Andrew Fletcher is back with his fourth installment of his 2012 Epsom Oaks series, looking at the pedigree of the main contenders for the Epsom Oaks on Friday.
As the Oaks approaches, I continue my series looking at the potential contenders for the race. This time I am looking at one of the six fillies that have been declared by Aidan O’Brien and her name is Kissed.
She started her racing career at Navan in October when she lined up for a Fillies Maiden over a mile. She was positioned towards the head of the field on leaving the stalls and travelled nicely in 3rd position. She continued to travel well into the straight before being shaken along with 2f to go and asked to chase the leader. She was always getting on top in the final stages and started to pull away to win comfortably by 1½ lengths. The filly in second that day was Violet Lashes who is still a maiden following three subsequent starts and in fifth was Voleuse de Coeurs (2nd fav), who was second in a Dundalk 11f maiden before winning over 12f at Wexford. Kissed was well fancied on debut, going off as 6/4 favourite but what was impressive was how relaxed she was and how she showed few signs of greenness on her first outing.
It was the end of April before she was seen again in the Listed Salsabil Stakes over 10f at Navan. This time she was asked to lead by her jockey Joseph O’Brien and set a good pace before turning the screw with about 3f to go. At this stage she was still on the bridle but in the final two furlongs she was gently pushed clear to win easily by 8½ lengths. In second was Aaraas, who had won a 6f maiden and was 3rd behind Nephrite in the Killavullan Stakes (7f), since then she has finished 2nd in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes ahead of Kissed’s stablemate Was. Back in 3rd was Cleofila, who had won a 7f maiden at the Curragh and also ran in the Blue Wind finishing fourth.
It is probably not unfair to say that we have yet to see Kissed really stretched on the racecourse considering the ease with which she dispatched her first two sets of rivals. These performances showed that she is a quality filly but it also means that it is difficult to judge whether she will get the extra two furlongs in the Oaks and perhaps her pedigree will provide us with a better idea.
Kissed dam is an unraced mare Gwynn. She is a half sister to Fermoy, a dual winner over 10f, by Champion 2yo and Champion Miler in France, Irish River. She is also a half-sister to Highest Accolade, a winner of a 10f maiden by the Derby winner Shirley Heights. Gwynn has produced 4 winners to date including Kissed and all of them are products of the Sadler’s Wells male line. Rendezvous (Sadler’s Wells) was a winner over 8f at Chantilly beating Cirrus Des Aigles on debut. Gagnoa, another product of Sadler’s Wells was a dual Group 3 winner at 8f and 11f respectively and was also placed in three Group 1s including the Irish Oaks. Perhaps her best produce to date is a son of Montjeu called Pour Moi, who won the Group 2 Prix Greffuhle over 10f and the Epsom Derby last year before being retired to stud.
The damsire of Kissed is Darshaan, a winner of the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (10f) and the Prix du Jockey Club (12f) during his racing career. At stud he has produced 12 separate Group 1 winners and his progeny tend to run at distances of 7f and upwards. His best progeny include the 2000 Guineas and QEII winner Mark of Esteem as well as Kotashaan who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf over 12f. He also sired Dalakhani, who was only beaten once in nine starts and won four Group 1s including the Prix du Jockey Club and the Arc. As a damsire, his daughters have been very successful when crossed with stallions from the Sadler’s Wells male line. Products of this cross include High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) who won the Racing Post Trophy, Derby and Irish Champion Stakes. Others include Milan (Sadler’s Wells) winner of the Great Voltigeur and St Leger and Islington (Sadler’s Wells) who won the Nassau Stakes (10f) as well as being twice victorious in the Yorkshire Oaks (12f).
The sire of Kissed is a winner of the Derby, Irish Derby and King George in Galileo. He has been a massive success at stud having already sired 37 separate Group 1 winners and has been crowned Champion sire on three occasions (2008, 2010, 2011). His best produce include the highest rated horse in the world at present in Frankel, who is unbeaten in 10 starts having won races such as the 2000 Guineas, QEII and Lockinge Stakes. He has also sired Cape Blanco, a winner of five Group 1s including the Irish Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Arlington Million. When put to a Darshaan mare, Galileo has produced 41 winners from 59 runners. The best of which being Midas Touch who won the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (10f) as well as finishing second in the Irish Derby (12f), Great Voltigeur (12f) and St Leger (14f).
There is no doubt that Kissed is from a wonderful family and that combined with her conformation explains why Coolmore paid 900,000 Guineas for her at Tattersalls as a yearling. She has confirmed her ability in two starts to date but these have both come on soft ground which is not something that would be forthcoming at Epsom. This comment has been supported this morning with Ballydoyle suggesting Kissed will not run unless there is ease in the ground. I feel that the extra two furlongs will not prove a problem for her given her pedigree is packed with stamina and if she lines up at Epsom she must have a serious chance. However, if her entry at Epsom is withdrawn on account of the ground, she would probably still be worth keeping an eye on the Prix Diane (10.5f) or the Irish Oaks (12f) where she would be more likely to get ground on the softer side of good.
Back Kissed to win the Epsom Oaks with Ladbrokes at 6/1 using a £50 free bet using code FB50!
Missed Andrew’s first three installments? Read them here:
Epsom Oaks Series I – Was
Epsom Oaks Series II – The Fugue
Epsom Oaks Series III – Vow
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Photo 1 Kissed winning on her second outing racingpost.com
Photo 2 Last year’sDerbywinner Pour Moi is a half-brother to Kissed telegraph.co.uk
Photo 3 Midas Touch is from the same cross as Kissed guardian.co.uk
Andrew Fletcher is back with his third installment of his 2012 Epsom Oaks series, looking at the pedigree of the main contenders for the Epsom Oaks on Friday.
The third instalment of my Oaks series sees me analyse the chances of a filly who although being a late arrival to the racecourse is towards the head of the betting market for the next Classic for the fillies. The filly in question is Vow, trained by William Haggas and owned by the same Highclere syndicate that own the second favourite for the Derby, Bonfire.
Her career as a racehorse began in a 10 furlong Maiden Fillies event at Newbury on 20th April this year. From an outside draw, she took her time in coming across to the other runners and was positioned at the rear of the field. She was still in last position at halfway but under pressure, probably a sign of greenness than anything else. She began to make progress with 3½f left when pushed along and she still had about 5 lengths to makeup at the furlong marker, she continued to stay on however and got up to win by a length. Everlong, who finished second to Vow, went on to finish 4th beaten two lengths by Good Morning Star in the Cheshire Oaks over 11f. Her odds of 11/2 and the greenness she showed throughout her debut run support the notion she is a backward filly, along with the fact that she did not see a racecourse as a two year old. Therefore improvement was expected in her next outing and as the season progresses.
