For those of you looking for your flat racing fix, Andrew Fletcher is back with his second article in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Series which looks ahead in search of 2013 Classic Winners!
My examination of this year’s 2000 Guineas continues this week with a look at George Vancouver. The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt performed creditably at the highest level during his 2yo campaign and similar performances could see him dining at the top table in the 3yo division.
George Vancouver’s racing career began in June 2012 when he contested a 6f Median Auction Stakes at Navan. Having been purchased as a foal for US$ 450,000, expectations were high but having chased the leaders in the early stages at halfway it was evident that he was not going to win. He finished fifth of six runners and trailed Patrick Martin’s winner Versilia Gal by 3¾ lengths. As a result he was back on the racecourse only two weeks later at the Curragh. Once again he tracked the leaders and looked to be going well entering the final two furlongs, but the tank soon emptied and he was a nine-length fourth to Dermot Weld’s Rawaaq. Whilst this was another disappointing effort from the colt it is worth noting that the winner was subsequently second in a Group 3, the second Leitir Mor won a Group 3 and the third horse finished third in the Acomb Stakes at York.
Mid-July saw George Vancouver try a synthetic surface for the first time when tackling a 6f Maiden at Dundalk. He was quick enough out the starting stalls to be left in front early on, before others took up the gauntlet at halfway. As he had done on his second start at the Curragh he looked to be travelling the best with over a furlong to travel but on this occasion he quickened away and drew clear to score by 3¼ lengths. Following this impressive display the colt was sent to Deauville to try Group 1 company for the first time in the Prix Morny. This time he was held up by his jockey Ryan Moore before being asked for an effort with just over two furlongs to travel. Despite perhaps being outpaced for a short period, he continued to stay on and secured second position in the closing stages. This performance put him in the top bracket of juveniles with no less than three other subsequent Group winners in the field.
His trip to France meant that he started 8/13 favourite for his next start in the Group 3 Go and Go Round Tower Stakes over 6f in September. However, he failed to replicate his last two starts and looked one paced in the closing stages finishing sixth. His final European start as a 2yo was to be the Dewhurst at Newmarket in which he would take on the all-conquering Dawn Approach as well as seven furlongs for the first time. Having been settled towards the rear he was asked for an effort two over a furlong out and continued to stay on without making much impression on the winner or his pacemaker.
As I have already alluded to, his campaign was not finished there as he was entered for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf over a mile at Santa Anita. He broke well and sat in mid-division in the early stages and looked to be travelling well turning for home and having found a gap, he ran on strongly to score by 1¼ lengths.
That success rounded off an up-and-down season for the colt but there were enough good displays to suggest that the talent is there. It is also notable that George Vancouver appears to be a different horse on quicker ground and this is something worth bearing in mind when considering his chances in the Guineas. His performances at Santa Anita and Deauville look the stand-out pieces of form from his juvenile campaign and the Dewhurst has given him valuable experience of the dip on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile. He won over a mile at Santa Anita, although some might say that non-stayers can get the distance around a tight track. That said he always seems to go better the further he goes and his electric turn of foot on quick ground makes him a serious consideration in those conditions.
In terms of his pedigree, his sire is Henrythenavigator who himself won the 2000 Guineas in 2008. He also added three further Group 1 successes during that season in the Irish 2000 Guineas, St James’ Palace and the Sussex Stakes. He was a miler of the highest quality and also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on the pro-ride surface. He has made an excellent start to his stallion career having sired two Group 1 winners in his first crop. Pedro The Great won the Phoenix Stakes over 6f at the Curragh and as I have mentioned George Vancouver joined him courtesy of his success in America. Of course it is difficult to gauge how his three-year-olds will get on although he himself was a better horse at three than he was at two. George Vancouver looks to have inherited fast ground preferences from his sire and it is therefore quite possible that he will also grow into a better three-year-old. There is certainly plenty of speed on the paternal side of the pedigree; Henrythenavigator is by triple Group 1 winning miler Kingmambo who is out of Champion miler Miesque. The dam of Henrythenavigator is Sequoyah who won the seven furlong Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes as a two-year-old. Whether George Vancouver will be able to get further than a mile remains to be seen but there is certainly plenty to suggest his pedigree is of the top order.
On the other side of the family, George Vancouver’s dam is a mare called Versailles Treaty. She was trained by Claude McGaughey III in the US and was a multiple Grade 1 winner between eight and ten furlongs and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff on two occasions in 1991 and 1992. As a broodmare she has produced Saarland (Unbridled) who was a winner over nine furlongs in America and was Grade 1 placed in the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont over a mile.
The damsire is Danzig who was unbeaten in his first three starts before injury ended his racing career. He was an outstanding stallion, siring the likes of Haydock Sprint Cup winner Danehill, champion sprinter Dayjur as well as top miler Polish Precedent. He has also had great success as a sire of broodmares with the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and dual Group 1 winner Strategic Choice having been produced by his daughters.
In terms of nicks, it is too early to gauge the success of the Henrythenavigator-Danzig cross but the Kingmambo-Danzig cross could well be worth looking at. This cross has produced six winners from fourteen runners, which is a 43% winners-runners ratio. Further into the pedigree, George Vancouver also represents a product of the famous Mr Prospector – Northern Dancer cross from which many top racehorses originate from, including the aforementioned mentioned Fusaichi Pegasus.
In terms of the 2000 Guineas for George Vancouver, the state of the ground is likely to play a big part in his participation. His juvenile campaign showed that like his sire, he was much more comfortable on quicker ground than the slower conditions he encountered on his first few starts. Last season did not provide quick ground very often, with many of the season’s highlights run on soft or heavy ground such as in the 2000 Guineas and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. His pedigree is filled with quality and speed on both sides and given the right conditions I feel he could become a very good three-year-old miler. The conclusion therefore is that he is a horse full of ability and if he lines up for the 2000 Guineas he would worth a shout, however the ground would have to be at least good and anything slower would blunt the turn of foot which he showed to great effect at the Breeders’ Cup meeting.
