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Encke breaks Ballydoyle hearts in the Ladbrokes St Leger

Bloodstock Bites

Mon, 17 September 2012

Hopes of a fairytale ending to Camelot’s Classic reign may have dominated the headlines, but his defeat by another racing dynasty added a scintillating twist to the tale.

  • A sold-out crowd at Doncaster waited in the September sun with almost unbearable anticipation for their chance to see a first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky achieved the feat over 30 years ago. Alas, it was not to be on this occasion, with Camelot missing his chance to become a true legend as Godolphin’s Encke (Kingmambo) defied his 25/1 odds when overturning the thus-far unbeaten son of Montjeu by three quarters of a length. Celebrations will have been plentiful for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, winning the race for a sixth time and thrice more under the name of His Royal Highness, but the result also proved a victory for the Aga Khan, from whom the dam of Saturday’s winner was purchased.
  • Shawanda (Sinndar) was bred by and raced for the Aga Khan, taking in seven races as a three-year-old and winning five, including the Group 1 Irish Oaks and Prix Vermeille. At the conclusion of her Classic campaign Shawanda transferred to Darley ownership, with the first foal from her second career the Group 2 Sandown Classic Trial winner Genius Beast (Kingmambo). The family from which Shawanda descends has been a stable of the Aga Khan’s breeding operation for some time, and enjoyed a second Group 1 success over the weekend courtesy of recent Yorkshire Oaks heroine Shareta, who comfortably accounted for her 12 rivals in Sunday’s Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp. The four-year-old filly, by Sinndar, is out of the Listed winner Shawara (Barathea), a half-sister to Shawanda.
  • Montjeu, sire of Camelot, may have missed out on a big Saturday win, but stablemate High Chaparral posted something of a surprise victory after his son Toronado defeated Acomb Stakes winner and odds-on favourite Dundonnell (First Defence) in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes. The Richard Hannon-trained colt now remains unbeaten in three starts, with plenty of options for the remainder of this season’s calendar, including a return trip to Doncaster for the Racing Post Trophy, the Dewhurst, or perhaps a tilt in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.
  • The accolades didn’t stop there for Coolmore’s shuttle stallion however, as over 3,400 miles away and 24 hours later, Wigmore Hall returned to the scene of his greatest victory to perform an encore when winning back-to-back runnings of the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes. Partnered by Jamie Spencer, the Michael Bell-trained gelding stayed on strongly to hold off Al Khali (Medaglia D’Oro) by a neck to give his sire a third consecutive win in the event, following Redwood’s 2010 triumph.
  • Back in Europe, Dawn Approach maintained his unbeaten run and provided freshman sire New Approach with a first Group 1 at the Curragh on Saturday. An impressive display under Kevin Manning saw the colt easily account for his six rivals in the renamed Vincent O’Brien Stakes, a race won by his sire in its days as the National Stakes. The colt, whose full-sister is entered in October’s Goffs Orby Yearling Sale, is now clear favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas.
  • It was revealed earlier in the week that Monsun, a three-time Group 1 winner and successful sire, had been put down after suffering from a neurological disease. The son of Konigsstuhl retired after his five-year-old career and quickly proved as adept at stud following the German Derby win by first crop runner Samum. Since that early triumph many more have followed, both as a sire, broodmare sire and sire of sires, Manduro and Shirocco continuing to fly the flag in the latter category. For a full tribute to Gestut Schlenderhan’s flagship sire, click here.
  • In similar news, 2003 Derby hero Kris Kin died at his new home in Libya last week. The former Sir Michael Stoute-trained stallion broke his neck after trying to jump a gate, less than a month after arriving in the country from Italy. The subject of a massive gamble after being re-entered in the Derby at a cost of £90,000, the son of Kris S duly took hold of the race half a furlong out to beat The Great Gatsby (Sadler’s Wells) by a length. Though never winning again, his Derby victory and subsequent King George third earned him a place at Derrinstown Stud in Ireland, before moving to Morristown Lattin and then on to Italy.
  • An extra day of selling at the DBS St Leger sale returned comparable figures to the single session in 2011, though it was notably tough at the lower end of the market, as demonstrated by the 61% clearance rate; last year’s stood at 67%, whilst the recent Premier Yearlings Sale boasted an impressive 85%. Nevertheless, the average dropped by just 9% to £9,046, with the median only falling £1,000 to £7,000. The National Stud stallions proved a hit, with a Bahamian Bounty filly claiming top lot honours when selling to Peter Swann for £34,000, whilst a colt by his son Pastoral Pursuits followed close behind, taking fifth place on the board after fetching £25,000.