Following her debut win, she was entered in the Lingfield Oaks Trial over 12f in Listed company, this was run on the all-weather surface due to the poor ground on the turf course. This time she was asked to track the leader and sat in second travelling much better than she had done at Newbury. She was asked to quicken with 3f to go and ran wide round the final turn, she showed signs of greenness when jinking at the sight of the whip, but once she was straightened up she drew clear to win by 3¼ lengths. The field she beat included Colima (2nd), the winner of a mile maiden at Nottingham and Estrela (3rd), who has since been beaten in the Height of Fashion Stakes at Goodwood (10f). In which she was beaten 8¼ lengths by Coquet, another potential Oaks filly, the same distance she was beaten by Vow at Lingfield.
It is worth saying that Vow was well fancied that day going off at 11/10 favourite, even so she confirmed she had ability and appeared as though the Oaks would be the next target. She was still showing signs of greenness at Lingfield and perhaps inexperience would be a concern. She did seem to get the 12f distance very well at Lingfield but does the pedigree she possesses confirm the visual impression she gave us?
Vow’s dam is a mare called Frog, who during her own racing career was a winner of several events on ground better than good and at distances from 10-12f. She is a half-sister to Best Grey, 3rd in the Italian Derby (12f) and a dual winner over hurdles. She is also related to Principe Dos Mares, who was third in a Group 3 over 11f in Brazil. As a broodmare, she has produced several runners, the best of which being Beaten Up, a Group 3 winner over 12f at Newbury in the St Simon Stakes. He is by the four time Group 1 winner Beat Hollow whose victories included the Arlington Million and the Grand Prix de Paris. Another son of Frog is Harris Tweed, a Group 3 winner in the John Porter at Newbury (12f) and a dual Listed winner over 12 and 14f. He is by Hernando, a dual Group 1 winner who has also sired Sulamani, a winner of 6 Group 1s including the Juddmonte International and Gitano Hernando who won the Singapore International Cup over 10f.
The damsire of Vow is Akarad, a winner of the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over 12f and who was also second in the Prix du Jockey Club. As a sire he has produced Tel Quel, winner of the Champion Stakes at Newmarket over 10f and Double Heart, a Listed winner over a mile in France. As a damsire, apart from those already mentioned, one of his daughters produced Diamond Green, who was by Green Desert. He was a winner of a 7f Group 3 in France, whilst also finishing second in the French Guineas, St James’ Palace and the Prix du Moulin.
Vow’s sire is Motivator, the winner of the Racing Post Trophy (Gr 1 8f), Dante (Gr 2 10f) and Derby (Gr 1 12f), as well as finishing second in the Eclipse and the Irish Champion Stakes (10f). At stud his first crop produced a Group 2 winner in Pollenator, who won the May Hill over 8f at Doncaster. He has yet to sire a winner of a Group 1 but being a son of Montjeu, both quality and stamina are bound to be passed on to his produce. Motivator’s best progeny to date include Hot Prospect (Kingmambo), a winner over 10f at Haydock who was also second in the Listed Beech House Stud Stakes over 10f at Newbury. As well as Skia, out of a Quest for Fame mare, who won a Group 3 contest at Toulouse over 11f and Lumineux, who was a Listed winner over 10f at Maisons-Laffitte.
To conclude, stamina does not appear to be an issue with this filly, as her dam won over 12f and she is by a Derby winner in Motivator. This is backed up by the staying ability of the rest of the dam’s produce and the stamina influence that Montjeu (grandsire) possesses. She also appeared to show a good turn of foot in both starts, suggesting she may have inherited some of the pace Motivator’s dam Out West had, having been a Listed winner over a mile. There would however have to be doubts about her ability to handle the track at Epsom, given her inexperience and the greenness she was still showing on her second outing. That said she was much better second time and if her progression continues, she might not be far away. There is also the William Haggas factor to consider, whose only two entries in Epsom Classics, Shaamit and Dancing Rain have both won. Vow is well thought of by connections and could run a big race on Friday but I don’t think it would be unfair to say that she will probably be better as time goes on and that this test may come a little quick for her.
Back Vow to win the Epsom Oaks with Ladbrokes at 6/1 using a £50 free bet using code FB50!
Missed Andrew’s first two installments? Read them here:
Epsom Oaks Series I – Was
Epsom Oaks Series II – The Fugue
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Photo 1 Vow winning on debut at Newbury www.msn.com
Photo 2 Harris Tweed is a half-brother to Vow www.guardian.co.uk
Photo 3 Vow’s sire Motivator winning the 2005 Derby www.sportinglife.com
Andrew Fletcher is back with his second installment of his 2012 Epsom Oaks series, looking at the pedigree of the main contenders for the Epsom Oaks on Friday 1st June. Missed Andrew’s first installment? Read it here!
I continue my Oaks series this week with a look at a filly trained by John Gosden called The Fugue. She is owned by Lord Lloyd-Webber and was bred at his Watership Down Stud.
Her racing career began at the end of October, in the second division of a Fillies’ Maiden over 7f at Newmarket. On leaving the stalls they split into two groups and she was in the group going down the middle of the track. She was kept towards the rear before making progress 4f out, she was shaken with 2f to go and asked to chase the leader. She was soon getting on top without her jockey getting too serious and she won fairly comfortably by 1½ lengths. The second placed filly was Salacia, who had the advantage of a run having finished 6th in aYarmouth maiden over a mile. The third filly, Dutch Diamond was beaten seven lengths by the front two and has since won a 9f Wolverhampton maiden and the fourth, No Compromise won a 7f maiden at Southwell. The fact that she was not seen until the end of October and her odds on the day of 14/1 supports the idea that she was expected to be better at three. The Racing Manager to Lord Lloyd-Webber had said they were hopeful and she certainly showed plenty of ability in breaking her maiden.
