Complexity off the Mark in Europe with Fairyhouse Winner Black Forza

ComplexitySarah Andrew


Airdrie Stud's first-crop sire sensation Complexity (by Maclean's Music) continued the barnstorming start to his second career with a first winner in Europe on Wednesday as Eleanora Kennedy's Black Forza captured Fairyhouse's six-furlong Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden. Breaking smartly from his wide stall, the Michael O'Callaghan-trained 6-1 shot who had been fifth on debut in The Curragh's hot Barronstown Stud Maiden at the Irish Derby meeting closed powerfully to take control a furlong out under Seamie Heffernan. Readily asserting from there, the dark bay who was a £220,000 Goffs UK Breeze-Up purchase enjoyed a 1 1/4-length verdict at the line over Rudi's Apple (Ire) (No Nay Never).

Heffernan knows his apples, it's fair to say, and he was impressed. “He needed the run at The Curragh, it was seven furlongs and he was a little green there and the trainer was quite confident,” he said. “He's a horse with a bit of a future I'd say–he felt like a 2-year-old type, he travelled and quickened and I think he'll keep improving. He was pretty much a steering job tonight. He'll probably stay further in time, but at the moment he jumps and wants to show you what he's got.”

O'Callaghan added, “We were happy to come here and bring him back to six, as he has a lot of pace. He learned plenty that day at the Curragh and Seamie was very complimentary of him there. It was very straightforward and he's a nice colt, he's learning all the time and still has a bit of learning to do. He's solid and mature and I'd say we'll kick on with him for the rest of the summer. He's a very good mover, likes fast ground and Seamie said he handled the undulations of the track here. We might go across the water as the summer progresses for a stakes race.”

Black Forza was a successful pinhook by Tom Whitehead's Powerstown Stud ($65,000 Fasig-Tipton July yearling to £220,000 Goffs UK breezer).

The Powerstown team is comprised of Whitehead, Pete Fahey, and Nancy Sexton and inspect upwards of 3,500 yearlings per year.

“We [the Powerstown team] work all the U.S yearling sales, we think you can find real value and the expansion of the Middle East programme gives us the confidence to target American breds,” said Whitehead.

“But as we know plenty can also work here if given the chance and this colt looks a smart prospect on turf for Michael O'Callaghan going forward.”

Powerstown sold this year's KSA 1,000 Guineas second Nermeen (More Than Ready) at the Goffs Dubai Breeze-Up Sale in 2023.

“It's a nice black-type family. The Distorted Humor line has obviously always worked well in Europe and it's been lucky for Powerstown. We've had a few by Maclean's Music and so we thought we'd take a look at Complexity,” added Sexton.

“They looked fast, forward types, quite a few made the second look list. I'd say this horse is pretty typical. He's strong, a good mover, and he breezed well at Doncaster in miserable conditions.”

Sexton inspected Complexity at Airdrie Stud in January and was suitably impressed.

“We have a lot of regard for Airdrie Stud. If something doesn't make it there, it's not going to make it anywhere.”

The winner's dam Harlee Honey (Harlan's Holiday) is a half to three stakes performers headed by the GII Santa Ynez Stakes winner California Nectar (Stormy Atlantic), in turn the second dam of the G1 Champions Cup-placed Hapi (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}). Her yearling colt by Blame had been a $67,000 purchase by ABC Racing 24 hours earlier at the Fasig-Tipton July Select Yearling Sale. She has been bred to American Freedom.

2nd-Fairyhouse, €18,000, Mdn, 7-10, 2yo, 6fT, 1:15.38, gd.
BLACK FORZA (c, 2, Complexity–Harlee Honey, by Harlan's Holiday) Sales history: $27,000 Wlg '22 KEENOV; $65,000 Ylg '23 FTKJUL; £220,000 2yo '24 GOUKB. Lifetime Record: 2-1-0-0, $12,119. O-Eleanora Kennedy; B-Dash Goff (KY); T-Michael O'Callaghan.

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