Bracelet, one of five representatives for trainer Aidan O’Brien, led home a thrilling 1–2–4 for the Ballydoyle-based trainer in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks, the feature race at the Curragh Saturday.
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Flying under the radar ahead of Sunday’s Gr.1 Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas, Derrick Smith’s Marvellous (Galileo) emerged clear best in what amounted to a war of attrition for the fillies in testing ground to forge a sixth renewal for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable.
Juddmonte Farms’ Kingman (Invincible Spirit) ran out the very impressive winner of the Gr.1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh Saturday.
A weekend of Classic racing at the Curragh commences Saturday with the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas.
The rise of international racing in all corners of the world, with big money, big media and big stars flashing over new horizons, could lead to the reinvention of a “World Series Of Racing” concept, as well as focused cross promotion of championship events.
Watch Chicquita winning the Irish Oaks Gr1
(Photo : The Telegraph - Footage : Racing Post)
DARLEY IRISH OAKS (Group 1)
The Curragh, Turf, 2414m
21 July 2013
Chicquita’s fifth dam is Soumana - the third dam of former Irish Derby runner up and young sire Golden Sword.
The latter, whose first foals are born this year, is the only sire of boom sire High Chaparral.
Chicquita, like Golden Sword, is by a Sadler’s Wells line sire, Montjeu - so the two are clearly closely related.
Runner up in the French Oaks, Chicquita is clearly one of the most talented horses of her generation.
This is the great Lost Soul family, responsible for one of South Africa’s greatest sires - Royal Prerogative.
Extract from Aro
Magician wins the Irish 2000 Guineas (Group 1)
(Image : RTE - Footage : Racing Post)
TATTERSALLS IRISH 2000 GUINEAS (Group 1)
The Curragh, Turf, 1609m
25 May 2013
Already successful eight times in the Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, trainer Aidan O’Brien produced the goods once again at the Curragh as Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Susan Magnier’sMagician (Ire) (Galileo) dominated the Classic and led home Gale Force Ten (GB) (Oasis Dream) for a stable one-two in the process.
Sent off the 10-3 second favorite, the winner of the 10-furlong Group 3 Dee Stakes at Chester traveled easily in third under jockey Joseph O’Brien and, after passing the long-time leader Trading Leather (Ire) (Teofilo) approaching the furlong pole, stretched clear to score by 3 1/2 lengths.
“He’s a very tough horse and tries very hard, stays well and handles fast ground,” said Joseph O’Brien. “He is improving every day and has loads of pace. I couldn’t say he wouldn’t get further than 10 furlongs either.”
Aidan O’Brien appeared to play down thoughts that he could run in the Derby afterwards. “We always thought he had a lot of class with the movement and the looks,” he offered. “You have to have a lot of speed for Chester, and he was sailing and traveling like a dream for the first half of the race. He’s very exciting. The lads are very tactically astute and will decide where he goes, but I’d imagine we might wait a bit with him. We’ll see how the horse is.”
John Magnier was on hand to run the rule over the performance. “He was impressive and is an improving horse,” he said. “Being by Galileo, he should stay further, and there are all kinds of options. We’ve done crazy things before, so we could run him at Epsom.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Robbie Byrne with the Equisoft Team
(Photo : Equisoft)
THE CURRAGH RACECOURSE
County Kildare, Ireland
Equisoft, Summerhill’s Ireland-based horse and bloodstock management software supplier, will sponsor three races at The Curragh this year.
“We are delighted to support our local track and it will coincide with the introduction of major new features to EquisoftLive,” said Robbie Byrne, Managing Director of Equisoft. “Our team will be on-hand each race-day to demonstrate the new product.”
Equisoft will reward the leading trainer of the series, comprised of handicaps on 7 April and 21 July and a maiden on 25 May, with a free three-year subscription.
“We are delighted to add Equisoft to our list of sponsors for 2013 and look forward to working with Robbie Byrne and his team to help maximize their association with the racecourse,” commented Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager of The Curragh Racecourse.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch Snow Fairy winning the Irish Champion Stakes (Gr1)
(Image : RTE - Footage : Horse Turk)
RED MILLS IRISH CHAMPION STAKES (Gr1)
Leopardstown, Turf, 2012m
8 September 2012
Cristina Patino’sSnow Fairy (Ire) (Intikhab), second to So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral) in Leopardstown’s G1 Irish Champion Stakes 12 months ago, would not be denied this time as she continued on her remarkable comeback from injury. Having served notice that she was at least as good as ever when winning Deauville’s G1 Prix Jean Romanet over this trip on her belated return last time August 19, the 15-8 second favorite notched up her seventh Group 1 in style to allay any concerns about her well-being.
