The Weekly Wrap: From Ascot To Deauville

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David Menuisier with the Recorder half-sister to Wonderful Tonight | Normandie Breeding

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DEAUVILLE, France–The Queen knew. Decked in royal blue, she arrived at her beloved Ascot racecourse to present the trophy for the race named in her honour, and also to receive a medallion for her induction to the British Horseracing Hall of Fame.

It is beyond question that Her Majesty's passionate involvement with racing and breeding for more than 70 years has not only sustained her but has given the sport in Britain a priceless allure. This year has not been an easy one for The Queen herself, or for those connected with a number of major owner/breeder operations. Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, who died in March a little over a fortnight before the passing of Prince Philip, has been not only a major force in that regard but also as a supporter of the yearling sales. His absence was referred to on many an occasion over the last few weeks, though thankfully those sales performed well beyond expectation, even without the sight of the sheikh's immensely popular racing manager Angus Gold in the gangway at Tattersalls. 

Gold was at Ascot on what must have been a day of hugely mixed emotions for the Shadwell team. It is hoped that the overwhelming feeling was a sense of pride. Two Group 1 winners on any weekend is special, but for them to come in consecutive races by way of two homebred 3-year-olds gave the results a gilt edge. 

In the case of Eshaada (GB), an extra cherry on top was the fact that the Roger Varian-trained filly became the first Group 1 winner for her Shadwell sire Muhaarar (GB) in the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. The race provided the most thrilling finish of the day, but had the short-head verdict gone the other way to Kirsten Rausing's hugely game grey Albaflora (GB), the result would have been the same for Muhaarar.

For the second time in a fortnight, the legacy of the great Allegretta (GB) cast a long shadow over a major raceday, for just as in the case of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Torquator Tasso (Ger), she appeared as the fourth dam of Eshaada. We are used to Allegretta's daughter Urban Sea (Miswaki) claiming most of the glory for this family, but Torquator Tasso and Eshaada descend from two different daughters: Turbaine (Trempolino) and Allez Les Trois (Riverman).

The latter's offspring include the 2001 Prix du Jockey Club winner Anabaa Blue (GB) (Anabaa), as well as Al Ishq (Fr) (Nureyev), who in turn in the dam of dual Group 1 winner and Derrinstown Stud's Tamayuz (GB) (Nayef) and his full-sister Muhawalah (GB), who has now enhanced the family further by producing Eshaada as her third foal.

Allegretta was found again on the male side of William Haggas's unbeaten Baaeed (GB), who is by Urban Sea's outstanding son Sea The Stars (Ire). When handing over the trophy for his success it almost certainly will not have escaped The Queen's attention that the exciting colt is a fifth-generation descendant of her own Height Of Fashion (Fr), whose sale to Sheikh Hamdan in the early 1980s would prove so significant in the foundation and subsequent success of Shadwell.

Baaeed's dethroning of Palace Pier (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S., propels him to the fore of what will be a reduced but not insignificant team of horses in training for Shadwell and Sheikha Hissa next term, and Gold's words following a poignant day for the team were encouraging. 

“We'll hope to keep the best ones and we'll have some yearlings come into training next year,” he said of the planned string for 2022. “Compared to most owners it would be fairly sizeable.”

Allez France

Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}) started Champions Day in fine fashion for the French-breds, adding the G2 QIPCO Long Distance Cup to his Group 1 wins in the Goodwood Cup and Prix du Cadran, but the star performance came from Sealiway (Fr) in the G1 QIPCO British Champion S. Last year he had provided his sire, the Haras de Colleville resident Galiway (GB), with a first win at the highest level when Sealiway won the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere before a raid on the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, in which he ran well to be fifth. Twice second in Group 1 races behind St Mark's Basilica (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) this season is hardly shabby form, and neither was his fifth-place finish in the Arc. 

Three months ago Sealiway switched from the Marseille stable of Frederic Rossi to that of his nephew Cedric, whose star has really been in the ascendant of late. On Arc day, Cedric Rossi and the same owner, the Chehboub family's Haras de la Gousserie, combined to take the G1 Qatar Prix de l'Opera with Rougir (Fr) (Territories {Ire}).

Both Sealiway and Rougir had been plucked from Arqana's 2019 August Sale, for €62,000 and €55,000 respectively, which by the standards of that particular auction are relatively modest sums. Following the Goffs Orby and Sportsman's Sales, two weeks of action at Tattersalls in Newmarket and BBAG's autumn sale, the yearling trade continues this week back at Arqana for its five-day October Sale.

The catalogue contains nine Gailway yearlings, three of which are bred on what will perhaps start to be known as the 'Pariente cross' with mares by that sire's fellow Colleville resident Kendargent (Fr). These include lot 250, who sells early on Tuesday and is a half-brother to the listed winner and Group 3-placed Styledargent (Fr) (Style Vendome {Fr}).

Around 750 youngsters will come under the hammer this week at a convivial autumn auction which harmonises well with three days of racing just across the road. In fact, it was at this meeting last year that Rougir registered her first black-type win in the G3 Prix des Reservoirs.

A typically strong draft of 27 yearlings from Ecurie des Monceaux includes a Dubawi (Ire) half-sister to the G1 Prix Jean Prat winner Intelligent (Fr) (Intello {Ger}) as lot 77, as well as one of the two Galileo yearlings in the catalogue (lot 39), a colt out of a full-sister to Zoffany (Ire) (Dansili {GB}).

The other Galileo colt is presented by Haras des Capucines as lot 55 and is a half-brother to the G1 Eclipse S. winner Mukhadram (GB) (Shamardal).

Siblings to some of this season's stars can be found scattered through the catalogue, and they include lot 108, Normandie Breeding's filly from the second crop of Recorder (GB) who is a half-sister to the recently retired dual Group 1 winner Wonderful Tonight (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}).

Haras de Saint Pair has enjoyed a good season on the track in France and Ireland, and breeder Andreas Putsch offers a three-parts-brother to the Group 3 winner Pearls Galore (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}), who has also been runner-up in her last two starts in Group 1 company. The colt (lot 85) is by Invincible Spirit's son Shalaa (Ire) and is also a half-brother to the stakes winners Lucky Lycra (Fr) (Olympic Glory {Ire}) and Pearly Steph (Fr) (Oasis Dream {GB}).

In unseasonably warm October sunshine in Deauville, plenty of prospective buyers were hard at work on Sunday and none had a bigger smile on their face than Tim Donworth, who watched from afar as the 2-year-old Cotai Hero (Ire) (Cotai Glory {GB}) became his first winner. The Irishman has been training in Chantilly since the beginning of September.

The Arqana October Sale gets underway at 11am local time on Monday.

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