The Weekly Wrap: Happy Days Are Here Again 

Charlie Appleby with his second Derby winner Adayar | Hoycubed Photography


To an extent, when Coolmore wins two of the weekend's premier Classics in Europe and Godolphin wins another, it feels like we are harking back to the glory days around the turn of the century, when the battle of the superpowers was epitomised by those back-to-back duels between Galileo (Ire) and Fantastic Light in the 'King George' and Irish Champion Stakes. Honours even.

And it was honours even at Epsom, with the dazzling victory of Ballydoyle's Snowfall (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) in the Cazoo Oaks, followed by the satisfying success of Adayar (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) for Godolphin in the Cazoo Derby. 

Through those two decades, the dominance of Aidan O'Brien has only grown, and the Ballydoyle trainer now teeters on the brink of becoming the most successful trainer in British Classic history, with his 40 victories equalling the record of John Scott, who won seven runnings of the Oaks between 1836 and 1855 as part of his own Classic haul. 

It is fair to say that the fortunes of Godolphin have waxed and waned since the days of Daylami (Ire), Kayf Tara (GB) and Fantastic Light, but since the appointment of Charlie Appleby as trainer in the aftermath of the sorriest episode in the operation's history, Godolphin's flag has again been flying high.

Following the Derby, in typically modest fashion Appleby immediately pointed to O'Brien's overwhelming record when he was congratulated on providing a second homebred winner of the blue riband for Sheikh Mohammed in the last four years.

The pedigrees of both Masar (Ire) (New Approach {GB}) and Adayar stretch back generations within the Darley/Godolphin operation–to the 1998 purchase of Melikah (Ire), the daughter of Lammtarra and Urban Sea, in the case of Masar, and right back to the very early days of Sheikh Mohammed's foundation of a major breeding empire in Europe to the import of German Oaks winner Anna Paola (Ger) to Britain in 1982. Her 1983 mating with Mill Reef–winner of the Derby 50 years ago——produced Anna Matrushka (GB), who features as Adayar's fourth dam and who has played her part in the establishment of a decent dynasty within the Godolphin ranks. Anna Matrushka's penultimate foal Accessories (GB) (Sinsgpiel {Ire}) was exported to Australia and has helped to spread the family throughout the global operation, with three of her sons–Helmet (Aus), Epaulette (Aus) and Bullbars (Aus)–ending up as Darley stallions. Helmet has subsequently returned to the country of his great grandam Anna Paola and now stands at Gestut Fahrhof.

Beyond his two Derby winners, Appleby was also responsible for the top-rated horse in the world last year in Ghaiyyath (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), as well as the previous season's European champion 2-year-old, Pinatubo (Ire) (Shamardal).

You don't really need to cap winning the Derby but just for good measure, some four hours later on the other side of the Atlantic, Appleby was represented by the first two home in the GI Just A Game S., Althiqa (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) and Summer Romance (Ire) (Kingman {GB}). The fillies were a precursor for an even bigger result in New York for Godolphin when the homebred Essential Quality (Tapit) prevailed in a thrilling stretch battle with Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow) in the GI Belmont S. 

The champion 2-year-old in America last season following his GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile victory, the Brad Cox-trained Essential Quality has been beaten just once, when fourth in the Kentucky Derby, and he may yet be promoted to third following confirmation of the positive drug test from the B-sample of winner Medina Spirit (Protonico).

For Godolphin, the good days are no longer few and far between. The significant breeding operation behind the racing stables clearly plays its part, but much of the renaissance can be attributed to Appleby, who is not just an accomplished trainer but is also a reliable and helpful spokesman. His popularity as an everyman made good is similar to that of the Derby-winning jockey Adam Kirby, whose Epsom triumph was widely enjoyed, and together they made a beguiling duo in the winner's circle. Both men have got to where they are through their own had work and skill, and they can only be admired for the humility with which they accept their success.

Still Making An Impact

With Frankel's first Derby winner, and Kingman (GB) represented by a third Grade 1 success for Domestic Spending (GB) at Belmont, as well as the G3 Princess Elizabeth S. win of Parent's Prayer (Ire), it was a good weekend for the Juddmonte stallions. The pensioned Zamindar even made his presence felt as damsire of the Derby runner-up Mojo Star (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), a son of the Juddmonte-bred Galley (GB), who is a half-sister to the dam of Arc winner Rail Link (GB) (Dansili {GB}).

St Mark's Basilica (Ire) notched a second Classic in the Prix du Jockey Club to the obvious delight of 'super-sub' Ioritz Mendizabal, who was himself winning the race for the second year in a row after standing in for David Egan on Mishriff (Ire) last year. It was also a second winner of the French Derby for Siyouni after Sottsass (Fr) became his first Group 1-winning colt in 2019 and then returned to win the Arc last year. He and St Mark's Basilica are both out of mares by Galileo (Ire) who have previously produced high-calibre individuals in Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}) and Magna Grecia (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) respectively.