Snow Fairy’s rise to prominence has been well-documented, but few expected she would ever be able to surpass her great predecessor Ouija Board (GB) (Cape Cross) in Ed Dunlop’s estimations. While her victories in the G1 English and Irish Oaks, the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup and G1 Hong Kong Cup at three marked her a class apart from her contemporaries, she still had a margin to close on Lord Derby’s stellar performer at that stage. She failed to fire instantly last term, but after roughing up the supposed certainty So You Think in this contest, she was third in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and the G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot in October. Back to winning ways when emulating her prior victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup at Kyoto November 13, she sustained a tendon injury before the Hong Kong Cup and had to chart the awkward path back to full fitness.
Despite her trainer’s understandable doubts ahead of her return in the Prix Jean Romanet, the manner of her dispatch of some top-class distaffers headed by the G1 Pretty Polly Stakes heroine Izzi Top (GB) (Pivotal) answered all questions. Left alone early by jockey Frankie Dettori as Daddy Long Legs (Scat Daddy) set out to stretch the field in favor of his stable companion St Nicholas Abbey, Snow Fairy always had dead aim on Nathaniel as that rival was committed on the front end by William Buick at the top of the straight. Body language told the story soon after, with the Italian sitting pretty as Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey’s riders got to work and, after brushing aside the eventual runner-up with just over a furlong remaining, Snow Fairy ran hard to the line to set a new track record.
“The race went exactly to plan and I didn’t realise how popular she is,” Dettori said after steering a fifth winner of this race. “The reception I got was unbelievable and the credit goes to Ed Dunlop and the team for bringing her back. She retains her will-to-win and class and she’s up there with the champions who have won this in the past. It’s an honour to be on her again and it was a great race - she made it look easy for me.”
“This is the best of her achievements, and it doesn’t get better,” Dunlop commented. “I thought we were plenty far enough out of our ground, but she showed an amazing turn of foot again. Ouija Board was second and she was beaten by So You Think here last year, so it’s great to have it on my CV. We’ve always said this year that we would take it one race at a time. She’s in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp October 7 and the G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot October 20, but Frankel is in that and that is a different level entirely. I’d like to take her to the Breeders’ Cup, as she hasn’t done that, and winning a Group 1 in a sixth country may be a record.”
Courtesy of this win, the peripatetic runner secured a berth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita November 3.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
(Image : Irish Times)
IRISH CHAMPION STAKES (Gr1)
Leopardstown, Turf, 2012m
8 September 2012
Johnny Murtagh may have felt cast adrift when his long-standing riding contract with the powerful Aga Khan stable was severed last month, but trainer John Oxx has remained staunch to the rider, and has retained him for the mount on Born To Sea (the smart half brother to Galileo, Sea The Stars etc,) for Saturday’s Irish Champion Stakes (Gr.1). It promises to be another grand advert for the quality of European racing this season, as it brings together a string of Group One winners including Nathaniel, Snow Fairy and Aidan O’Brien’sSt Nicholas Abbey, who will be looking to avenge his defeat at the hands of the superstar, Frankel, a fortnight ago at York.
The Irish Champion Stakes has thrown up any number of quite exceptional performers over the years, including: Sadler’s Wells (1984), Giant’s Causeway (2000), Fantastic Light (2001) who defeated Galileo, High Chaparral (2003), Oratorio (2005), Dylan Thomas (2006 and 2007), New Approach (2008), Sea The Stars (2009), Cape Blanco (2010) and So You Think (2011). Some honour roll! We have our own “almost-hero” of the same race right here at Summerhill in our new stallion, Traffic Guard, who went down a half length to the world’s top-rated three-year-old of 2008, New Approach, now Europe’s hottest young stallion with his first crop.
Jockey Chris Hayes celebrates aboard First Cornerstone
(Photo : RTE)
“Galileo’s achievements last week in amassing ten Stakes winners must eclipse even the Proteas feat.”
