The Weekly Wrap: From Famine To Feast

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Kameko gave Sheikh Fahad a weekend to remember with victory in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas | Racing Post

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There were days when we were drumming our fingers on our at-home desks or dining tables wondering what on earth to write about for tomorrow. But now that the shock of racing’s shutdown has been completely erased by the return, finally, of racing in Ireland to complete a European full set, the panic is not what to write but how on earth to keep up with it all.

No complaints here. The last few weeks since the French return in mid-May and Britain just over a week ago have provided a glut of fine action, with three feast days served up at the Rowley Mile over the weekend.

The Hurworth Bloodstock Coronation Cup was rebranded and relocated but nevertheless provided a mouthwatering line-up of talent which made the tour de force by Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}) all the more impressive. A blend of arguably Europe’s two best stallions, the 5-year-old, as the son of Galileo’s first Classic winner Nightime (Ire), was bred to be special and his track-record breaking romp with last year’s Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and champion stayer Stradivarius (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) paddling in his wake showed that he is just that. It having been only his tenth racecourse appearance points to the fact that Ghaiyyath may have some fragilities but, now approaching full maturity, his best days could still lie ahead.

There was a battalion of Ballydoyle boys for the 2000 Guineas but just a single spy sent over by Aidan O’Brien for the 1000 Guineas in Newmarket. It’s a rare Classic field which lines up without a runner by Galileo, though he did appear as the grandsire of a third of the 15 runners in the colts’ division. Love (Ire) was indeed all that O’Brien and Galileo needed to carry off another Guineas success, while an erstwhile Ballydoyle incumbent Sweeter Still (Ire) (Rock Of Gibraltar {Ire}) featured as the dam of 2000 Guineas winner Kameko (Kitten’s Joy) and also as a mare owning one of the most startling public auction records, on a sliding scale from $750,000 to $1,500 in just four years.

Derby Dreaming
The G1 Vertem Futurity Trophy, formerly the Racing Post Trophy, has thrown up four Derby winners since the turn of the century, including Camelot (GB), who had of course already won the Guineas en route to Epsom. It now also has bragging rights to the last three 2000 Guineas winners, Saxon Warrior (Jpn), Magna Grecia (Ire) and Kameko.

Let’s hope we see the latter at Epsom, where he would likely meet the Lingfield Derby Trial winner English King (Fr) (Camelot {GB}). His owner Bjorn Nielsen has made little secret of his desire to win the Derby and after the colt’s emphatic win on Friday there’s no doubt that, barring a setback, his next outing will be to the Epsom Downs on July 4.

Nielsen is of course an accomplished breeder in his own right, with his crowning glory to date being the marvellous Stradivarius. In the case of English King, despite his parents both bearing GB suffixes, he was bred in France by Ecurie des Monceaux and partners. The stud’s purchase of the Fittocks Stud-bred mare Platonic (GB) (Zafonic) for 100,000gns in 2004 was inspired. English King is her 12th foal. The first she provided for Monceaux was Prudenzia (Ire) (Dansili {GB}), a listed winner on the track who has enhanced her mother’s influence at the Normandy farm by producing the Irish Oaks winner Chiquita (Ire) to English King’s grandsire Montjeu (Ire), as well as the tough-as-teak Magic Wand (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

Those who read Jeremy Brummitt’s Op-Ed in these pages last week will correctly assume that he has a penchant for potential Derby types, and in that regard he is the perfect agent for Nielsen. Brummitt selected English King at Arqana’s October Sale for €210,000 less than a fortnight after he had signed for another son of Camelot at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale. That Tattersalls graduate is now known as Russian Camelot (Ire) and won the G1 South Australian Derby last month. A victory for English King in the original Derby would be sweeter still.

Etzean’s Stamp of Excellence
The two most expensive fillies of the 2018 BBAG Yearling Sale were both bred and consigned by Ralf Kredel of Gestut Etzean and both ended up in England at John Gosden’s yard. Within 48 hours this week, they kept stride with each other once more by both winning Classic trials.

Miss Yoda (Ger) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) dwelt in the gates but was soon rousted into action by Rab Havlin in the Lingfield Oaks Trial. She glided down the hill and around the turn in a smooth dress rehearsal for the more demanding challenge of Epsom and, once in the straight, gathered her still quite gangly-looking frame well enough to win in a convincing if unflashy fashion.

Lingfield has become a little overlooked but last year its Classic trials winners—Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and Anapurna (GB) (Frankel {GB}), the latter another Gosden trainee—each went on to glory at Epsom.

Miss Yoda will have to lift to do the same but she has done little wrong in her four starts to date. She has been beaten only once being when second in the G3 Zetland S., and she has a pedigree which cries out for a mile and a half at least.

