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.
Sires & Winners