So South Africa has reached the top of the ladder with all of international cricket’s three disciplines; the Test, ODI and T-Twenty standings, after a quite remarkable victory over England Tuesday. Hashim Amla has become the “Frankel” of the cricketing world, with a scintillating 150 in Tuesday’s contest, on top of his triple century in the opening test at the Oval and 121 at Lord’s. Yet, like Frankel, this was an all-round team performance, with the South African bowling and fielding equally superior.
For all that though, if you’re a racing man you’d have to believe that, as unlikely as it may sound, Galileo’s achievements last week, (headed by Frankel,) in amassing ten Stakes winners (six at Group level and the other four Listed) must eclipse even the Proteas feat. For the life of us, we can’t remember any stallion in history with ten Stakes winners in a week, and to put it into context, last season, Jet Master produced just 5 in the entire year.
In a similar vein, Summerhill stallion Visonaire’s part-owners, Team Valor International, scored a quick return in a juvenile Group 2 in Ireland as well. Team Valor’s principal, Barry Irwin, clinched the deal mid-week to buy First Cornerstone (Ire), a Listed winner as a maiden of his previous start, who cruised to a 1,5 length victory in the Galileo Futurity Stakes (Gr.2) at The Curragh in Ireland on his first outing for the American-based outfit.
Irwin said they’d tried purchasing First Cornerstone for a few weeks, but were initially not keen on the idea of running the colt in the Futurity, which had once been expected to attract leading 2-year-old Dawn Approach (Ire). “At the price it didn’t bother me too much, but the trainer and the owner wanted to run here in the Futurity, and I really didn’t want to because I thought the race was going to be too tough”, Irwin explained. “Trainer Andy Oliver told me he thought the ground was going to be very soft and heavy, and that a couple of the horses that were expected to run, he didn’t think they would. I wanted the horse, so I just bit the bullet and we bought him in the middle of the week, which didn’t give us a whole lot of time to syndicate him or promote him”.
Team Valor was able to sell half the shares in the horse right away, and will now look to sell the other half. Irwin said that prior to purchasing First Cornerstone, he was impressed with the colt’s races, and the fact that he seemed to be defying his pedigree. “He’s by a horse that was a mile-and-a-half horse, yet this horse, I wouldn’t call him precocious, but he’s certainly doing a lot more as a 2-year-old than what you would expect from a Hurricane Run”, Irwin said. “Every time you see a horse that does something different than his breeding suggests, that either means he took after his dam or that means that he’s out of the ordinary. And I think this horse might be out of the ordinary”.
Little wonder then that Team Valor lead all public syndicate groups by a country mile, double the number of stakes wins, and double the number of Group winners.
US Public Syndicate Groups
Stakes Stats for 2012
Graded Stakes Wins
Individual Graded Winners
TEAM VALOR INTERNATIONAL
ECLIPSE TB PARTNERS
Correct as at 26 August 2012
Click above to watch Izzi Top winning the Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr1)…
(Image : Irish Times - Footage : At The Races UK)
“A daughter of Pivotal from
the immediate family of Mullins Bay”
Greig Muir has been the head stallion man at Summerhill for just over a quarter of a century. He got there because he’s an exceptional horseman and stallion handler. Through his hands have passed some of the nation’s leading sires over the generations, and he knows what he is talking about.
We mention all of this in the context of the outcome of the Pretty Polly Stakes (Gr.1) at The Curragh on Sunday, which was taken by Izzi Top, a daughter of Pivotal from the immediate family of Mullins Bay. She’s not the only top class performer from this family in the past year, as the winner of last month’s German 2000 Guineas, Caspar Netscher, is out of a sister to Mullins Bay.
Getting back to Greig Muir, he will hear nothing about Mullins Bay other than that he is “the next big horse”, and he’s quick to back up his claims by quoting Alec Laird, Charles Laird, Gavin van Zyl and Tyrone Zackey. In fact, he says he “loves this horse so much, he’d drink his bathwater”. Now that’s believing!