The next time The Fugue saw a racecourse was in the 1000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarketat the beginning of May. She was held up in the early stages and was squeezed for room with a few fillies running around a bit. She was switched to the far side 3f out and was under pressure with 2.5f to go. The winner drew well clear and The Fugue ran on but had little at the finish ending the race in fourth. Homecoming Queen was the winner having won a Group 3 over 7f at Leopardstown on her previous start. Second was Starscope, The Fugue’s stablemate who won the first division of the maiden that she won in October and 3rd was Maybe, who was unbeaten in five starts at two including the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. John Gosden commented that she was ‘struck into’ in the Guineas and that perhaps better ground would suit her, although it was always going to be difficult to go from a maiden to the Guineas.
It was only ten days before The Fugue was on the racecourse again, showing that she had appeared to come out of the Guineas fine. She was entered in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes over 10f at Yorkwith a view to going to Epsom for the Oaks. This time she tracked the leaders in 3rd before making some headway 2f out. She joined the leader Twirl on the bridle and only once inside the final furlong did she draw clear under nothing more than hands and heels to win easily by 4½ lengths. The second filly Twirl was a maiden winner over 7f and had finished ahead of the 1000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen in a Group 3 event in March. Back in third was Esentepe, a winner of the Group 3 Nell Gwyn over 7f at Newmarket. This performance by The Fugue in the Musidora in particular showed that she is a filly with plenty of class and ability. The extra two furlongs in the Oaks would appear to suit but does her pedigree reflect the impression she gave in winning at York?
Her dam is Twyla Tharp, who was also trained by John Gosden and she won a 9f maiden at three as well as being second in the Group 2 Ribblesdale (12f) when Royal Ascot was atYork. She is a half-sister to Summoner, who won the 2001 Group 1 QEII over a mile and Compton Admiral, the winner of the Group 3 Craven Stakes over 8f and the Group 1 Eclipse over 10f. As a broodmare, she has only had one other runner, Susan Stroman who was a winner over 14f at Wolverhampton and over two miles at Kempton. She was by Monsun, a winner of three Group 1s in Germany over 12f and a renowned influence for stamina, his produce include Prince of Wales’s Stakes (10f) winner Manduro and Coronation Cup (12f) winner Shirocco.
Twyla Tharp’s sire is Sadler’s Wells, from the Northern Dancer line and himself a winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. At stud he has proved an excellent sire over a range of distances having produced 80 separate Group 1 winners and was crowned Champion sire in Britain and Ireland on 14 occasions. His most successful products include Montjeu, a winner of 6 Group 1s including the Prix du Jockey Club (12f), Arc de Triomphe (12f) and King George (12f). As well as Galileo, the 2001 winner of the Derby, Irish Derby and King George and now a top sire in his own right. Finally High Chaparral, the winner of the 2002 Derby, Irish Derby and dual winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf. In his capacity as a sire of broodmares Sadler’s Wells has also been successful; his daughters have produced Sakhee, winner of the Juddmonte International (10f) and Arc de Triomphe (12f) and Henrythenavigator, a winner of four Group 1s including the 2000 Guineas and the Sussex Stakes. Perhaps the best of the fillies his daughters have given us is Peeping Fawn, another four-time Group 1 winner whose wins included the Irish Oaks (12f) and Nassau Stakes (10f) at Goodwood.
The Fugue’s sire is Dansili, a triple Group winner over a mile inFrancewho was also second in the French Guineas, Queen Anne, Sussex Stakes and the Prix de la Foret (7f). Standing at Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud, he has also become a sire of quality at a range of distances, siring eight separate Group 1 winners worldwide. The best of his progeny are Harbinger, a five time Group winner at 12f+ and an 11 length winner of the Group 1 King George atAscot. Rail Link was a dual Group 1 winner, victorious in the Grand Prix de Paris and the Arc de Triomphe and Delegator won the Craven Stakes over 8f and Group 2 Duke of York Stakes over 6f. Also, when combined with a daughter of Sadler’s Wells he has produced the likes of dual Group winner over 12f Testosterone, another winner of the Musidora in Passage of Time and King Edward VII (Gr2 12f) winner Father Time.
To conclude, she gave the impression at York that she was certainly a filly to consider for the Oaks as shown by her position in the market. Based on her pedigree I think that there is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side based on the exploits of her half sister. The introduction of Dansili instead of Monsun into the equation will provide more speed to the pedigree whilst still retaining a suitable amount of stamina. For me the question is whether she is good enough rather than her ability to stay and this is something that will only be answered on the day next Friday.
Back The Fugue at 7/2 with Ladbrokes and get a £50 free bet!
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Photo 1 The Fugue winning the Musidora www.guardian.co.uk
Photo 2 Peeping Fawn winning the Nassau Stakes www.bbc.co.uk
Photo 3 Passage of Time from same cross as The Fugue sporthorse
Following a successful pedigree analysis series for the 1000 & 2000 Guineas, Andrew Fletcher is back with a new series, looking at some of the main contenders for the Epsom Oaks. Missed Andrew’s Derby series? Find links to his Derby series below!
This week I begin a new series looking at the contenders for the Oaks at Epsom at the beginning of June. I will look through their race records but most importantly consider whether their pedigree suggests they will have the stamina to last the 12f distance.
I begin with a filly trained by Aidan O’Brien called Was. She has only had one appearance on the racecourse to date, in an 8f maiden at the Curragh back in August. She was positioned towards the head of the field in the early stages and was sat in 3rd position for most of the race. After being shaken up by her jockey Joseph O’Brien with 2f to go, she hit the front under hands and heels and continued to stay on in the final furlong and won comfortably by 2½ lengths.
In the field that were behind her that day there were two future winners. Cloudracer (7th) won a Wexford maiden over 8f. And Coral Wave (4th) who was a Listed winner over 8f at the Curragh on the 11th September and won a Group 3 over 7f at the Curragh a fortnight later beating 1000 Guineas winner, Homecoming Queen.
Was did not lead the market on debut and was behind her stablemate Purple and John Oxx’s Shamooda, who were joint favourites. This combined with the fact that she did not appear again after August suggests that she was a little backward but her performance suggested she had plenty of ability despite being a little green.
There were reasons however to believe that Was would possess some ability before she entered the racecourse, given that she was sold for 1.2 million Guineas at the 2010 October Yearling Sales. This made her the most expensive yearling bought in Europe that year and was purchased on behalf of Coolmore from Lodge Park Stud, who also bred her dam’s half brother New Approach.
