Park Hill Stakes runner-up The Faraway Tree (by Suave Dancer), the dam of US Grade 1 ace Tuscan Evening (by Oasis Dream).
Crystal Ocean will likely find a place at stud upon completion of his racing career. Hopefully, he will do so as a Group 1 winner rather than as the classic-placed prolific pattern scorer that he is now.
Six-year-old gelding Mustashry, a dual Group 2 winner in 2018, hit the Group 1 target at the second attempt when powering home to defeat Laurens in the Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes at Newbury yesterday. He was unplaced in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile in November on his only previous try at the highest level.
The Hamdan Al Maktoum homebred, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute, showed a good turn of foot in the final furlong and beat the multiple Group 1-winning filly by two and a half lengths despite drifting to his right.
Last year's surprise Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes winner Accidental Agent was another half-length back in third, finishing three-parts of a length in front of 2018's Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas scorer Romanised who was, in turn, a head and half-length in front of the Ballydoyle pair Le Brivido and I Can Fly. The first of that pair was slowly away and met with some trouble in running before running on well in the closing stages, and he could be winning in pattern company soon.
The winner, who was beaten by a total of three and three-quarter lengths when third to Zabeel Prince in the Group 3 Earl of Sefton Stakes on his previous start, holds entries in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse.
Mustashry, who has won eight of his 18 starts, is a son of Derrinstown Stud stallion Tamayuz (by Nayef). It is somewhat of a surprise that the relation to Urban Sea (by Miswaki) has only sired 21 stakes winners to date given that they include classic-winning miler Precieuse, Group 1-winning sprinter G Force, Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Blond Me, and the Group 2 scorers Desert Skyline, Gallic Chieftain, and Sir Prancealot.
The tally also includes the Group 1-placed blacktype scorers Thawaany and Tupi, plus the pattern-winning fillies Hunaina and Making Light, so clearly he is more than capable of siring high-class racehorses. We can expect Tamayuz's tally to increase and his Group 1 record to strengthen over the next few years.
Mustashry is a half-brother to the Group 3-placed multiple handicap scorer Munaaser (by New Approach) and is the best of several winning offspring of Safwa (by Green Desert). She won over a mile and is a half-sister to Maraahel (by Alzao), the high-class middle-distance horse whose seven pattern wins featured back-to-back editions of the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot.
He beat Mountain High in the race in 2006, then Scorpion in 2007, and between those two wins he came within a short-head of adding the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York, pipped at the line by Notnowcato – one of five times that he was placed at the highest level.
Safwa's siblings also include Group 3 Prestige Stakes third Huja (by Alzao) – whose son Tazahum (by Redoute's Choice) won the Listed Heron Stakes and was placed in two editions of the Group 3 Strensall Stakes – and she is out of nine-furlong winner Nasanice (by Nashwan), a half-sister to four mares of note.
Stakes winner Sahool (by Unfuwain) was runner-up in both the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes before becoming the dam of the Group 3 Cumberland Stakes scorer Laraaib (by Pivotal), Mathool (by Alhaarth) is the dam of Irish listed scorer Erysimum (by Arcano), Sarawati (by Haafhd) is the dam of Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club winner and Group 1 St Leger runner-up Ventura Storm (by Zoffany), and Alikhlas (by Lahib) is the winning dam of Gutaifan (by Dark Angel).
The last-named was a quicker sort than many in his family – although there are some sprinters farther back in his branch of the page – and he was retired to stud at the end of his two-year-old season having won the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin and Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes and been runner-up in the Group 1 Prix Morny. He stands alongside his sire at Yeomanstown Stud in Ireland and is off the mark as a freshman sire of 2019.
Mustashry, who was Timeform-rated 121 as a four-year-old and 122 at five, appears to be at least as good as ever, if not better, at the age of six. He is a fine advertisement for his sire and looks set to play a prominent role in the best mile and possibly ten-furlong races of the year.
Whitsbury Manor Stud stallion Due Diligence (by War Front) became the first freshman sire to get a stakes winner this year when his daughter Good Vibes won the Listed Langleys Solicitors British EBF Marygate Fillies' Stakes over five furlongs at York yesterday.