The European Bloodstock News provided a short commentary on Izzi Top’s first Gr.1 success in overpowering another classy four-year-old filly, Sapphire and giving trainer John Gosden a second win in the race in the last four years following Dar Re Mi for Andrew Lloyd Webber in 2009. Izzi Top’s dam Zee Zee Top finished third in this race before going on to win the Gr.1 Prix de l’Opera and the Longchamp race is on the agenda for Izzi Top, with the trainer also mentioning the Breeder’s Cup as a possibility. From a branch of one of the most successful recent families in the stud book, Izzi Top is a half sister to the four times eight-to-ten furlong winner Rock N Roll Ransom and is a grand-daughter of the Gr.1 Irish Oaks winner, Colorspin. Besides Zee Zee Top, she has also produced the top-class Group One winners and sires, Opera House and Kayf Tara (both by Sadler’s Wells) and is the granddam of the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes winner, Necklace. Third dam Reprocolor also produced Group One winner Cezanne and Group Two winner Bela Colora (dam of 121 Timeform-rated Mullins Bay (by Machiavellian). This is also the family of last year’s dual Group 2 winning juvenile and this season’s Classic winner, Caspar Netscher.
John Gosden, who trains Izzi Top, does so from his Clairehaven Stables, which is where Pretty Polly herself was trained.
Click above to watch Camelot winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby…
(Image : Guardian - Footage : RTE Two)
“HEAVY WEIGHT, HEAVY WEATHER”
European racing is in luck at the moment. To have one star of the class of Frankel is a decades-long dream, and to feature an unbeaten Southern Hemisphere champion like Black Caviar in the same season, is the icing on the cake. So what would you call it if you had another “superman” in your midst like Camelot, who remained unbeaten on the weekend when he came home by 2 lengths in the Irish Derby (Gr.1)? His trainer, Aidan O’Brien, was in two minds as to whether to run him in the rain-sodden ground, which left The Curragh as something of a bog, given the horse’s gliding action and the fact he likes it on “top”. Worries about The Curragh’s testing ground aside, the superiority of Camelot was unquestionable prior to yesterday’s Gr.1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, and the brilliant colt overcame the conditions to maintain his perfect sequence.
Sent off as the 1-5 favorite, the Gr.1 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby hero travelled like those odds suggested he would for much of the contest, but, when committed at the quarter pole, instantly had Born To Sea to contend with. Shaking him off soon after as the whip was applied, the bay stretched away to a two-length success. In doing so, he became the first since Nijinsky to win this trio of Classics, and John Magnier confirmed that they want to emulate that great with Triple Crown glory in the Gr.1 St Leger. “I said to Aidan when he came to Ballydolye that there was room for another statue,” Coolmore’s owner said, referring to the monument to Dr Vincent O’Brien’s champion that stands at Rosegreen.
All sorts of records fell in the process, but from the purist’s perspective, it’s enlightening to reflect on a few of the statistical truths that emerged on the back of his 5 length win in the Investec version of the Derby at Epsom earlier this month. Julian Muscat, he of French origins, always seems to find a different angle, and he wrote thus of Camelot’s sire Montjeu, the Coolmore outfit’s dominance, Aidan O’Brien and his 19 year old son, Joseph: “Superlatives do scant justice to the Coolmore syndicate’s dominance of the British turf, and no patron will better appreciate the fact than Her Majesty The Queen. The Investec Epsom Derby (Gr.1) June 2 marked the official start to four days of celebrations commemorating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. However, if the monarch thought she had seen it all in her 60 years on the throne, she will have to make due revision in light of recent events. In winning the Derby and the Oaks (both Gr.1) respectively, Galileo and Imagine completed the Epsom classic double for Coolmore 11 years ago. That rare distinction was repeated this year, although this time with a significant difference. The partners came to Epsom having already won the brace of Newmarket classics. Only the St Leger (Gr.1) stands between the Coolmore/Ballydoyle axis and a clean sweep of Britain’s classics. No trainer has yet achieved the feat. Camelot, who waltzed away with the Derby 24 hours after stablemate Was landed the Investec Epsom Oaks, is expected to lead Ballydoyle’s assault on the St Leger. For the O’Brien family, it was a seminal occasion: the first time a father-and-son combination had won the Derby, and a rare such triumph for a nascent riding talent. Joseph joins the likes of Lester Piggot (Never Say Die), Walter Swinburn (Shergar), and Mikael Barzalona (Pour Moi) as teenage Derby-winning jockeys. O’Brien turned 19 only last month.
