I return to my 2000 Guineas series this week with a look at the Richard Hannon-trained colt Van Der Neer, writes Andrew Fletcher. He is currently available at best-price 25/1 for the first Classic of the season and it will be interesting to see whether he emerges as a contender for the Guineas come the spring.
He showed a glimpse of his potential racing ability when running out a comfortable winner of a Yarmouth maiden on debut. He was always handy during the six furlongs contest and having been asked for an effort with a furlong to run, he ran out a ready winner of a race that has turned out to be quite useful. There were no less than five subsequent winners in that field although none of the others scaled the heights of their conqueror on this occasion.
It was almost a month before he returned to the racecourse in a Conditions event at Leicester which saw him take on seven furlongs for the first time. This time he settled at the back of the pack before being moved to the outside with two furlongs still to travel. He picked up the leaders with consummate ease in the closing stages and having sewn up the race in a matter of strides, recorded an impressive 1¾ length success easing up.
His Leicester performance was impressive enough for Richard Hannon to run the colt in Group 1 company in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Once again his jockey Richard Hughes used waiting tactics on him before asking his mount for an effort with a couple of furlongs still to run. He looked to hang towards the stands rail under pressure before finishing off his race in taking fashion to grab second place on the line. It is worth noting here that although Van Der Neer never really troubled the winner Kingsbarns, he did finish ahead of three Group winners in Steeler (3rd), First Cornerstone (4th) and Trading Leather (5th).
His effort in the Racing Post Trophy rounded off a good campaign for the colt in which he continued to improve when facing the challenges of both a step up in trip and Grade. Also, the fact that he hung slightly at Doncaster suggests he was still a little green and that with more experience he could well have finished closer to the winner. In terms of a visual impression he seemed to see out the mile well at Doncaster in testing conditions meaning that the 2000 Guineas would look a suitable target for this colt. He is still relatively unexposed and it will be interesting to see from his pedigree whether further improvement should be expected.
His sire is Dutch Art who during his own two-year-old campaign won the Prix Morny and the Middle Park Stakes as well as the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting. At three he was third in the 2000 Guineas behind Cockney Rebel before being beaten half a length and a length in the July Cup and the Prix Maurice De Gheest respectively. Perhaps the best of his progeny at stud so far has been Caspar Netscher who won both the Gimcrack and the Mill Reef Stakes as a two-year-old before successes in the Greenham and the German 2000 Guineas a year later. Other useful products include Listed and Group 3 winner Producer, Listed sprinter Slade Power and Listed-winning filly Miss Work Of Art. There is no doubt that Dutch Art has already shown an ability to pass on his talents including speed to most of his progeny, but looking at his own pedigree there is reason to suggest there is also some stamina lurking in there. Dutch Art is by Medicean who won both the Lockinge (8f) and the Eclipse (10f) at Group level during his career and is out of Halland Park Lass who although disappointing on the racecourse has also produced a dual Group-winning filly in Up. Dual Group 1 winner Spectrum appears on the maternal side of the pedigree as the damsire and can be considered another stamina influence given that he sired a 2000 Guineas winner in Golan who also won a King George. This information suggests that Dutch Art’s offspring could well have sufficient stamina to stay between a mile and ten furlongs.
On the other side of the pedigree, Van Der Neer is out of an unraced mare called Lalectra. She has produced two half-siblings in the form of Goodwood Treasure who won at up to 10f on the all weather and Common Denominator who was placed over a mile. Lalectra is by the former Aidan O’Brien trained King Charlemagne whose career highlight came when winning the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest over seven furlongs. It is probably fair to say his offspring have been useful without pulling up any trees with perhaps the best being Listed winning sprinter Aiboa.
The overall conclusion in terms of pedigree seems to confirm the visual impression from Doncaster that Van Der Neer appears to get a mile without any problem. In fact with a number of milers and ten furlong horses in his family it does not seem unreasonable to foresee him running over slightly further in time.
In terms of the 2000 Guineas it is difficult to work out which of Richard Hannon’s three-year-olds will head for the first Classic of the season. It appears that Olympic Glory looks set to head for the French Guineas, perhaps Toronado will head for a race such as the Dante, leaving the likes of Havana Gold, Wentworth and Van Der Neer in contention for the Guineas. If he does make it to the start at Newmarket, he looks to have a chance based on his performances to date. Based on the fact that he was only given three runs at two suggests that connections feel he was always set to be a better three-year-old. His run in the Racing Post Trophy puts him amongst some of the best juveniles of last year and I feel it is fair to say that Richard Hannon’s colt will improve for better underfoot conditions and a winter to develop. Whether he ultimately has the ability to beat the likes of Dawn Approach remains to be seen but with more likely to come, I would be reluctant to rule him out at this stage.
