News Weatherbys Super Sprint – for performance and pedigree

Weatherbys Super Sprint – for performance and pedigree


With over £98,300 on offer to the winning horse and prize-money down to 10th place, the Weatherbys-sponsored Super Sprint is a great opportunity for owners and connections of the 21 speedy, and affordably purchased, two-year-olds who make up today’s field.

The path from Royal Ascot to Newbury for success in the Super Sprint is one that has been well trod – since 1991, 16 horses who ran at the Royal meeting have gone on to win the valuable 5f sprint.
The first horse to achieve such a feat was Paris House (Petong) in 1991, and most recent the talented Happy Romance in 2020. She had finished fifth in the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) before going onto gather her Super Sprint success.
Her Newbury victory has heralded a fine career for the daughter of Dandy Man. As a two-year-old she went onto claim even more riches, including victory in the Group 3 Dick Poole Stakes and the valuable Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes, and also picked up a fourth placing in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
This year she has travelled to the Middle East to run the race of her life when second to A Case Of You in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1). She runs in today’s Hackwood Stakes and is looking for repeat success in the race after victory in the Group 3 last year.
Happy Romance (pictured) is a great example of a Super Sprint winner – a fast filly, she has now won over £600,000 in prize-money earnings, has some top class black-type to her name and yet was bought for just £25,000 at the Goffs UK Premier Sale in 2019.
Of all the races for two-year-olds at Royal Ascot, the Queen Mary has the greatest history of success at Newbury, perhaps reflective of the great record that fast fillies have in the Super Sprint – five runners in the fillies’ Group 2 have gone on to enjoy victory in the Newbury sprint.
The connections of this year’s leading Super Sprint contender Maria Branwell, who finished a good third in the Queen Mary, will be hoping that trend continues.
She is trained by David O’Meara for the Bronte Collection, and the team will optimistic that the filly can go two places better after her fine effort when third behind Dramatised and Maylandsea at Royal Ascot.
She hails from a fast juvenile family and is a great granddaughter of First Waltz, who won the Prix Morny at Deauville in 1987. Her unraced dam Princess Pearl, who is by the good broodmare sire Teofilo, is a half-sister to Samminder, who won Newbury’s Listed 6f Carnarvon Stakes in 2012.
She was bred in Ireland by young breeders Barry Kennedy and Anna Murphy, who sold her through Rigsdale Stud at the Goffs Autumn Sale for €22,000. Princess Pearl had a Zoffany filly last year, who was bought as a foal last autumn for €40,000 by the Irish-based Ballyphilip Stud. It is a farm that already has strong connections with the Super Sprint as breeder of the popular 2014 winner Tiggy Wiggy, a daughter of Kodiac and also a graduate from the Queen Mary.
Princess Pearl did not have a foal this year, but she is back in-foal to Footstepsinthesand.
Maria Branwell is the leading runner so far for this year’s first-season sire James Garfield, who himself had a particular liking for Newbury’s track. He won two Group races on his only two outings at the Berkshire course winning the Mill Reef Stakes (G2) as a two-year-old and then taking the Greenham Stakes (G3) on his debut at three.
First-season sires have a good record in the Super Sprint (five winners since 1998) and are well represented in this year’s race with six runners by sires whose first crop are two-year-olds of 2022.
Whitsbury Manor Stud’s Havana Grey, who has had 25 winners this year and is heading the European first-season sires’ list, has two contenders – the Middleham Park Racing-owned Eddie’s Boy, a 45,000gns purchase at the Tattersalls Somerville Sale, and Union Court.
Both colts ran in Royal Ascot’s Listed Windsor Castle Stakes (a race that has produced four Super Sprint winners) with Eddie’s Boy finishing a good third behind the Aiden O’Brien-trained winner Little Big Bear and Rocket Rodney.
Union Court, trained by Ed Walker and bought last autumn for 18,000gns at the Tattersalls October Book 3 Sale from breeder Whitsbury Manor Stud and Mrs Slade, is a dual winner and finished in mid-division at Royal Ascot.
The Oak Lodge Stud-based young sire Unfortunately, winner of the Prix Morny, had a winner at Catterick this week and his Super Sprint runner is Looking For Lynda, who is out of the Dutch Art mare Designated and is trained by Karl Burke. She was a winner over 5f at Nottingham in May and was bought as a yearling by Burke for 12,000gns at the Tattersalls Somerville Sale.
Claretina, a winner in June, is a daughter of Shadwell Stud’s Tasleet, who also had a winner in the week and enjoyed a fabulous Royal Ascot – he got off the Group race-winning mark courtesy of Bradsell, winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. Claretina, out of the Noverre mare Messelina, was picked up by trainer Richard Fahey for 11,500gns at the Tattersalls December Sale from Overbury Stud.
The most well-represented stallion in the Super Sprint field is Darley Stud’s King’s Stand Stakes (G1) winner Profitable, who is now a second-season sire. He has four runners, and the quartet looks to be headed up by the Richard Hannon-trained Swift Asset, a £50,000 Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock purchase at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale. The colt has run twice and won at Windsor at the end of June.
The most expensive yearling purchase in the field is Miami Girl (Cotai Glory), who was €62,000 at the Goffs Sportsman Sale, also bought by Doyle Bloodstock, one of four in the field bought by the father and son bloodstock agency. The filly is also trained by Hannon, who is the leading Super Sprint trainer with seven winners on his record. Miami Girl finished a good fifth in the Queen Mary and has already won since when successful at Windsor on June 25.
One of the cheapest in the field is Rogue Spirit, a son of leading sire Dark Angel and bred by Sun Bloodstock. The colt was found at the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale by trainer Tom Clover and JS Bloodstock and the colt’s 11,000gns purchase price looks money well spent – he has run three times, winning twice and finished second between his successful outings.
He has already earned more in prize-money than his purchase price and could add to his earnings’ pot again today.