Bloodstock Bites: Giant steps
The penultimate weekend before the Cheltenham Festival saw some lesser known National Hunt stallions grab the majority of the glory for a change.
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With a smooth success under Wilson Renwick in the Grade Two Premier Kelso Novices' Hurdle, his first at graded level, the Peter Niven-trained Clever Cookie (Primo Valentino) completed a hat-trick of victories and brought his career record to five wins and two second places from his seven starts.
Bred by Mrs Joan Niven out of Mystic Memory (Ela-Mana-Mou), a three-time Flat winner and eight-time hurdle winner who is herself out of the Group One Fillies' Mile runner-up Mountain memory (High Top), the six year-old gelding is a half-brother to three other winners and descends from the further family of the 1983 Italian Derby winner My Top (High Top) and the European Group Two winners Cornelius (Barathea), winner of the 2002 Premio Emilio Turati for Paul Cole and John Dunlop's 2001 Golden Peitsche winner Vision of Night (Night Shift).
Clever Cookie's maiden graded success was also a first under either code for his sire, the 1999 Middle Park and Mill Reef Stakes winner Primo Valentino, his previous best performer in black-type terms being the Listed Hilary Needler Trophy runner-up Primo Heights.
At Newbury, Shangani (Giant's Causeway) continued trainer Venetia Williams' terrific season when seeing off Rebel Rebellion to land the Grade Three Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase for owners The Bellamy Partnership.
The victory puts Shangani second behind the Grade Two Wayward Lad Novices' Chase winner Jack The Giant as his sire's leading jumps offspring and occurred just days before a two year-old Giant's Causeway colt out of the U.S. Listed winner Dixie Dreamer topped the Barretts March Sale of Select Two Year-Olds when selling to Demi O'Byrne on behalf of Coolmore for $1.15 million.
Originally purchased by Frederic Sauque at the Keeneland September Yearlings Sale in 2007, Shangani was subsequently bought by leading French vendor Guy Petit for €60,000 when offered at the 2010 Arqana Saint-Cloud Mixed Sale and went on to win on the flat for Francois Rohaut.
"The win put Shangani second as Giant's Causeway's leading jumps offspring and occurred just days before a two year-old colt by the sire topped the Barretts March Sale when selling to Demi O'Byrne on behalf of Coolmore for $1.15 million."
Out of the two-time Flat winner Tanzania (Alzao), who is herself out of a full sister to the Champion European Mare Triptych, Shangani is a full brother to the Japanese Listed winner and Grade Two runner-up Uncoiled (Giant's Causeway) as well as a half-brother to the U.S. dual Grade One winner Amorama (Sri Pekan) and French Listed winner Table Ronde (Astronomer Royal).
Glenview Stud resident and four-time Champion National Hunt sire Presenting ensured the weekend wasn't a complete blow-out for the established sires though when responsible for the Nicky Henderson-trained Mayfair Music (Presenting) who ran out a comfortable winner of Doncaster's Listed William Hill Bet Mares' Novices' Hurdle under stable jockey Barry Geraghty.
Twice a graduate of Tattersalls Ireland, having made €21,000 as a yearling at the 2010 February Sale when selling to Aiden Murphy before returning in 2012 at the Derby Sale where Highflyer Bloodstock secured her for €22,000, Mayfair Music is the third winner out of Henderson's Listed Doncaster Bloodstock EBF Mares Bumper winner Native Bid (Be My Native) and is a half-sister to the Grade Two Rossington Novices' Hurdle third Oscar Nominee (Old Vic) and dual Grade Two runner-up Stephanie Kate (King's Theatre).
Over at Meydan, the Godolphin trained Cavalryman (Halling) won his sixth stakes races in all when running out the impressive winner of the Group Three Nad Al Sheba Trophy under Silvestre de Sousa in a course record time.
Winner of the 2009 Group One Grand Prix de Paris when trained by Andre Fabre, Cavalryman is out of the Group Three Prix de Royaumont runner-up Silversword (Highest Honor), a full-sister to the German Listed winner and Goodwood Cup runner-up Double Honour (Highest Honor), making the Godolphin homebred a half-brother to the Group Three C L Weld Park Stakes third Finity (Diesis), from the further family of Grade/Group One winners Nathaniel, Playful Act and Great Heavens.
Darley have purchased a majority share in Cairo Prince (Pioneerof The Nile), a leading fancy for this year's Kentucky Derby off the back of victories this season in the Grade Two Holy Bull Stakes and last year in the Grade Two Nashua Stakes winner for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with whom he will remain.
Finally, sires to have mares from their first book scanned in foal include Dawn Approach, last year's 2000 Guineas victor and Champion European Two Year Old in 2012 and last season's three-time Group One winner Al Kazeem.
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