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
For those of you looking for your flat racing fix, I am pleased to say that I will be producing a series of articles in anticipation of this year’s Classics, writes Andrew Fletcher. Last year’s articles proved popular and these will take the same form with five horses considered for each of the first four Classics. This will include an examination of their racing career to date and more importantly the families from which the horses come.
This week I begin my look at the 2000 Guineas by considering the chances of the Marco Botti-trained Moohaajim. Despite only four starts during his juvenile campaign, the colt did enough to suggest that he could be capable of being one of the top of his generation as a three-year-old.
His career got underway at Ascot in mid-July, with a fairly straight-forward success over the straight six furlongs. Having sat on the shirt tails of the leaders, he was asked for further effort with two furlongs to run and he responded, drawing away from his rivals to score by one and three-quarter lengths. As a result of that effort he stepped up to Group 1 level in the Prix Morny at Deauville. This time he sat at the rear of the field for most of the six furlongs contest, but having shown signs of greenness under pressure, finished fifth despite being beaten only 2½ lengths.
Following a break of 34 days, Moohaajim returned to action in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. Having been well supported he was sent off the 5/2F for the contest and did not disappoint, showing a sharp turn of foot inside the final furlong to rout his rivals by 1¾ lengths. This set up another clash with Prix Morny winner Reckless Abandon in the Middle Park Stakes, where they were sent off as joint-favourites. Having travelled in the middle of the pack he made headway before laying down the challenge to his market rival inside the final furlong. He ran on well, heading Reckless Abandon before being run out of it in the dying strides by a neck.
The fact that he was beaten only a neck in Group 1 company outlines the quality the colt possesses. Some might say that the fact that the fact he didn’t appear to last home over six furlongs would suggest he would have some difficulty getting a mile in the 2000 Guineas. However, I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to that conclusion and only through careful consideration of the horse’s pedigree will we have a better idea of his potential to stay.
His sire Cape Cross was a Group 1 winning miler courtesy of his triumph in the 1998 Lockinge at Newbury before subsequently adding two Group 2 successes to his resume as a five-year-old. As a stallion, he is perhaps best known for siring two of the best 12f horses in recent years. Ouija Board managed to win seven Group 1s during her career including victories in the Oaks at Epsom, the Hong Kong Vase and two renewals of the Breeders’ Cup Fillies’ and Mares’ Turf. Having watched Ouija Board’s victories, it was the wish of Ling Tsui, owner of the mare Urban Sea that her mare be covered by Cape Cross as well.
The resulting progeny was a horse named Sea The Stars who was unbeaten as a three-year-old, winning six consecutive Group 1 races including the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Juddmonte International and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and in turn cementing his place as one of the best racehorses of all time. It is also worth noting that the progeny of Cape Cross do tend to improve as time goes on much like their sire did; therefore it is not unreasonable to think that Moohaajim could develop into a very good three-year-old.
Whilst the two horses just mentioned were best between 10f and 12f that is not to say that Cape Cross is solely an influence for stamina. His dam Park Appeal was a dual Group 1 winner as a two-year-old in the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes and his sire Green Desert won the July Cup during his own racing career and is renowned as a strong speed influence.
Moohaajim’s dam is a mare called Thiella, who was a winner of a seven furlong maiden when trained by Dermot Weld. She is a half-sister to Niagara Causeway who was a Group 3 winner over 12f and Moohaajim is the first produce of the nine-year-old. Thiella is by top miler Kingmambo who has sired many milers including 2000 Guineas winners King’s Best and Henrythenavigator as well as Russian Rhythm who won the 1000 Guineas. Camelot boosted Kingmambo’s reputation as a sire of broodmares with victories in the 2000 Guineas, Derby and Irish Derby last season, joining the likes of Duke Of Marmalade and Midday as those who have found success with Kingmambo as their damsire.
Interestingly, the Cape Cross-Kingmambo nick has produced three winners from five runners to date. Moohaajim’s Mill Reef success meant he became the second Group 2 winner in the nick following Cape Dollar’s success in the 2010 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket. Master Rooney is the other winner as a result of two triumphs at five and six furlongs.