Camelot is the fourth winner in the past 11 Derby renewals for Coolmore, which annexed the race last year with the Andre Fabre-trained Pour Moi. There may be other Coolmore Derby winners in the pipeline but few, if any, will triumph with the aplomb of Camelot. This exceptional talent is the fourth Derby winner in eight years for his late sire, Montjeu, who joins a small but select sample of stallions to sire four Derby winners, the last of them Blandford, who sired Bahram to win the classic in 1935. This alone emphasizes the extent of Montjeu’s loss, aged 16, at Coolmore in March. He will stand alone in Derby history if he can add one more from the 3 ½ crops he has to follow. Camelot is the unique son of Montjeu in that he is the only colt by his sire to date with sufficient speed to win a Group 1 race over a mile at 3.
The dominance exerted by the Coolmore/Ballydoyle axis is such that some turf lovers are beginning to feel a little overindulged. There was no Maktoum representative within an unsatisfactory field of nine Derby runners, and the traffic has become so one-way that the outcome to championship races in Britain seems almost preordained.
“It’s incredible, he hasn’t set foot on grass at home since Epsom, as we’ve been flooded, said O’Brien, greeting his 11th winner of the race and seventh in succession. “He’s passed every test all the way along, but I thought today would be too much for him, as we were asking him to swim against the tide. It was a massive call and I thought it was impossible, but John Magnier was very adamant that he wanted to support the race, and all the people and the sponsors. Joseph always said he didn’t like soft ground, and his wheels were spinning the whole way”.
“Every morning going in, we salute Nijinsky (the last Triple Crown winner) and we never thought we would have one that could pass all the same tests. Today was so special. We are looking for the next Sadler’s Wells”, the great trainer continued.
Coolmore supremo, Magnier added, “This horse has been tested all the way through and has shown the two-year-old form, the Guineas form, the hard, the soft and the battling and that’s what you want - you have to have all those qualities, so that’s my commercial. Sadler’s Wells ran in the bog here when winning the Beresford and did all those things too. It is like winter ground, but we had to run. Given a choice, we probably wouldn’t have done, but that would have been like the tail wagging the dog. We didn’t do the right thing, but we got away with it”.
Having allowed John Magnier his commercial, we’re compelled to mention that our own debutant for this breeding season, Golden Sword (also from the Sadler’s Wells tribe), ran second in the 2010 renewal of the Irish Derby whilst in Aidan O’Brien’s care. He will be on show to an international audience from more than twenty countries at Investec Stallion Day at Summerhill on Sunday 8th July.
Dawn Approach (Ire) by New Approach (Ire)
(Photo : Halapic)
Tally Ho Stud European Breeders Fund Maiden
The Curragh, Turf, 1000m
25 March 2012
Dawn Approach (Ire) attracted the predictable amount of support in the market as the first representative of his sensational sire New Approach (by Galileo) and started at even-money in this opener to the European Flat turf season.
Quickly away and soon racing towards the fore, the blaze-faced chestnut worked his way to the lead with 1 1/2 furlongs remaining and asserted to score by 1 3/4 lengths from Canary Row (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor), who just edged out Ballydoyle’s well-supported Forester (Ire) (Danehill Dancer) for second by a head.
Jockey Kevin Manning commented, “He’s done it well and was very professional. He’s got pace, but he’s by no means an ideal five-furlong horse, and you won’t see the best of him until he steps up in trip.”
Trainer Jim Bolger, who crafted the career of sire New Approach, was also holding court afterwards. “He is a very laid-back colt, a bit different to his old man,” the master of Coolcullen told Irish Racing Online. “He will improve a lot when he goes up in trip. Hopefully, we will be back here in September with him for the G1 National Stakes.”
DAWN APPROACH (Ire)
New Approach (Ire)
CANARY ROW (Ire)
Holy Roman Emperor (Ire)
Danehill Dancer (Ire)
GATHERING POWER (Ire)
DOROTHY PARKER (Ire)
GRANNY ON FIRE (Ire)
Trade Fair (GB)
LAKE LOUISE (Ire)
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch Born To Sea winning the Blenheim Stakes (L)
(Image : V.Chandler - Footage : All The Doyles)
BORN TO RULE
If ever a horse was born into greatness, it had to be a sibling of the greatest stallion of our era, Galileo, and of arguably the best racehorse of the last decade, Sea The Stars. That horse is Born To Sea, who debuted in the very race that rocketed Brave Tin Soldier to stardom as a juvenile, the Blenheim Stakes (Listed) at 1200m at The Curragh. It wasn’t that he won it, it was the way he won it, and while his trainer John Oxx was loathe to draw comparisons with his illustrious brothers, he did say he had some big plans for the colt.