The David Evans-trained filly has now won two of her three starts and will go for next month's Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. She was a five-length runner-up to Chasing Dreams on her debut at Newmarket last month, scored by a neck at Salisbury 12 days later and got her blacktype win by a length and a half from Mighty Spirit, with favourite Lady Kermit another length back in third.
Good Vibes was bred by Whitsbury Manor Stud and sold by them for £35,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale in Doncaster. She is a half-sister to a winner and is out of five-furlong scorer Satsuma (by Compton Place). That mare's siblings include Astrophysics (by Paco Boy), who was a head runner-up in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes as a two-year-old.
Jodrell Bank (by Observatory), the grandam of Good Vibes, was placed only once – over six furlongs – from ten starts but is a full-sister to Grade 1 Hollywood Derby runner-up Sebastian Flyte and half-sister to Age Of Chivalry (by Invincible Spirit), winner of the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes over six furlongs and runner-up in the seven-furlong Group 3 Brownstown Stakes when trained by John Oxx.
Due Diligence, on the other hand, won three of his ten starts, including the Listed Lackan Stakes over six furlongs at Naas, and he chased home Slade Power in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot. The former Aidan O'Brien trainee earned a rating of 120 from Timeform, there were 79 registered foals in his first crop, and his yearlings made up to 95,000gns in 2018.
Yeomanstown Stud stallion Dark Angel (by Acclamation) is well-established as a source of top-class sprinters and milers, his offspring include the nine-furlong US Grade 1 scorer Raging Bull, and we know that a stallion who passes on the "speed gene" to his offspring can get good winners at up to about 10 and a half furlongs, depending on what the mare brings to the mix.
Two years ago his US-based son Hunt won Grade 2 races over eight and a half furlongs and nine furlongs. Last year he won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile Stakes at Santa Anita. However, that gelding's big-race trio of 2017 also included the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap over 11 furlongs on firm turf. He beat the French-bred Itsinthepost by three-parts of a length at level weights.
Now the stallion has had a Group 3 winner over 12 and a half furlongs, something that may take a lot of people by surprise. It is true that the middle-distance division is not as strong in Australia as it is here, but that does not take from the fact that Valac won the Group 3 Dominant Queens Cup, a handicap at Morphettville, in style.
The ground was described as good, he was favourite for the race, and took the prize by a length from last year's Group 1 Schweppes Oaks heroine Sopressa (gave 1lb) and with Meli Melo (rec. 1lb) another one and three-quarter lengths back in third.
If Dark Angel can get a pattern winner over this trip, and one from a top European family, then there is every reason to hope that he can get at least one more, despite everything we've known about him up to now. So perhaps a Dark Angel-sired leading candidate for a European Derby or Oaks is something that we could see in the coming years.
Valac, a now near-white seven-year-old gelding, began his career in Ireland with Dermot Weld, earning placings over seven, eight, and ten furlongs, and he is now based with the team of David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig. He was bred by Moyglare Stud Farm in Ireland and represents one of their famous families.
His dam is a winning full-sister to Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes winner Dress To Thrill (by Danehill), which makes her a daughter of Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Trusted Partner (by Affirmed), but she is Polished Gem and so also well-established as a celebrity broodmare in her own right, one who has had four pattern winners from her first five foals.
Sapphire was her first born and that Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes runner-up won the Group 2 British Champions Filly and Mare Stakes, Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes, and Group 3 Noblesse Stakes, each of those three victories coming over 12 furlongs on soft ground. That's a bit more stamina that one usually expects in a Medicean (by Machiavellian).
Custom Cut was her second foal, and although he was not disgraced when fourth in a Group 2 contest over the extended ten furlongs at York – the course and distance over which his sire Notnowcato (by Inchinor) got his best win – he proved best at a mile. His string of blacktype wins over that trip include the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown, Group 2 bet365 Mile at Sandown, and Group 2 Joel Stakes at Newmarket, although he also picked up the Group 3 Strensall Stakes over nine furlongs at York.
Polished Gem's third foal is Amber Romance (by Bahamian Bounty), the winning dam of a Grade 2-placed hurdler, and her fourth is Free Eagle (by High Chaparral), the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes star who stands at the Irish National Stud.