To try and come to some sort of conclusion, it would certainly be easier to make a judgement had Moohaajim tried at least 7f during his juvenile campaign. In terms of the Middle Park Stakes, I feel that Reckless Abandon was assisted by running against the rail at Newmarket and there is ultimately very little between the pair. I understand that connections believe that he will get a mile in time and as long as he develops in the way that many of Cape Cross’ produce do over the winter, I see no reason to doubt this. His pedigree looks well-balanced with plenty of speed but with enough stamina to suggest that he would be able to get a mile eventually. His trainer used the Greenham over seven furlongs with Excelebration a couple of seasons ago, he also only ran over six furlongs as a two-year-old and he is now renowned as a top miler. It will be interesting to see whether he uses the same race for Moohaajim before plotting an assault on the 2000 Guineas. It is fair to say that he was towards the top end of his generation as a two-year-old given that he was rated only 5lb behind Dawn Approach on 116 and though he needs to prove he can stay a mile, his turn of foot makes him an interesting candidate for the first Classic of the season.
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1 – Moohaajim winning the Mill Reef
2 – Sea The Stars also by Cape Cross
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
Following his eleven length victory in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, Frankel once again found himself as the topic of conversation for most followers of racing, writes Andrew Fletcher. In a similar way to Camelot, everybody has their own views as to the way he is being campaigned and what they would do if they were in Sir Henry Cecil’s position. It is believed that a step up to 10f is on the cards at some stage and therefore I am going to delve into his pedigree to see whether he would appreciate the extra distance.
Frankel’s dam is Kind, who was twice victorious at Listed level over distances of five and six furlongs as well as being placed third in the Group 3 Ballyogan Stakes over 6f. Kind is out of a Rainbow Quest mare, Rainbow Lake who was a Listed winner over 10f and a Group 3 winner over 12f. This makes her a half-sister to Powerscourt (Sadler’s Wells), the winner of the Group 2 Great Voltigeur and two Group Ones, the Tattersalls Gold Cup (11f) and the Arlington Million (10f). She is also related to a winner over 10f Arizona Jewel (son of Danehill, Dansili), a dual winner over 10f and 12f Westlake(Sadler’s Wells) and Brimming, who was a dual winner over 14f (Derbywinner Generous). As a broodmare, Kind has produced two other runners in Bullet Train (Sadler’s Wells), who won an 8f maiden before winning the Lingfield Derby Trial over 11f and who is now better known as his younger sibling’s pacemaker. The other is Noble Mission (Galileo), a Listed winner over 10f, who was second in the King Edward VII over 12f.
The damsire is Danehill, who won the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup over 6f and was also third to Nashwan in the 2000 Guineas over a mile. He is out of a mare called Razyana and he is byDanzig, from the famous Northern Dancer line. As a stallion he has been an excellent sire of 2yos with a 40% winners to runners ratio and is widely regarded as an influence for speed. The best of his progeny are Dylan Thomas (Diesis), who won 6 Group Ones at 10-12f including two wins in the Irish Champion Stakes (10f) as well as the Arc (12f). Others include George Washington (Alysheba) who won four Group Ones including the Phoenix Stakes (6f) and the 2000 Guineas(8f). Finally Rock of Gibraltar (Be My Guest), who won seven Group 1s of which some were the 2000Guineas, Sussex Stakes and the Prix du Moulin. As well as a producer of great racehorses Danehill is also an excellent sire of broodmares. His daughters have produced several top-class horses including Teofilo (Galileo), who was unbeaten in five starts as a 2yo, two of which were in Group 1 company in the National Stakes and Dewhurst (7f). Some of the others are Trade Fair (Zafonic) a dual Group 3 winner over 7f and Roderic O’Connor (Galileo) who won two Group Ones in the Criterium International and Irish 2000 Guineas.
Frankel’s sire is Galileo, the winner of the Derby, Irish Derby and King George during his 3yo campaign. He is out of the Arc winner Urban Sea, who is a half-sister to 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best (Kingmambo). Urban Sea is out of a 9f winner Allegretta and is by a Group 1 winner over 7f Miswaki. She is also one of the best broodmares of the last 50 years having produced several top-class horses including Sea the Stars (CapeCross), a winner of the 2000 Guineas, Derbyand Arc de Triomphe as well as three more Group 1 successes. She also produced dual Group 1 winner Black Sam Bellamy (Sadler’s Wells), 9f Grade 1 winner My Typhoon (Giant’s Causeway) and Group 3 winner over 10f Urban Ocean (Bering). Galileo is by Sadler’s Wells who won the Irish 2000 Guineas, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes. He is also another son of Northern Dancer meaning that Frankel is inbred 3×4 to Northern Dancer, this means that he appears in the paternal side of the pedigree in the third generation and the maternal side in the 4th generation. In his own right, Sadler’s Wells was a top-class sire having been crowned leading sire inBritain andIreland on 14 occasions, including 13 in a row between 1992 and 2004. The best of his produce are Montjeu (Top Ville), who won six Group 1s including the French Derby, Arc and King George as well as Old Vic (Derring-Do) who won the Irish Derby and the Prix du Jockey Club. He also sired Doyen (Kris) who won the King George (Gr1) and the Hardwicke (Gr2) over 12f and five-time Group 1 winner High Chaparral (Darshaan).