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Photo 1: George Vancouver winning at the Breeders’ Cup - Source: www.bloodhorse.com
Photo 2: Pedro The Great was Henrythenavigator’s first G1 winner - Source: www.racingpost.com
Photo 3: The damsire Danzig - Source: www.bloodhorse.com
It was announced recently that Peter Chapple-Hyam was the man who had been chosen to train David Redvers 2.5 million Guineas purchase Hydrogen, writes Andrew Fletcher. The yearling colt lit up the Tattersalls October Book 1 sale and there has been plenty of discussion amongst racing enthusiasts as to the yard in which he would be housed.
The already-named Hydrogen became the most expensive yearling purchase at Tattersalls since the filly Liffey Dancer sold for the same price in 2007. Unfortunately, she never made it to the racecourse after going into training with Luca Cumani but Redvers and his main backer Sheikh Fahad will be hoping this is not the case with their new purchase.
Whilst a price tag of 2.5 million Guineas looks spectacular in a supposed period of financial struggle, it is still some way off the $13.1 million paid for Seattle Dancer at Keeneland in 1985. He still remains the most expensive yearling ever sold at a public auction and one of only three to have gone through the $10 million barrier. Fortunately he fared somewhat better than Liffey Dancer having secured two Group 2 successes in the Gallinule Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial as well as finishing runner-up in the Grand Prix De Paris.To get back to Hydrogen, the quality of his catalogue page will have gone a long way to determining his sale price. His dam Funsie is an unraced mare bred by the Wertheimer brothers. She is by the Arc De Triomphe winner Saumarez and out of a Lyphard mare Vallee Dansante and is a half-sister to Princesse Dansante who was a Listed winner over 1m 4f.
The most notable of Funsie’s progeny is Authorized who was a winner of three Group 1s during his racing career. He won the Racing Post Trophy as a two-year-old before winning the Group 2 Dante Stakes on his seasonal return in taking fashion. He headed to Epsom with plenty of market support behind him and did not disappoint with an electric performance in The Derby, drawing clear to win by five lengths. He was second to Notnowcato in the Coral Eclipse but once again confirmed his class when beating future Arc winner Dylan Thomas in the Juddmonte International at York.
The sire of Hydrogen is Galileo who secured his fourth leading sire title in 2012 courtesy of another phenomenal year for his produce including Group 1 successes for Nathaniel, Kingsbarns, Imperial Monarch and of course, Frankel. It is worth remembering that Galileo was himself a very impressive winner of The Derby, beating 2000 Guineas winner Golan by 3½ lengths in 2001. He also added victories in the Irish Derby and the King George to his CV before retiring to begin his career at Coolmore stud. He has subsequently sired a Derby winner in New Approach and has also sired three winners of the Irish equivalent. Therefore, given the family from which Hydrogen hails, it would be little surprise to see him become a Group 1 performer in his own right.However, as we know there are no horse races that I am aware of where the result is determined by who has the best pedigree, thus the training of the horse will play a major part in his career. As we have seen with Frankel in the last few seasons, the work of Sir Henry Cecil in teaching the explosive colt to settle has no doubt assisted him in fulfilling his potential on the racecourse. This is not something that all trainers are capable of doing but the man that has been chosen to train Hydrogen certainly has previous in this department.
In his first year as a trainer, he trained Rodrigo De Triano to win the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes in 1991. The horse continued his success as a three-year-old, adding victories in the 2000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas, Juddmonte International and Champion Stakes. At the same time, Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Dr Devious to win the Dewhurst in 1991 before winning the 1992 Epsom Derby just a month after the horse was shipped over to America for the Kentucky Derby. He also got his head back in front in the Irish Champion Stakes when beating Jim Bolger’s St Jovite whom he had beaten in The Derby before the placings were later reversed in the Irish equivalent.
Other notable successes included Spectrum’s Irish 2000 Guineas and Champion Stakes double in 1995 and Victory Note’s French 2000 Guineas win in 1998 before the trainer had a four year stint in Hong Kong. On his return he did not have the same success largely due to the different owners for which he was training, however the two Group 1 successes of Dutch Art in 2006 and the exploits of Authorized during the 2007 classic season once again showcased the capabilities of the resident of St Gatien Stables.
I understand that there will still be doubters who would say anybody could have trained the horses I have just mentioned, but the fact is that they didn’t, Peter Chapple-Hyam did. It is fair to say that Chapple-Hyam does not enjoy the same depth in his stable as he once did but he still remains capable of training a Derby winner which is something very few trainers can claim. Also, the ability to get the best out of temperamental customers such as Rodrigo De Triano and Authorized shows that the Newmarket handler is capable of getting the best out of these types of horses.
His association with Hydrogen’s half-brother Authorized will have also gone in his favour when connections were discussing the best place to send him. Another factor is the success that he has had with Caravan Rolls On who is now owned by the Pearl Bloodstock Operation of the Qatar Royal family.
Ultimately, until Hydrogen reaches the racecourse it will be impossible to decide whether his ability can live up to his enormous price-tag, and there will continue to be suggestions that the colt may be better served with a different trainer. It is my hope that the colt possesses enough ability to justify the confidence that those who purchased him had, and allow Peter Chapple-Hyam to show he is still a trainer more than capable of training a top-class racehorse.
Photo 1 – Hydrogen selling at Tattersalls – www.tattersalls.com
Photo 2 – Half-brother Authorized winning the Derby– www.dailymail.co.uk
Photo 3 – Chapple-Hyam’s other Derby winner Dr Devious – www.bloodhorse.com
The British flat season concluded at Doncaster on Saturday and one of the immediate conclusions to be drawn from it is the excellent start that Henrythenavigator has made to his stud career, writes Andrew Fletcher. Until now he has been standing at Ashford Stud in Kentucky but in the last few weeks it has been revealed that he will be returning to Coolmore’s Irish base for the 2013 breeding season.