He is the son of a dual Derby winning son of Sadler's Wells (by Northern Dancer), albeit one who often got top performers at eight and ten furlongs. Although known as being a Timeform 128-rated standout over a mile and a quarter, Free Eagle ran just eight times in his career and was far from disgraced when finishing a four-and-a-quarter-length sixth to Golden Horn in the Group 1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, his only attempt at 12 furlongs.
Valac is the mare's fifth foal, he is followed by the multiple Qatar scorer Rich History (by Dubawi), and then by Falcon Eight (by Galileo), a lightly-raced member of the Weld team who looks one to note in the stayers' division this year.
He won easily over 12 and 11 furlongs on his first two starts last year – at the Curragh and Killarney – before finishing third to Cypress Creek in the Group 3 Loughbrown Stakes over two miles at Naas in September. His only other outing since then is his second-place finish to Twilight Payment in the Listed Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes over 14 furlongs at Leopardstown on Friday, and the four-year-old's entries include next month's Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot.
There are many other notable winners in the various branches of this family, including the Group 2 British Champions Long Distance Cup winner and Group 1 Gold Cup third Forgotten Rules (by Nayef), and it is one that always had the potential to pass on either a miler's speed or middle-distance horse's stamina to its descendants.
One would have expected that a Dark Angel foal from this family would become one of its milers, and that one from a mare with Polished Gem's produce record could possibly stay ten furlongs, but when Valac has inherited enough stamina to enable him to win a pattern race over 12 and a half furlongs then it's entirely possible that at least one other son of daughter of Dark Angel will do so too, possibly even at the highest level.
Star stayer Stradivarius, who went undefeated through a five-race campaign in 2018, made a winning return to action in the Group 2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup Stakes, giving 3lbs and a three-quarter-length beating to the promising four-year-old Southern France.
Bjorn Nielsen's homebred has now won ten of his 15 starts and, if you include the huge bonus he landed last year, has earned over £2.7 million so far. The John Gosden-trained entire will now bid to repeat his Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million sequence, the next leg of which is the Group 1 Gold Cup at Ascot.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained runner-up, who was third to Kew Gardens in last year's Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster but then an unplaced favourite in the Cesarewitch, is also engaged in that two-and-a-half-mile marathon, in addition to having some big-race entries over 12 furlongs, and the son of Galileo is an interesting recruit to the stayers' division.
The pair finished five lengths clear of Mildenberger in third and that Mark Johnston-trained four-year-old may be set to drop back in trip. His entries include the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
Stradivarius is a son of the Timeform 140-rated standout and outstanding Gilltown Stud stallion Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross). He is a half-brother to the dual ten-furlong German Group 3 scorer Persian Storm (by Monsun) and out of Private Life (by Bering), who was listed-placed over ten and 12-and-a-half furlongs in France.
Her siblings include the listed-race winners Pretty Tough (by Desert King) and Parisienne (by Distant Relative) – the latter is the grandam of Group 1 Melbourne Cup and Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin hero Protectionist (by Monsun) – and she is out of Poughkeepsie (by Sadler's Wells), a winning daughter of Pawneese (by Carvin).
She won the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Group 1 Oaks Stakes and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), was European champion three-year-old filly in 1976, rated 131 by Timeform, and a half-sister to the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Petroleuse (by Habitat).
That filly became an influential broodmare too as her trio of pattern winners include Grade 2 scorer Peinture Bleue (by Alydar) and her many descendants of note feature the Group 1 stars Peintre Celebre (by Nureyev), Planteur (by Danehill Dancer), and recent mile classic scorer Persian King (by Kingman).
Stradivarius, whom Timeform rated 127 last year, is one of the best stayers of recent years and, unlike most who excel in that division, he has a pedigree that could see him become a successful flat stallion, if given the chance. He won't get flashy two-year-olds, but with the right mares he could get top winners anywhere from ten furlongs and upwards, and with the overemphasis these days on two-year-old summer speed, we need more stallions who have the potential to sire horses over the full classic range.
Classic-placed dual stakes winner Lah Ti Dar got her four-year-old campaign off to a successful start when taking the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies' Stakes over the extended ten furlongs at York yesterday. Lord Lloyd-Webber's homebred is trained by John Gosden and was ridden by her usual partner, Frankie Dettori.