During his career as a stallion Galileo has produced 41 separate Group 1 winners to date and he has emulated his sire in being crowned Champion sire in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The best of his produce apart from Frankel is perhaps Rip Van Winkle (Stravinsky) whose three Group Ones included the Sussex Stakes, QEII and the Juddmonte International. Other notable produce includeDerbywinner New Approach (Ahonoora), Irish Derby and Coronation Cup winner Soldier of Fortune (Erins Isle) and King George winner Nathaniel (Silver Hawk). Also, when put to a Danehill mare Galileo has a record of producing 27 winners from 48 runners and they have between them earned over 3 million pounds in prize money.
With Frankel, the plan has always been to step him up to 10f at some stage during his 4yo campaign. So far this season, he has won the Lockinge over a mile before following up in the Queen Anne (also over a mile). There are people asking why he has yet to be asked to race over further? It certainly isn’t because they are doubtful about his stamina when looking at his pedigree, because although his dam was a sprinter, she is part of a family which has produced plenty of stamina amongst her siblings. Frankel also receives some stamina from the male side of the family through his Derby winning sire Galileo and if you look at his two very close siblings they have both stayed at least 10f. Also in terms of visual impression, it now seems that Frankel has learned to settle and is more likely to get 10f than he was last year.
In terms of the campaign from now on, although the Eclipse was mentioned, I would have been very surprised if he did not run in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood over a mile once more. This is because the Eclipse at Sandown would involve him tackling an uphill finish as well as an extra two furlongs to what he is used to. This would have made the task more difficult than it had to be at the first attempt and therefore I didn’t see connections taking this step too soon. On the other hand, a tilt at the Juddmonte International is all but guaranteed considering his owner’s affiliation to the race andYorkwith its long straight would allow him to use his long stride and act most effectively at this distance. He will then, assuming he is still unbeaten head for QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot with the Champion Stakes over 10f the most likely destination. This could, as I mentioned in the Camelot article be the most likely chance of the two meeting after Camelot’s attempt at winning the Triple Crown.
Whether this is the most effective or the most sporting way to campaign Frankel is open to interpretation from others and I confess that I have had reservations about Frankel staying at a mile for as long as he has. However, I fully understand that Sir Henry Cecil’s duty is to Prince Khalid as well as to the horse, in terms of not asking him to do too much too soon. Therefore, he is being campaigned with the ultimate target being the Juddmonte International at York in August and therefore any runs beforehand have this goal in mind.
To conclude, there is no doubt in my mind that Frankel is the best horse I have seen in my own short lifetime and that he is one of the best racehorses we have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I also believe that a step up to 10f will present no problems to him in terms of stamina; the only question is whether the competition at 10f is better than what he is facing at a mile? The reality is that this question will only be answered in the fullness of time and therefore when considering Frankel’s campaign there is no other option than to trust the man that knows him best, Sir Henry Cecil.
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Photo 1: Powerscourt is a half-brother to Kind
Photo 2: Teofilo is from the same cross as Frankel
Photo 3: Frankel’s sire Galileo winning theDerby
Photo 4: Frankel winning last year’s Sussex Stakes
I continue my First Season Sires Series this week with a look at New Approach, writes Andrew Fletcher. Having been purchased by Jim Bolger as a yearling for €430,000, a 50% share in him was purchased by Darley before his run in the Dewhurst with the other half being bought afterwards. He was however left in training with Jim Bolger and ran in the silks of HRH Princess Haya of Jordan.
During his racing career, he was only beaten three times in eleven starts at distances between 7f and 12f. This record included five Group 1 victories in the National Stakes and Dewhurst (7f) as a 2yo, before adding the Derby(12f), Irish Champion (10f) and Champion Stakes (10f) during his 3yo campaign. He was also beaten only a nose in the 2000 Guineas by another first season sire Henrythenavigator.
He is currently standing at Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud and given his excellent race record and the pedigree which I am about to analyse, his first progeny have been widely anticipated amongst the racing fraternity.
His dam is Park Express, the winner of the Irish Champion Stakes, Nassau Stakes (both 10f) as well as the Lancashire Oaks (12f). Park Express is out an unraced Match II mare called Matcher who has produced a half-sister to Park Express calledMyra’s Best, who won the Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes (6f) and is by the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Pampapaul. As a broodmare, Park Express has been able to produce several top-class winners includingDazzlingPark, a Listed winner over 9f and a Group 3 winner over a mile, who was by top miler Warning. Another of Park Express’s progeny isShinkoForest, a Group 1 winner over 6f byGreenDesert.
