Happen came from a seemingly impossible position to grab the Group 3 Coolmore Gleneagles Irish EBF Athasi Stakes on the line at the Curragh. The Aidan O'Brien had little apparent chance of victory with even a half-furlong to travel but stayed on strongly to sweep past her rivals. Four-year-olds Dan's Dream and Rionach were second and third, beaten by a short-head and a neck.
This was her second win from five starts, it followed her two-and-a-quarter-length second to Lady Kaya in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud "Priory Belle" 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month - also over seven furlongs - and it is clear that this daughter of outstanding Claiborne Farm sire War Front (by Danzig) is ready to step up in trip.
Her entries include the Group 1 Coronation Stakes over a mile, the ten-furlong Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes, and both the Group 1 Investec Oaks and Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks over 12 furlongs.
Her dam won that pair of classics by a combined margin of ten lengths then followed-up with a three-and-a-half-length score in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, but it is not guaranteed that Happen will stay that trip.
The best by her sire tend to be effective in the seven-to-ten-and-a-half-furlong range, and although her siblings include the pattern-winning stayer Alex My Boy (by Dalakhani), they also include Somehow (by Fastnet Rock).
That unfortunate filly won the Listed Cheshire Oaks, was narrowly beaten in the Group 3 Give Thanks Stakes, but was well-beaten in both the Oaks and Irish Oaks. Her best form was from a mile to ten and a half furlongs and included a seven-length win in the Group 3 Snow Fairy Stakes over nine, a three-and-a-quarter-length score in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes over the same trip, and on her final run before an untimely death, she chased home Decorated Knight in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Happen could prove to be best in a similar range of distances, even if she does possess the stamina to perform well over the full Oaks trip.
Alexandrova's full-brother Masterofthehorse finished third to Sea The Stars at Epsom but their half-sister Magical Romance (by Barathea) – she could be described as being a three-parts sister – won the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over six furlongs as a juvenile and was well-beaten when tried over eight, ten and 12 furlongs at three.
Her speed was an exception to the general rule of the first few generations of the family, her blacktype-placed son Tall Ship (by Sea The Stars) stayed 12 furlongs, and her dam's siblings include the Group 2 Goodwood Cup runner-up Golden Quest (by Rainbow Quest), Group 3 Park Hill Stakes third Puce (by Darshaan), and also Sitara (by Salse), the 12-furlong-winning dam of Group 1 Melbourne Cup star Rekindling (by High Chaparral).
There are, of course, many other notable horses to be found in the first few generations of this well-known family. Happen clearly has plenty of ability but her ideal distance range may come down to what her sire has contributed to her genetic mix.
Sires & Winners