In mentioning John Gosden’s Raven’s Pass I have alluded to one of the greatrivalries that Henrythenavigator was involved in during his racing career. Raven’s Pass could only finish fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, before second-placed finishes at Royal Ascot and Goodwood, however the placings were reversed later in the season in the QEII at Ascot and in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. It is also worth mentioning that Henrythenavigator also disposed of New Approach in both Guineas before Jim Bolger’s colt added the Derby and Irish Champion to his resume before a decisive victory in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket.
When considering the family from which Henrythenavigator originates it is not difficult to see where he gets his speed from. His sire Kingmambo was a Group 1 winner over a mile on three occasions and his paternal grand-dam was the dual winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile Miesque who also won the 1000 Guineas during her classic campaign of 1987. Notable racehorses by Kingmambo to have already gone to stud include Japan Cup winner El Condor Pasa and 2000 Guineas winnerKing’s Best. Unfortunately El Condor Pasa died of Colic in 2002 but did manage to sire a winner of the Japanese St Leger and two winners of the Japan Cup Dirt during his short stallion career. King’s Best, a half-brother to Urban Sea, has to date sired seven Group 1 winners worldwide including Derby and Arc De Triomphe winner Workforce and Creachadoir who won the Lockinge in 2008.
Henrythenavigator’s dam is Sequoyah, who was a Group 1 winner at two in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and she is by the exceptional sire of broodmares Sadler’s Wells. Queen Cleopatra is a full-sister to the stallion in focus and she won a Group 3 over a mile as well as finishing third to Confidential Lady in the Prix Diane at Chantilly.
It appears that Henrythenavigator was a popular sire long before his progeny reached the racecourse considering the success he had at the sales. His most expensive lot to date was the half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Zenyatta who sold for 1.5 million dollars to Kentucky-based Adena Springs at the Keeneland Breeding sale in 2011. In terms of numbers of winners, he sits joint second with Raven’s Pass on 11 in the first-season sires list in Britain and Ireland, however there have also been successes for his progeny in the US, France and Germany which have not been included in that number.
There is no doubt that Henrythenavigator has made a good start to his career as a stallion and it will be interesting to see the type of mares that visit him now that he is based in Ireland. As I have shown there is a strong speed influence right through the family and this is something which is always attractive to owners of broodmares. His tally of Group 1 winners currently stands at two and assuming that he remains healthy, I have no doubt that he will add to this tally in great numbers during the coming years.
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Photo 1: Henrythenavigator at stud www.coolmore.com
Photo 2: George Vancouver winning at the Breeders’ Cup www.bloodhorse.com
Andrew Fletcher brings us his final installment of his Epsom Oaks Series, and for his final article he takes a look at Godolphin’s Kailani.
My Oaks series concludes with a look at Godolphin’s sole representative in either of the Epsom classics, Kailani who is trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni. She made her racecourse debut at Yarmouth in October when taking part in a Fillies’ Maiden over a mile. Having broken well from the stalls, she was settled towards the head of the field in second or third place. She lost her position with 2½f to go meaning she had to be switched by her jockey, but she found plenty under pressure and was perhaps pulling away towards the end of the race, winning by half a length. The filly in second was Shestheman who has subsequently been a winner of 9f maiden at Wolverhampton. The 4th named Aniseed has been beaten 13l by The Fugue in the Musidora at York when finishing 5th of six runners and the 6th Salacia was beaten a length and a half when second to The Fugue in maiden at Newmarket in October.
Kailani reappeared in May at the Newmarket Guineas meeting in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes over 10f. This time she was settled in rear, before being asked to move forward with half a mile left to run. She hit the front some 3f from home and drifted towards the far rail, once she had the rail she was pushed forwards under hands and heels and at the line she was well clear winning 7 lengths. It is worth noting that she threw her jockey off at the start this day, but it being only her second start, it can probably just be put down to inexperience. Back in second this day was Hazel Lavery, who had won a 7f conditions race at Newbury and was second to Irish 1000 Guineas winner Samitar in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in October (7f). The 3rd Lacily has finished 5th in an Oaks Trial at Newbury, beaten 8½ lengths by the second Shirocco Star, who is set to take her place in the Oaks. Finally the fourth Salford Art ran in the Musidora behind The Fugue, beaten 8½ lengths when finishing fourth.
Kailani has done little wrong on her two starts to date and showed she was genuine when overcoming adversity to win on debut and that she had ability, drawing well clear of her rivals at Newmarket. It is difficult to make a judgement on whether she would stay the extra two furlongs based on her racing career to date, but her pedigree may be able to assist us in making such a judgment.
Her dam is Kazzia, a triple Group 1 winner whose victories included the 1000 Guineas (8f), Oaks (12f) and the Flower Bowl Invitational (9f). She is a half-sister to Listed winner over a mile Kimbajar, by the German miler Royal Abjar and Chesapeake (Sadler’s Wells), a dual winner over fences. As a broodmare she has produced three winners including Kailani, the other two being Eastern Anthem, a Group 1 winner in the Dubai Sheema Classic (12f) and Zeitoper, a Group 3 winner over 9f inFrance. Both of these are by the four-time Group 1 winner at 10-12f, Singspiel whose victories included the Japan Cup (12f) and the Juddmonte International (10f). Kazzia has also produced a full sister to Kailani in Moonsail, who has been second in two maidens over a mile at two and was disappointing when last over 10f at Ripon on last start.
