Bloodstock Bites: Meydan magic

  • By: Chris Hill
  • Last Updated: April 3 2014, 9:32 BST

The Dubai Carnival climaxed at Meydan last Saturday with a truly international roll of honour, though it was the familiar colours of Godolphin blue that were carried to victory in the world's most lucrative race, the $6 million Dubai World Cup.

African Story: Another World Cup triumph for Godolphin
African Story: Another World Cup triumph for Godolphin

Sheikh Mohammed recorded a seventh victory in the Carnival's showpiece event, the Dubai World Cup, when his seven year-old gelding African Story (Pivotal), ridden by Silvestre De Sousa and trained by Saeed bin Suroor who was winning the race for a sixth time, overhauled the gallant Mukhadram (Shamardal) up the Meydan straight to ensure the prize stayed on home soil.

African Story is one of four winners produced to date by the 2000 Listed Tyros Stakes third Blixen (Gone West), a daughter of the Keeneland Grade One Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes winner Danish, with the further family containing a pair of Group Three Desmond Stakes winners and Group One-placed animals in Ace and Hawkeye, as well as recent Group One winners Rip Van Winkle and Kingsbarns.

For Pivotal, the victory of African Story in the Meydan Group One means that he has now been responsible for twenty three individual Grade/Group One winners from fifteen crops of racing age and comes the season after Farhh and Maarek both won at the highest level for the Cheveley Park Stud stalwart.

Japanese raiders recorded victories in two of the other Group Ones on the card with the two-time Japan Cup winner Gentildonna (Deep Impact) claiming the Dubai Sheema Classic for trainer Sei Ishizaka and the Naosuke Sugai-trained Just A Way (Heart's Cry) running out a most impressive winner of the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.

Gentildonna (Deep Impact), the reigning Japanese Horse of the Year and now six-time Group One winner, is a full sister to the Japanese dual Group Three winner and Group One Tokyo Victoria Mile runner-up Donau Blue (Deep Impact), being out of Brian Meehan's Group One Cheveley Park Stakes winner Donna Blini (Bertolini) who was purchased by Katsumi Yoshida for 500,000 guineas at the 2006 Tattersalls December Mare Sale.

For Deep Impact, the Japanese Triple Crown winner in 2005 and two-time Horse of the Year who stands at the Shadai Stallion Station, Gentildonna's success was a fifteenth individual Group One victory from just five crops of racing age.

The winner of the Tenno Sho (Autumn Emperor's Cup) at Tokyo last October where one of his vanquished rivals was Gentildonna, Just A Way was purchased by owner Ataksuki Yamatoya for ¥12 million at the 2010 JRHA Select Yearling Sale. Out of the Japanese placed mare Sibyl (Wild Again), a daughter of the Grade One Coaching Club American Oaks winner Charon, the five year-old colt is a half-brother to the four-time winner and Group Three Kitakyushu Kinen runner-up Sky No Dan (Sakura Bakushin O).

His sire Heart's Cry, winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic back in 2006, stands alongside Deep Impact at Shadai and to date Just A Way is the sole Group One winner he has produced from five crops of racing age, though he has been represented by four Japanese Group Two winners in Win Variation, Capote Station, Curren Mirotic and Gustave Cry.

Meydan's two Group One sprints were won by travellers from Hong Kong ridden by Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira with the Ricky Yiu-trained Amber Sky (Exceed And Excel) landing the five furlong Al Quoz Sprint in a course record time and the John Moore-trained Sterling City (Nadeem) claiming the six furlong Golden Shaheen.

Amber Sky, who was bought by Yiu on behalf of owner Sammo Hung for A$80,000 at the 2011 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, is the first of two winners out of the Australian Group Two Champagne Stakes winner Truly Wicked (Rubiton). From the family of Australian Group winners Ticket To Rome and Great Glen, the five year-old colt became his Darley shuttle sire Exceed And Excel's ninth individual Grade/Group One winner.

Sterling City is a half-brother to the Group Two Tulloch Stakes winner Tipungwuti (Fusaichi Pegasus) being out of the Group Two Ascot Vale Stakes and Edward Manifold Stakes winner So Gorgeous (Brief Truce), herself a half-sister to the Australian Group Three winners Wild Queen and Cumbria, with the further family being that of Group One winners Euphoria, Bentley Biscuit and Thorn Park.

The six year-old gelding is also a graduate of Inglis having changed hands for A$200,000 at their 2010 Australian Easter Yearling Sale and in winning the Meydan Group One became the first winner at the highest level for his sire, who now stands at Little Avondale Stud in New Zealand having started his stud career at Darley's Australian base.

Closer to home, Doncaster raised the curtain on the 2014 Flat Season with the traditional opening day highlight, the Lincoln Handicap, being won by the John Ryan-trained outsider Ocean Tempest (Act One).

Bought for just 5,200 guineas by Ryan at the Tattersalls October Yearlings Sale in 2010, Ocean Tempest is one of three winners to date out of the twice-placed mare Ipsa Loquitur (Unfuwain) from the further family of the Turkish Listed Nene Hatun winner Silver Dancer and the Listed Marble Hill Stakes runner-up Dance Away.

Ocean Tempest's sire Act One, a dual French Group One winner and runner-up in the 2002 French Derby, stood at both Shadwell Stud in Newmarket and Wood Farm Stud in Shropshire before his premature death in 2010 aged eleven. During his eight seasons at stud he produced a total of seven individual black-type winners, a number that includes the five-time South African Grade One winner Dancer's Daughter as well as the dual French Group Two winner Silver Pond.

At Leopardstown on Sunday, the immaculately bred Bracelet (Montjeu) claimed the Group Three Irish 1000 Guineas Trial under Joseph O'Brien for multiple Irish Champion trainer Aiden O'Brien after which the three year-old filly was drastically shortened for both the 1000 Guineas and Oaks.

A Coolmore homebred out of the Group Three Blue Wind Stakes runner-up Cherry Hinton (Green Desert), a half-sister to the Champion racehorses Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) and Galileo (Sadler's Wells) and to the Grade/Group One winners Black Sam Bellamy (Sadler's Wells) and My Typhoon (Giant's Causeway), being out of the 1993 Arc winner Urban Sea, Bracelet is a full-sister to the 2011 Group Two Rockfel Stakes winner Wading (Montjeu).

In the Listed 2000 Guineas Trial, the Dermot Weld-trained Go For Goal (Verglas), a €22,000 purchase at the 2013 Goffs Horses in Training Sale, took the honours under Pat Smullen.

One of five winners out of the two-time winner Triple Try (Sadler's Wells), a full-sister to the 1996 Irish Oaks winner Dance Design (Sadler's Wells), Go For Goal is himself a half-brother to the Group Three Ballysax Stakes third Unwritten Rule (Dalakhani) from the further family of the two-time French Group One winner Creator.

Finally, in breeding news Coolmore have announced that two of their leading horses from the last couple of seasons, the 2012 Derby and 2000 Guineas winner Camelot and last year's two-time Group One winner Declaration of War, will shuttle to their Australian Hunter Valley base for the 2014 Southern Hemisphere covering season. Darley have also announced that Dawn Approach, the four-time Group One winner and last year's 2000 Guineas victor, and Epaulette, their two-time Australian Group One winning sprinter, will also shuttle to Australia for the 2014 season where they will stand at the operations Kelvinside Stud in the Hunter Valley.

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.

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