- Print & Publishing
- Sales & Marketing
- Racing Division
- Stud Book
- Horse Passports
- DNA Lab
Godolphin Mile (Group 2) Tapeta
African Story rounded off a highly successful Dubai campaign with a commanding four length win over his 12 rivals in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile.
Trained by Andre Fabre for Sheikh Mohammed before relocating to Godolphin’s Dubai base under the watchful eye of Saeed Bin Suroor, African Story has proved a consistent and class horse at Group level, only once failing to make the frame in his 12 starts.
Out of Blixen (Gone West), a juvenile winner over six furlongs, African Story appears to be an effortless blend of his sire Pivotal’s class and speed with his dam line’s stamina. Blixen may have only raced on three occasions, but a place in the seven furlong Listed Flame of Tara Tyros Stakes in the July of her two-year-old season suggests she too would have found a mile or more her optimum trip. Storybook, a Halling half-sister to Saturday’s winner, also thrived over a mile, though her full sibling Sensibility claimed a sole victory over 12 furlongs, a trip beyond that preferred by both sire and dam.
Second dam Danish (Danehill), excelled over middle distances, winning the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup over nine furlongs sandwiched in between top flight places at a mile and a quarter. Full-brother Hawkeye however never recaptured his Group-winning form when stepping up first in company then trip from eight furlongs, though some notable Group/Grade 1 places do fill his race record at up to a mile and a half.
Sybillin, a Half-brother to the pair by Henbit, found his forte in the winter code, winning on eight occasions over hurdles and six times over fences, including the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase following his Arkle third earlier the same year.
The dam of this trio, Tea House (Sassafras), is a half-sister to Jamaican Punch (Shareef Dancer), third dam of triple Group 1 winner Rip Van Winkle.
After Saturday’s performance, a step up in class may well be on the cards for African Story to see if he too can add another top-flight win to the pedigree. Having held three-time Grade 1 scorer Richard’s Kid back in fourth by six lengths the idea is not an outlandish one, though given his success over the winter on synthetic surfaces, perhaps the next campaign may take him across the pond. Watch this space.
Dubai Gold Cup (Group 3) Turf
The Dubai Gold Cup was not without its controversy, and put a dampener on what is one of the greatest nights in the flat calendar for all concerned. Away from the sad loss of three runners however, few would begrudge eventual winner Opinion Poll his latest victory.
Now six years old, a veteran in flat terms, Opinion Poll has long been a favourite on the stayers scene, having claimed back-to-back victories in York’s Lonsdale Cup, winning the Goodwood Cup in between and throwing in an Ascot Gold Cup second for good measure.
Mile and middle distance victories are commonplace on both sides of his pedigree, but those over 12 furlongs less so. Halling, a five-time Group 1 winner and sire of Opinion Poll, has so far enjoyed two top-flight titles through his progeny, those being the 10½f Prix Ganay by Cutlass Bay and Cavalryman’s Grand Prix de Paris win. Of his thirteen Group 2 performers, many have followed suit, but one, Franklins Gardens, earned his sire a stayers victory before the arrival of Opinion Poll when winning the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup.
Ahead, the Shirley Heights dam of Opinion Poll, ran solely over 12 furlongs during her Classic season, winning once and placing twice, including third in the Group 3 Princess Royal Stakes following a fifth place behind Salsabil in the Oaks. Of her seven winning produce, Capitano Corelli (Sadler’s Wells), full sister Isadora and Golden Era (Machiavellian) have all done so at a mile and a half, though the latter also won at up to a mile and three quarters. Horatio, a full sister, went the opposite direction however, winning the Grade 3 Vinery Matchmaker Stakes over nine furlongs in addition to those at eight and ten; her winning produce have all done so at a mile or less.
Perhaps the most notable name in the pedigree belongs to a sibling of Ahead, Markofdistinction (Known Fact), the former Champion Older Miler in Europe and winner of the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. His Shirley Heights sister Criquette however returned to the more familiar middle-distance territory of the family at four, having missed her three-year-old season and won over seven furlongs at two. Now at stud, her own produce have followed in her footsteps, including Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Flying Cloud (Storming Home).
