The Weekly Wrap: Multi-Tasking Trainers

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Francois Doumen with the James Fanshawe-trained Audarya | Scoop Dyga

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It has been a good week for trainers on the breeding front. Francois Doumen, who retired from the French ranks in 2017, popped up alongside the G1 Prix Jean Romanet winner Audarya (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in the winner's enclosure at Deauville. Her trainer James Fanshawe was unable to travel under the new quarantine rules, and Doumen could at least take some of the credit as the filly's breeder, with his wife Elisabeth, through their Haras d'Ecouves.

Audarya, who races in the colours of Alison Swinburn, was the third winner of the Jean Romanet in seven years for Fanshawe after Ribbons (GB) (Manduro {Ger}) and Speedy Boarding (GB) (Shamardal) but the 4-year-old represents a family which has been strongly associated with the Doumens for four generations.

Audarya's fourth dam Jimka (Fr) (Jim French) was bought as a yearling by the trainer in 1979. A hardy sort, she won seven of her 76 starts but greater success was to come in her second career as a broodmare. She clearly passed on her durability as her 10 winning offspring snared 56 races between them, the best of the bunch being the brilliant globetrotter Jim And Tonic (Fr) (Double Bed {Fr}), whose eight group victories included the G1 Hong Kong Cup.

Audarya's dam Green Bananas (Fr) (Green Tune {Fr}) was another who had a lengthy racing career, and she displayed versatility, too, as her 59 runs and four wins were interspersed with a spell playing polo with the Doumen children. Audarya should then have a lengthy racing career to look forward to, though she has now made herself an extremely enticing broodmare prospect. Her only previous claim to black type came when second in the listed Prix Coronation at Saint-Cloud last season and she has been down the field in two listed races this year. On the face of it, her presence in Sunday's field looked a little over-ambitious following her previous handicap win at Newcastle, but Fanshawe has long proved himself to be an astute judge and his string has really been hitting form in recent weeks. Furthermore, it was a gamble he had landed previously with Elite Racing's Ribbons, who went straight to the Prix Jean Romanet after finishing second in a Class 2 handicap three months earlier.

It's rare for Jim Bolger to let one get away but he can enjoy some reflected glory as the breeder of Mark Johnston's G3 Acomb S. winner Gear Up (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), and in fact Bolger has himself enjoyed success with this particular family, notably through the colt's dual Group 3-winning brother Guaranteed (Ire).

Johnston bought Gear Up at last year's Orby Sale for €52,000 from Bolger's Redmondstown Stud and the colt is now unbeaten in his only two starts. His has been a light campaign compared to some of Johnston's juveniles but we can expect to hear plenty more from him in the months to come.

Bolger unleashed one of his own star 2-year-olds on Saturday when winning the G2 Futurity S. at the Curragh for the sixth time with Mac Swiney (Ire). The chesnut colt was following in the footsteps of both his sire New Approach (Ire) and damsire Teofilo (Ire) in winning this particular contest. Those two champions sailed unbeaten through their 2-year-old seasons and while Mac Swiney weakened in the closing stages in his previous run in the G3 Tyros S., there was something very likeable about his tenacious win at the weekend. We'll see how he shapes when he steps up to Group 1 company, with the National S. seeming a likely next step.

Bolger's key role in the early days of Galileo's career has already been well noted and, as a breeder who doesn't shy away from fairly close inbreeding, it's no surprise to see him succeeding with a colt who is inbred 2×3 to Galileo.

Between 2006 and 2012, Bolger won the G1 Dewhurst S. on five occasions, with three of those winners featuring prominently in Mac Swiney's pedigree. Along with New Approach and Teofilo, the latter's son Parish Hall (Ire) is out of a Montjeu half-sister to Mac Swiney's dam and is thus inbred 3×3 to Sadler's Wells.

Ho Ho Ho
There has also been plenty to celebrate for Tally-Ho Stud this week, both as breeders and through success for various offspring of the stud's stallions.

Kodiac (GB) needs little spruiking. Currently fourth in the sires' table, he notched his sixth Group 1 winner in the Darley Prix Morny, when Campanelle (Ire), who was bred at the farm and sold at October Book 1 last year for 190,000gns, continued her unbeaten run for Stonestreet Stables and trainer Wesley Ward, who notched his third win in the race.

Campanelle was last seen out prior to Sunday at Royal Ascot, where she won the G2 Queen Mary S., while her Morny runner-up Nando Parrado (GB), another by Kodiac, won the G2 Coventry S. The pair has contributed to their sire being out in front on the table for leading sires of 2-year-olds with 29 winners to date this season. His nearest rival in that field is his own stud-mate, the leading freshman Mehmas (Ire).

In the five months that he raced, Mehmas did little wrong. The son of Acclamation (GB) bounced out with two smart wins in May, was runner-up in both the listed National S. and G2 Coventry S. before landing back-to-back Group 2 wins in the July S. and Richmond S. before closing out his season with two Group 1-placed finishes in the Vincent O'Brien National S. and the Middle Park S.

Bred on the same Acclamation-Machiavellian cross as the successful and popular Dark Angel (Ire), Mehmas also followed that Yeomanstown Stud sire in not racing beyond his 2-year-old season. His residency at Tally-Ho Stud gave him an excellent chance of gaining access to a wide range of fast mares to get his second career off to a flying start and, indeed, this is exactly what he has done so far. Admittedly, we are effectively only halfway through a delayed season, but the early signs of Mehmas playing a part in the burgeoning reputation of his speedy sireline can only be read as positive.

