Green Desert, whose biggest win came in the Gr1 July Cup (over 1200m) is the grandsire of three of the first four home in Sunday’s Gr3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes. Run at Ascot, the Cumberland Lodge is 2400m race.
Winner Laaheb is a son of Green Desert sire Cape Cross as is fourth place finish Halicarnassus, whilst third place finisher, Monitor Closely, is by Green Desert horse Oasis Dream. Cape Cross himself never won over further than a mile, whilst both Green Desert and Oasis Dream were out and out sprinters.
On the same day, the Listed Fenwolf Stakes (over 3200 meters) was won by a Stravinsky mare, Fictional Account. Stravinsky himself was a great sprinter, winning both the July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes.
Earlier in the year, the 2400 meter German Derby was won by Buzzword, a son of high-class sprinter Pivotal.
It is difficult to understand quite how stallions such as Oasis Dream and Pivotal are proving sources of high-class mile and a half horses, but this is clearly the case.
Frankel to reverse recent trend
The unbeaten Frankel (Galileo) has history to contend with as a winner of the Gr2 Royal Lodge Stakes. Whilst past winners have included subsequent Epsom Derby winners Shirley Heights and Benny The Dip, recent Royal Lodge winners have a somewhat lower profile. In the last 20 years, just two Royal Lodge winners, Mister Baileys (Robellino) and Benny The Dip (Silver Hawk), have won classic races, although the 2003 winner, Snow Ridge (Indian Ridge), was runner up in the 2000 Guineas. Since 1996, only one Royal Lodge winner, Jukebox Jury (Montjeu), has gone on to capture a Group/Grade One race.
Frankel is one of a growing number of high-class racehorses bred on the Galileo-Danehill cross. Top-class horses bred on this cross include the high-class South African filly Sidera, champion and unbeaten juvenile Teofilo, Italian Derby winner Cima de Triomphe, stakes winner Miss Galilei and the Group One placed Banc de Fortune.
He is also yet another top-class juvenile sired by Galileo (also sire of Fillies Mile runner up Together). Galileo’s prowess as a sire of top 2yos is a testimony to what a truly great stallion he is, as he himself ran just once at two (over a mile in heavy going). Galileo is currently well clear on the UK sires list, and will be champion sire there for the second time (he previously topped the list in 2008). Should Frankel continue to build on the considerable promise he has shown, it will not be hard to imagine Galileo securing his third sires title in 2011.
Ascot boost for Wicklow mares
Two of Wicklow Stud’s mares received a considerable boost over the weekend. The Indian Ridge mare, Little Grey Wolf, is a half-sister to the very promising 2yo colt Robin Hood (Galileo). Robin Hood ran third in the Gr2 Beresford Stakes behind Gr1 National Stakes runner up Casamento. He is clearly a colt to follow for next season. Robin Hood and Little Grey Wolf, are out Banquise, a daughter of champion sire Last Tycoon and Irish 1000 Guineas victress Arctique Royale. This is the same family as the legendary Ardross.
Little Grey Wolf, by the increasingly successful broodmare sire Indian Ridge, was injured whilst making her only start. She has a Trippi yearling filly, a Tiger Ridge foal at foot, and has been covered by champion sire Jet Master.
Gone West mare, l’Amour, was another mare whose family received a boost from the weekend’s international racing. Her close relative, Together (Galileo), was beaten just a neck in the Gr1 Meon Valley Stud Fillies Mile, to establish herself as a leading classic hopeful for next year. Together had previously won the Gr3 Silver Flash Stakes and was placed in both the Gr2 Debutante Stakes and Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.
l’Amour is out of the Gr3 winning juvenile Midnight Air, a half-sister to Shadow Song, dam not only of Together but the Gr1 winner Jan Vermeer (Montjeu), who was placed in both the Grand Prix de Paris and Irish Derby in 2010.
l’ Amour, who hails from a wonderful North American family, has a Royal Applause yearling colt this year. She also has a Jet Master filly foal and will be covered by last season’s leading first crop sire Tiger Ridge. Interestingly, l’Amour is a descendant of Nellie Morse (Luke McLuke), one of the few fillies ever to win the North American classic, the Preakness Stakes.
Sunday sees the running of the Qatar Prix de’l Arc de Triomphe, Europe’s most prestigious race.
The highest rated in the horse, according to globeform is Workforce (King’s Best). Not a certain runner at this stage, the seven length winner of the Gr1 Investec Derby has a rating of 128 lbs. Workforce is rated four pounds clear of Fame and Glory (Montjeu), Cape Blanco (Galileo) and triple Arc runner up Youmzain (Sinndar). Should Youmzain win the race, he will become just the second 7-year-old, Motrico, being the other, to win the Arc. Aidan O’Brien saddles the two former Irish Derby winners Cape Blanco and Fame and Glory, with stable jockey Johnny Murtagh booked to ride Fame And Glory. The latter, who was sixth in the Arc last year, has won his last four starts.
Workforce, whose recent workout is said not to have pleased everyone, is bidding to give his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, his first Arc win.
Current favourite for the Arc is Grand Prix de Paris winner Behkabad. He is rated 121, and is bidding to give his sire, Cape Cross a second consecutive winner of the Arc (Cape Cross sired last year’s victor Sea The Stars).
At the time of writing, there are 12 probable starters for the Arc, including the dual Group One winning filly, Sarafina (Refuse To Bend), who gives her owner The Aga Khan a very strong hand in the race. He also owns Behkabad. Sarafina, winner of the French Oaks and a flying third in the Prix Vermeille last time out, has a Globeform rating of 119.