The damsire is Zinaad, who was a winner of the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes over 12f atNewmarket. He is by theDerbywinnerShirleyHeightsand is out an Oaks winner in Time Charter. He has only produced small numbers of runners but his best progeny include a Listed winner in Germany over 11f Mariella, a winner over 9f in Germany Red Diva and Wassiljew, who was a winner over 8f and 10f in France.
The sire of Kailani is a winner of three Group 1s over 12f in Germany, Monsun. Who at stud has become a sire associated with middle-distance performers. The best of these include Manduro, a triple Group 1 winner over distances from 10f to 12f. As well as Shirocco, a winner four Group 1s at a mile and a half including the Breeders’ Cup Turf and the Coronation Cup. Perhaps the best of the fillies he has sired is Stacelita, whose six Group 1 wins at 10f+ include the Prix Vermeille (12f) and the Beverly D Stakes (10f).
Her pedigree seems to suggest that she will have no problem with the extra distance in the Oaks considering her dam won the Oaks, the damsire is by a Derby winner and out of an Oaks winner and the stamina influence her sire possesses. However, the way she won at Newmarket in the soft ground and given it was soft when her dam won the Oaks suggests she may perform best with cut in the ground. As was discussed yesterday with Kissed, this is something that would not be likely to be forthcoming despite the overnight rain at Epsom. She will also be stepping up markedly in class and this combined with the ground means I would be reluctant to side with her chances on Friday. However, she could prove better as the season goes on and I could see her campaigned in a similar way to last year’s 1000 Guineas winner Blue Bunting, also owned by Godolphin. She won the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire when the ground wasn’t too quick and I suggest that similar conditions would suit Kailani better than those that will face her on Friday.
As this is the final part of the series, I thought I would draw together some of the fillies that I have considered and perhaps try and come to a final conclusion. As well as those I have looked at in this series, I also analysed Maybe’s pedigree in my 1000 Guineasseries. There would have to be doubts about her staying given her dam was a winner over 5f, that said last year’s Oaks winner Dancing Rain is a close relative of her dam and Maybe appeared to get better the further she went at Newmarket. The same could be said of Was, as her dam won over 6f but she is a half-sister to the Derbywinner New Approach, however she would have to find massive improvement on her 3rd in a Group 3 to be in the frame. Whilst improvement would not have to be as drastic, Kailani will need to step up to compete and her ability would have to back up the pedigree she possesses. The problem for Vow I feel will be inexperience and the greenness she was still showing on her second start, but she will stay as she has tackled the trip already and therefore could not be ruled out. The Fugue’s dam Twyla Tharp stayed 12f and Dansili put to a Sadler’s Wells mare has produced horses with stamina such as Father Time, who won the King Edward VII and therefore stamina should not be an issue. She was also very impressive atYork in the Musidora and would therefore be on many people’s shortlists. The final filly to mention is Kissed, who comes from the Galileo-Darshaan cross and the same family that produced last year’sDerby winner. Her pedigree appears to suit the Oaks perfectly and whilst her appearance is by no means guaranteed, she will definitely stay and has plenty of quality on both sides of the family. If she improves for her second run and copes with conditions I see her being right there at the end of the mile and a half on Friday.
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Photo 1 Kailani winning the Pretty Polly at Newmarket Source: sportinglife.co.uk
Photo 2 Kazzia winning the Oaks Source: godolphin.com
Photo 3 One of Monsun’s best fillies Stacelita Source: drf.com
We welcome Hayley McDermot who joins us at the Horse Racing Tavern to discuss thoroughbred breeding and the quest for the perfect racehorse!
The recent dominating efforts of champion racehorses Sea the Stars, Zarkava and Frankel have left little room to doubt that thoroughbred breeding in the UK is still a thriving industry. Every year, the finest colts and fillies frolic across verdant pastures before going on to dominate not only in the UK, but also in France, America and Australia. Through long centuries of careful observation and experimentation, breeders have come to understand the intricacies of bloodlines and conformation, and yet all of this strenuous effort can only improve their odds of producing the next champion, not guarantee it. For every great foal, there are hundreds or thousands more that will never rise above mediocrity. The answer to what makes that one foal so special is the holy-grail for horse breeders.
Of course, no matter the uncertainty, pedigree is still an extremely important part of the breeding game. While greatness can arise anywhere, it’s much more likely to spring from a mating of the very best stallions and mares available, or at least their descendants. Typically, stallions are expected to have won at least one stakes race, with stud fees determined by the success of progeny and their race records. Broodmares are typically lightly raced, although most champion fillies go on to become mothers as well. Horses are generally grouped into ‘families,’ based on their lines and prominent sires in their pedigrees. One of the most successful practices of breeding is to determine which lines mix together to produce consistently strong runners.
Beyond the broad spectrum of matching families, breeders also consider if a stallion and a mare are a good physical match for each other. A large, slow-to-mature mare, for example, might be bred to a stallion with a reputation for siring precocious offspring. In the same manner, a small, light horse might be bred to a larger one to improve bone structure and overall size. Optimal distance must also be considered when looking over breeding prospects. Some horses excel at sprints, while others are best at the classic distances. Breeding two horses for speed, stamina or both will have a pronounced effect on the foal’s distance potential. A good breeder of race horses understands the strengths and weaknesses of his or her stock, sets a goal and then finds the right match to reach it. The best stallion for a particular mare may not have national acclaim, but instead offer exactly the right traits to beget a future stakes winner.
In the end, however, a good deal of thoroughbred breeding comes down to luck. A foal may inherit all the best characteristics of its parents, but it may also inherit the worst. And, as they say, lightning rarely strikes twice, meaning no match is a sure thing. A good example of this is the family of American racehorse Barbaro, who won the Kentucky Derby and tragically broke down in the Preakness Stakes. Since then, the owners of Barbaro’s dam have repeatedly bred her back to his sire, but so far every full brother to the champion has been a disappointment on the track. No matter the odds, though, there are always one or two outstanding individuals that rise to the top of their division. And even at the lowest levels, every winner is a vindication for a breeder, the true craftsmen of this thrilling sport.
