First Group 1 winner for Darley’s Helmet
Helmet: son of Exceed And Excel stood for £8,000 in 2016
PICTURE: RP GRAPHICS First Group 1 winner for first-season sire Helmet
By James Thomas 2:32PM 30 OCT 2016
DARLEY SHUTTLER Helmet supplied his first top-level winner when his two-year-old son Thunder Snow bolted up by five lengths to land the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud on Sunday.
Bred by Darley, Thunder Snow became the fourth black-type winner produced by Eastern Joy, a Dubai Destination half-sister to the 2007 Prix de Diane winner West Wind, following in the footsteps of his half-sisters Ithimal – a Group 2-winning daughter of Shamardal, Oh So Sharp Stakes winner First Victory and Listed winner Always Smile.
He had previously finished runner-up in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes and Champagne Stakes, and was fourth to Churchill in the Dewhurst Stakes on his first attempt at Group 1 level on his penultimate start.
The eight-year-old son of Exceed And Excel has shuttled to Dalham Hall from his southern hemisphere base at Northwood Park for each of the four breeding seasons in 2013, and stood for £8,000 during the 2016 campaign.
Thunder Snow may be the sire's first top-level winner and first European Stakes winner, but Helmet has already supplied Australian Group 3 winner Archives.
He has also sired 16 individual winners in Europe throughout the 2016 season, including the likes of Group 3-placed pair Mur Hiba and Eqtiraan.
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