Godolphin's homebred Castle Lady became the latest Group 1 star for Kildangan Stud's outstanding stallion Shamardal (by Giant's Causeway) when landing the Emirates Poule d'Essai des Pouliches on heavy ground at ParisLongchamp. The Henri-Alex Pantall-trained bay won the mile classic by a nose from Commes, with East a length-and-a-half back in third ahead of Imperial Charm and Matematica.
She began her career in mid-March when easily winning a mile newcomers' race on the Polytrack at Chantilly, making her yet another top-level winner who got an early start on the artificial tracks. She followed that with a one-and-three-quarter-length defeat of Imperial Charm in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte over today's course and distance, on good ground. Mickael Barzalona was in the saddle for both of her pattern wins.
Castle Lady is not entered in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks), which is a bit of a surprise, but does have an entry in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Ascot. She is a half-sister to a seven-furlong listed scorer but is out of a full-sister to a Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic hero, so on pedigree ten furlongs should be within her compass.
That talented half-brother is the Saeed bin Suroor-trained gelding Top Score (by Hard Spun), and he has some good form over six furlongs in addition to that listed success. Their dam is the unraced Windsor County (by Elusive Quality), a full-sister to Raven's Pass.
That Kildangan Stud stallion won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile before his historic Breeders' Cup success. His 31 stakes-winning offspring include last year's Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Royal Marine plus the Group 1-placed Group 2 scorers Tower Of London and Swashbuckling, Group 2-winning sprinter Raven's Lady, and the tragically ill-fated Via Ravenna who was a pattern winner and narrowly beaten in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild before her untimely death.
Windsor County is also a half-sister to the mile Grade 3 winner Gigawatt (by Wild Again), her dam Ascutney (by Lord At War) was a mile Grade 3 winner as a two-year-old and that mare is a full-sister to Words Of War, the multiple stakes-winning dam of Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks heroine No Matter What (by Nureyev).
That top-level winner is, in turn, the dam of European juvenile filly champion Rainbow View (by Dynaformer), a Group 1 Fillies' Mile star who went on to add the Group 1 Matron Stakes. No Matter What is also responsible for US Grade 2 scorer Utley (by Smart Strike), Grade 1-placed Grade 3 winner Just As Well (by A.P. Indy), dual Grade 3 scorer Winter View (by Thunder Gulch), and the notably talented Wissahickon (by Tapit).
That John Gosden-trained colt looked a potential star in the making when taking the notably tough Cambridgeshire Handicap in style at Newmarket last year, followed that with a pair of listed race wins over ten furlongs on the Polytrack at Lingfield and then easily won the Group 3 Winter Derby Stakes over that same course and distance in February. He suffered a shock defeat to Matterhorn on All-Weather Championships Day but holds entries in the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup, Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
There are many other talented horses in the family including No Matter What's half-brother E Dubai (by Mr Prospector), who won the Grade 2 Suburban Handicap and Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes, was runner-up in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes and Grade 1 Super Derby, and enjoyed some success at stud.
All of this combines to make Castle Lady a very well-bred filly, one for whom classic victory could be the launching pad to a notable career on the track and eventually at stud.
Sires & Winners