Was’s pedigree suggests that she is from a very classy family and could therefore potentially have inherited some serious talent. Her dam is Alluring Park, a winner over 6f at Leopardstown as a 2yo as well as being 3rd in two Listed events over the same distance. She is out of Park Express, the winner of the Lancashire Oaks (12f Gr3), Nassau Stakes (10f Gr2) and the Champion Stakes (10f Gr1).
As I already mentioned, Alluring Park is a half-sister to the five-time Group 1 winner and 2008 Derby winner New Approach. She is also a half-sister to Dazzling Park, a Listed winner over 9f, Group 3 winner over 8f and was also second to Daylami in the Irish Champion Stakes as well as being beaten a ½ length into third in the Irish 1000 Guineas. As a broodmare, Alluring Park has produced Janoob (by Lockinge and Eclipse winner Medicean), a Listed winner at two over 7f and Initiation (by Rock of Gibraltar) who was a winner over 7f at Tipperary.
The damsire is Green Desert, the winner of the July Cup and Haydock Sprint Cup in 1986. He has become an excellent sire of horses at up to a mile and is regarded as an influence for speed. His sons however, such as Cape Cross have been able to inject stamina into their progeny. Green Desert’s best progeny include Desert Prince, who won the Irish 2000 Guineas, Prix du Moulin and the QEII all at a mile. He also sired Oasis Dream, the winner of the Middle Park and July Cup over 6f as well as the Nunthorpe over 5f. As a damsire, his daughters have produced 2000 Guineas winner Makfi and Celebration Mile winner Dubawi Gold as well as the winner of the Silver Cup over 14f, Rainbow Ways.
Her sire is perhaps the most successful sire of the last decade, Galileo. He won the Derby, the Irish Derby and the Eclipse during his 2001 Classic season and has already produced 35 separate Group 1 winners during his short stallion career. These include Frankel, whose unbeaten record in 9 starts comprises victories in the 2000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and QEII Stakes. Another son of Galileo, Rip Van Winkle was a triple Group 1 winner between a mile and a mile and a quarter. In terms of fillies, Lush Lashes was a dual Group 1 winner over 8f and also won the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks over 12f. Another filly, Galikova won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille over 12f and has had two other Group wins over 10 furlongs and further.
After her debut run, her trainer was reported to have said that she was a very nice filly and that she would stay well in time. She was entered in both the Musidora at York (10f Gr3) and the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas (10f Gr3) on Wednesday (16th May), although now it appears that she will be appearing in the latter. This is presumably with a view to running her in the Oaks, given her quality family and the impressive way in which she won her maiden. In terms of her pedigree, both sides possess plenty of stamina given that Galileo is out of an Arc winner, Urban Sea and Park Express (Was’s grand dam) was able to stay 12f. On this basis along with the way she appeared to show she would be suited by further in her only appearance, I don’t see why she should have a problem with the distance. I also feel that the influence of Green Desert may just give her the speed that the top-class horses need as well as stamina.
Having only seen her once however suggests she is a somewhat backward filly and at this stage it would require a large leap of faith to consider her amongst the leading lights in the Oaks. But if she has developed over the winter and runs with credit on Wednesday, I see no reason why she would not be placed onto the growing list of O’Brien fillies heading to Epsom for the Oaks.
Fancy an ante-post bet on Was for the Epsom Oaks? Back her at best odds of 20/1 with SkyBet and get a £10 deposit free bet!
2012 Epsom Derby Pedigree Series:
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Photo 1: Was selling for 1.2 million Guineas as a yearling www.tattersalls.com
Photo 2: New Approach is a half-brother to Was’s dam www.telegraph.co.uk
Photo 3: Lush Lashes is also by Galileo blogs.bettor.com
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/
My series looking at the 1000 Guineas comes to its conclusion this week and where better place is there to finish than by considering the current ante-post favourite Maybe.
Her racing career began back in May when she lined up for a 6f maiden at Naas. She was edged towards the head of the field and soon went clear with over a furlong to travel, the filly kept on well to win by 4½ lengths. Her successful debut saw her beat Princess Sinead (2nd) who later won a 7f Curragh maiden and Teolane (4th), won a Listed contest over 6f in June. Her next assignment was to head to Royal Ascot for the Chesham which saw her step up in class and distance up to 7f. She was asked once again to be up with the leaders in the early stages, before taking it up with 2f to go. The front two drew away from the rest with a furlong to travel and she continued to stay on and win impressively. Behind her was Fort Bastion (2nd) who was also second in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes and Falls of Lora (8th), a conditions winner over a mile in September and winner of UAE Oaks (10f) as a three year old.
She was given about a month off before she was seen next in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown over 7f. She sat second before taking the lead with 2f to go; she was ridden along and kept on well inside the final furlong to win fairly cosily. The second placed horse was La Collina, who won the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes in August beating Power.
A Group 2 contest was next for Maybe in the Debutante Stakes over 7f at the Curragh at the beginning of August. As in her previous three starts, she sat in second position in the early part of the race and took the lead with a couple of furlongs to go and once again she kept on well inside the final furlong to win easily by 2½ lengths. Back in 3rd on that day was Lightening Pearl, a dual Group winner including a victory in Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over 6f at Newmarket in September. Also behind was Remember Alexander (5th) a Group 3 winner over 7f beating Dewhurst winner Parish Hall.
Her final start of the campaign saw her take to Group 1 company for the first time in the Moyglare Stud Stakes over 7f at the Curragh at the end of August. She took her customary position in second before moving herself into the lead with a couple of furlongs to go. She was driven out inside the final furlong and continued to impress winning by 1¾ lengths. In second that day was Group 3 winner over 6f Fire Lily and Maybe also confirmed the form with those she met earlier in the season such as La Collina (3rd), Princess Sinead (5th) and Teolane (6th).
Her five starts at two showed she that this Aidan O’Brien filly had plenty of ability and she was made and remains favourite for the 1000GuineasatNewmarket. As yet she has not tackled a mile and although she shaped as if it would not be a problem, her pedigree may provide a definitive answer.
Her sire is Galileo, who on the racecourse won the Derby, Irish Derby and the King George in 2001. At stud, he has produced many top quality horses at all distances and has probably been the best sire of the last decade. There is no doubt that the best of his produce is Frankel, who is unbeaten in 9 starts, five of which have been in Group 1 company and each victory has come at an average of over five lengths. New Approach had five Group 1 victories including the Dewhurst (7f), Derby (12f) and the Champion Stakes (10f). Galikova is perhaps the best filly that Galileo has produced to date, having won three Group races, the best being the Prix Vermeille over 12f at Longchamp in September.