The damsire of New Approach is Ahonoora, the winner of the Stewards Cup as well as two Group successes in the King George Stakes (Gr3) and the York Sprint Championship (Gr2) over 5f. At stud he has managed to produce Group winners at a range of distances including Indian Ridge (Swing Easy) who won the King’s Stand over 5f and Dr Devious (Alleged) who won the Derby. Also, Don’t Forget Me (African Sky) who won the 2000 Guineas and Irish equivalent and Park Appeal (Balidar) who won two Group Ones during her juvenile campaign. As a sire of broodmares he has also been influential with his daughters producing horses such as Cape Cross (Green Desert) who won three Group Ones at a mile including the Group 1 Lockinge and who has become a successful stallion himself siring the likes of Sea The Stars (Miswaki), Ouija Board (Welsh Pageant) and Grand Prix de Paris winner Bekhabad (Kris). Other horses whose dams are by Ahonoora include Golden Jubilee winner Malhub (Kingmambo) and triple Group 3 winner over 6f Shalford (Thatching).
New Approach’s sire is the winner of three Group Ones in theDerby, Irish Derby and King George, Coolmore’s super-sire Galileo. He has already made a massive impact on the bloodstock industry having been crowned Champion Sire in 2008, 2010 and 2011. The list of his top produce is also a list of some of the best racehorses in recent years. He has sired the unbeaten Frankel (Danehill) whose eleven wins have included seven victories at the highest level. Other progeny include Nathaniel (Silver Hawk), who added the Eclipse to his victory in the King George last year and Rip Van Winkle (Stravinsky) whose three Group One victories came in the Sussex Stakes (8f), QEII (8f) and Juddmonte International (10f).
Despite only being in the infancy of his own stallion career, New Approach has already made a significant impact on the world of racing. He sired the winners of three of the 2yo races at Royal Ascot despite having only had 12 runners so far. Perhaps the best of these is Dawn Approach (Phone Trick), who won a Listed event over 6f in the Rochestown Stakes before winning the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. Like his sire he is trained by Jim Bolger and a controlling share has already been purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation. Not far behind him is the John Gosden trained filly Newfangled (Machiavellian) who won a 6f Newmarket maiden before winning the Group 3 Albany Stakes over the same distance. New Approach’s only other winner to date is Tha’ir, who having been beaten on debut won a Ripon maiden over 6f before winning the Listed Chesham Stakes over 7f.
There were signs that his produce would be useful at the yearling sales last year, where his first crop were popular amongst buyers. At Tattersalls, 24 lots made an average of 141,000Guineas, with the top lot being a colt called New Look who sold for 500,000Guineas. He was also popular in Ireland at Goffs, with eight lots averaging 116,000 Euros, of which the most expensive was a filly called Rasmeyaa who went for 350,000 Euros. As well as in France at Arqana where four lots averaged 232,500 Euros, led by a filly who sold for 280,000 Euros.
There is no doubt that New Approach has made an excellent start to his stallion career having already produced two winners of Group races. His own race record emphasised his adaptability as well as significant quality at a variety of distances, which suggests he will produce horses across the distance spectrum. The reason for this versatility lies in the pedigree I believe, with his stamina coming from both his sire who was aDerbywinner and his dam who stayed up to 12f. There is also plenty of speed in there with Ahonoora and perhaps the makeup of potential mares will also influence the distance at which the produce excels. Therefore, given that we have probably only scratched the service as to New Approach’s stallion ability, his achievements to date have been exceptional and I’m sure that next year will show he can produce staying types as well. He is therefore a stallion to look forward to in the coming years and it appears he could become yet another of Galileo’s produce to become a sire of top quality racehorses.
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- New Approach winning the Derbywww.telegraph.co.uk
- Super Sire Galileo www.coolmore.com
- Dawn Approach winning the Coventrywww.racingpost.com
Over the next few weeks I am going to be taking a look at some of the sires whose first crop of two year-olds are now taking to the racecourse. This series will analyse the pedigree of the rookie sires and their race records in order to try and suggest over what distances their produce will be most suited. Where possible, I will also analyse the runners they have had to date and the popularity of their produce at the yearling sales last year.
This week I begin with a horse who was trained by Jeremy Noseda and is standing at Norman Court Stud in Salisbury, Sixties Icon. During his racing career, he was successful in Group races on six occasions at distances between 12 and 14 furlongs. The highlight of which being his two and a half length victory in the St Leger, when the race was run at York in 2006. Before beginning his career as a stallion it was presumed that he would follow other recent St Leger winners such as Milan and Brian Boru in becoming a predominantly National Hunt sire, or at least dual-purpose. However, as his pedigree will emphasise, there is plenty of quality and speed present throughout his blood line.