So whilst there may not be any obvious link through the generations leading to the stamina-laden Opinion Poll, one thing this family is not lacking in is class, and the step up from 12 to 16 furlongs is not an unimaginable one in pedigree terms. Perhaps next on the cards for Opinion Poll will be to once again try a step up from Group 2 to Group 1 with a return to Royal Ascot?
UAE Derby (Group 2) Tapeta
Scat Daddy, the dual Grade 1-winning second season sire, enjoyed a bountiful start to the new season last week as first Daddy Nose Best won the Sunland Derby, before Daddy Long Legs atoned for his Breeders’ Cup disappointment with a comfortable win in the UAE Derby.
Run on Tapeta, Scat Daddy has certainly so far gained better results on synthetic surfaces, but a three and a quarter length win at Newmarket in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes by Daddy Long Legs has certainly proven this particular colt can handle both; as such, Aidan O’Brien has currently entered Michael Tabor’s charge in both the English and Irish Guineas, plus the Irish Derby. There are high hopes indeed for this one at Ballydoyle, and Saturday’s victory may well have helped erase some question marks over his stamina.
Scat Daddy recorded his furthest trip over nine furlongs in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, while Dream Maiden, dam of Daddy Long Legs, recorded her victories from six to eight furlongs. Likewise Tres Dream (Chester House), her most successful produce before the arrival of Daddy Long Legs, won five times during her career from five and a half to seven furlongs. Lake Ontario (Johannesburg) however, Dream Maiden’s 2008 foal, has to date won up to ten furlongs, a trip over which second dam Sparrow Lake (Apalachee) also scored one of her seven wins. Irish Lake, an Irish Tower half-brother to Dreamy Maiden enjoyed a long and successful career, posting 11 wins and 10 places, all around the mile mark.
Third dam Stray Flight (Viceregal) and her ten-time winning son Ever Steady (Steady Growth) also hugged the mile marker closely in their respective careers, all of which bodes well for a Guineas tilt by Daddy Long Legs, but it remains to be seen whether the Derby trip will suit, being an extra quarter of a mile beyond Saturday’s contest. When it comes to Irish Derby winners however, O’Brien is certainly no novice; it’s fair to say if Daddy Long Legs lines up, he won’t be without a chance.
Al Quoz Sprint (Group 1) Turf
The land Down Under is not only famous for barbies, beers and beaches (though all of these can be enjoyed on even the briefest of trips), many a world-class sprinter has also hailed from the shores of Australia, from the like of Royal Ascot raider Choisir and his son Starspangledbanner, to current sensation Black Caviar. It should perhaps come as little surprise then that the Al Quoz Sprint winner Ortensia should have been born and raised in Australia too.
Turning seven in August, the daughter of Testa Rossa was making her 23rdstart on Saturday, which in less than a minute turned into an eleventh win. It was also a second Group 1 status victory, and with fellow top-flight winners Sole Power, Margot Did and Prohibit amongst the other 14 contenders, the race was a hot one for the daughter of Testa Rossa.
While there’s no debate over the ability of Ortensia’s six-time Group 1-winning sprinter sire to endow his offspring with similar speedy traits, the dam line from which she descends is less eminent as a source of winners. Aerate’s Pick (Picnicker), the unraced dam of Ortensia, is a full sister to Intelligent Star, winner of Caulfield’s Group 3 Rubiton Stakes over five furlongs, yet interestingly Glogirl (General Nediym), the 2003 foal out of Aerate’s Pick, scored her three victories between nine and eleven furlongs; while the latter’s sire was primarily a sprinter, he did finish a close third in the 1997 Caulfield Guineas. Blaze The Turf, a Blazing Sword half-sister to Aerate’s Pick, fell more into the family trend, winning from five and a half to seven furlongs, including the Group 3 Autumn Stakes.
Though Aerate (Loosen Up), the dam of these and five other winners, failed to mark the scoreboard herself, on the whole those in this particular dam line to hit the track do so with ability aplenty. Ortensia now takes her rightful place as the most successful of these performers, and will surely have earned a dalliance with any sire the world over once her first career comes to an end.
