Five key talking points from the Ebor meeting
Idaho: St Leger trip should hold no fears for the son of Galileo
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos) Five key talking points from the Ebor meeting
By Martin Stevens 12:59PM 21 AUG 2016
1 Mecca's Angel a top broodmare prospect, but who will breed from her?
Owner David Metcalfe and trainer Michael Dods have a mare of immense value on their hands after Mecca's Angel confirmed herself one of the best sprint fillies of recent years by recording back-to-back victories in the Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday.
The five-year-old daughter of Dark Angel would surely fetch a sum well into seven figures at public auction, as she has enormous talent and a pedigree free of Sadler's Wells and Danzig that makes her easy to mate.
Perhaps a buyer would have a mating with Galileo in mind for her, as the multiple champion sire has excelled when sent classy sprinters – this week's Yorkshire Oaks heroine Seventh Heaven, out of 6f Grade 3 winner La Traviata, being a case in point – and the first daughters of Dark Angel's sire Acclamation at paddocks have produced Group 3 winner Chilworth Icon and 2,000 Guineas runner-up Massaat when sent to Galileo sons Sixties Icon and Teofilo.
Whatever Mecca's Angel makes when sold on to new owners, it will be a very large multiple of the 16,000gns it took Dods to buy her at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2012.
Also set for a big payday in the coming months is Mecca's Angel's breeder Yeomanstown Stud, which has a grey yearling sister to offer at Book 1 in October. It sold another sister for 825,000gns at last year's sale.
2 Queen Kindly completes a Lowther family treble
It is not that common to see a prestigious contest won by three successive generations of males in a pedigree, when stallions can produce hundreds of foals in a lifetime. So when a granddam, dam and her offspring all win the same big race, with a mare generally able to produce only one foal per season, the achievement is something special indeed.
The remarkable feat was completed on Thursday when Frankel filly Queen Kindly scored in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes, the same race won by her dam Lady Of The Desert seven years ago and her granddam Queen's Logic in 2001.
The question now is whether Queen Kindly will have the stamina for a 1,000 Guineas challenge next season. Trainer Richard Fahey is not convinced, saying after the race "you'd be worried by the pedigree on the dam's side", but there are grounds for optimism.
Lady Of The Desert certainly relished sprinting, winning the Diadem Stakes and finishing second in the Haydock Sprint Cup and Prix de l'Abbaye, but Queen's Logic looked as though she would take all the beating in the 1,000 Guineas having dotted up in the Fred Darling Stakes as a trial before being ruled out of the Classic due to injury.
Queen's Logic is also a half-sister to runaway 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen who, incidentally, looks to have a live Classic hope of her own as her first foal First Of Spring easily made it two from two in a Deauville conditions race for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and owner Joseph Allen on Thursday.
Of course, Queen Kindly's Guineas claims are also enhanced by the identity of her sire, who blitzed his rivals in the 2,000 Guineas and proved equally as exceptional over 1m2f.
3 Abingdon advertises the riches available at Ballymacoll Stud
With the historic Ballymacoll Stud and its portfolio of prestigious bloodstock set to be sold within the next two years, the Listed Galtres Stakes on Thursday provided a fine advertisement to potential buyers of the operation's long-nurtured bloodlines.
The contest was won by Ballymacoll homebred Abingdon, a Street Cry filly out of the Galileo mare Justlookdontouch, an unraced three-parts sister to dual Yorkshire Oaks and Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf heroine Islington and to German Group 1 scorer Greek Dance.
Justlookdontouch is out of Ballymacoll's iconic blue hen Hellenic, a Yorkshire Oaks winner herself who produced five stakes winners and also features as ancestress of Melbourne Cup hero Fiorente and Gold Cup second Patkai.
Abingdon is only her first foal, so she must now rank as one of the more valuable broodmares available to buyers. Especially so as she has a Kingman filly foal on the ground and is back in foal to the star miler.
4 Idaho hails from a top family and should stay the St Leger trip
Idaho looks the rightful St Leger favourite after his smooth success in the Great Voltigeur Stakes on Wednesday, and a glance at his pedigree suggests the trip at Doncaster next month should hold no fears for the son of Galileo.
The colt with a sharp turn of foot is a brother to Highland Reel, a dual Group 1 winner over 1m4f, out of a Danehill mare who was Group 2-placed over an extended 1m4f in Australia and Group 1-placed over 1m2f.
His granddam Circles Of Gold won the 1m4f Group 1 AJC Oaks and also produced the top miler Haradasun and the remarkable Elvstroem, who won top-level contests between 7f and 1m4f. Brilliant sprinter Starspangledbanner is another family member.
Although there may be no confirmed staying stars in the family, when you consider Galileo gets classy middle-distance performers out of sprinting mares – Adelaide and Magician for example – there is no reason why Idaho should not stay.
5 US-breds in form and could reward bargain hunters
With progeny of War Front mopping up big juvenile races and other US-breds Caravaggio, Hawkbill, Lady Aurelia and Tepin scooping big pots this season, the often trotted-out statement that American bloodlines have nothing to offer European owners is looking more and more like a canard.
US-breds fared well again at York this week. First, Syphax took the scalp of Best Of Days with a strong late run in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes on Wednesday. The Kevin Ryan-trained colt is by Arch, who has a solid transatlantic record having supplied the likes of Arch Rebel, Arch Swing, Les Arcs and Pomology in Europe, out of a US turf winner by Kingmambo.
He was bought as a yearling by Chad Schumer Bloodstock on behalf of Brown Island Stables for just $25,000 at Keeneland and resold to Stephen Hillen at the Arqana Breeze-Up for €100,000.
Nemoralia then ran out a comfortable winner of the Group 3 City of York Stakes on Friday, having finished second in the Coronation Stakes and fourth in the Prix Jean Prat this season.
She is by WinStar Farm resident More Than Ready – also on the mark in Europe this year with Superlative Stakes scorer Boynton – out of a stakes-winning Came Home mare.
Trainer Jeremy Noseda paid the not insignificant but far from eye-watering sum of $170,000 for Nemoralia as a two-year-old at Ocala.
It may be the case that with some having turned their back on US-breds, those who have kept the faith are finding better bargains than ever.