TDN Rising Stars to Follow: Part I

Ancient Wisdom and champion jockey William Buick | Racingfotos

In Europe, the TDN Rising Stars are awarded by Sean Cronin and Tom Frary, and no amount of begging, bleating or bribery from other members of the editorial team or external forces can persuade this duo to award one if they are not in agreement. Their decisions are based on performance, pedigree and, as the award title suggests, the likelihood of that individual becoming a stakes winner. Today and tomorrow, we bring you 10 TDN Rising Stars of 2023 to follow this year, with the first five having been selected by Sean Cronin.

Rising Stars accounted for a tally of 21 European Group 1 contests, and seven Classics, during the course of a banner season with four-time elite-level winners Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and Paddington (GB) (Siyouni {Fr}) the obvious highlights among the Class of 2023. TDN's signature tag was attained by 51 individuals in Europe last term, down eight on the previous year's total of 59, with subsequent G3 Prix Penelope victrix Pensee Du Jour (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) setting the ball in motion at Chantilly in February.

Dubawi (Ire) (Dubai Millennium {GB}) is the numerically dominant sire and responsible for five new graduates, headed by Godolphin's G1 Futurity Trophy hero Ancient Wisdom (Fr) and Coolmore's undefeated G1 Vincent O'Brien National S. victor Henry Longfellow (Ire). Frankel (GB) (Galileo {Ire}), sire of G1 Fillies' Mile heroine Ylang Ylang (GB), is one behind with a quartet of his own. Joint-third with three on this year's honour roll are Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), down five on last term's eight, Lope De Vega (Ire) (Shamardal), No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) and Siyouni First-crop sires Too Darn Hot (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Soldier's Call (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) snagged one inductee apiece, while Calyx (GB) (Kingman {GB}) became the season's lone freshman with more than one in the ranks. The Coolmore resident's brace is supplied by Amo Racing's G2 Duchess Of Cambridge S. victrix Persian Dreamer and G1 Dewhurst S. third Eben Shaddad. Justify (Scat Daddy), Sea The Stars (Ire) (Cape Cross {Ire}), Starspangledbanner (Aus) (Choisir {Aus}) and Wootton Bassett (GB) (Iffraaj {GB} are the only other sires to register more than one new addition. Dubawi, Justify, Kingman, Lope De Vega, Sea The Stars, Siyouni, Calyx and Too Darn Hot were all 'TDN Rising Stars' in their own right.

For the first time in recent memory, Coolmore icon Galileo (Ire) (Sadler's Wells) went through the whole campaign without representation and failed to improve upon his impressive haul of 41. Delving deeper into the numbers by jurisdiction, 21 earned their stripes in Britain, 14 were elevated in both France and Ireland, and Germany was the scene of two new recruits. By trainer, Aidan O'Brien is comfortably clear of his peers with 10 new appointees and Ballydoyle's dominance is evident in this year's compilation of 10 Rising Stars to follow for 2024, with O'Brien accounting for half of those put forward. Dermot Weld is next best on two while Charlie Appleby, Ralph Beckett and Yann Barberot are represented by one each. Dubawi has the highest representation among sires, with three, while Frankel is the only other credited with more than one. The gender bias is six to four in favour of the colts.

ANCIENT WISDOM (FR), c, 2, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Golden Valentine (Fr), by Dalakhani (Ire)
2nd Dam: Gold Round (Ire), by Caerleon
3rd Dam: Born Gold, by Blushing Groom (Fr)
Owner: Godolphin
Breeder: Ecurie des Monceaux & LNJ Foxwoods
Trainer Charlie Appleby

Godolphin's Ancient Wisdom had already turned heads when selling for €2-million at Arqana's 2022 August sale and debuted with a highly polished five-length triumph over seven furlongs at Haydock in May. Successful in four of his five juvenile outings, he closed out his freshman season with victories in Newmarket's G3 Autumn S. and Doncaster's G1 Futurity Trophy. His lone defeat came in July, when finishing third behind subsequent G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere victor Rosallion (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}) in the seven-furlong Listed Pat Eddery S. at Ascot. Ancient Wisdom is a son G3 Prix Minerve winner Golden Valentine (Fr) (Dalakhani {Ire}) and hails from the family of storied multiple champion and three-time GI Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Goldikova (Ire) (Anabaa), G1 Prix Vermeille victrix Galikova (Fr) (Galileo {Ire}) and multiple Group 1-placed sire Anodin (Ire) (Anabaa). He does not possess any Classic entries for now, but is quoted at single-digit odds in ante-post lists for the G1 Derby.

