Bloodstock Bites: It must be Lav

  • By: Chris Hill
  • Last Updated: January 19 2014, 18:14 GMT

Chris Hill returns to bring us the latest news from the bloodstock world and reflections on the rescheduled Tolworth Hurdle.

Royal Boy: Gave sire Lavirco a second Grade One win this term
Royal Boy: Gave sire Lavirco a second Grade One win this term

The Nicky Henderson-trained Royal Boy (Lavirco) battled on well under A P McCoy to defeat stablemate Josses Hill (Winged Love) in the rescheduled Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Kempton Park, a little over a year on from finishing third in the 2013 renewal.

A €150,000 purchase by Highflyer Bloodstock at the 2011 Goffs Punchestown National Hunt Sale, Royal Boy is the first foal out of the two-time French jumps winner Quintanilla (Royal Charter), whose next foal was the French chase winner Saint Remi (Saint des Saints) and descends from the Listed German winner Fort Boyard (Be My Guest) and Grade Two Scottish Champion Hurdle and Finesse Juvenile Hurdle runner-up Saintsaire (Apeldoorn).

For Lavirco, who stands at Haras National de Cercy la Tour in France, Royal Boy's success brought a second domestic Grade One this season following the victory of the Gordon Elliott-trained Roi du Mee in Down Royal's JNWine.com Champion Chase in November, though the two-time German Group One winner has had top level success on these shores in the past courtesy of Willie Mullins' three-time Grade One novice hurdle winner Mikael d'Haguenet.

The Oliver Sherwood-trained Deputy Dan (Westerner) ran out a convincing winner of Warwick's Grade Two Leamington Novices' Hurdle to continue the fine run of form for his sire, the 2005 Ascot Gold Cup winner Westerner, with the six year-old gelding's victory coming just two weeks after Captain Cutter became the Coolmore National Hunt stallion's first Grade One jumps winner having landed the Challow Novices' Hurdle.

"Bought by Highflyer Bloodstock for £65,000 at the 2011 Doncaster Spring Stores Sale, Deputy Dan is the second black-type jumps winner out of the once raced mare Louisa's Dream (Supreme Leader), being a half-brother to Nicky Henderson's 2011 Tolworth Hurdle winner Minella Class (Oscar)..."

Bought by Highflyer Bloodstock for £65,000 at the 2011 Doncaster Spring Stores Sale, Deputy Dan is the second black-type jumps winner out of the once raced mare Louisa's Dream (Supreme Leader), being a half-brother to Nicky Henderson's 2011 Tolworth Hurdle winner Minella Class (Oscar), and hails from the family of Tote Gold Trophy winner Marlborough (Strong Gale) and Christmas Hurdle scorer Ekbalco (Deep Run).

Over in Ireland, the Willie Mullins-trained five year-old Vautour (Robin des Champs) continued his ascent up the novice hurdling ranks when landing the Grade Two Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle under Paul Townend.

Out of the French Listed Prix d'Iena Hurdle winner Gazelle de Mai (Dom Pasquini), a half-sister to the Listed Grand Steeplechase de Bordeaux winner Lord Pasquini (Dom Pasquini), Vautour is a half-brother to three other winners including the six-time French jumps winner Belle Preuillade (Royal Charter) with more distant descendants including U.S. black-type winners Southwood Champ and Native Boundary.

"Mullins in particular seems to do terrifically well with progeny of Glenview Stud resident Robin des Champs having produced Sir des Champs, Quevega, Sous Les Cieux and Un Atout to all record successes at Grade One level."

Mullins in particular seems to do terrifically well with progeny of Glenview Stud resident Robin des Champs having produced Sir des Champs, Quevega, Sous Les Cieux and Un Atout to all record successes at Grade One level.

The Dubai Carnival kicked off at Meydan with last year's UAE Oaks winner Shuruq (Elusive Quality) claiming the Grade Two Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 for Godolphin in the style of a horse capable of adding to the 21 individual Grade/Group One races won by offspring of Darley's U.S. based sire, two of which were added last season by the John Gosden-trained Elusive Kate.

A Darley homebred, Shuruq is the first foal - and only runner to date - out of the Group Two Challenge Stakes winner Miss Lucifer, who from subsequent matings with another Darley stallion, Street Cry, has produced the as yet unraced three-year-old gelding Ghost Tour and an unnamed two year-old colt who is in training with Sir Michael Stoute.

Further back in her pedigree appears Legend Maker (Sadler's Wells), the Group Three winning dam of the 2005 1000 Guineas heroine Virginia Waters (Kingmambo), and the 2007 Irish Derby runner up Alexander of Hales (Danehill), with more distant relatives including the Group One winners Chachamaidee (Footstepsinthesand), Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) High-Rise (High Estate) and In The Wings (Sadler's Wells).

Desperately sad news came from Coolmore last week with the announcement that St Nicholas Abbey (Montjeu), their three-time Coronation Cup winner, was euthanized due to an inoperable bout of colic. A fractured pastern on the gallops ended the six-time Group One winner's racing career but having been successfully operated on and overcoming laminitis during his recuperation, a second bout of colic proved insurmountable for the Aidan O'Brien-trained great, who amassed just shy of £5 million in prize money.

Better news for Coolmore was that their dual Group Three winner Chrysanthemum (Danehill Dancer) produced the first recorded foal - a bay colt - by the ten-time Group One winner and world's highest-rated racehorse Frankel.

Other sires to have their first European foals on the ground include Nathaniel, the 2011 King George winner who stands at Newsells Park Stud, Coolmore's three-time Group One winner Excelebration and multiple Australian Champion sire Redoute's Choice, who for the first time in 2013 shuttled from Arrowfield Stud in Australia to the Aga Khan's Haras de Bonneval in France.

In other breeding news, Glatisant (Rainbow Quest), the Group Three winning dam of the 2005 2000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand (Giant's Causeway) and the 2012 Phoenix Stakes winner Pedro The Great (Henrythenavigator), has been retired from breeding duties, while another Phoenix winner, the two-time Group One victor La Collina (Strategic Prince), has been retired from racing and will visit Dubawi for her maiden covering.

Finally, Brightwells have added a new sale to the bloodstock calendar with a small but select sale of National Hunt form horses set to take place after racing at Cheltenham on Thursday March 13, better known as World Hurdle day.

Chris Hill

Chris is a Pedigree Researcher for Weatherbys Ltd, the company that provides the majority of pedigrees for thoroughbreds sold at public auction in Britain and Ireland and who offer a range of products and services to suit your Bloodstock needs.

For further information please visit http://www.weatherbys.co.uk/bloodstock


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