The son of Invincible Spirit (a sprinting son of Green Desert) is said to be an imposing looking individual, who ought to be better suited by longer distances. His dam, Urban Sea, was an “Arc” winner at 2400m, and both of her most illustrious progeny excelled at that distance. Of course, there’s no guarantee Born To Sea will stay any sort of a trip, but the Invincible Spirits have at least shown some versatility, the odd one (Lawman), prevailing in the French Derby at 2000m. (The French can be different, as we know, and their Derby is 2000m, not the conventional European 2400m).
Interestingly, in the same week, the only horse in history to have won a Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and a Kentucky Derby, Street Sense, celebrated some notable successes in the Keeneland salesring, no doubt on the back of what horsemen know of his progeny, and in a week in which several of his first crop put up convincing performances. With his credentials, few would be surprised to see Street Sense emerge as a cracking sire; we’ve seen a number of them at Southern Hemisphere sales, and they look the sort to find their best in their classic years. Anything that comes to pass while they’re juveniles (as they are at the moment), is a bonus. On the face of what we’ve seen so far, there’s cause for the crew at Darley America to have smiles on their dials.
We have a small syndicate of investors at Summerhill who annually raid the weanling sales in Australia, and in the context of this story, they seem to have hit the jackpot. They have a son of Street Sense who’s being aimed at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale, from the immediate family of Galileo, Sea The Stars and Born To Sea. That’s not the kind of pedigree you’d expect to see at a sale in this country, and it’s a rare jackpot, not only for the vendors, but for anyone among the investing public with a modicum of Street Sense.
The Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale
Sunday 6th November
*Six cheque payment scheme for qualifying buyers.
Click above to watch Galileo’s Choice winning the Kilternan Stakes (Gr3)
(Photo : Racing Post - Footage : Horse Course Int)
AGE NO BAR TO SUCCESS
JUDGED ON CHOICE PEDIGREE
Tony Morris - There is a common perception that both stallions and mares deliver poorer-quality stock in their later years. In fact, as a general rule it is one that can hardly be refuted, but it is important to acknowledge the reasons for it and recognise that exceptions can and do occur.
Like so much else in the thoroughbred breeding world, this is a phenomenon influenced primarily by the behaviour of breeders. A horse’s genetic make-up remains the same from birth to death, so in theory there should be no reason why, if it proves capable of producing high-class stock early in its stud career, it should fail to do so in later life. The theory is undermined by practice.
It is a rare stallion who is afforded the opportunity to cover quality mares in his twenties, with declining fertility just one of several reasons why breeders tend to neglect the older horse and favour those endowed with the vigour and virility of youth. Similarly, while mares tend to be granted good chances with stallions in high repute when they are young, only those with outstanding breeding records are afforded similar opportunities in old age.
Accordingly, it is no surprise that examples of major successes for the progeny of aged parent stock are quite rare, but we should always be aware that the possibility exists. The likes of Northern Dancer, Mr Prospector and Sadler’s Wells all sired Gr.1 winners when well into their twenties, because they had compiled such exemplary records at stud that breeders never gave up on them.
Perhaps the best example in recent years of an aged mare delivering a top-class performer was that of the proven quality producer Brown Berry, a daughter of Mount Marcy foaled in 1960. Aged eight, she became the dam of major Stakes-winner Unconscious (Prince Royal); at twelve she produced Santa Anita Derby winner and Kentucky Derby runner-up Avatar (Graustark), and two years later his full-brother Monseigneur, a dual Gr.2 winner in France; three more Stakes-placed performers came along later. Her record was such that she was always going to be mated with top-class horses, and at the age of 25, to the cover of Alleged, she gave birth to Hours After, winner of the 1988 Prix du Jockey-Club.
The subject of aged parent stock came to mind as a result of a look at the pedigree of Galileo’s Choice (Galileo), whose victory in last Saturday’s Gr.3 Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown impressed trainer Dermot Weld sufficiently to contemplate challenges for both the Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup. The late-developing gelding, who came into last weekend’s race somewhat unusually via victories in a maiden hurdle at Galway and an amateur riders’ event at Killarney, has close-up antecedents who include products of both an aged stallion and an aged mare.