Hayley works for Anything Equine, an equestrian clothing store that provides helpful advice and tips to beginner riders. Her years of experience have helped Hayley gain lots of knowledge about equestrian products and especially Professional riding boots.
In the next couple of weeks I am going to be looking back to the major yearling sales of 2011 and going through the top three lots so that we can follow their progress in the coming months. This week I take a look through the top lots at the Premier Yearling Sales at DBS, of which the average sale price was just over £28,000 and over 370 lots were sold over the two days.
Gale Force Ten: Oasis Dream x Ronaldsay
The sales topper was a colt by Oasis Dream out of a Kirkwall mare, Ronaldsay who sold for a record £280,000 to Eddie Fitzpatrick. The dam was a Listed winner over 11f when winning the Warwickshire Oaks and was also a winner over 7f as a two year-old and this is her first offspring. She is by Kirkwall, a four-time Group winner from 8-10f, whose other produce include Orcadian, a Group winner at 3 over 12f in the St Simon Stakes as well as a dual winner over hurdles. Ronaldsay’s half-sister Crackle was a dual winner at 8-10f at 3 and another sibling Sleepy Hollow won over a mile at 2 and was rated 138 over hurdles. That said, there is some speed in the family as Crackling (the colt’s granddam) is a half-sister to Bianca Nera, a dual Group winner during her two year-old campaign including the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes.
The colt’s sire is the July Cup winner, Oasis Dream who is renowned for his speed influence and is a sire who has a 40% winners to runners rate with his two year-olds. Notable progeny of his include Aqlaam, the winner of Group Prix du Moulin over a mile and last year’s National Stakes winner, Power. When combined with a Selkirk mare (sire of Kirkwall) he produced Main Aim, who was second to Fleeting Spirit in the July Cup (6f) as well as two victories in the Group 3 Jury Stakes over 7f at Newbury.
The colt owned by Mrs John Magnier has been named Gale Force Ten and will be trained by Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle. He currently holds entries for valuable sales races at York and Doncaster in August and September, so it may not be too speculative to suggest we may see him in the early part of the season.
Unnamed filly: Monsieur Bond x Forever Bond
This filly was purchased by Dwayne Woods for £147,000 on behalf of Reg Bond. Her dam was unraced but has produced five foals all of which have been winners on the racecourse. These include Ladies are Forever, a Listed winner at two over 6f and a Group 3 winner over 6f in the Summer Stakes at York. Also Hoof It, a hugely progressive sprinter last year who claimed four victories including the Stewards’ Cup carrying top weight, as well as being beaten only ¼ length by Dream Ahead when finishing third in the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup over 6f. Both of these are full siblings to the unamed filly, whilst the owner also had Ladies are Forever and therefore knows the family well.
Her sire Monsieur Bond was a dual winner in Group company over 6 and 7f. Other than those already mentioned he sired Gilt Edge Girl, who won the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye over 5f and was a Group 3 winner over 6f at Leopardstown.
This filly has been sent into training with Bryan Smart and although not being named yet, given the exploits of her siblings at two and the speed she has in her pedigree, it would not be surprising to see her on the course in the early part of this season.
Purcell: Acclamation x Lyca Ballerina
The final horse I will look at is this colt who was purchased by John Warren on behalf of Highclere Racing for a price of £115,000. His dam, Lyca Ballerina was a winner over 7f at Beverley and is a half-sister to Jeanmaire, who placed in a 6f Listed race as a two year-old. To date, only one of her produce have got to the racecourse, Pose has won twice over 6f and cost £58,000 as a yearling.
The colt’s sire Acclamation was a Group 2 winner over 6f in the Diadem Stakes and was second in the 5f King’s Stand Stakes to Choisir. He is a good producer of two year-olds as his winners to runners rate of 39% suggests. His most notable progeny include Dark Angel, the winner of the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes over 6f and the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes over the same distance. He only raced as a two year-old and is now at stud forging his own career as a stallion. Others include Equiano who twice won the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over 5f and Talwar, also out of a Marju dam (this colt’s damsire) who was a Group 3 winner at two over 7f and a Listed winner at three over a mile.
The colt has been named Purcell and will run in the Highclere silks and is to be trained by Andrew Balding. There are reports that he is not as precocious as you would expect an Acclamation colt to be, but rather he has plenty of scope about him. That said, if everything goes according to plan it is expected that he will make his debut at some point in June.
The sale proved to be a great success given the financial climate, with a new record price for a lot and the average price up 5% on the year before. There were 377 lots sold and therefore my analysis of the top three only scratches the surface as to the depth of the catalogue. However, the proof is in the pudding as it were, as DBS has provided good quality racehorses such as Wootton Bassett and Canford Cliffs for a cost much less than those at Tattersalls in Newmarket or Keeneland in the USA. It will be interesting to see how these three perform on the racecourse and perhaps they will be used to advertise this sale in the future.
Top lot of the sale Gale Force Ten www.dbsauctions.com
Monsieur Bond filly www.dbsauctions.com
Purcell to wear the colours of Highclere www.highclereracing.co.uk/horses/purcell/
Andrew Fletcher is back with his second installment of a brand new five part series – he is studying five of the main protagonists for the 2000 Guineas! Last week Andrew looked at Harbour Watch, this week he crosses the English Channel to study the impressive Dabirism.
For the second part of my 2000 Guineas series, I have chosen to take a look at the Christophe Ferland-trained Dabirsim. He had an impressive juvenile campaign and looks set to have some influence on big prizes as a 3 year-old.