His dam is Love Divine, the winner of the Oaks at Epsom as well as a Listed winner over 10f, who is out of a winner over 10f in La Sky. She is a half-sister to Listed winning miler Dark Promise (Shamardal) and Solar Sky (Galileo) who was placed in last year’s Group 3 Queen’s Vase over 2m at Royal Ascot. As a broodmare, Love Divine has produced Native Ruler (Cape Cross), who was a winner over 10f and was second to Dandino in the Jockey Club Stakes (Gr2) over 12f. She has also produced Kissing (Grand Lodge), a winner over 9f as well as Love Me Well; (Sadler’s Wells) placed over 10-11f and Divine Song (Red Ransom), who was unplaced in two starts over 9f.
The damsire is Diesis, the winner of the Middle Park (6f Gr1) and Dewhurst (7f Gr1) as a two year-old. At stud, he produced top-class horses at a range of distances, the best of which being Elmaamul (Roberto), who was a Listed winner over a mile and a dual Group 1 winner over 10f in the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International. Others include Halling (Green Dancer) whose five Group 1 wins between nine and ten furlongs including back-to-back wins in the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International and Keen Hunter (Nonoalco), a Listed winner over 6f and a Group 1 winner in the Prix de L’Abbaye over 5f. As a sire of broodmares, his daughters have produced the likes of Dylan Thomas (Danehill), who won six Group 1s including the Irish Derby and Arc de Triomphe and Lucarno (Dynaformer), a Listed winner over 10f who also won the St Leger during his classic season.
Sixties Icon’s sire is Galileo, the winner of three Group 1s over 12f including a 3½ length success in the Derby as well as a win in the Irish Derby and the King George. Since going to stud, he has been hugely successful having been crowned Champion Sire in 2008, 2010 and 2011. His produce have been successful at all distances, having sired 100 winning 2yos and multiple Classic winners including New Approach (Derby), Misty for Me (Irish 1000 Guineas) and Was (Oaks). The best of his progeny to date is undoubtedly Frankel (Danehill), whose ten victories from ten starts includes six Group 1s some of which are the 2000 Guineas, Sussex Stakes and Lockinge. Other produce include Rip Van Winkle (Stravinsky) who had three wins in Group 1s in the Sussex, QEII and Juddmonte International and who was also 4th in the 2000 Guineas and Derby behind Sea the Stars. Finally, Cape Blanco (Presidium) won five Group 1s between 10-12f including the Irish Derby, Irish Champion and Arlington Million. When put to a Diesis mare, Galileo has a record of 5 winners from 6 runners, which although it suggests this is a successful cross, the small size of the sample has to be taken into account.
In his own career as a stallion, Sixties Icon has made an encouraging start with his first crop of 2yos. As I mentioned earlier, he is assumed to be regarded as a stamina influence but has sired 6 winners to date and is therefore capable of producing speedy early-season 2yos. Amongst these six winners is a Listed winner over 6f in the Woodcote in Chilworth Icon (Acclamation), Effie B (Tobougg) who has been placed twice in Listed events over 5f and Cruck Realta, a 6f winner out of a mare by Gimcrack winner Josr Algarhoud.
At the yearling sales last year, twelve of his first crop were offered for sale. The most expensive purchase was a colt who sold for 58,000 Guineas and is a half-brother to Albany winner Nijoom Dubai (Noverre) and Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Samitar (Rock of Gibraltar).
To suggest that because Sixties Icon won the St Leger, he is likely to be a stamina influence is perhaps not usually an unfair assessment. However, after his victory in the St Leger he was largely campaigned over distances between 10-12f and he certainly had enough speed to win a Listed event over 10f by five lengths. This along with the pedigree he possesses suggests that he can to a certain extent emulate his own sire by producing performers at all distances. I also think that next year will show that Sixties Icon will prove an influence for stamina and whilst it is obviously too early to be making assumptions about first-season sires, it can be said that Sixties Icon can sire 2yo winners unlike other previous winners of the St Leger.
To conclude, there is much to like about Sixties Icon, given that he was a high-class racehorse by a Derby winner and out of an Oaks winner. Galileo has shown so far that he can produce speedy sorts and the damsire Diesis has shown a similar ability. There is therefore plenty of speed in the family and given a better book of mares than he has to date, coupled with confidence from the breeders and the market, could see him become a sire to follow in the coming years.
