Rhona Beck of Highlands Stud Farm and partners are proud to announce the purchase of undefeated Irish Champion Two-Year-Old Pathfork for stud duties in South Africa. Pathfork will stand at Highlands on behalf of a syndicate and will be managed by John Freeman.
Mrs. Beck added: “I am delighted Highlands has acquired Pathfork. He brings the best of American pedigrees, strengthened through Sadler’s Wells’ influence in Europe and one of the best sire producing lines available, to mares in South Africa. I’m confident his tremendous talent and excellent conformation will be the perfect complement to mares owned by South African breeders.”
Pathfork was the highest rated 2yo in Ireland in 2010 and one of the top 5 in the world. Trained by Jessica Harrington in Ireland he was undefeated in 3 races as a juvenile with an official Timeform Rating of 120. Right from day one he was impressive, so much so that Timeform reported of his first visit to the track that “Pathfork must have been showing plenty at home to line up for his first visit to the races as hot favourite – the manner in which he showed off his rival Robin Hood and 12 others was impressive”.
He broke his maiden in July by 4 lengths easing up over 7f. His 2nd start In August took him to the Gr2 Galileo Futurity Stakes which he won by 1½ lengths (also over 1400m). He went back to the Curragh a month later with yet another step up in class to win the Gr1 Vincent O’Brien Stakes – ‘The National Stakes’ “in the style of a horse who has plenty of improvement still in him, leading on the bridle over a furlong out and in no danger after wards to win comfortably by a length and a half from Glor Na Mara”. Here he again took on an illustrious field which included Zoffany and Casamento.
He was crowned Irish Champion Two Year Old as the highest rated 2yo in Ireland that season. Undefeated in 3 starts – maiden won by 5l, Gr2 won by 1 ½ l and Gr1 winner by a length.
He went into the Guineas rated 121p to face Frankel, Roderick O’Connor, Native Khan etc. Short of a prep run he didn’t feature and was sent to USA to be prepared for the Breeders Cup. He didn’t suit the style of training or the racing surface in America and the decision was taken to retire him.
He is a big strong attractive colt and is a very smart mover. We have a video his races and one of him walking in the parade ring – “it’s enough to send shivers up your spine – he moves like a leopard”.
John Freeman said that he had been searching for a stallion of Pathfork’s class for a very long time – he first made contact with the horse after the Guineas last year and kept track right up until his owners agreed to retire him. “It was a dream come true when the owners realised that sending him to race on the sand in America was the wrong thing to do. Antony Beck helped conclude the deal in direct contact with the owners whom he knew. The whole deal fell into place over-night and we were able to beat rival bidders at the post” said Freeman, who also syndicated and manages Dynasty at Highlands Stud Farm.
Jessica Harrington during an interview with John Freeman heaped praise on her former champion. She got him as a 2yo and said that he was “a very straight forward horse right from the start and just got on with his business. His class was evident from the first time we worked him – a very easy mover. Always 100% sound and the most beautiful walker. Magnificently conformed. Wonderfully relaxed horse, even a child could ride him”.
This is one of the top Niarchos families known for precocity and soundness.
PATHFORK – 16.1hh, b.c. (TFR 119 at 2yrs)
By Distorted Humour – Visions of Clarity by Sadler’s Wells out of Imperfect Circle by Riverman out of Aviance by Northfields
Undefeated – Champion 2yo in Ireland
- His Sire: Distorted Humour – Champion Sire and leading sire in USA 2011 – 12 Gr1 winners incl 2011 Gr1 Breeders Cup Classic winner – Drosselmeyer. Sire of ten or more stakes winners every year.
- His Dam: Visions of Clarity – a stakes wining three parts sister to Spinning World, Top rated 3yo miler in Ireland in 1996, Champion Older miler in Europe in 1997 – won 8 races 2 to 4 years incl 4 x Gr1 and who from just 545 live foals produced an incredible 41 individual Stakes winners, including 8 Gr1 winners and an impressive record of 64.5% winners to runners.
- All of the first 3 dams are stakes winners and 2 have Gr1 form and all either produced a Gr1 winner and/or a Champion.
- Immediate Family of Gr1 winners: Aviance (Pathfork’s great grandam), Denon (4x Gr1 wins), Chimes of Freedom (2x Gr1 wins), Aldebaran (8x Gr1 wins), Saddex (2x Gr1 wins).
- The same family as: Nijinsky II, Northern Guest, El Gran Senor, Try My Best, Malinowski, Northern Guest, Redoute’s Choice, Far North, The Minstrel, Last Tycoon, Masterclass etc.
- Pedigree Rated A++ by Truenicks