The Weekly Wrap: Peace, Love and Understanding


Ger Lyons, all smiles after a successful week | Racing Post


First Love, now Peaceful. In another alarming week in world events, we could all use a little of both, but they are of course the two latest Classic winners for their peerless sire Galileo (Ire).

When winning the Moyglare Stud S. last September, Love (Ire), now also the 1000 Guineas winner, sparked a Group 1 double on Irish Champions Weekend which was completed by the Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song (Ire). By November, Galileo had drawn level with Danehill's record on 84 individual Group 1 winners thanks to the remarkable Magic Wand (Ire), who won the G1 Mackinnon S. in Australia on her 11th start of a 12-race year across six different countries.

The 5-year-old mare, who returned in triumphant fashion on Saturday at the Curragh to win the G2 Lanwades Stud S., is perhaps the perfect embodiment of the most important trait Galileo appears to impart to many of his offspring: hardiness. Plenty of them, of course, are not short on talent either, and another went his way with just one runner apiece in the fields for the 1000 Guineas and Irish 1000 Guineas and the most recent Classic was added to Galileo's phenomenal tally after Peaceful (Ire) led home an O'Brien family party at the Curragh on Saturday.

Trained, like a significant number of Galileo's major winners, by Aidan O'Brien, she was at the forefront of a quartet completed by her stable-mate So Wonderful (War Front) and Fancy Blue (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and New York Girl (Ire) (New Approach {Ire}) representing the stables of the master trainer's sons Donnacha and Joseph. It would be no surprise to see first-season trainer Donnacha snare an early Classic victory of his own courtesy of Fancy Blue, on whom he won a Naas maiden last September in his final season as a jockey and who looks tailor-made for the Oaks, both on her Guineas performance and pedigree.

Lyons In Roaring Form
The weekend delivered an extra shot in the arm with the victory of Siskin in the Irish 2000 Guineas. The unbeaten Juddmonte colt of course also represents one of the most powerful owner-breeder operations in the world, but he has been entrusted to Ger Lyons, who, over three decades has steadily built his stable into a serious force to be reckoned with. That he is now patronised by some of the world's leading owners is deserved reward for effort and a first Classic success for Lyons and his retained jockey Colin Keane was a widely popular result.

He is a trainer who doesn't pander to anyone and is refreshingly direct in this age of spin by social media. But it was easy to detect the strong emotion prompted by Siskin's behind-closed-doors Guineas win even as Lyons joked that it suited him just fine as he prefers his own company anyway. He may have stood alone, but the racing world was watching and smiling along with him.

In a different year, with more time between major events and fewer restrictions on travel, we maybe would have seen Siskin take on Pinatubo (Ire), Kameko and Victor Ludorum (Ire) in the St James's Palace S. As it is there will be no raiding party from Glenburnie at Royal Ascot this year.

“That's out of everybody's control,” Lyons told TDN on Monday. “I know Aidan [O'Brien] is partaking but he can fly in and fly out, but apart from the flying in and out it would be the wrong thing to run Siskin back again. That doesn't work for me. I'm not saying it's wrong for Aidan, I'm just saying it doesn't work for me.”

He continued, “It's just the timing and it's unfortunate but it's the year that we're in and we'll take it. The English Guineas was ruled out because we couldn't get Colin in to ride, simple as, so we committed to the Curragh Guineas, and that was our main aim. We said if we're doing that and he's good enough, then the Sussex S. will be the next race. He's proven himself well good enough, so as we stand it's the Sussex S. unless we are told differently. That's his programme.”

The unbeaten Siskin appears to have taken his first outing of the season well, according to his trainer, who said, “He's grand, he lost his weight but he's licked his pot. If he ever stops eating I'll be very worried. He rode out this morning and did his dressage, had a shower and had his roll as usual. Then he had a couple of hours picking grass and he's the same old Siskin, so I'd say the weight will be back on him in the next day or so.”

While he was the most important, Siskin was not the only exciting winner to emerge from Glenburnie in the past week. Lyons has sent out seven winners from his 33 runners since the resumption, including exciting juvenile debutante Frenetic (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) and the listed winners Heliac (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) and Nickajack Cave (Ire) (Kendargent {Fr}). Juddmonte's Peace Charter is also a filly to watch with interest following her fifth-place finish in the G3 Leopardstown Fillies Trial S.