Maybe’s dam is Sumora, the winner of a Listed race over 5f at Newbury, who is a three-parts sister to Dancing Rain, the winner of the Oaks (12f), Preis der Diana (11f) and Group 2 British Champion Fillies and Mares Stakes (12f). Sumora was purchased by Coolmore in December at the Tattersalls Mare sale for 2.4 million guineas, she has had only one other running produce Luckbealadytonight, who was second in a 6f maiden at Southwell and is by Mr Greeley.
Her damsire is Danehill, the winner of the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup over 6f. He has also produced many quality thoroughbreds such as Dylan Thomas, the winner of seven Group races including the Irish Derby (12f), King George (12f) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (12f). Others include Rock of Gibraltar, beaten only three times in 13 starts, his wins included the 2000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Prix du Moulin. Another is Duke of Marmalade, a winner of five consecutive Group 1s from 10-12f including the Tattersalls Gold Cup (11f), King George (12f) and Juddmonte International (10f). Danehill has been very successful as a sire of broodmares and his daughters have been very good at producing successful horses when put to Galileo. This cross has produced several top class racehorses including Frankel (Kind), Teofilo (Speirbhean) and Roderic O’Connor (Secret Garden).
Maybe’s performances on the racecourse as a two year-old combined with her excellent pedigree mean that she looks a worthy favourite for the first fillies Classic of the season. I would not see any reason to suggest she would not get a mile and given that she has the likes of Dancing Rain closely related to her dam means she could even get further than a mile. The Ballydoyle team have a number of quality fillies however and perhaps theGuineaswould be her main target and given that she was impressive in her racecourse gallop a couple of weeks ago, it seems like it is full speed ahead for Newmarket.
Missed any of Andrew Fletcher’s 1000 Guineas spotlight series? Find all the articles in one place!
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Fancy a bet on Maybe for the 1000 Guineas? Back her at 7/2 with Ladbrokes and get a £50 free bet using unique code FB50!
Photo Credit: Maybe at Royal Ascot racingpost.com
Photo Credit: Dancing Rain winning the Oaks bloodhorse.com
Earlier this week, the bloodstock world was shaken by the news that Montjeu had passed away following an illness believed to be septicaemia, writes Andrew Fletcher. There is no doubt that he was a high-class individual on the racecourse as well as in the breeding shed and that he has left quite a mark during the sixteen years for which he was with us.
On the racecourse, he made a modest start, making only two appearances at 2, the highlight being a Listed win over 9f in heavy ground at Longchamp. At 3 he really showed what he was capable of, winning five of his seven starts, three of which were at the highest level. His three Group 1 successes consisted of a four length win in the Prix du Jockey Club, a very impressive five length win in the Irish Derby before heading to Longchamp for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. In the Arc, he closed round the final turn to chase down El Condor Pasa to win by ½ a length, the third horse was 6 lengths behind the front two and the fourth was a further 5 lengths behind them. He headed to Tokyo for the Japan Cup (12f) in November where he finished 4th to end his three year-old campaign. He was given a Timeform rating of 137, which placed him in joint 9th position on the all time list for flat horses.
He was kept in training as a four year-old, a campaign which saw him take three more victories at Group 1 level including the Tattersalls Gold Cup (11f) at the Curragh and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (12f). Perhaps his best performance came in the King George at Ascot where having sat last for most of the 12f, he cantered round the outside of the field and with 1f to go and he drew away on the bridle to win by about two lengths. He followed this up with a win in the Prix Foy (Gr 2) before finishing fourth in the Arc, second in the Champion Stakes (10f) and 7th in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (12f).
Following his success on the racecourse, his next task was to become a stallion of equally talented horses. He was retired to Coolmore Stud, the operation run by his owner Michael Tabor alongside Derrick Smith and John Magnier. His first crop of two year olds reached the racecourse in 2004 and included Motivator, the winner of Group 1 Racing Post Trophy (8f) at 2, as well as the Dante (10f) and Epsom Derby (12f) at 3. His three year old campaign also included two second placed finishes in the Eclipse (10f) and Irish Champion (10f) to Oratorio and he was also beaten favourite in the Arc finishing in fifth. Hurricane Run was another of Montjeu’s first crop, who having been beaten by Shamardal in the Prix du Jockey Club (11f), won the Irish Derby (12f), Group 2 Prix Niel (12f) and was a two length winner of the Arc at Longchamp. As a four year old, he won the Tattersalls Gold Cup and King George, before finishing 3rd in the Arc beaten only ¾ of a length by Rail Link. The last of his first crop which I feel is worth pointing out is Scorpion, who finished second to Hurricane Run in the Irish Derby before winning the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris (12f) and the St Leger at Doncaster (15f). His only other victory came in the Coronation Cup (12f) at Epsom as a five year old.
Despite developing a reputation for being a producer of middle distance older horses, Montjeu has produced many Group 1 winners at the age of two. He has sired no less than four winners of the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy (8f) including Motivator, Authorized, St Nicholas Abbey and Camelot, as well as two winners of the Group 2 Royal Lodge over a mile, Jukebox Jury and Joshua Tree. Other Group 1 winners at two by Montjeu include two winners of the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in Recital and Fame and Glory as well as Criterium International (10f) winner, Jan Vermeer.
Overall, Montjeu has to date sired 35 separate winners of Group/Grade 1s across the world. As I have already alluded to, his produce have been at their best at distances upwards of 10f. His most successful progeny whom I am yet to examine include Authorized, who as well as winning the Racing Post Trophy at 2, won the Dante (10f) at York before winning the Derby at Epsom and the Juddmonte International at York. Fame and Glory was second to Sea the Stars in the Derby at Epsom before winning the Irish equivalent, the Tattersalls’ Gold Cup (11f), Coronation Cup (12f), QIPCO Long Distance Cup (16f) and the Ascot Gold Cup (20f). St Nicholas Abbey was an impressive winner of the Racing Post trophy before disappointing in the 2000 Guineas finishing sixth. He has since however won the Coronation Cup at Epsom and the Breeders’ Cup Turf (12f) at Churchill Downs. Others include Pour Moi, the winner of the 2011 Epsom Derby and Masked Marvel the winner of last year’s St Leger.