He is not short on ammunition but the precocity of his stock is apparent in the fact that a whopping 69 of the 108 foals from his first crop have already been seen on the racecourse. With 21 winners, his strike-rate stands at 30%, and among that tally are four stakes winners.

The Clive Cox-trained Supremacy (Ire) emulated his sire with a four-length victory in the G2 Qatar Richmond S. at Glorious Goodwood—his second win in three starts—while Method (Ire) is unbeaten for Martyn Meade in two starts, including the listed Rose Bowl S.

On Friday at York, Mehmas had the first and third in the G2 Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack S., when Minzaal (Ire) played his part in a four-timer on the day for Sheikh Hamdan and Jim Crowley at York. King Power Racing's Mystery Smiles (Ire) was less then three lengths behind him in third, having won his first two races of the season.

Then a day later, Acklam Express (Ire) gilded the lily by landing the listed Julia Graves Roses S. to win for the third time in a row for Nigel Tinkler.

Ringfort's Favourite Meeting
Minzaal also contributed to an excellent Ebor Meeting for his breeders Derek and Gay Veitch of Ringfort Stud. Not only was he their second consecutive Gimcrack winner after Threat (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}) but he was also their second Group 2 winner in 24 hours after Miss Amulet (Ire) (Sir Prancealot {Ire}) won the Lowther S. for Ken Condon.

While they both ended up in black-type races during one of Britain's most prestigious meetings, the sales histories of the two juveniles are markedly different. Minzaal, a colt by a first-crop sire, was bought as a foal from Ringfort's Tattersalls December draft for 85,000gns and was then reoffered by Glenvale Stud at October Book 2, where he sold for 140,000gns. Miss Amulet, a filly by a stallion who this year was sold to California's Rancho San Miguel from his former home alongside Mehmas at Tally-Ho, went to the Goffs November Sale when she sold for just €1,000 as a foal. The following September at the Ascot Yearling Sale, her price increased, but not much, to £7,500 when BBA Ireland bought her for Colm Griffin. It's safe to say that you could add a nought or two to find her current value as Miss Amulet has been a star for Ken Condon this season, winning three of her six starts, including beating the very smart Frenetic (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in the listed Marwell S. just over a fortnight before taking the Lowther.

Derek Veitch, though clearly delighted, is keeping both feet on the ground regarding the stud's run of success.

“Times like these are great when you're out at night changing the rugs on yearlings. It helps us remember why we do it in the first place,” he said.

Veitch bred Minzaal's dam Pardoven (Ire) (Clodovil {Ire}) and later bought her back after the death of her racing owner. He sold her filly foal by Tamayuz (GB) for 11,000gns at last year's December Sale and she will be returning to Newmarket for the relocated Tattersalls Ireland yearling sale (lot 309)

“The mare has a colt foal by Belardo (Ire) and she's in foal to Footstepsinthesand (GB), who is a bit of an under-rated sire. Sir Prancealot has suffered from that a bit too, but that's the breeding game,” he added.

Veitch has done well with both of those stallions, the former the sire of Threat and the latter the sire of not just Miss Amulet but also of listed winner Pepita (Ire), whom he bred in partnership with Roger O'Callaghan.

“I had a breeding right in Sir Prancealot so he owes me nothing,” said Veitch, who keeps 25 mares at the family's farm in Co Offaly.

“We've been very lucky just to have have healthy horses going to good people. Sheikh Hamdan plays such a crucial role in the industry and I'm very pleased that Minzaal looks a really good colt for him.”

He added of the disruption to the forthcoming sales season, “Generally we are foal sellers but it's hard to know what to do this year, or whether any foals will be sold in Ireland. I'm thinking this year it might be best to keep them until they are yearlings.”

Feel The Force
The inaugural €320,000 Irish EBF Ballyhane S. on Sunday drew plenty of praise from trainers and, such was its popularity when launched in February, that an €80,000 consolation race, for those who missed the cut, was also staged on the same card at Naas. With a winner's pot of €149,200, the main race is the most valuable juvenile contest in Ireland and it has given a boost in the rankings to Ashford Stud's freshman sire Air Force Blue, who has had just eight runners and two winners in Europe but is now in third place in the first-crop sires' table on earnings behind Mehmas (Ire) and Goken (Fr).

His winning son, Chief Little Hawk, trained by Aidan O'Brien, has had a busy campaign so far, winning on debut in June and finishing runner-up to the talented Frenetic (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) on Aug. 14 in the listed Curragh S. among his seven starts. In fact, Air Force Blue was responsible for three of the 19-runner field, with the trio all trained at Ballydoyle.

Along with the generous prize-money on offer for the Ballyhane S., stud owner Joe Foley had also promised a €50,000 bonus if the winner happened to be by a Ballyhane stallion. His money is safe for this year, but the Jack Davison-trained Moniesta (Ire), by Dandy Man (Ire), gave it a good try when third at 50/1.

Dandy Man did take leading honours in another valuable juvenile contest last week, however, when his daughter Happy Romance (Ire) landed the Goffs UK Premier Yearling S. at York. That win came on the heels of her victory in the Weatherbys Super Sprint, boosting her earnings, even in this depleted year, to £177,630. Not bad for a £25,000 yearling purchase by the Hannon and Doyle team which has excelled in that particular sales race over the years, including with the 2019 winner Mums Tipple (Ire) (Footstepsinthesand {GB}).

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