His race record was flawless last year and began with the dispatching of two 3 runner fields over 6f at La Teste de Buch, the racecourse at which his trainer is based. Both of these displays were comfortable victories and allowed a careful introduction into racing for the colt. Late July saw him stepped into Group company for the first time in the Prix de Cabourg over 6f at Deauville (Gr 3). He was dropped towards the rear of the field and asked to quicken with 2.5f to go, he found plenty off the bridle and won by a length in comfortable fashion. He beat B Fifty Two of John Hills who had beaten Lilbourne Lad before going to Deauville and winner of a future German Listed event, Chica Loca.
Dabirsim’s step up to Group 1 company came in the Prix Morny again at Deauville over 6f. The colt took a strong hold in mid-division before being switched to the inside by Frankie Dettori, once switched he was pushed into contention before skipping clear to win 3 lengths. The field he beat consisted of Frederick Engels who had recorded wins at Listed and Group 3 level prior to the Morny as well as Sofast who took a Group 3 event later in the season.
The final test as a two year-old came on Arc day in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over 7f at Longchamp. He was ridden very patiently by Dettori despite the front runner in the race developing a sizeable lead, when asked to quicken up the inside he showed a great turn of foot and got up to win in the last 50 yards. Sofast was beaten by Dabirsim for the second time and the losers also included Listed winner American Devil and Fort Bastion, who was placed in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes.
Dabirsim’s juvenile campaign attracted a great deal of attention towards himself and his trainer. There were very large offers rejected for the horse by his owner Simon Springer who said it would be ‘like losing one of the family’. This is probably because the horse’s unusual name comes from the names of members of his family, son David (Da), wife Birgitte (Bir) and himself (Sim). The colt’s unbeaten campaign also saw him recognised as the joint top rated 2 year-old in Europe alongside Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot and led to speculation about potential targets as a 3 year old. He will most likely be aimed at the top mile races but what does his pedigree suggest his capabilities are?
His sire Hat Trick was a first season sire last year and Dabirsim was the best of his first crop. Hat Trick himself was a dual Group 1 winner over a mile in Japan and was recognised as Japan’s Champion Miler as a four year-old in 2005. His first crop also produced a Listed winner over 9f in the US in Howe Great. There is obviously not much to go on within Hat Trick’s progeny but we can look at his sire Sunday Silence for some clues. Sunday Silence completed two legs of the American Triple Crown winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before being well beaten in the final leg, the Belmont Stakes. He furthered his reputation by winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic as a 3 year-old in 1989 and was accordingly named American Horse of the Year. At stud he produced many top class progeny before his death in 2002, perhaps the best of these was Deep Impact, a 7 time Group 1 winner from 10-16f in Japan. He also finished third in the Arc behind Rail Link before being disqualified for failing a dope test. Other offspring of Sunday Silence include Durandal, twice winner of the Grade 1 Mile Championship at Kyoto in 2003 and 2004, who was also a Group 1 winner over 6f. Daiwa Major was a five time Group 1 winner over distances between eight and ten furlongs and also completed the Mile Championship double in 2006 and 2007.
Dabirsim’s dam is Rumored who during her racing career was placed in two contests in the US. She has also produced a half-brother to Dabirsim, Preferred Yield who was second in two Listed events over a mile in the US. She also had a colt Majuba, who was trained by Kevin Ryan and failed to break its maiden in eight starts. The dam’s side of the family also has speed in it thanks to the damsire Royal Academy, the winner of the July Cup (6f) and Breeders’ Cup Mile Turf in 1990. His progeny have possessed stamina including Oscar Schindler, the dual Irish St Leger winner in 1996-97 as well as speed. Val Royal was a five time Group winner including the 2001 Breeders’ Cup Mile and was originally trained by Andre Fabre before moving to the US. Bullish Luck was a five time Group 1 winner and four of these victories came over a mile in Japan.
Dabirsim’s excellent two year-old record suggest that he could be a top miler as a three year-old. However the handicappers for the World Thoroughbred Rankings only gave him a rating of 119; the lowest mark for a top horse since 1993 suggesting that last year’s crop was below par. His pedigree is filled with top class milers such as Daiwa Major and Bullish Luck on both sides of the family as well as enough stamina to suggest he is not a sprinter with Deep Impact.
He is reported to have filled out over the winter but there is still a doubt as to what his target will be. His trainer suggested a decision had yet to be made but that he would have a trial before either race with the Djebel before the 2000 Guineas or the Fontainebleau before the French equivalent. It must be said that the French Guineas would probably provide an easier task for the colt, and as we know his excellent turn of foot is suited to the French style of racing where they go slow at the start and fast at the finish. That said I would imagine we are more likely to see him in the French Guineas before a trip over for Royal Ascot later in the season. This is just speculation on my part however as a decision has yet to be made but what is certain is that whichever Guineas he takes in he would be well worth a look.
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Photo Top: Dabirsim www.sportinglife.com
Photo: Val Royal http://www.sporthorse-data.com/
After a successful first Epsom Derby series, Andrew Fletcher is back with a new five part series – this time he is looking at five of the main protagonists for the 2000 Guineas, the first classic of the UK flat season!
During the next few weeks I will be analysing the chances of some of the contenders for this year’s 2000 Guineas at Newmarket through a study of their pedigrees and race records. The first colt to be discussed is the one-time ante post favourite for the race, Harbour Watch.
Harbour Watch began his racing career in June last year in a fairly ordinary Salisbury maiden over 6f. Having been settled in mid-division by Richard Hughes, he was gently encouraged to take the lead with a furlong to go and began to draw away to win by 3¾ lengths. His next mission was a Conditions race at Newmarket in July again over 6f, on this occasion he was a little keen early on but settled before being asked to quicken by Ryan Moore. The last ½f saw him draw away from Burwaaz to win by an impressive 4½ lengths. This form was given a boost when Burwaaz was second in two Group 2’s over 5f as well as finishing 3rd to Caspar Netscher in the Gimcrack atYork over 6f.