The number of top performers he has produced proves that he was an excellent sire, but looking through his pedigree there was never any reason to doubt that he would become a quality sire. The male line is impressive enough with his sire and grandsire being the two greatest stallions of the 20th century. If you didn’t get them from that clue, his sire is Sadler’s Wells who held the title of Leading Sire in Britain and Ireland in 1990 and from 1992-2004. Any summary here would not do him justice but he has also produced the likes of Galileo, High Chaparral and Doyen in recent years as well as becoming a quality sire of sires and broodmares. It is also worth pointing out that although Sadler’s Wells produced many top class animals, Montjeu was the highest rated of all of them which puts his achievements into some perspective. Montjeu’s grandsire is Northern Dancer, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner of 1964, who sired the British Triple Crown winner Nijinsky, Derby winner The Minstrel and El Gran Senor, the winner of the Dewhurst, 2000 Guineas and Irish Derby. Northern Dancer’s influence is felt so widely that most thoroughbreds now have Northern Dancer in some part of their pedigree.
Montjeu’s dam is Floripedes, a winner of the Group 3 Prix de Lutece as a three year old, who produced a half brother to Montjeu in Le Paillard, a Listed winner in the Prix Rene Bedel. His damsire Top Ville won the Prix du Jockey Club in 1979 and his best produce was Pistolet Bleu, a six-time Group winner at distances from 9-12f. However, it is as a damsire that he has had most success with his daughters producing several top-class individuals including King George winner Belmez (Grace Note), dual Group 1 winner Rewilding (Darara), four time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats (Lyndonville) and triple Group 1 winner at 10-12f Da Re Mi (Darara).
Despite his sad death this week, there is a good chance that Montjeu could be a candidate to challenge another Coolmore stallion, Galileo, for the champion sire title this year. This is courtesy of the exciting three year old duo of Camelot and Wading as well as a number of stars returning to the racecourse. This would be an outstanding achievement given the dominance that Galileo has cast over the stallion division in the last five years or so.
To conclude, it must be said that Montjeu was a fantastic thoroughbred, both in terms of his racecourse performances and the quality of his offspring at stud. He is a big loss to the Coolmore operation for whom he was their second stallion and a regular producer of top class middle distance horses. Nevertheless, despite his relatively short career as a stallion, he achieved a great deal producing a number of world class horses. The hope is that his legacy will live on through his own sons becoming stallions and perhaps this year’s ante-post favourite for the Derby and Guineas, Camelot, will be the horse tasked with succeeding Montjeu.
Photo 1: Montjeu www.bbc.co.uk
Photo 2: Hurricane Run winning the Arc www.coolmore.com
Photo 3: St Nicholas Abbey www.irishfield.ie
Photo 4: Camelot winning the Racing Post Trophy www.bbc.co.uk
The penultimate instalment of my series looking at the 1000 Guineassees me examine the chances of the Mick Channon trained filly, Samitar.
Her career on the racecourse began at Newmarketat the end of May last year, when she was entered in a 6f maiden. She was positioned prominently in the early stages before being asked to quicken with 2f to go, she kept on and although the front two drew away from her, she stayed on to be third by a length. In hindsight, this looks a good maiden given that the winner, Regal Realm won a Group 3 over 7f later in the season and the second home was Gamilati who won the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes. There was also a future Listed winner in the field as My Propeller finished back in seventh.
Following a promising debut, she was stepped up into Group company in the Group 3 Albany Stakes over 6f at Royal Ascot. This time she was positioned in rear before moving through the field with 2.5f to go, she came under pressure 2f out before being switched to the outside with a furlong left. She stayed on gamely to win by ¾ of a length. The field that she beat included two Listed winners in Lily’s Angel (5th) and Sajwah (7th).
Samitar’s next outing was the £100,000 Tattersalls Million Stakes at Newmarketover 6f at the end of August. As soon as she left the stalls, her pilot Jamie Spencer switched her towards the far side of the track and she was positioned towards the head of this group. She came under pressure with 2f to travel and was shoved out despite wandering towards the middle of the track, the front two drew away from the field and she was beaten a short-head on the line. Her conqueror that day was Mehdi, the winner of a Ripon maiden and was third in two similar sales races later in the season.
She was back in Group company next time, challenging a Group 2 for the first time in the May Hill Stakes over a mile at Doncaster. She was sat at the rear of the field in the early stages before making good progress through the field two furlongs out. She seemed fairly one-paced however and the front two skated clear and Samitar was beaten around 3½ lengths. The winner that day was Lyric of Light who was to take a Group 1 prize after this and the second was Fallen For You, who had previously won aNewmarket maiden over 7f.
After this run, she returned to the racecourse within a fortnight when she took to the post for the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile, a Group 1 at Newmarket. She led the field in the early part of the race and gently increased the pace from three furlongs out. Her jockey got serious with her with a furlong and a half to travel and she skipped clear of most of the field but Lyric of Light got up under Frankie Dettori to win by a head in the final strides. This performance suggested she had made three lengths up on Lyric of Light on the basis of her performance at Doncaster. Also, Samitar reversed the Doncaster form with Fallen For You as well as beating a Salisbury maiden winner, Firdaws.
Samitar’s final start of her two year-old campaign came in the £300,000 Tattersalls Millions 2yo Fillies Trophy over 7f at Newmarketon 1st October. Under Sam Hitchcott for the first time, she was sent towards the head of the field before being asked to quicken with 2.5f to go. She quickened and battled to hold off all challengers and win by 1¼ lengths. Here she beat a Newbury Conditions Stakes winner in Hazel Lavery (2nd) and Glee, who was second in the Tattersalls Millions race in September.
Her juvenile campaign was certainly progressive given the way she seemed to improve as the campaign went on, especially when she was ridden in a prominent fashion. Her final performance led to her trainer, Mick Channon suggesting that she could make aGuineasfilly and whilst she has course and distance form perhaps her pedigree can assist in confirming her overall ability.
Her sire is Rock of Gibraltar, the winner of two Group 1s at 2, the Grand Criterium (7f) and the Dewhurst (7f). As a three year-old, he secured five victories at the top level including the 2000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and the Prix du Moulin all over a mile. His only defeat at 3 came in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Arlington at the end of the season. At stud, he has proved a good producer of two year olds as well as at distances of around a mile. Examples of his produce are Eagle Mountain, winner of the Group 2 Beresford Stakes (8f) at 2, who was second in the Epsom Derby (12f) and won the Hong Kong Cup (Gr1 10f). Society Rock, a winner of the Listed Pavilion Stakes in 2010 over 6f, before winning the Golden Jubilee Stakes over 6f at Royal Ascot last year. Another product of Rock of Gibraltar is Mount Nelson, winner of the Group 1 Criterium International over 8f at two and winner of the Coral Eclipse at the age of four. Finally, Sea of Heartbreak is a three parts sister to Samitar and was the winner of the Listed Chalice Stakes over 12f and the Group 2 Prix de Royallieu (13f) at Longchamp.
