Bloodstock Bites: He's the man
As the 2013/14 National Hunt season draws to a close, some impressive performances in Classic trials across Europe helped the Flat season shift up a gear and whetted the appetite for the coming months.
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With a visually stunning four and a half-length success in the Group Three Greenham Stakes under James Doyle, the John Gosden-trained Kingman (Invincible Spirit) maintained his unbeaten record, having landed the Group Three Solario Stakes on the last of his two juvenile appearances, and consolidated his position as the market leader for next month's 2000 Guineas.
The Juddmonte homebred is from a family that Gosden knows particularly well having last season trained Kingman's half-brother Remote (Dansili) to win the Group Three Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. As well as training their dam Zenda (Zamindar) to win the 2002 French 1000 Guineas, Gosden also prepared her half-brother Oasis Dream (Green Desert) to four Group One victories and 2002 Champion European Two Year-Old and 2003 Champion European Three Year-Old Sprinter honours.
Further back, Kingman is related to Irish Oaks winner Wemyss Bight - herself the dam of the four-time Grade/Group One winner Beat Hollow - the Prix du Cadran winner Reefscape, Phoenix Stakes winner La Collina and the French Group Two winners Bellamy Cay, Coastal Path and Martaline.
In the Group Three Fred Darling Stakes, the Brian Meehan-trained J Wonder (Footstepsinthesand) displayed an impressive turn of foot under minimal urging from Jimmy Fortune to see off Al Thakhira (Dubawi) and Joyeuse (Oasis Dream) and become her Coolmore sire's sixteenth individual Group race winner.
Bought for $300,000 as a foal at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale by Hugo Merry Bloodstock on behalf of American owner Andrew Rosen, J Wonder is a full sister to Sir Henry Cecil's Group One Matron Stakes heroine Chachamaidee (Footstepsinthesand), being out of Canterbury Lace (Danehill), an unraced full sister to the Group Three Gallinule Stakes winner and Irish Derby runner-up Alexander of Hales (Danehill) and half-sister to the 2005 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters (Kingmambo).
"Bought for $300,000 as a foal at the 2011 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale by Hugo Merry Bloodstock on behalf of American owner Andrew Rosen, J Wonder is a full sister to Sir Henry Cecil's Group One Matron Stakes heroine Chachamaidee."
Kirsten Rausing's homebred Cubanita (Selkirk), ridden by Jim Crowley, secured her second Group Three victory when taking the John Porter Stakes earlier on the card, ahead of Frankel's full brother Noble Mission (Galileo).
The Ralph Beckett-trained five year-old is the first winner to date out of the winning mare Caribana (Hernando) from the further family of the Group One Yorkshire Oaks heroine Key Change - herself the dam of the Grade One winning hurdler Pittoni - and Mark Johnston's 2012 Group Two Royal Lodge winner Steeler.
Her sire Selkirk, the Champion European Miler in 1991 and 1992, who sadly passed away last year at the age of twenty five, has been responsible for sixteen individual Group One winners, with Cubanita looking to make it seventeen should she line up next month in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh.
Up at Ayr, the Grade Three Scottish Grand National was tenaciously landed by the Peter Bowen-trained Al Co (Dom Alco), who under Jamie Moore held off last year's winner Godsmejudge (Witness Box) and Trustan Times (Heron Island) up the long home straight, despite twice jinking right after the last fence.
One of five winners out of the winning French hurdler Carama (Tip Moss), Al Co is a full brother to the Listed Prix Andre Michel Hurdle winner Al Tip (Dom Alco) as well as a half-brother to Fee Magic (Phantom Breeze) the unraced dam of siblings Grands Crus (Dom Alco), winner of the 2011 Grade One Feltham Chase and this season's Grade Three Fixed Brush Handicap Hurdle winner Gevrey Chambertin (Dom Alco).
Over in Ireland on Saturday, Fascinating Rock (Fastnet Rock) marked himself as a live Derby contender with a comfortable victory under Pat Smullen in the Group Three Ballysax Stakes at Navan, in the process becoming his sire's first European Group winner.
The Dermot Weld-trained three year-old is from the first European conceived crop of Coolmore's multiple Australian Champion sire Fastnet Rock. A Newtown Anner Stud homebred out of the two-time winning miler Miss Polaris (Polar Falcon), a full sister to the German Listed winner Euro Falcon (Polar Falcon), Fascinating Rock is a half-brother to Tony Martin's Grade Two boylesports Handicap Hurdle third Quick Jack (Footstepsinthesand) and hails from the further family of the U.S. Grade One winner Cesario and the Japanese Grade One winner Epiphaneia.
"Sruthan increased the number of individual Group races won by offspring of Arakan to fourteen with his best runners to date being the two-time Group One winner Dick Turpin and Richard Hannon's exciting Classic prospect, Toormore."
At the Curragh on Sunday, the Paul Deegan-trained Sruthan (Arakan) landed his second Group Three when victorious in the Gladness Stakes under Chris Hayes whilst just over an hour later his year older half-brother Srucahan (Kheleyf) followed him into the winner's enclosure after landing a handicap for the same trainer-jockey combination.
Out of the twice raced mare Giveupyeraulsins (Mark of Esteem), Sruthan was bought by Deegan for just €1,000 at the 2011 Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale and hails from the further family of the 1998 Oaks winner Shahtoush and John Queally's four-time Grade One winning hurdler Al Eile.
With his victory on Sunday, Sruthan increased the number of individual Group races won by offspring of Arakan, the two-time Group Three winner who stands at Ballyhane Stud in County Carlow, to fourteen with his best runners to date being the two-time Group One winner Dick Turpin and Richard Hannon's Group One National Stakes winner and exciting Classic prospect, Toormore.
Across the Channel, Haras du Val Henry resident Linamix was closely involved in the pedigrees of both Longchamp Group Three Classic trial winners, being the broodmare sire of Prix de Fontainebleau winner Ectot (Hurricane Run) and Prix de la Grotte winner Lesstalk In Paris (Cape Cross).
The similarities between the two winners don't end there though as both are graduates of the 2012 Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale with the Elie Lellouche-trained colt Ectot having been bought for €75,000 by Sylvain Vidal whilst Lesstalk In Paris's trainer Jean Claude-Rouget acquired the filly for €125,000.
Out of the twice raced mare Tonnara (Linamix), a half-sister to the Group Three Prix de Flore winner Albisola (Montjeu), Ectot, who landed the Group One Criterium International at Saint-Cloud last season, is a half- brother to Brian Meehan's 2012 St James's Palace Stakes winner Most Improved (Lawman) and descends from the further family of Grade One hurdle winner Grumeti and the Prix Ganay winner Romildo. Whilst Ectot does hold an entry in the English 2000 Guineas, on breeding it seems likely that he will come into his own over middle-distances so his entry in the Epsom Derby looks interesting.
The pedigree of Lesstalk In Paris in contrast contains a touch more speed as she is a half-sister to last year's French 2000 Guineas runner-up Dastarhon (Dansili) being out of the dual French Group Three winner Top Toss (Linamix), a daughter of the 1996 Listed Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trail winner Tossup (Gone West).
In sales news, Ascot held their April Sale on Tuesday where forty five lots changed hands for a total of £98,650, an increase of 19% on the 2013 renewal, with the average price of £2,192 and median price of £1,200 being improvements of 22% and 4% respectively.
Robert Mills' dual winner Canadian Run (Hurricane Run) was the sale's top lot when selling to BBA Shipping for £9,000 whilst the twice placed Al Destoor (Teofilo), from the Darley consignment, was the second priciest lot when selling to Milton Harris for £7,500.
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