She is also an intriguing early flagbearer for her owner Georg Von Opel, who races under the name of Westerberg and made quite a splash at last season’s yearling sales. At the Goffs Orby Sale, his agent Jamie McCalmont signed for the full-sister to Alice Springs (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) at €2.2 million to lead the first day of the sale, and 24 hours later the Westerberg name appeared alongside the top lot again when Von Opel went into partnership with Coolmore for the sister to Galileo’s Group 1-winning duo of Together Forever (Ire) and Forever Together (Ire).

Miss Yoda, was the co-top lot of her yearling sale at €280,000, and is out of the German champion 2-year-old filly and G2 Diana Trial winner Monami (Ger), whose sire Sholokhov (Ire) spent nine seasons at Gestut Etzean. A son of Sadler’s Wells, his success as a sire of some notable jumpers, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack (Ger) saw him return to Ireland to Glenview Stud in 2013.

One of the highlights of 1000 Guineas day at Newmarket was the exuberant victory of Run Wild (Ger), who pretty much did just that when streaking clear of her rivals at the halfway mark in the listed Pretty Polly S. It was undoubtedly one of the most visually impressive performances of the week and an important first stakes winner for her young sire Amaron (GB), a Group 1-winning miler by Shamardal who retired to Etzean in 2016 and was last season’s leading first-season sire in Germany.

Run Wild, who sealed a magnificent weekend for David Redvers and friends, seems an unlikely Oaks starter, however, with Gosden indicating that he would prefer to keep her to ten furlongs. Her dam Rondinay (GB) (Cadeaux Genereux {GB}) won a Newmarket maiden over six furlongs but has featured recently as the grandam of G3 Manion Cup winner Young Rascal (Fr) (Intello {Ger}), who was bred by Elisabeth Fabre from Rondinay’s listed-winning daughter Rock My Soul (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}).

Like the aforementioned English King, Run Wild is the 12th foal of her dam, whose other offspring include Group 3 winner Rock My Love (Ger) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}).

By Royal Appointment
While the Derby and Oaks clues have been stacking up, there has also been plenty of excellent action from the younger ranks over the last week. The Cheveley Park Stud-bred filly Sacred (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}), out of a Blame half-sister to Lady Eli (Divine Park), was just one who booked her ticket to Royal Ascot along with her William Haggas stablemate Golden Melody (Ire), who became the first winner for her sire Belardo (Ire) at Haydock on Sunday.

Sands Of Time (GB) was a highly impressive debutante at Lingfield that same day, giving her sire Bobby’s Kitten a good boost with her five-length success. Homebred by Kirsten Rausing, she is a daughter of the Group 3-winning sprinter Starlit Sands (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) and a descendant of one of her breeder’s foundation mares Sushila (GB) (Petingo {GB}), the dam of Petoski (GB), who was in turn the first group winner for the former Lanwades resident Niniski.

Ireland’s stalled season got back up and running on Monday in eye-catching fashion when More Beautiful (Ire), the War Front half-sister to Saxon Warrior (Jpn), blazed a trail in the fillies’ maiden at Naas to win easily. She, too, will surely be Ascot-bound.

Later on the Naas card, the 4-year-old Sceptical (GB) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) grabbed the plaudits as the most impressive winner of the day in the listed sprint. The G1 King’s Stand S. may well now be on the gelding’s agenda and, if so, he will be blasting over the same strip of ground on which his mother Jealous Again (Trippi) brought up a famous Royal Ascot double for Wesley Ward in the G2 Queen Mary S. on the trainer’s first visit to the meeting in 2009. Sold to Godolphin after that, Jealous Again was never seen again, at least on a racecourse.

Sceptical, her third foal, was moved on unraced at the Goffs UK August Sale last year, where he sold to owner James McAuley for £2,800. The progressive sprinter has subsequently been beaten only once, on his October debut, and has now notched a string of four consecutive wins for Denis Hogan.

A High Bahr
Another former Royal Ascot-winning filly to have enjoyed a good week via her descendants is the 1998 Ribblesdale S. winner Bahr (GB). The Sheikh Mohammed-bred daughter of Generous (GB) features as the third dam of the G3 Palace House S. winner Far Above (Ire) (Farhh {GB}) and as the grandam of Monday’s seven-length novice stakes winner Fooraat (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

The latter represents a branch of the family which has sprung back to life in recent years. Her dam Nahrain (GB) (Selkirk) won the G1 Prix de l’Opera and GI Flower Bowl Invitational S. for Roger Varian and she produced as her first foal Fooraat’s full-brother, Benbatl (GB), the winner of Group 1 races in Australia, Germany and Dubai among his ten career victories.

Bahr is herself the grand-daughter of New Zealand champion 2-year-old and top-class older filly La Mer (NZ), who was imported to Ireland by Captain Tim Rogers of Airlie Stud.

 

 

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