Dark Angel's Heredia On Top In The Atalanta



St Albans Bloodstock's 4-year-old homebred filly Heredia (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}–Nakuti {Ire}, by Mastercraftsman {Ire}) took seven attempts to make a stakes breakthrough, doing so in last month's Listed Dick Hern Fillies' S. at Haydock, and continued her belated rise up the ladder with a career high in Saturday's G3 Virgin Bet Atalanta S. at Sandown.

The Richard Hannon trainee settled into a smooth rhythm after breaking from the outside stall and raced in rear for most of this one-mile test. Making eyecatching headway out wide once into the straight, the 5-2 favourite quickened stylishly to challenge passing the furlong pole and was ridden out up the hill to prevail by 3/4-of-a-length from Queen For You (Ire) (Kingman {GB}). Potapova (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) just got he better of Novus (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) by a pixel in a ding-dong tussle in behind and finished 1 1/4 lengths adrift in third.

“She was drawn 10 of 10, which makes things a lot more difficult, but they didn't go overly quick and Sean [Levey] had to come a bit wide,” said Hannon. “After her last run I thought she would run very well and she is clearly in the form of her life. We were talking about some of the big races in America and she has justified going for one or two of those opportunities after this. I thought we would be lucky to win a Listed race earlier in the year, but she has thrived throughout the year. For St Albans Bloodstock, who bred her, they admitted she gave them one of them one of the best days of their lives when she won at Royal Ascot [in last year's Sandringham]. She won a Listed race last time and no one was there, but they were here today and it is a great day for them. She looks great, but she is carrying a bit of weight as she is getting older. She was a very fast 2-year-old and she won first time. She won't be going Stateside until she is a squeezed lemon [here], but it is up to them and I think they have got to try a big one in my name before one of those big trainers in America gets her.”


Pedigree Notes
Heredia, the 57th pattern-race scorer for her sire, mirrored the feat of Nakuti (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}) in winning this test, her dam being a half-sister to GII Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Amade (Ire) (Casamento {Ire}). Heredia is full to a weanling colt and a half to the hitherto unraced 2-year-old colt Arch Legend (GB) (Camelot {GB}) and a yearling filly by Night Of Thunder (Ire). Her third dam Sheba's Step (Alysheba) produced multiple stakes-winning G2 Prix du Conseil de Paris second Arch Rebel (Arch) and the stakes-winning On My Dime (Mizzen Mast). Sheba's Step, herself a daughter of GI Hollywood Oaks heroine Pattern Step (Nureyev), is also the second dam of GIII Robert J. Frankel S. victrix Customer Base (Lemon Drop Kid). Descendants of Pattern Step include GI Canadian International victor Bullards Alley (Flower Alley), GI Arkansas Derby-winning sire Archarcharch (Arch) and last term's G2 German 2000 Guineas victor and G1 St James's Palace S. fourth Maljoom (Ire) (Caravaggio).

Saturday, Sandown, Britain
VIRGIN BET ATALANTA S.-G3, £80,000, Sandown, 9-2, 3yo/up, f/m, 8fT, 1:44.38, gd.
1–HEREDIA (GB), 132, f, 4, by Dark Angel (Ire)
1st Dam: Nakuti (Ire) (GSW-Eng & GSP-Can, $184,647), by Mastercraftsman (Ire)
2nd Dam: Sheba Five, by Five Star Day
3rd Dam: Sheba's Step, by Alysheba
1ST GROUP WIN. O/B-St Albans Bloodstock LLP (GB); T-Richard Hannon; J-Sean Levey. £45,368. Lifetime Record: 12-6-2-1, $233,691. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Queen For You (Ire), 127, f, 3, Kingman (GB)–Fallen For You (GB), by Dansili (GB). 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. O/B-Normandie Stud Ltd (IRE); T-John & Thady Gosden. £17,200.
3–Potapova (GB), 132, m, 5, Invincible Spirit (Ire)–Safina (GB), by Pivotal (GB). O/B-Cheveley Park Stud Ltd (GB); T-Sir Michael Stoute. £8,608.
Margins: 3/4, 1 1/4, NO. Odds: 2.50, 6.00, 6.50.
Also Ran: Novus (Ire), Roman Mist (Ire), Purplepay (Fr), Mysterious Love (Ire), Nibras Angel (GB), Coppice (GB), Midnight Mile (Ire).

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