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Photo 1: Sixties Icon winning at Goodwood Source: www.independant.co.uk
Photo 2: Chilworth Icon winning at Epsom Source: vtablog.org
There are some key questions facing Aiden O’Brien and connections of Cameot. Andrew Fletcher joins us for an in-depth pedigree analysis of Ballydoyle’s flag-bearer Camelot and which route he feels Camelot should take this season.
Following Camelot’s comprehensive victory in the Epsom Derby last weekend, there has been much discussion within the racing community as to what is his best trip? Everybody seems to have their own view, whether it is taking on Frankel in the Juddmonte International or attempting to do something that only two colts have done since 1935 – win the much coveted Triple Crown. The truth is that people can discuss potential targets until they are blue in the face without reaching any conclusion, however, a look into the horse’s pedigree could provide a more definitive answer as to what the horse’s optimum capabilities are.
His dam is a mare called Tarfah, who was a Group 3 winner over 9f in the Dahlia Stakes as well as winning twice over a mile in Listed company. Tarfah is out of Fickle, a Listed winner over 10f at Newcastle who has two notable half-siblings in Fading Light (King’s Best) who was placed in two Group 3s over a mile and Birdie (Alhaarth) who won the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial over 11f. Fickle is by the Haydock Sprint Cup winner Danehill, who despite being speedy himself has produced Group 1 performers with stamina. His progeny include Dylan Thomas a winner of 6 Group 1s from 10-12f including the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, the Derby winner North Light, a winner of seven Group 1s, Rock of Gibraltar and Peeping Fawn, who won four Group Ones from 10-12f.
The damsire of Camelot is Kingmambo, a triple Group 1 winner over a mile in the French 2000 Guineas, St James’ Palace Stakes and the Prix du Moulin. He was by Mr Prospector, a Group 3 winner over 6f and an excellent sire of two year-olds in particular. And he is out of a ten-time Group 1 winner Miesque, whose victories include the Prix Marcel Boussac, both the English and French 1000 Guineas and two victories in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. As a stallion Kingmambo has produced many Group 1 performers such as El Condor Pasa (Sadler’s Wells) a triple Group 1 winner between 8-12f including the Japan Cup, King’s Best (Lombard) who was second in the Craven before winning the 2000 Guineas and Henrythenavigator (Sadler’s Wells) whose four Group 1 victories over a mile included the 2000 Guineas in England and Ireland and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. He has also sired the Oaks winner Light Shift (Shirley Heights) and Alkaased (Niniski) who won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Japan Cup over 12f. Kingmambo has also been successful as a sire of broodmares with his daughters producing the likes of Duke of Marmalade (Danehill), whose five Group 1 victories at 10-12f included the King George (12f) and the Juddmonte International (10f) and Midday (Oasis Dream) whose six Group 1s include three victories in the Nassau Stakes over 10f at Goodwood.
Camelot’s sire is Montjeu, who died this year but during his racing career was a top-class middle distance performer and a winner of six Group 1s including the Prix du Jockey Club, Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe and King George. He was out of a mare called Floripedes, who was a Group 3 winner over 15f at Longchamp and is a half-sister to a triple Group winner over 15 and 16 furlongs in Dadarissime. Floripedes is by Top Ville, whose daughters have produced the likes of Yeats, who won 4 Ascot Gold Cups (20f) as well as the Coronation Cup over 12f. Others include the winner of the King George (12f) Belmez and Rewilding, who was a dual Group 1 winner with victories in the Dubai Sheema Classic (12f) and the Prince of Wales’ Stakes (10f). As a broodmare, Floripedes has produced La Paillard, a Listed winner over 12f (French Derby winner Sanglamore) and Le Fou, who was a winner over 8f and 10f and placed in a 10f Group 3 (dual Group 1 miler Polish Precedent).
Montjeu’s sire is the winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas, Eclipse and Irish Champion Stakes, Sadler’s Wells. He was by the legendary Northern Dancer, who won the first two legs of the American Triple Crown before finishing third in the final leg, the Belmont Stakes. He is perhaps the most influential sire of the 20th century, whose produce include the last colt to win the English Triple Crown, Nijinsky, 2000 Guineas winner El Gran Senor and Derby winner in Britain and Ireland, The Minstrel. Sadler’s Wells has to some extent taken over from his sire as a great sire of racehorses as well as an excellent sire of sires and sire of broodmares. Some of his best products are Prix du Jockey Club and Irish Derby winner Old Vic, Galileo who won the Derby, Irish Derby and King George and High Chaparral, who won the Derby, Irish Derby, Irish Champion Stakes as well as the Breeders’ Cup Turf on two occasions.
