The Weekly Wrap: More Joy For Cox And McCartan

Clive Cox has trained relations Xtension, Harry Angel and Supremacy for group success | Emma Berry


It was 11 years ago that Xtension (Ire) (Xaar {GB}) became only the second group winner for his trainer Clive Cox when landing the G2 Veuve Clicquot Vintage S. under Adam Kirby. In the intervening years, Cox and Kirby have become a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the major sprint contests and often with horses bought relatively inexpensively by the trainer. Xtension was himself a €15,000 yearling purchase from his breeder Paul McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud, and he was later sold on as a 3-year-old to race in Hong Kong before returning to Ireland in 2015 to stand at Rathbarry Stud.

Xtension was the third foal of his dam, Great Joy (Ire) (Grand Lodge), who won and was listed-placed in Germany before being bought by McCartan for 24,000gns at the age of seven. While Xtension, who went on to win the G1 BMW Champions Mile two years running, was the best of her offspring on the track, her daughters are continuing to make notable contributions to her legacy from the paddocks.

Beatrix Potter (Ire) (Cadeaux Genereux {Ire}) is now best known as the dam of Harry Angel (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), the dual Group 1-winning sprinter who was another Cox purchase from Ballyphilip at £44,000. Three years after he won the G2 Mill Reef S. for Cox, his half-brother Pierre Lapin (Ire) (Cappella Sansevero {GB}) landed the same race last season for Roger Varian and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid.

In the meantime the family had thrown up another stakes winner in Mrs Gallagher (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}), a dual listed scorer for William Jarvis and Emma Banks, the team which also won the G3 Valiant S. with Lady Bowthorpe (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) two weekends ago. Mrs Gallagher is the first foal of Great Joy's listed-placed daughter A Huge Dream (Ire) (Refuse To Bend {Ire}).

Last week yet another daughter of Great Joy put Cox back in the spotlight at Goodwood when Supremacy (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) hugged the rail to grab a four-length win in the G2 Richmond S. He too had been bought by his trainer as a yearling, for £65,000 at the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale. Bred by the Hong Kong-based Kangyu International Racing, he was being carried by his dam Triggers Broom (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}) when she was bought at the Tattersalls December Mares' Sale for 110,000gns.

Supremacy reflects yet more glory on the Great Joy family but he may yet prove to be a thorn in McCartan's side as his next target is likely to be the G1 Darley Prix Morny, in which he may face his stable-mate Nando Parrado (GB) (Kodiac {GB}). If things had gone to plan at last year's December Sale, Nando Parrado would have been racing for other connections, but the 165,000gns foal purchase from breeder Anita Wigan was bought back by the McCartans at 200,000gns when offered as a yearling. The 'failed' pinhook has subsequently turned a potential loss into a major win with his 150/1 victory in the colours of Marie McCartan in the G2 Coventry S. at Royal Ascot. When the McCartans were looking for a trainer for the colt, it's little surprise that they plumped for one who had already reaped great success with Ballyphilip graduates: Clive Cox.

Flying Angels
While the McCartan-bred Harry Angel has just completed his second season at Darley's Dalham Hall Stud and is on his way south to Australia, his erstwhile paddock mate Battaash (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}), another outstanding Ballyphilip Stud graduate, continues to light up the season with his blink-and-miss-it blitzes. In winning the G2 King George Qatar S. for the fourth consecutive year he also lowered the track record, just as he did in the G1 Coolmore Nunthorpe S. last year. And that seems likely to be the race in which we will see him next, with a trip to Keeneland for the Breeders' Cup an apparently longed-for target of his trainer Charlie Hills.

Just as at Royal Ascot, Battaash provided one of the highlights of another terrific week for his owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, who notched six winners at Goodwood to match his Royal Meeting tally. For obvious anatomical reasons, Battaash will never join the Shadwell stallion roster, but at some stage the team at Nunnery Stud can surely look forward to welcoming the sheikh's G1 Qatar Sussex S. winner Mohaather (GB) (Showcasing {GB}). While his victory was for one of the sport's major owners, it brought with it quite a bit of extra cheer as Mohaather also represents some smaller connections. For Marcus Tregoning, Sheikh Hamdan has been a longstanding patron and it no doubt brought the trainer much satisfaction to be able to repay this loyalty in saddling his first Group 1 winner since Sir Percy (GB) won the Derby in 2006.

It has been a shorter time between drinks for breeder Gaie Johnson Houghton, who keeps five broodmares and was celebrating her second Group 1 winner from the same family in two years. Indeed, the first came in her own colours with Queen Anne S. winner Accidental Agent (GB) (Delagator {GB}), who is out of Mohaather's half-sister Roodle (GB) (Xaar {GB}). The icing on the cake was that Accidental Agent is trained by Johnson Houghton's daughter Eve. A recap of this family, which has been cultivated by Johnson Houghton through five generations, can be found in Chris McGrath's TDN interview with the breeder last year.

While events at Goodwood doubtless delighted the Shadwell team, arguably the week's most exciting result for Sheikh Hamdan was delivered at Deauville on Saturday by homebred Raabihah (Sea The Stars {Ire}). The 3-year-old filly ran out the easy winner of the G3 Prix de Psyche for Jean-Claude Rouget, having previously finished only half a length off behind Fancy Blue (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) when fourth in the G1 Prix de Diane. This was the only time she had been beaten in four starts and, with Oaks winner Eswarah (GB) and Midway Lady as her second and third dams, plus a Derby and Arc winner for a father, Raabihah is an interesting proposition for the Arc herself.