What turned out to be his final appearance of the season was the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood over 6f. As in his previous two starts he settled in behind the leaders, before being moved out to begin his challenge with two furlongs left to run. He was carried into the middle of the course however costing him valuable ground, nevertheless drew away at the end under hands and heels from Richard Hughes to win by 2¼ lengths. The field that Harbour Watch dispatched with some ease at Goodwood was a good one considering the likes of dual Group 2 winner Caspar Netscher and Listed winners Bogart and Bannock were defeated.
It was his victory in the Richmond Stakes that propelled him to the top of the market for the 2000 Guineas, earning quotes of around 10-1. However, as I have already alluded to he was not to see a racecourse again as a juvenile. It was reported by his connections in September that he had suffered a setback and that he would miss his preferred target the Dewhurst Stakes atNewmarket. In the last fortnight, his trainer reported that the colt was almost back to full health and that the Greenham at Newbury in April will be his first target for the year before a possible run in the Guineas. This would represent his first attempt at 7f and will give us chance to see what if any impact his setback has had on his ability. There are also questions about his ability to stay a mile and complete the Greenham and 2000Guineasdouble that was achieved by the brilliant Frankel last year.
In terms of his pedigree, Harbour Watch is by Acclamation, who was regarded as a sprinter in his racing career. He was a winner at Group 2 level in the Diadem Stakes at Ascot, but was placed notably when second to Choisir in the King’s Stand and third to Oasis Dream in the Nunthorpe. His progeny have mostly been early two year-olds and sprinters like himself and most of his offspring’s earnings have come at distances between 5 and 6f. His produce include Equiano, twice winner of the King’s Stand Stakes in 2008 and 2010, who was also second to Starspangledbanner in the July Cup in 2010. Sparkling Power was the winner of the Group 3 Macau Trophy at Sha Tin in March 2011 over 7f; it is worth noting here that there was lots of stamina on the dam’s side in this case. Another of Acclamation’s offspring was Dark Angel; he was a dual Group winner as a 2 year-old winning the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury and the Middle Park Stakes atNewmarket.
The dam of Harbour Watch is Gorband, who is a half sister to a Group 2 winner Kabool. Kabool was a three time Group winner and one of these victories came in the Prix Guillaume D’Ornano over 10f. Gorband’s granddam was Fall Aspen who was the grand dam of Dubai Millennium, who of course was a four-time Group 1 winner at up to 10f. Harbour Watch’s damsire is Woodman, the champion two year-old of Ireland in 1985 and a winner at 6-8f. His progeny have had success at a mile and further, Hawk Wing was the winner of the Futurity Stakes and National Stakes at 2 and was second in the Guineas and the Derby as a 3 year-old. His two further Group 1 victories came in the Eclipse over 10f and the Lockinge over a mile. Bosra Sham is also by Woodman; she won the 1000 Guineas and went onto win the Champion Stakes and Brigadier Stakes over 10f. Hector Protector won three Group 1’s as 2 year old including the Prix Morny over 6f and the Grand Criterium over a mile. As a 3 year-old, he went on to win the French 2000Guineas and the Prix Jacques le Marois.
To conclude, what we saw of Harbour Watch as a juvenile was very impressive and this is supported by the quality of the fields that he dispatched. Whilst there are no doubts about his quality there must be some surrounding his ability to stay a mile. Whilst he has evidence of stamina on the dam’s side there is little evidence as yet to be found amongst the produce of his sire Acclamation. He could go the way of another Richard Hannon trained colt Canford Cliffs, who although turned out to be an outstanding miler was too keen in the Guineas at Newmarket and it cost him the race. He could equally go the way of Strong Suit, whose best trip looks to be at 7f and not a mile. Should Harbour Watch retain his turn of foot and be able to settle and stay a mile in the Guineas he would be well worth considering. But ultimately, the racecourse will inform us of Harbour Watch’s stamina and so it is with eager anticipation that we await his return at Newbury in April but more importantly in May at Newmarket.
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Photo: Harbour Watch winning the Richmond Credit: www.skysports.com
When the catalogue was released for this sale, there were plenty of lots that caught the eye in terms of the names that they had on the page, writes Andrew Fletcher. There were entries including siblings of the likes of Sizing Europe, Wishfull Thinking and Denman, so there was plenty of reason to be optimistic of a quality sale. Amongst the 220 original entries there were also 47 lots born before 2010 being sold as breeding stock.
Before the sale began there was a foal show designed to provide buyers with another opinion as to which would develop into National Hunt performers. The show was split into a colt and a fillies division and both proved to be popular when they went into the sale ring. The colts class was won by lot 75, a Presenting colt out of a Flemensfirth mare who realised £25,000 when he went through the ring. The Fillies class was won by lot 138, a Shirocco filly by a King’s Theatre mare, she made £35,000 in the auction and I will look a bit more closely at her later on.
The top lot (109) in the sale was an Alflora colt out of Poussetiere Deux, who won over fences in France. He is a full brother to Wishfull Thinking, who is trained by Phillip Hobbs. He was second in the Jewson Golden Miller Chase at the Cheltenham festival this year before winning two valuable novice chases at Aintree and Punchestown. Aiden Murphy paid £50,000 for this full sibling after he finished second in the foal show and suggested that he would be resold at a later date, probably as a 3 year-old.
As I previously mentioned, lot 138 won the fillies class of the foal show and made the second highest price of the day when bought by Richard Haggas for £35,000. She is the second produce of a mare (Theatre Girl) whose full sister made £50,000 at the DBS January Sales in 2010. Haggas has had plenty of success with the family having bought them as foals and sold them on at a later date for a profit. This is also the intention for this filly and will be worth following when taking the success of her relatives into account.