Samitar’s dam is Aileen’s Gift, who did not appear on a racecourse. However as a mare, she has produced Nijoom Dubai, a half sister to Samitar, who also won the Group 3 Albany Stakes over 6f as a two year old. Another product of the dam was La Gifted, who raced mostly on the all weather but secured a victory on the turf at Catterick over 7f and whose best official rating was 71.
The damsire is Rainbow Quest, a winner of the Great Voltigeur at York (12f) and Coronation Cup (12f) who also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after the first past the post was disqualified. He sired plenty of quality produce including Saumarez, winner of the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris (10f) in 1990 and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (12f). Others are the winner of the Epsom Derby in 1990 Quest for Fame and Spectrum, the winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas in 1995 and the Champion Stakes at Newmarket over 10f. He has also been very successful as a sire of dams, his daughters having produced horses such as 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand and four-time British Group 1 winner Rakti, whose victories included the Lockinge (8f) and the QEII (8f).
There is no doubt that she has the pedigree of a top-class individual, having a close relative as a Group winner inSeaofHeartbreakand plenty of Group winners on both sides of the family. She was probably a good yardstick for other fillies at two and would certainly have to have improved over the winter to be considered a serious contender for the 1000Guineas. However, if she was allowed to go to the front, then she has showed that she is difficult to pass, and therefore outside of the protagonists from the big operations of Coolmore and Darley, would not be discounted lightly. That said, I think the mile will be no problem for her but she is probably lacking a little in terms of quality as she was just found wanting in her starts at Group level as a two year old. Therefore, I think that whilst she is solid enough, it would take a couple of the leading lights in the field to run below par for her to be there at the finish.
Fancy Samitar for the 1000 Guineas? Back her at 25/1 with Bet365 and get up to £200 in free bets!
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
With the Cheltenham Festival done for another year, many peoples attention will be turning to the up and coming flat season. Andrew Fletcher continues his 1000 Guineas ante-post series here at the Tavern; This week he looks at Lightening Pearl.
The third part of my 2012 1000 Guineas series looks at Lightening Pearl trained by Ger Lyons, the former national hunt jockey who now has a base twenty miles outside of Dublin. She is owned by Pearl Bloodstock, the organisation of Sheikh Fahad of the QIPCO investment group.
Her racing career began back in June at Navan in a 6f maiden. After showing signs of greenness in the early stages, she was positioned in mid-division. With a furlong and a half to travel she was ridden along and began to get the hang of racing, staying on to finish second, beaten a couple of lengths. The winner of the contest was the future winner of the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes, Experience.
The filly returned to the racecourse in July, this time stepped up to 7f. This time she was positioned towards the head of proceedings by her new pilot, Johnny Murtagh. From around two furlongs out she was asked to quicken and continued to find under pressure to hold off her challengers and win by a couple of lengths. She beat very little here, overcoming a future Corkmaiden winner, Among Equals and winner of a Wolverhampton claimer, Speedy Yaki.
Her next appearance saw her stepped up in class in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes over 7f at the Curragh. On this occasion she sat behind the leaders in 3rd position, before being asked to quicken with 2f to go, the winner drew well clear and Lightening Pearl was headed on the line for second. The filly that beat her was Maybe, who was unbeaten at two and is currently the ante-post favourite for the 1000 Guineas. The second placed horse was the winner of a 7f maiden at Leopardstown, Yellow Rosebud trained by Dermot Weld.
She was dropped back in trip to 6f and to Group 3 company for her next start in the Go and Go Round Tower Stakes at the Curragh at the end of August. She sat second before being pushed to the front with 2f to go and she kept on up the standside rail. She soon drew away to win by five lengths, in doing so she reversed the maiden form with Experience and also beat a Listed winner in An Ghalanta.
Lightening Pearl’s final start as a two year old came at the end of September in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes over 6f at Newmarket. Once again located towards the head of proceedings, she was shaken up with 2.5f to go and hung towards the centre of the course. The second horse was closing fast towards the end but Lightening Pearl hung on to win by a ½ length, giving her owner Sheikh Fahad his first Group 1 victory. The second horse in the race, Sunday Times won a Goodwood maiden prior to the Cheveley Park and was fifth behind Wading in the Rockfel in October; some of the others in behind Lightening Pearl were Group 2 winner Angels Will Fall and dual Group 2 winner, Best Terms.
After the Cheveley Park Stakes, the 1000Guineaswas identified as the target for the filly by connections. David Redvers, racing advisor to Sheikh Fahad suggested she may not stay a mile due to her speed but Johnny Murtagh, who partnered her on three of her five starts was confident she would have the stamina to get a mile. It has also been suggested by her trainer that she would probably improve for a bit of cut in the ground despite her Group 1 win coming on fast ground.
In terms of her breeding, she is by Marju, the winner of the Craven (8f) and the St James’ Palace (8f) during the 1991 season, in which he was also second in the Derby over a mile and a half. At stud he has produced horses at their best over a variety of distances and has sired 19 separate Group 1 winners worldwide. The best of his progeny include Viva Pitaca, a Listed winner over 8f at Pontefract and a winner of eight Group 1s in Hong Kong from 10-12f. Others include Soviet Song, a five time Group 1 winner over a mile including two victories in the Falmouth Stakes and Indigenous, a winner of four Group 1s in Hong Kong over 10-12f.
Lightening Pearl’s dam is Jioconda, a Listed winner over a mile as a two year old. Her only other produce of running age is Jolie Jiconde, a full sister to Lightening Pearl who was a winner over 11f at Dundalk and was also third to Zoffany in the Group 3 Tyros Stakes over 7f at Leopardstown.
The damsire is Rossini, a dual Group winner over 6f whose produce at stud have run best at 5-9f. His progeny have included Tournedos, a winner of the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes over 5f at Goodwood as well as two wins in the Chester City Wall Stakes over the same distance (Listed). As well as Golden Legacy, a Group 3 winner over 6f at Ayr and Rose Hip, a Listed winner over 9f at Leopardstown.