Golden Shaheen (Group 1) Tapeta
Won impressively by Krypton Factor who responded well under Kieron Fallon’s familiar urgings to defeat multiple Group 1 winner Rocket Man easily by just over 2 lengths. His sire, Kyllachy, has had something of a purple patch in the last few seasons with the likes of Sole Power winning the Nunthorpe and indeed his 2yo crop from last season included Group 2 winner Dragon Pulse and smart European sprinters, Noble Hachy and Stepper Point.
Krypton Factor is out of the smart Listed-winning sprinter Cool Question (Polar Falcon) and she in turn was the first and only blacktype performer for her dam, the Listed placed Quiz Time (Efisio). The damline goes back to some useful sprinting Canadian performers, so there is no doubt that he has improved with racing and for the switch to an all-weather surface given his lineage.
A thoroughly decent advert for his sire, who rarely has runners on these shores, Krypton Factor has risen steadily through the ranks from Handicap to Group 1 company with consummate ease and there’s no doubting he hasn’t stopped improving yet and while we are unlikey to see him in the UK again, he could well turn up for some of the big Group 1 events in Singapore and Hong Kong
Dubai Duty Free (Group 1) Turf
Cityscape produced one of his most improved performances to date to land the first Group 1 of his career. Bred to be decent, his grandam, Didina was a top level US Graded performer from one of the most notable lines in the stud book. Her grandam Monroe, was not only a smart sprinter in Ireland, but also the dam of Champion 2yo Xaar.
Didina’s daughter, Tantina had somewhat of a short but distinguished career on the track winning her first four races impressively including a five length demolition of a useful field in the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster. Although beaten on her final start, she entered stud with high expectation. Her first foal, Scuffle (Daylami) was a decent high level handicapper who managed a third in an all-weather Listed race at Kempton.
Her third foal was the talented Group 1 placed sprinter, Bated Breath (Dansili). In between, Tantina produced a good looking chesnut colt by Selkirk named Cityscape. Highly tried as a 2yo, he contested the Group 2 Royal Lodge where he was narrowly beaten by Jukebox Jury. Restricted to just four starts as a 3yo, he did win a Listed race and a Group 3 and since then, hasn’t looked back.
A good second to Dick Turpin at four on his seasonal bow, he was narrowly beaten by Canford Cliffs and Goldikova in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and after a blip in the Prix Jacques Le Marois finishing 8th, he hasn’t finished out of the first two since, including two Group 3 victories and an excellent second to Able One in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile on his latest start.
Dubai Sheema Classic (Group 1) Turf
Cirrus Des Aigles lived up to his remarkably consistent reputation on Saturday when adding the second Group 1 of his career to a long line of top-class performances. In 41 races, he has only been out of the money twice, in fact his worst performances have all come in Japan and Hong Kong which to some would suggest he isn’t the greatest of travellers, however, this was his first start in Dubai and he relished it, hanging on grimly to defeat globetrotter St Nicholas Abbey.
He is the only blacktype performer on the flat for his sire, Even Top and the first blacktype winner in three generations on his dam side. A pedigree that is more akin to the jumps than to the flat, his damline stretches back to the likes of Lord Gayle, Honeyway and Persian Bold. More recently, this line has produced Moss Vale, Meath, Bankable and Chandlery.
Dubai World Cup (Group 1) Tapeta
Two years ago, Monterosso won a handicap off 83 at Ripon, on Saturday, he took the world’s richest race by three lengths. Hard to quantify, but in real terms he is a horse who was progressing with every run. From those lowly handicaps, he went onto win the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot and the Dubai City of Gold (Group 2) in Meydan at last year’s carnival before finishing 3rdin the Dubai World Cup.
He is by Dubawi who has been a revelation at stud, siring performers over a variety of trips. Monterosso is out of the 6/7f Group 1 performer in Australia, Porto Roca. This is predominantly an Australian line and his 2nddam produced Queensland Derby winner, Bluebird The Word.
He is bred on a Mr Prospector/Sadler’s Wells cross that has produced so many blacktype performers including the English Derby winner, Workforce. His pedigree also crosses half-brothers Never Bend and Bold Reason a cross that has made Sadler’s Wells have so much success with Darshaan. Dubawi’s broodmare sire is Deploy, grandson of Shirley Heights, sire of Darshaan.