The Timeform 122-rated daughter of Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) made surprisingly hard work of it, getting into a battle to beat Rawdaa by a neck. There were gaps of four and a half lengths and the same back to Sun Maiden and Nyaleti, who were third and fourth. The runner-up, a Teofilo filly trained by Sir Michael Stoute, had the benefit of a prior run this season – she was third in a listed contest over a mile at Kempton – and has likely also improved from three to four.
Even so, better will be expected of Lah Ti Dar next time. Her entries include the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup, Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes, and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse.
Lah Ti Dar is one of the best-bred horses in training and the full-sister to Group 1 star Too Darn Hot and Group 1-placed Group 3 Musidora Stakes scorer So Mi Dar is out of the Timeform 124-rated star Dar Re Mi (by Singspiel).
Also trained by Gosden, she won the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic, Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, was placed in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf, Group 1 Prix Vermeille and Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, and earned almost £2.7 million in prize money.
Dar Re Mi is one of four top-level winners out of Group 1 Prix Vermeille heroine and blue hen mare Darara (by Top Ville), an Aga Khan homebred who joined the Watership Down Stud team before foaling the Group 2-placed Kilimanjaro (by Shirley Heights). She was also responsible for Hong Kong Group 1 scorer River Dancer (aka Diaghilev), Australian Group 1 winner Darazari (by Sadler's Wells), and the tragically ill-fated Rewilding (by Tiger Hill) who finished third to Workforce in the Derby, easily won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes and then returned at four to take both the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic and Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes.
Rewilding's loss had an additional dimension as Darara's most famous sibling was the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) star and influential stallion Darshaan (by Shirley Heights), so the grandson of Danehill (by Danzig) would likely have been very popular in a stallion role.
Dar Re Mi had a Dubawi colt in 2017 – who made 3,500,000gns at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale – and a filly by that stallion last year who is being retained to race. So Mi Dar, on the other hand, had her first foal in early February, a Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) filly, and was booked to Sea The Stars (by Cape Cross).
Lah Ti Dar is a high-class racehorse with an outstanding pedigree. It would be no surprise to see her win at the highest level this year or to see her become a star broodmare in years to come.
Undefeated juvenile champion Too Darn Hot met with the first defeat of his career when outstayed by Telecaster in the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York. Although bred to stay the trip, and more, the colt's stride frequency is more that of a miler and it seems likely that it will be over that distance that he continues his career. Telecaster, on the other hand, should be suited by 12 furlongs.
Oisin Murphy was on board the Hughie Morrison-trained bay, a colt winning for the second time in just three starts. The son of Dalham Hall Stud stallion New Approach (by Galileo) did not begin his career until late March of this year when he chased home Bangkok in a ten-furlong Doncaster maiden, and he followed that with a nine-length score over the same trip at Windsor just over two weeks later.
Telecaster holds entries in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse but will have to be supplemented if he is to tackle either the Group 1 Investec Derby or Group 1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
His pattern win was achieved by a margin of one length from Too Darn Hot, who was eased near the finish when his chance was gone, and there was a four-length gap back to the third, Surfman. That first-crop son of Kingman stayed on well to earn his pattern-race placing and had the Irish raider Japan three-parts of a length behind in fourth.
The most disappointing performance among the eight runners was that of Line Of Duty. Godolphin's colt won the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on his final start at two but was never dangerous here on his seasonal debut and came home seventh, 11 lengths behind the winner.
Telecaster was bred by Meon Valley Stud and was a buy-back when offered during Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. He is the second foal of his dam, is a half-brother to a middle-distance winner, and by the sire of last year's Derby hero, Masar.
It was a bit of a surprise that his dam, Shirocco Star (by Shirocco), had just a maiden win to her name from 13 starts as she was a racehorse of considerable talent. She was only beaten a neck by Was in the Group 1 Investec Oaks, chased home Great Heavens in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks and Sapphire in the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, was a short-neck runner-up to Dalkala in the Group 2 Qatar Prix de Royallieu, and short-headed in a listed contest at Newbury. She was also third in both the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes.