I thought there must be some mistake when I read that Galileo’s Choice was out of a Sir Ivor mare. After all, Sir Ivor was foaled 46 years ago, and I could not recall when I had last come across him as broodmare sire of a Pattern winner; it was probably in 2002, when Margarula won the Irish Oaks. However, I discovered that there was no mistake. The gelding’s dam, Sevi’s Choice, was one of a dozen foals in what turned out to be the final crop by Sir Ivor, born when he was 27 years old.
Extract from European Bloodstock News
Click above to watch So You Think winning the Irish Champion Stakes (G1)
(Photo : The Guardian - Footage : RTE Two)
RED MILLS IRISH CHAMPION STAKES (G1)
Leopardsdown, Turf, 2200m
4 September 2011
The G1 Irish Champion Stakes, inaugurated in 1976 and run at Phoenix Park for a spell, really started to emerge as a leading staging post on the international calendar from the late 1990’s and has subsequently boasted some serious showdowns. Fantastic Light (USA) versus Galileo (Ire) and Dylan Thomas (Ire) against Ouija Board (GB) are just two of the recent clashes witnessed at Foxrock, and this year’s edition threatened to be substandard with just three rivals from outside Ballydoyle and only one of those with a success at the top level.
So You Think’s (NZ) (High Chaparral) position among the best that his stable had run in this contest was secured with a latest defeat of Workforce (GB) (King’s Best) when that rival was on one of his going days in the Eclipse. Whether his prior defeat by Rewilding (GB) (Tiger Hill) in the G1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot June 15 was a fair reflection of his merit is debatable, but it showed a vulnerability that was unexpected after all his Australian conquests and all the talk that accompanied his move to Europe.
Snow Fairy has been upstaged by the likes of Midday (GB) (Oasis Dream) on more than one occasion, so while she is not in the Ouija Board category yet, her presence in this line-up ensured there would be no saunter around for the favourite as there had been on his first two starts this term in The Curragh’s May 2 G3 Mooresbridge Stakes and May 22 G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup.
After a textbook first mile racing off an ideal tempo set by his Classic-winning stable companion Roderic O’Connor, So You Think was allowed no breathing space by the filly as soon as he was committed by Seamus Heffernan. For a few yards there were shades of Rewilding about her determined charge, but the long odds-on choice dug deep to maintain his advantage and deny the upset.
“He is getting more uncomplicated and idled a bit in front and gave a blow” Heffernan offered. “When you are on him, you are on the king of the road. Settling him was going to be a bit of a problem, but I was confident I could do that after the Eclipse. When he settles, he’d go over any trip.”
With the Irish Champion in the bag as expected, Coolmore’s John Magnier reflected on possible targets and gave a clear indication that a tilt at another Cox Plate was off the agenda. “You never say never, but it’s not imminent,” Magnier said of a possible return to So You Think’s old stomping ground. “He’s the kind of horse who spoils you for options, so what we’ll do I don’t know. He could run in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes or G1 Champion Stakes at Ascot October 15, or the October 2nd Arc. It will be one of those I guess, but we are not going to rush into a decision. He’s a good horse, Snow Fairy is a good filly, and it was a good race. He’s no different to what he was in Australia - we just wanted people up here to see what he was like, and it makes him a real dual-hemisphere horse, so he’s a rare type. Royal Ascot wasn’t one of our best days, but other than that, this horse’s record is there for everyone to see.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch Blue Bunting winning the Darley Irish Oaks
(Image : Godolphin - Footage : At The Races)
DARLEY IRISH OAKS (Group 1)
The Curragh, Turf, 2400m
17 July 2011
Godolphin’s G1 1000 Guineas victress Blue Bunting (Dynaformer) was nabbed on the line for third in last month’s G1 Epsom Oaks, earning Frankie Dettori a hefty ban for dropping his hands, but the jockey made no mistake in the G1 Darley Irish Oaks at The Curragh yesterday, and the filly emulated her Newmarket swoop to bag a second Classic win.
In the rear for most of the contest, the well-backed 5-2 second favorite surged wide and late to oust Banimpire (Ire) (Holy Roman Emperor) by a short head on the line, with G1 Epsom Oaks second, Wonder of Wonders (Kingmambo), a further half-length back in third. Epsom victress Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer) held every chance at the two pole and kept on resolutely to finish a close-up fifth.