The top 3 was completed by lot 34, a Kayf Tara colt out of Celtic Native. The dam finished second in the Long Distance Hurdle and 3rd in the Long Walk Hurdle. The colt finished 4th in the foal show and there is a full sibling to this colt who made €65,000 as a foal and is currently a yearling. Robert Allcock bought him for £34,000 and he will also be put away before being sold on as a 3 year-old.
Of the other foals in the sale, lot 111 was a three-part brother to dual Hennessy Gold Cup and 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Denman. He was sold to Gatterstown Stud in County Tipperary for £22,000 and will most likely be developed by them before being sold at a later date.
The top mare in the sale was lot 191, named Sugar Island and she sold for £31,000 to Thistletown Stud inCountyWexford. She is a half sister to Sizing Europe, the winner of the Arkle in 2010 and the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2011. He also landed the Tingle Creek at Sandown on his most recent outing earlier this month. The mare is in foal to Beneficial, the sire of Willie Mullins’ Cooldine, who won the RSA at Cheltenham in 2009.
This sale was a reworking of the January sales of previous years following a drop in entries. The National Hunt Mares and Foals were therefore separated in order to give them a better chance of selling. The average price of £6918 was very similar to previous sections of foals and mares as was the top price. As always though, if top pedigrees are in the catalogue there will always be plenty of interest in them. The top three lots and some of the others will be worth following particularly because the plan with most of them is to sell them on at a later date.
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Photo Credit: www.dbs.com
We welcome Andrew Fletcher at the Horse Racing Tavern, who will be bringing his knowledge of bloodstock and sales to the Tavern. Andrew takes a look at the recent December Mare Sale at Tattersalls and the lots to keep an eye on in the future.
The December Mare Sale at Tattersalls in Newmarket is usually an interesting sale to watch unfold. For those who enjoy a bidding war this sale has not disappointed in recent times with a lot selling for one million guineas or more in 7 of the last 9 years. The 2011 edition was no exception with several high-class lots, with the top 5 well worth some analysis.
The sale topper was a Danehill mare, Sumora who is also a three parts sister to the 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain. This mare went for 2.4 million Guineas to M.V Magnier of Coolmore; she has produced one of Coolmore’s leading lights this year in the 2yo Champion filly Maybe (Galileo). The dam is carrying a full sibling to Maybe and is scheduled to go back to Galileo in 2012.
Lot 1752, Reve d’Iman was purchased for 1.7 million Guineas by Katsumi Yoshida. She produced the 2010 Irish 1000 Guineas winner Bethrah (Marju) and is currently in foal to Montjeu. Her full sister Reve D’Oscar has been a very popular dam in Japan having produced Reve D’Essor who was the Japanese Champion 2 year-old filly in 2010. It is understood that she will be sent to either Deep Impact or the 2010 Derby winner Workforce who is beginning his stallion career in Japan. The sale topper was a Danehill mare, Sumora who is also a three parts sister to the 2011 Oaks winner Dancing Rain. This mare went for 2.4 million Guineas to M.V Magnier of Coolmore; she has produced one of Coolmore’s leading lights this year in the 2yo Champion filly Maybe (Galileo). The dam is carrying a full sibling to Maybe and is scheduled to go back to Galileo in 2012.
Pearling was purchased by Tony Nerses for 1.3 million Guineas on behalf of Saleh al Homazi and Imad al Sagar. These Kuwaiti businessmen own Blue Diamond Stud and she has been bought to improve their book of mares. She is a full sister to Giant’s Causeway and You’resothrilling and is believed to be carrying a foal by Galileo. The stud will be retaining the foal to race in their colours and the mare will no doubt become a focal point of their stud.
The final lot that made over a million was Testosterone who was bought by Charlie Gordon-Watson for 1.2 million Guineas. This filly was a winner at Group 2 and Group 3 level as a 3 year-old this year as well as finishing second in the Prix Vermeille. She is a Dansili filly out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and is set to continue her racing career as a 4 year-old with Ed Dunlop.
The top 5 was completed by Ventura, whose progeny include Cedar Mountain (Galileo) and Moonlight Cloud (Invincible Spirit) who won the 2011 Prix Maurice de Gheest. She was purchased by M.V Magnier for 900,000 Guineas and will be part of the first book of mares for the 2011 Derby winner, Pour Moi.
This year’s sale saw an improvement in overall sales compared to recent years, the sale’s average price 70,145 Guineas was the highest since 2007 when it was in excess of 90,000 Guineas. That year there were no less than five lots sold at 3 million guineas or more with the top lot being a Muhtathir mare, Satwa Queen who was purchased by John Ferguson for 3.4 million Guineas. In fact John Ferguson purchased 6 out of the top 10 lots in 2007 for around 14.7 million Guineas on behalf of his employer, Sheikh Mohammed. To date, Satwa Queen has had a filly by Cape Cross, who fetched 17,000 Euros at the Arqana Breeding Stock Sales as a 2 year-old last week. The dam was also scheduled to visit Shamardal in the early part of this year.
However, the largest fee received for a mare at these sales and at the time the world was in 2006. London Thoroughbred Services were acting on behalf of Lady Serena Rothschild and bought Magical Romance for 4.6 million Guineas. She is a 3 parts sister to Alexandrova, who in the year in question had won the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks at York. In the following years, Magical Romance visited Dansili (2007), Selkirk (2008), Dansili (2009) and Sea the Stars in 2010. Whilst she has produced nothing to date worthy of any note, the Sea the Stars colt has already been named Tall Ship and may be worth following given the quality pedigree that he possesses.
Like most years, the sales have thrown up some exciting lots that could be worth keeping an eye on in the next couple of years. The Breeding stock sales attract the best studs from around the world and as this year has shown, they are prepared to pay huge sums of money in order to acquire the best mares to produce tomorrow’s champions.
Photo credit: Tattersalls.com