Lightening Pearl ended her two year old campaign in the best way, winning a Group 1 in the Cheveley Park Stakes. She appeared to be at her best at 6f but as I mentioned earlier, Johnny Murtagh believes the step up to a mile should not be a problem. Her pedigree seems to back this up given that her full sister was a winner over further than a mile and that there are winners over a mile and further on both sides of the family. Marju’s produce also have a tendency to progress and if she has developed over the winter perhaps she will be better equipped to tackle a mile in the Guineas. That said, she was well beaten by Maybe in the Debutante Stakes and the filly which finished second to her in the Cheveley Park was also a long way behind Wading in the Rockfel. Therefore, even if the doubts surrounding her ability to stay a mile prove inaccurate, she would still have to improve on what she had shown in her two year old campaign in order to be a contender for the 1000 Guineas.
Get up to £200 in free bets with Bet365 and get 20/1 on Lightening Pearl for the 1000 Guineas!
Follow Andrew on twitter @ginge210!
Photo Credit: LighteningPearlwinning the Cheveley Park Stakes betting.betfair.com
Photo Credit 2: Soviet Song superfectablog.com
My series looking at the 2012 1000 Guineas continues this week with a look at the Mahmood Al Zarooni trained Discourse.
Her race record consists of only two starts as a two year old, the first coming in a 6f maiden at Newmarketat the end of June last year. She sat in mid-division under Ahmed Ajtebi and was encouraged to move forward with just over two furlongs to go. She edged left under pressure but stayed on strongly in the final furlong to get up to beat her stablemate on the line by a short head. The stablemate in question is Gamilati, who won the Group 2 Cherry Hinton over 6f at Newmarketin July and has had two victories already in her three year-old campaign winning the UAE 1000 Guineastrial over 7f and the UAE 1000 Guineas (Listed) over a mile at Meydan. Discourse also beat Appointee who broke its maiden at Epsom in September having finished 5 lengths behind the Godolphin pair in 3rd.
Discourse was stepped into Group company on the back of her maiden win in the Sweet Solera Stakes (Gr3) over 7f in August. This time, partnered by Frankie Dettori, she tracked the leaders in fourth before taking herself to the front with just over a furlong to travel. Under relatively gentle encouragement she drew away from the field to win impressively by 4½ lengths. It is worth pointing out that she did not beat a great deal here, Wahylah being the only future winner in the nine runner field. Wahylah won the Tattersalls Millions Auction Race in September but was beaten around 15 lengths in the Sweet Solera when finishing 5th.
Having been made joint-favourite for the 1000 Guineas after her victory in the Sweet Solera Stakes, her next target was set to be the Fillies Mile atNewmarketat the end of September; however she suffered a minor setback in training. As I have already alluded to she was not to be seen again on a racecourse during her juvenile campaign. Despite this she remains second favourite for theGuineasbehind Ballydoyle’s representative Maybe. It could probably be said that she could be a little backward given her odds of 16/1 in her maiden or maybe it is more accurate that the connections thought Gamilati was better as suggested by the jockey bookings. To date we have yet to see her at a mile, although the head lad suggested the extra furlong would not be a problem after her Sweet Solera victory, does her pedigree suggest the extra furlong will be an issue?
Her sire is Street Cry, the winner of the UAE 2000 Guineas in 2001 and three times Group winner in 2002 including the Dubai World Cup over 10f. At stud he has sired 18 separate Group/Grade 1 winners worldwide and is renowned as a good producer of two year-olds and older horses at up to 10f. His best progeny include Zenyatta, a prolific winner with 19 wins and a second from 20 starts including 13 Group 1 victories. Her only career defeat came in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic where she was beaten only a head in search of her second Classic. Another product of Street Cry is Street Sense, a ten lengths winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile who won the Kentucky Derby (10f) and was second by a head in the Preakness Stakes (10f) as a three year old. He is a close relative to Discourse as he is also out of a Dixieland Band mare. Carlton House is another of Street Cry’s progeny, a winner of the Dante (10f) over 10f before being beaten favourite in theDerby at Epsom and the Curragh over 12f.
Discourse’s dam is Divine Dixie who was placed in the Listed Jersey Blue Stakes in the US. Discourse’s half-siblings include Bandini who is by Fusaichi Pegasus, the three times Graded winner in the US including the Kentucky Derby in 2000. Bandini himself was a Grade 1 winner in the Blue Grass Stakes over 9f on polytrack. A half-sister to Discourse is Najoum, who is by Giant’s Causeway; she won a 7f maiden atRedcar as well as a Nursery at Kempton over a mile.
Her damsire is Dixieland Band, winner of the Group 3 Pennsylvania Derby over 9f in 1983. At stud he also had success having been crowned leading broodmare sire in North Americain 2004 and produced quality on a variety of surfaces. His best progeny include Egyptband, a Group 1 winner over 11f in the Prix de Diane Hermes and a Group 2 winner in the Grand Prix de Chantilly (12f). Drum Taps is a dual winner of the Ascot Gold Cup and had 6 other Group wins at distances from 12-16f. The final product to consider is Mutahaab, a winner of the Listed Stardom Stakes over 8f and followed up in the Group 2 Royal Lodge.
Her performances at two have led to her popularity in the market for the 1000 Guineas and her pedigree seems to confirm the visual impression in the Sweet Solera that an extra furlong would not present a problem. I think it is worth saying that Godolphin appear to have a good group of fillies this year, Lyric of Light won the Fillies Mile for them in the absence of Discourse and Gamilati has produced two very impressive performances at Meydan this season. Therefore if Discourse can be produced back to her peak and she has improved at the same rate as Gamilati, then she would be a live contender for the contest.
This is by no means guaranteed however and only time will tell what impact her setback has had on her racing ability. Her pedigree suggests that she may get up to 10f and that improvement may have come over the winter. If this is the case and her setback hasn’t damaged her racing ability she would be amongst Godolphin’s best chances of success. This would therefore indicate that she would be a viable fancy for the 1000Guineasbut there are still a lot of questions that need answering before her chances can be accurately gauged.
Fancy Discourse for the 1000 Guineas? Back her at 8/1 with Ladbrokes and get your £50 free bet with the unique code FB50!
Follow Andrew on Twitter @ginge210!
Photo Credit: Discourse winning the Sweet Solera www.godolphin.com