Rouget, who believes Raabihah to be the “best filly in France”, noted that she is the best filly he has trained since Stacelita (Fr) (Monsun {Ger}), who won four Group 1s for his stable before landing another two Grade I races in America for Chad Brown.

Stars Out In Paris
Sea The Stars brought the curtain down on his magnificent 3-year-old season in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and though he is yet to sire a winner of that race, Sea Of Class (Ire) went close when second to Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) in 2018.

This year, in addition to Raabihah being aimed in that direction, we finally, hopefully, have the tantalising prospect of his most famous son Stradivarius (Ire) being given a chance in the race. Yes, it may be short of his best distance but, with four Goodwood Cups, three Gold Cups and two Stayers' Millions titles to his name already, he has nothing left to prove in the long-distance division, so why not give it a crack?

John Gosden's stable is not short of top gallopers by Sea The Stars. Last year's Irish Oaks winner Star Catcher (GB) has not been seen out yet this season but reportedly has remained in training. Meanwhile, Gosden added a new Group 1 race to his ever-expanding tally when sending Miss Yoda (Ger) back to her homeland to win Sunday's Preis der Diana (German Oaks).

The filly, bred by Gestut Etzean, was the co-top lot at the 2018 BBAG Yearling Sale at €280,000, bought on behalf of Georg Von Opel, who races under the name of Westerberg. A London resident, the owner has acquired a small bunch of well-bred fillies in recent years with the aim of starting his own breeding operation. Miss Yoda's Classic victory marks a terrific start to this project and was doubtless all the more pleasing for having come in the land of Von Opel's birth.

As well as Gosden, he has fillies in training in Andre Fabre and Aidan O'Brien. He purchased the top two lots at last year's Goffs Orby Sale, both by Galileo (Ire) and full-sisters to Group 1 winners, and both unraced to date. The sister to Alice Springs (Ire), now known as Magic Hour (Ire), is with Fabre, who also has another Galileo filly for Von Opel. Named Beluga (Ire), she is a three-parts-sister to Fabre's Derby winner Pour Moi (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}).

The other Galileo filly from Goffs was the €3 million sale-topping daughter of Vimal and Gillian Khosla's Green Room (Theatrical), who was bought in partnership with MV Magnier. She is now in training at Ballydoyle and has been named Espania (Ire).

Brothers Share The Love
Hunscote Stud and Mick Channon brought home the trophy for Sunday's G3 Prix Cabourg thanks to the unbeaten Cairn Gorm (GB). The flashy chestnut colt is a son of Bated Breath (GB) but is more reminiscent in looks of that stallion's half-brother Cityscape (GB), whom Hunscote's Stephen Smith owns in partnership with Overbury Stud, where he stands.

In fact the last time Hunscote's purple and green silks were carried to group-race glory was by the Channon-trained Dan's Dream (GB), who became Cityscape's first black-type winner in the G3 Fred Darling S.

Cairn Gorm's dam In Your Time (GB) (Dalakhani {Ire}) has visited Cityscape on three occasions and the 3-year-old from this union, Miss Morris (GB), made her debut last month for Henry Candy, while Cairn Gorm's youngest three-quarter sibling is a colt, who was born on Apr. 26.

Dunkerque Spirit Strongest in USA
The Haras du Quesnay-bred Dunkerque (Fr) (Highest Honor) was represented by just 122 foals from his seven seasons on the roster at his home stud and one year at Haras de Grand Chesnaie, and arguably his three best horses to date have all raced in America.

If you name a horse Blacktype (Fr), you'd certainly hope he'd be capable of accruing some, and the gelding from Dunkerque's first crop who was given this prophetic title has happily proved to be his sire's most successful runner. He too was bred at Quesnay and won two races in France when trained by Jean-Pierre Gauvain before being transferred to French ex-pat Christophe Clement in the U.S. There, he won a further ten races, including back-to-back runnings of the GII Knickerbocker S. at Belmont Park.

A Quesnay product through and through, Blacktype is out of the Anabaa mare Theorie (Fr). Another of her offspring, Theoricienne (Fr) (Kendor {Fr}), won twice in France when trained by Criquette Head for her mother Ghislaine and she is now responsible for Dunkerque's latest stakes winner in America, She's My Type (Fr).

The 3-year-old filly was bought back by her breeder Ghislaine Head when offered at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and, following her close relative to the stable of Clement, she won Friday's listed Coronation Cup S. at Saratoga, her second stakes success of the year.

Dunkerque, a dual Group 3-winning sprinter in his day for the Head family, has also been represented in the last week at Del Mar by the GII San Clemente S. runner-up Guitty (Fr), for another French-born trainer, Leonard Powell.

Closer to home his better runners include the Spanish 1000 Guineas winner Vallila (GB), who also won in France and Britain and was bred by Liam Norris from the former Quesnay mare Villabella (Fr) (Hernando {Fr}).

Antoine Bozo
Finally, the team at TDN Europe offers sincere condolences to the family of Antoine Bozo, who died on Saturday at the age of 83.

At the helm of Haras du Mezeray for Paul de Moussac during the glory days of Arc winners Trempolino and Subotica (Fr), Bozo's influence on the French racing and breeding industry will continue to be felt through his sons Henri and Ghislain, and our thoughts are with them at this time.



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