BEAUVATIER (FR), c, 2, by Lope De Vega (Ire)
1st Dam: Enchanting Skies (Ire), by Sea The Stars (Ire)
2nd Dam: Estefania (Ger), by Acatenango (Ger)
3rd Dam: Eirehill (Ire), by Danehill
Owner: Philippe Allaire
Breeder: Ecurie des Monceaux, Qatar Bloodstock Ltd & Mme Barbara M Keller
Trainer: Yann Barberot

Beauvatier, a €160,000 Arqana August purchase, displayed an array of gears when posting a 5 1/2-length success in a newcomers' event over five furlongs at Chantilly in May to become the 12th Rising Star for his sire. He followed up with a narrow defeat of fellow Rising Star Ramatuelle (Justify) and added the Listed Prix Roland de Chambure and G3 Prix La Rochette before racing too freely and suffering his first reversal when third behind Rosallion (Ire) (Blue Point {Ire}) and Unquestionable (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in October's G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day. He is the first foal produced by Listed Prix de Thiberville runner-up Enchanting Skies (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), herself a half-sister to G1 Preis von Europa victor Empoli (Ger) (Halling) from the family of G2 Preis der Diana heroine Elle Danzig (Ger) (Roi Danzig). Beauvatier is one of the leading domestic hopes for next term's G1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains.

ELIZABETH JANE (IRE), f, 2, by Dubawi (Ire)
1st Dam: Sapphire (Ire), by Medicean (GB)
2nd Dam: Polished Gem (Ire), by Danehill
3rd Dam: Trusted Partner, by Affirmed
Owner: Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd
Breeder: Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd
Trainer: Dermot Weld

G1 Irish 1000 Guineas and G1 Irish Oaks entry Elizabeth Jane was let go at 16-1 and sported her owner's second silks in her debut over a mile at Leopardstown in October. She made a mockery of those odds when coming from off the pace to trounce her 11 rivals by 4 1/4 lengths and more in a contest annexed the year before by subsequent G1 Coronation S. third Sounds Of Heaven (GB) (Kingman {GB}). 

“She cut through them like a knife through butter and will be a lovely filly next year when she fills out into her frame,” reflected winning rider Donagh O'Connor at the time. The homebred chestnut is a daughter of G2 British Champions Fillies & Mares victrix and G1 Pretty Polly S. runner-up Sapphire (Ire) (Medicean {GB}), herself a half-sister to four-time Group 1 winner Kyprios (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). She is a descendant of G1 Irish 1000 Guineas victrix Trusted Partner (Affirmed) and the family also features G1 Irish St Leger heroine Search For A Song (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and G1 Prince of Wales's S.-winning sire Free Eagle (Ire) (High Chaparral {Ire}). She will be in her element if there is juice in the ground come Irish Oaks day in July.

UNQUESTIONABLE (FR), c, 2, by Wootton Bassett (GB)
1st Dam: Strawberry Lace (GB), by Sea The Stars (Ire)
2nd Dam: Crying Lightening (Ire), by Holy Roman Emperor (Ire)
3rd Dam: Auction Room, by Chester House
Owner: Al Shaqab Racing, Coolmore & Westerberg
Breeder: Mme Camille Vitse, Mme Axelle Vitse, Mme Valentine Vitse & Guillaume Vitse
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Unquestionable was highly tried on debut, running third in May's Listed First Flier S., and became his sire's fifth Rising Star when making all to shed maiden status on the Irish 2,000 Guineas undercard, in a six-furlong contest won by the stable's Arizona (Ire) (No Nay Never) in 2019. He subsequently ran fourth in the G1 Phoenix S. and second in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere before setting the seal on his six-race juvenile campaign with victory in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf. The €340,000 Arqana August yearling, who hails from the family of sires Cityscape (GB) (Selkirk) and Bated Breath (GB) (Dansili {GB}), retains entries in May's G1 Irish 2,000 Guineas and June's G1 Irish Derby.

YLANG YLANG (GB), f, 2, by Frankel (GB)
1st Dam: Shambolic (Ire), by Shamardal
2nd Dam: Comic (Ire), by Be My Chief
3rd Dam: Circus Act (GB), by Shirley Heights (GB)
Owner: Magnier, Tabor, Smith, Brant & Westerberg
Breeder: Newsells Park Stud & Merry Fox Stud
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Ylang Ylang had already made her mark in the auction ring, selling for a cool 1.5-million gns at Tattersalls' October Book 1, and justified odds-on favouritism in a seven-furlong Curragh maiden won previously by subsequent Group 1 performers Never Ending Story (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) and Discoveries (Ire) (Mastercraftsman {Ire}). Doubling up in the G3 Silver Flash S. next time, she bounced back off a blip in the G1 Moyglare S. to run third in Newmarket's G2 Rockfel S. and closed out 2023 with a game victory in the G1 Fillies' Mile back at Headquarters. 

Ylang Ylang is out of a half-sister to dual G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup-winning multiple Hong Kong champion Comic Strip (GB) (Marju {Ire}) and GI Flower Bowl Invitational and GI Diana S. heroine Laughing (Ire) (Dansili {GB}). Frankel's 34th Rising Star remains engaged in both G1 Irish 1000 Guineas and G1 Irish Oaks, and the Classic route awaits.


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