Both as a stallion and a racehorse, it can be argued that Montjeu is one of Sadler’s Wells’ best products. He has now sired four winners of the Derby with Authorized, Motivator and Pour Moi being joined by last weekend’s victor Camelot. Other products of his line are Hurricane Run, the winner of the Irish Derby, King George and Arc de Triomphe and Fame and Glory, who has won the Irish Derby, Coronation Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup. Frozen Fire is another of Montjeu’s progeny to have won the Irish Derby having finished second in the Dante over 10f atYork. When Montjeu has been combined with a Kingmambo mare, the best progeny as well as Camelot include Mount Helicon, a Grade 3 winner over hurdles and Uimhir A Haon, a winner over 7f who was also placed in a Group 3 over 9f.
To move the analysis back towards Camelot, the prospect of winning the St Leger and being a Triple Crown winner seems very difficult to refuse even for the commercially astute Coolmore team. This is certainly being considered by connections but of course this race is another two and a half furlongs further than the distance he covered in the Derby. Looking at Camelot’s pedigree, I see no reason to suggest that he would not stay the extra trip, given that Montjeu has sired two winners of the St Leger in Masked Marvel (2000 Guineas winner Mark of Esteem) and Scorpion (Irish Derby winner Law Society). Potential weakness could come through the speed influence that Kingmambo is reputed to possess but it is worth pointing out that he has sired a winner of the St Leger in Rule of Law (July Cup winner Royal Academy).
It has been said however that Camelot is ‘not a typical Montjeu’ and there is evidence to support this idea, given that he was the first of Montjeu’s produce to win a Group 1 over a mile aged three years or older. This could mean that he has more speed than is usual for a Montjeu colt and perhaps stamina has been sacrificed at its expense. His victory in the 2000 Guineas was even more impressive considering the ground he made up in the final two furlongs and I believe that this success was more a reflection of his outstanding ability than anything else. His victory in the Derby also saw him make up a lot of ground on the leaders after he failed to handle coming down the hill at Epsom. It is worth pointing out that there were probably only four horses in the Derby which got the trip (Camelot, Astrology, Main Sequence and Thought Worthy) and therefore the form with some of the others could be somewhat exaggerated. Once again Camelot showed great speed in winning the Derby, such that questions would have to be asked about his stamina.
A drop back to 10f also looks an attractive option, with a tilt at the Juddmonte International likely to mean a clash with arguably the world’s greatest racehorse Frankel. Based on the visual impression that Camelot has given us, he seems to have more speed than a typical Derby winner and a step back would be less of an inconvenience. It is also worth highlighting the fact that Camelot would receive 8lbs in weight from Frankel at York, as well as it being the first time that Frankel would have tackled 10f. However, the challenge of training a horse to run over 10f at York would almost certainly make it difficult to tackle the St Leger over nearly 15f only three weeks later. Therefore this option looks to be in direct opposition to the Triple Crown bid.
A potential solution to the Triple Crown vs. Frankel problem would be to give the horse a break and train him for the St Leger, before taking on Frankel on Champions Day at Ascot in October as opposed to the Arc a fortnight before. This would mean that Camelot could win the Triple Crown and would then have a month before the Champion Stakes over 10f and what would surely be Frankel’s last appearance on a racecourse. Camelot would still receive weight of 5 lbs in the Champion Stakes and assuming Frankel had won the Juddmonte International and Camelot had won the St Leger, it would make for one of the biggest races in recent times.
There are rumours around that the plan with Camelot is to run once more this season in the St Leger, before returning as a four year-old instead of being retired to the breeding shed. This would allow the colt to emulate the likes of Nijinsky and Bahram in winning the Triple Crown without unnecessarily jeopardising his unbeaten record this season. It would also allow him to tackle the major Group 1 races such as the Coronation Cup, Eclipse and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe next year, which would only further his reputation.
To conclude, I feel that a bid at the St Leger and the Triple Crown would be too good an opportunity to turn down for the Coolmore team. In terms of his pedigree, there is plenty of evidence of stamina on both sides his breeding and whilst nothing is certain, I would imagine he would be very difficult to beat at Doncaster. There is also plenty of reason to be optimistic of a clash with Frankel given the speed he has shown to date and the strong influence of Danehill and Kingmambo in the pedigree. However, I feel that the only way that such a contest will take place is on Champions Day after the St Leger rather than in the Juddmonte International at York.
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Photo 1 Miesque is the dam of Camelot’s damsire Kingmambo
Photo 2 Camelot’s sire Montjeu winning the King George
Photo 3 Camelot before the 2000 Guineas
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.
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Epsom Oaks Series I – Was
Epsom Oaks Series II – The Fugue
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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