The Weatherbys ePassport Pipalong Stakes – Pedigree Profiles

We are delighted to again be sponsoring the Weatherbys ePassport Pipalong Stakes, and in this piece Martin Stevens provides some important pedigree pointers.

Pipalong was the perfect poster girl for breeding and buying on a budget, giving hope to smaller operators everywhere.

Bred by Yeomanstown Stud, she was by the farm’s own inexpensive and sadly short-lived sire Pips Pride out of the non-winning Green Desert mare Limpopo, who was discarded for just 9,000gns a year after giving birth to the filly.

Pipalong was sold to cash for 7,000gns as a yearling in Newmarket and joined the stable of Tim Easterby. Carrying the silks of Tom Bennett, who owned her in partnership with Marjorie Easterby, she stormed to a 12-length victory on debut at Ripon at two and finished second in the Queen Mary Stakes and Cherry Hinton Stakes and landed the Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy later that season.

Pipalong developed into a top sprinter, winning the Great St Wilfrid Handicap and Wentworth Stakes at three, the Palace House Stakes, Cecil Frail Stakes and Haydock Sprint Cup at four, and the Duke of York Stakes at five.

She also ran third in the July Cup, Nunthorpe and back-to-back renewals of the Prix de l’Abbaye.

The filly who had been bred and bought for such minimal sums retired with more than £420,000 in prize-money, and was sold as a breeding prospect for 600,000gns. She became a member of the Coolmore broodmare band and clicked with champion sire Danehill Dancer to produce Anglesey Stakes winner and Phoenix Stakes third Walk On Bye.

Pipalong’s progress from upstart to aristocrat is reflected in the Weatherbys ePassport-sponsored Listed contest over a mile at Pontefract that is named in her honour, as it is regularly contested by blueblooded fillies and mares.

This year’s edition, staged on Tuesday, is no exception. In fact, the likely favourite is one of the best bred females in training in Europe.

Doha, who won the Kensington Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, is by Sea The Stars out of her owner-breeder Al Shaqab Racing’s outstanding dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve.

The dam hasn’t excelled at paddocks so far, as shown by the fact that Doha is bidding to become her first black-type offspring of any kind, but she has every chance of doing so, as she won fluently last time and is still unexposed for Ralph Beckett.

Both the Kensington Palace Stakes sixth Elim, an Ed Bethell-trained Make Believe filly from the family of champions Belardo and Danaskaya, and ninth Villanova Queen, a Jessica Harrington-trained Mastercraftsman mare out of an unraced half-sister to Sussex Stakes hero Here Comes When, re-oppose Doha in the Pipalong Stakes.

Astral Beau, runner-up to Charyn in the Doncaster Mile in March and a close fifth in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom last month, also has a pretty impressive pedigree. She is by Brazen Beau out of Asteroidea, a winning daughter of Sea The Stars and her indomitable owner-breeder-trainer Pam Sly’s rags-to-riches 1000 Guineas victress Speciosa.

Choisya, who has run well in Listed contests at Kempton and Goodwood this term for Simon and Ed Crisford, is another well bred contender. She is a Night Of Thunder half-sister to dual Listed winner Pelerin (third in the Pipalong Stakes in 2015), Fillies’ Mile fourth Masarah and Listed-placed Base Note.

Naaey is an interesting runner for John and Thady Gosden. The daughter of Lope De Vega and the Listed-placed Oasis Dream mare Materialistic has run only twice, and not since winning a Wolverhampton novice stakes last August.

Dora Milaje is also unexposed and could be anything. Elwick Stud’s homebred four-year-old filly, sent out by David O’Meara to win a Haydock handicap last month, is by her owner and breeder’s Woodbine Mile and Arlington Million winner Mondialiste and is out of Barefoot Contessa, an unraced Dansili half-sister to Poule d’Essai des Pouliches heroine Beauty Parlour.

The Roger Varian-trained Strong Impact, fourth behind Dore Milaje last time when receiving 2lb, will likely line up for this year's Pipalong Stakes as an outsider but she also has a decent page. She is by Saxon Warrior out of Cascella, a winning daughter of Iffraaj and Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed Lily’s Angel.

Caernarfon, trained by Jack Channon for breeder Hunscote Stud and partners, has been out of form this season but boasts the best bit of form overall. The Cityscape full-sister to Fred Darling Stakes winner Dan’s Dream finished third behind Soul Sister and Savethelastdance in last year’s Oaks, beaten just two lengths in total.