“It was a bit of a mess at Epsom, but I came here with every chance and genuinely thought we could win,” insisted Dettori. “I think the natural step would be the Yorkshire Oaks Gr1 (18 August), but Sheikh Mohammed will decide, as he may well have other plans.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
Click above to watch Treasure Beach winning the Irish Derby (G1)
(Image : SportingLife - Footage : Horseracing AUS)
DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH DERBY (Group 1)
26 June 2011
Since taking over at Ballydoyle, Aidan O’Brien has retrieved all the former glories of the legendary stable, and when Treasure Beach (GB) (Galileo) led home stable companionsSeville (Ger) (Galileo) and Memphis Tennessee (Ire) (Hurricane Run) in yesterday’s G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, another historic milestone was reached. That result meant a sixth consecutive renewal for the Rosegreen establishment, a ninth overall for its trainer and a remarkable fourth one-two-three in the race since 2002.
Having been denied in the final yards of the June 4 G1 Epsom Investec Derby, Treasure Beach had no Pour Moi (Ire) (Montjeu) to spoil his party this time, and the 7-2 second choice was delivered with accurate timing by Colm O’Donoghue to work his way past Seville and the pacesetting Memphis Tennessee in the final 150 yards and win by 3/4 of a length. Carlton House (USA) (Street Cry), who was again the hot favorite as he had been at Epsom, never looked like justifying odds of 5-4 and was a one-paced fourth.
IRISH DERBY (G1)
TREASURE BEACH (GB)
MEMPHIS TENNESSEE (IRE)
CARLTON HOUSE (USA)
Sir Michael Stoute
DUNBOYNE EXPRESS (IRE)
RODERIC O’CONNOR (IRE)
NATIVE KHAN (FR)
NOTABLE GRADUATE (IRE)
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News
(Photo : Irish Times)
The 2010 Summerhill Sires brochure features the farm’s most famous resident, Northern Guest, as its cover piece. It is a celebration of the old man’s equalling of Mr. Prospector’s world record nine Broodmare Sires titles. In his regular column for the Thoroughbred Daily News, Andrew Caulfield draws a parallel case for Sadler’s Wells, already the most successful stallion in European history.
The 2005 season saw the end of one of the bloodstock world’s most remarkable sequences, when Sadler’s Wells was finally deposed as champion sire in Britain and Ireland, after 13 consecutive titles.
We hardly had time to use the metaphor that the “King is dead,” though, because the astonishing Coolmore stallion - still with us at the age of 29 - ended 2005 with a new crown sitting proudly on his noble head. He topped the broodmare sires - list for the first time at the age of 24 and, remarkably, he has repeated the feat every subsequent year.
With earnings more than double those of his nearest pursuer, Sadler’s Wells currently looks to be well on his way to a sixth consecutive title, raising the strong possibility that - with so many daughters to his credit - he is going to prove every bit as dominant in this new role as he was as a sire. His daughters’ numerous 2010 group winners feature the likes of the Derby winner Workforce and his fellow Group 1 winners Campanologist and Chinese White.
What surprises me a little about this tremendously successful second career for Sadler’s Wells is that it has been achieved in an Anglo-Irish industry which is already steeped in his blood. Since he lost his crown as champion sire, his sons Galileo and Montjeu have rarely ranked outside the top five stallions and Galileo currently looks guaranteed to land his second championship.
The time is surely coming when inbreeding to this exceptional stallion will start to occur more regularly, with pedigrees pairing the likes of Barathea, In The Wings, Galileo, Montjeu and even El Prado.
Until now breeders have preferred to double up on the major elements in Sadler’s Wells’ pedigree by pairing his descendants with those of his close relative Nureyev. However, the 2008 German Derby fell to Khamsin, a colt inbred 4x4 to Sadler’s Wells. If anything is going to act as a deterrent to inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells, it will be the fear that it will produce horses with too much stamina for today’s commercial market. Remember, though, that Sadler’s Wells sired three winners of the 2,000 Guineas, three of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and two of the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
This concern about an excess of stamina in the progeny of Sadler’s Wells’ daughters is apparent in the stallions which have their most regular mates. With the notable exceptions of Rainbow Quest, Darshaan and Daylami, they have largely been high-class two-year-olds, sprinters or milers, such as Kingmambo, King’s Best, Danehill Dancer, Danehill, Zafonic, Machiavellian, Indian Ridge, Rock of Gibraltar and Selkirk.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News