The same star-strewn background was evident in Snowfall, who beat her 'aunt', the third-placed Divinely (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the Oaks. Snowfall's grandam, the dual Group 1-winning miler Red Evie (Ire) (Intikhab), has only ever been mated with Galileo, and she produced her tenth foal by the champion and her eighth filly on April 28. Red Evie's best offspring is unquestionably the Breeders' Cup Turf and Arc winner Found (Ire), who has already produced the G2 Vintage S. winner Battleground (War Front) as her first foal. Now Found's year-younger sister Best In The World (Ire) has a record-breaking Oaks winner to her name with her own first foal. 

There will be plenty of anticipation ahead of the debut of Snowfall's full-brother, Newfoundland (Ire), from the penultimate crop of Japan's multiple champion sire Deep Impact (Sunday Silence). The late Shadai kingpin also had the first two home in the GI Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo on Sunday, bringing his tally of top-level winners to 51 when outsider Danon Kingly (Jpn) narrowly denied favourite Gran Alegria (Jpn) from recording her second win in the race. 

Deep Impact has only had 59 runners in Europe, and clearly those that have been bred by European-based outfits will be out of good mares, while those sent over to race here from Japan will have already proved themselves to be classy performers. Even so, his record of 19 stakes winners, including six Group 1 winners, five of which are Classic winners, is pretty damn good.

The six that have won at the top level are split evenly, three being out of mares from the Sadler's Wells line, and three from the Storm Cat line, with the young stallions Saxon Warrior (Jpn) representing the former and Study Of Man (Ire) the latter. It is fervently hoped that in time these two winners of the 2000 Guineas and Prix du Jockey Club in 2018 can continue the success of their sire in Europe.

Watch List

A sireline that has thrived in a stealthily successful way over the years is that of Acclamation (GB), who is now 22 and in his 18th season covering at Rathbarry Stud.

The old boy himself provided one of the most popular results of Derby day when his 8-year-old son Oh This Is Us (Ire) won his 16th race and first at group level when just outpointing 7-year-old Century Dream (Ire) in the G3 Diomed S.

This followed two fantastic results for Acclamation's late son Harbour Watch (Ire) on Friday when first Pyledriver posted a popular win in the G1 Coronation Cup for William Muir and Chris Grassick, backed up later that day in America by the GII Belmont Gold Cup triumph of the Joseph O'Brien-trained Baron Samedi (GB). Both are members of the penultimate of Harbour Watch's five crops conceived at Tweenhills before his retirement from covering in 2018 and death the following year. 

On Nov. 29, 2017, the foals that would become known as Baron Samedi and Pyledriver were sent through the ring at Tattersalls 50 lots apart, both offered by the late Kevin Mercer's Usk Valley Stud. The first was bought by LECH Racing for 3,500gns, while Pyledriver was a 10,000gns buy-back by breeders Roger Devlin and Guy and Hugh Leach.

Mercer, who died not long after the foals were born at his Welsh farm, was the breeder of Baron Samedi and the advisor to Pyledriver's breeders when they retired their first mare to stud. He is much missed, but the two sons of Harbour Watch, in whom Mercer had a strong belief, paid him a great posthumous compliment on Saturday.

Acclamation's son Mehmas (Ire) is rarely far from the breeding headlines these days, and he was another to feature at Epsom via the listed Surrey S. Victor Mehmento (Ire), while another, Dark Angel, notched his eighth Group/Grade 1 winner with Althiqa in America. 

Dark Angel also appeared as the broodmare sire of the admirable Oaks runner-up Mystery Angel (Ire), who is by Rathbarry's rising star Kodi Bear (Ire), and we'll be hearing more about her and her trainer George Boughey in Wednesday's TDN. Furthermore, Dark Angel's son Lethal Force (Ire) is the sire of Mokaatil (GB), winner of the most terrifying race to be run on a British track, the downhill Epsom Dash.

The Tin Man, All Heart

It was not such good news over the weekend for Acclamation's grandson The Tin Man (GB) (Equiano {Fr}), who was retired after fracturing a leg at exercise eight days before his planned resumption in the listed Cathedral S. at Salisbury.

The 9-year-old won nine of his 31 races for James Fanshawe and Fred Archer Racing, his three Group 1 victories coming at Royal Ascot, British Champions Day and in the Haydock Sprint Cup.

Fortunately, The Tin Man was swiftly and successfully operated on at Newmarket Equine Hospital, where he is currently recovering, and he will now spend his retirement with James and Jacko Fanshawe at Pegasus Stables.

“He's recovering well. James went see him today and I am hoping to see him tomorrow,” said Jacko Fanshawe on Monday. “He'll be in the hospital for about a week and then he will stay with us for good.”

The Fanshawe stable has enjoyed plenty of success with The Tin Man's family over the years. His half-brother Deacon Blues (GB) (Compton Place {GB}) previously won the QIPCO British Champions Sprint when it was still a Group 2 race, and he also notched a hat-trick of Group 3 wins among his seven victories. Another half-sibling, Indian Tygress (GB) (Sepoy {Aus}), won three races in 2018, while currently in the yard is the 3-year-old full-sister to The Tin Man, Persaria (GB), who has been placed twice this season and looks poised to win before too long.

The trainer's wife, who runs the Fred Archer Racing syndicate, added, “The Tin Man was due to run on Sunday. We weren't going to run him in such big races any more but he had been in such good form. He's been such a star and it's a huge relief that the surgery went well. We're looking forward to him coming home.”

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