The Weekly Wrap

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Cracksman will attempt to give owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer another G1 victory at ParisLongchamp | Racing Post photos

By Emma Berry

Despite the supposed start of the British turf season some three weeks ago, there’s been little action of any note since the Lincoln meeting, partly through strange race planning and partly owing to bad weather. Thankfully, Ireland and France have kept us entertained with a decent smattering of Classic trials. How informative these mostly heavy-ground contests will have been remains to be seen, especially now so few British and Irish horses actually take in a trial en route to the Guineas.

From a near famine, there’s now a feast of action to look forward to in Britain this week at Newmarket and Newbury, with two of the most exciting appearances at Newmarket not even happening in an official race. Cracksman (GB) (Frankel {GB}) will be at the Rowley Mile today (Tuesday) to undertake a public gallop before racing at 12:40 p.m., ahead of his planned seasonal debut in the G1 Prix Ganay on Apr. 29. Golden Horn (GB) (Cape Cross {GB}) brought the curtain down on the old Longchamp when winning the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe for owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer and John Gosden in 2015 and the same connections look to have every chance of taking home the first Group 1 contest to be run at ParisLongchamp.

Ten minutes after the 4-year-old appears at Newmarket, Sheikh Hamdan’s Elarqam (GB) will take his turn over the same stretch of turf on which both his father Frankel (GB) and mother Attraction (GB) won their respective Guineas and where he will bid to do the same on May 5.

Godolphin Loves Spring In Paris…

Andre Fabre landed his eighth win in Sunday’s G3 Prix de la Grotte, his most significant previous victrix being Golden Lilac (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), who went on to win both the G1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and G1 Prix de Diane. The most recent winner, Musis Amica (Ire), is a granddaughter of the GI Kentucky Oaks heroine White Star Line (Northern Dancer), who was bought by Sheikh Mohammed for $3 million from the Newstead Farm dispersal at Keeneland in 1985.

Fabre also trained White Star Line’s best daughter, the G2 Prix de Pomone winner Whitehaven (GB) (Top Ville {GB}), but it was his colleague Henri-Alex Pantall who oversaw the career of Musis Amica’s dam, White Star (Ire) (Darshaan {GB}), a dual winner who was placed in the G2 Prix de Malleret.

A half-sister to another French Group 2 winner in Harland (GB) (Halling), Musis Amica is an important filly for Godolphin, not just in the continuation of a family which has served the operation well but as the first group winner for Dawn Approach (Ire), who has his first 3-year-old runners this year. With entries in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Prix de Diane and Prix Saint-Alary and with only two winning starts under her belt, she has the chance to progress into a very exciting performer for her young sire.

Pantall may not have ended up training White Star’s daughter but he has charge of the exciting Godolphin colt Wootton (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), who was unleashed for his first start of the year in the G3 Prix de Fontainebleau–won last year by subsequent dual Classic winner Brametot (Ire) (Rajsaman {Fr}). A private purchase after winning on debut for owner-breeder Haras de Quietville at Deauville last August, Wootton subsequently landed the listed Prix Isonomy and will now aim to emulate his sire’s star performer Almanzor (Fr) in claiming some Classic laurels.

The British-based wing of Godolphin cranks into action this week with G3 Solario S. winner Masar (Ire), by Dawn Approach’s sire New Approach (Ire), heading to the G3 Craven S. after arriving in Newmarket from Dubai on Saturday afternoon, while Soliloquy (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), out of the dual Australian listed winner Dysphonia (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}), heads to the G3 Nell Gwyn S.

On a good day at Longchamp, there was also reflected glory for Darley/Godolphin in the third Group 3 contest of the meeting, the Prix Noailles, which went to Pharrell (Fr), a son of Manduro (Ger) whose year started well with a third G2 Dubai Gold Cup victory for his enigmatic son Vazirabad (Fr).

Only four horses at Arqana’s August Sale of 2016 sold for less than Pharrell, a €15,000 purchase by his trainer Jean-Claude Rouget, who said he bought him simply because the Haras de Montaigu consignee reminded him of another chestnut colt by Manduro, the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Ultra (Ire), who has recently joined his sire at Haras du Logis.

Sands Shifting In Right Direction…

Another inexpensive yearling purchase, Sands Of Mali (Fr) (Panis), enjoyed a fruitful outing in France on Friday when winning the G3 Prix Sigy at Chantilly on Friday. Con Marnane, who bought the colt for €20,000 at the Osarus September Sale of 2016 and resold him at Tattersalls Ireland’s Ascot Breeze-up for £75,000, was understandably emboldened by Sands Of Mali’s G2 Gimcrack S. victory to reinvest in the family at Arqana last December when his yearling half-sister by Kheleyf was offered for sale. Named Kherizzia (Fr), she was put through her paces on the Rowley Mile on Monday morning and will be sold as lot 145 at Tattersalls’ Craven Sale tomorrow (Wednesday).

Sands Of Mali is trained by Richard Fahey for Peter Swann’s Cool Silk Partnership, which has also had notable success with another Bansha House Stables breezer, the G2 Norfolk S. winner Prince Of Lir (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), who now stands at Ballyhane Stud.

Bred by Simon Urizzi, Sands Of Mali’s sire Panis is one of four stallions at Alain Chopard’s Haras des Faunes, which also stood his late damsire Indian Rocket (GB) and is now also home to the former Darley stallion Kheleyf. The little utilised Panis has enjoyed a decent run of late as he is also the sire of Magic Bibou (Fr), who finished second to France’s top-rated 3-year-old colt Dice Roll (Fr) (Showcasing {GB}) in the G3 Prix Djebel, as well as the Chopard-bred Princesschope (Fr), who was third in the G3 Prix Vanteaux. All three are members of his 2015 crop which numbered just 28 foals.

A Toast to The Barman…

A few days after Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan sold their final yearling under their Cambridge Stud banner at the Inglis Easter Sale last week, another reminder of their significant influence on the Australasian breeding industry was provided on Saturday with the G1 Sydney Cup victory of the Who Shot Thebarman (NZ) by a nose from Zacada (NZ).

There was doubtless a certain degree of agony in seeing Zacada so narrowly beaten, as the Hogans are co-owners and breeders of the 5-year-old, who is by Zabeel (NZ), a cornerstone of Cambridge Stud’s success for so many years. However, some consolation will have come from the fact that the admirable winner—the second 9-year-old in as many weeks to have won a group race after Air Pilot (GB)—is a son of the Hogan-bred Yamanin Vital (NZ), a five-time winner in Japan who was repatriated in 1997 to stand at New Zealand’s White Robe Lodge.

Like Zabeel, Yamanin Vital is a son of the mighty Sir Tristram (Ire), but he was afforded far fewer opportunities during his 13 years at stud than his more famous paternal half-brother. His largest crop of 53 foals was down to 39 in the year that Who Shot Thebarman was born, two years before Yamanin Vital’s death, but he is also responsible for G1 Wellington Cup winner Cluden Creek (NZ) and G1 New Zealand Derby winner Cut The Cake (NZ), while Herculian Prince (NZ) is his other top-level winner in Australia.

Who Shot Thebarman’s success on Saturday was unsurprisingly overshadowed by the clamour surrounding his stablemate Winx (Aus), but he has been a stalwart of Chris Waller’s string, lining up in three consecutive G1 Melbourne Cups and posting his best finish when third to Protectionist (Ger) in 2014, as well as winning the G1 Auckland Cup for his previous trainer Mark Oulaghan.

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