The mare is out of 12-furlong scorer Spectral Star (by Unfuwain) and that half-sister to Group 3 winner and Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas second France (by Desert Prince) is a daughter of Hyperspectra (by Rainbow Quest). That winning half-sister to dual ten-furlong Group 3 scorer Poet (by Pivotal) is out of Hyabella (by Shirley Heights), a stakes-winning half-sister to Group 2 winner and Group 1 Coral-Eclipse runner-up Stagecraft (by Sadler's Wells).
This means that the fifth dam of Telecaster is the classic-placed Group 2 winner Bella Colora (by Bellypha). That half-sister to Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes star Cezanne (by Ajdal) and Group 1 Irish Oaks heroine Colorspin (by High Top) – the dam of Group 1 stars and successful stallions Kayf Tara (by Sadler's Wells) and Opera House (by Sadler's Wells) – is a daughter of Meon Valley Stud's Group 3 Lancashire Oaks scorer and hugely influential mare Reprocolor (by Jimmy Reppin).
It remains to be seen just how good Telecaster will be at his peak, but there is every reason to hope that he can become another top-level winner for both his sire and his famous family.
A three-way photo finish to a classic trial is usually a bit disappointing but there are reasons to believe that each of the trio that flashed past the post together in today's Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes could be a high-class performer in the making. The neck winner is a first-crop daughter of Kingman, the pair that dead-heated for second have outstanding pedigrees, and all three were lightly raced. What's more, one of them lost a lot of ground at the start.
That one was the William Haggas-trained Frankellina (by Frankel), an Anthony Oppenheimer-owned homebred from the family of Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian) and Golden Horn (by Cape Cross). She had won her only previous outing, lost about three lengths at the start here, and her entries include both the Group 1 Investec Oaks and Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks.
Entitle (by Dansili), who was the other half of the dead-heat for second, was making her third start and her first since winning a Lingfield novice event over a mile in mid-December. Khalid Abdullah's homebred is trained by John Gosden, she too is in the Oaks, and she is a half-sister to the brilliant Enable (by Nathaniel).
Nausha was also making her third appearance on the racecourse and, like the pair she beat here, she is engaged in both the Oaks and Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes. The Roger Varian-trained bay made a winning debut over a mile at Newbury in October, was a disappointing fourth on the Polytrack at Kempton last month, but bounced back in style to remain unbeaten on turf. Andrea Atzeni was on board today.
Nausha was bred by Hesmonds Stud Ltd and is the sixth stakes winner from the initial crop of Banstead Manor Stud's outstanding miler Kingman (by Invincible Spirit). He got a first classic winner just three days ago when Persian King justified favouritism in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and could add another top-level winner soon if the unbeaten dual pattern star Calyx fulfils his potential.
The filly is the second foal of Nazym (by Galileo), an unraced half-sister to Listen (by Sadler's Wells), Sequoyah (by Sadler's Wells) and Oyster Catcher (by Bluebird). The latter was a smart sprinter who won a listed contest and picked up third place in a Group 3 contest over seven furlongs. The other pair were Group 1 stars for the Ballydoyle team.
Listen made a winning debut in a listed contest over six furlongs at the Curragh, in which she beat Tuscan Evening, then took second place in both the Group 2 Debutante Stakes and Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes before beating Proviso by a length in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Ascot. Her daughter Touching Speech (by Deep Impact) is a Grade 1-placed nine-furlong Grade 2 scorer in Japan.
Sequoyah, on the other hand, won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and she is the dam of classic-winning miler Henrythenavigator (by Kingmambo) and his talented full-sister Queen Cleopatra, a Group 3 winner who was placed in both the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas and Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks). That filly then became the dam of the dual Australian Group 3 middle-distance winner Francis Of Assisi (by Danehill Dancer) and grandam of the tragically ill-fated Group 2 winner and Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher (by Galileo).
There are many more good horses in this famous family – including Group/Grade 1 stars Dolphin Street (by Bluebird), Insight (by Sadler's Wells), and Saffron Walden (by Sadler's Wells) – and so Nausha is not just a top racing candidate but also a very valuable future broodmare.
It will be fascinating to find out which of the three fillies is ultimately viewed as being the best racehorse and which will have the most notable results at stud. Entitle and Frankellina both look as though 12 furlongs will suit them well, but there is a chance on pedigree that it may be a step too far for Nausha. Or all three of them could be good Oaks-type fillies in the making. Time will tell.
Sires & Winners