“Peace Charter had a bad draw in the Guineas trial at Leopardstown and had no luck in running. That would have been grand if she'd had a better draw but we had a good end of the week for Juddmonte. Our horses in general have run really well since we've started back so we're delighted,” Lyons said.

“Frenetic is a little star. She was back under saddle this morning and did a canter. She was mad keen to get out, that filly, and was ready for a while, and she will hopefully aim for the group race at Naas [the G3 Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies' Sprint S. on July 4].”

He added of the emerging staying prospect Nickajack Cave, winner of the Saval Beg Levmoss S., “I'm not a globetrotter but he's a horse that we said at the start of the year if we had an Ebor horse it was him. He's a long way off [last year's Ebor winner] Mustajeer (GB) at the moment. He still only a young unexposed 4-year old and that was his first time over the trip. I got so much pleasure watching him because I just love seeing a race run like that. You could see [Colin] there watching and you could see the further he went the stronger the horse was coming under him and you knew turning in that he was going to take off.  And he did and it was lovely to watch.

“He did it well and we have lovely options for him. Ultimately he has that shape about him, he's the type of horse who could be a Melbourne Cup horse for the next three years. I'm not saying for me but he has that sort of look about him.”

Transatlantic Joy
Following the 2000 Guineas success of Kameko, his sire Kitten's Joy was represented by another exciting 3-year-old this week in Crossfirehurricane, winner of the G3 Coolmore Ten Sovereigns Gallinule S. for Joseph O'Brien.

The colt boosted a good week for American owners in Ireland as he races in the colours of his co-breeder Scott Heider of Heider Family Stables. In a partnership which started around six years ago, Heider bred the unbeaten Crossfirehurricane with Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm and they now have a serious Irish Derby contender on their hands.

Bernick was also on the winners' sheet in Ireland last week as the owner of the Dark Angel (Ire) filly Lynn Britt Cabin (Ire). Her victory at Leopardstown on Thursday for Fozzy Stack came a day after the owner's One Voice (Ire) (Poet's Voice {Ire}) was just touched off in the listed Salsabil S. at Navan. She holds an entry for a potential quick turnaround in the listed Victor McCalmont Memorial S. on Friday.

Star Quality
Five new TDN Rising Stars were named in Europe in the last week and they include Admiral Nelson (GB) (Kingman {GB}), who made a few headlines even before he started racing.

Bred by Bob and Pauline Scott at their Essex-based Parks Farm Stud, the colt set a new record price for the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale last year when selling to Coolmore through Hillwood Stud for £440,000.

The Scotts bought his dam Shamandar (Fr) (Exceed And Excel {Aus}) as a foal and retained her at 3,500gns when offered as a yearling at the Tattersalls December Sale. She was later withdrawn from the Guineas Sale but the tale of pinhooking woe had a happy ending when she won the listed EBF Dick Poole Fillies' S. in their colours and more than £200,000 in prize-money earned from 11 starts.

Admiral Nelson is the mare's fifth foal and is entered for both the G2 Norfolk S. and G2 Coventry S. later this week.

Belardo Bowling Along
No fewer than 18 first-crop stallions have now been represented by at least one winner in Europe. Haras de Colleville's Goken broke early and has maintained his lead with five winners to his credit. He is also the first of the bunch to record a stakes winner. His daughter Livachope (Fr) won Sunday's listed Prix la Fleche having got her sire off the mark on debut on May 13.

It is the Darley stallion Belardo (Ire), a grandson of the recently deceased Shamardal, who has really caught the eye in the last week, however, bringing his tally up to four with a smart-looking first-time-out winner at Goodwood on Sunday. Trained by Joe Tuite, Lullaby Moon (Ire) streaked away from her rivals, including the 6/4 favourite Stream (GB) (Frankel {GB}), to win by two and a quarter lengths and she holds an entry for Saturday's G2 Queen Mary S. Belardo could also be represented at Ascot in the G3 Albany S. by another recent winner, the William Haggas-trained Golden Melody (Ire).

With Roaring Lion having died last summer and Hawkbill relocated to Japan, only one son of the celebrated Kitten's Joy remains at stud in Britain and that is the Lanwades resident and GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Bobby's Kitten. He too could be represented in the Queen Mary by one of his two winners to date, Kirsten Rausing's Sands Of Time (GB).



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