2012 Epsom Oaks Series
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.
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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.
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2012 Epsom Derby Pedigree Series:
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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