French Classics Are Boon For Irish National Stud

Last weekend saw the first two French classics of the season - the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (both Fr-I) -- in the books. The result was a great one for the Irish National Stud with the filly's event going to Elusive Wave, from the second crop of Elusive City, and the colt's classic falling to Silver Frost (IRE), a son of Verglas (IRE), both stallions being resident at the Kildare facility.

-- Elusive Wave --

Elusive City (TrueNicks,SRO) -- who shuttles on Southern Hemisphere time -- recently featured on this blog as one of the three stallions subscribed to TrueNicks by Haunui Farm of New Zealand. An American-bred, Elusive City earned a title as French champion 2-year-old after winning the Prix Morny Casinos Barriere (Fr-I) and placing in the Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I), and was also third rated 2-year-old on the European Classification. Europe's champion first-crop sire of 2008, Elusive City is sire already of three Northern Hemisphere stakes winners.

Elusive Wave is out of the Rainbow Quest mare Multicolour Wave (IRE). She was unraced, but also dam of the listed-placed Million Waves (IRE). Multicolour Wave is out of the Prix Corrida (Fr-III) victress Echoes, who is by Niniski, and Elusive Wave therefore is a bred on the very successful Blushing Groom/Nijinsky II cross. The family has improved considerably in the last two years as Multicolour Wave's Machiavellian half-sister Temple Street (IRE) produced Langs Lash (IRE), winner last year of the Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot. Langs Lash is by Noverre (by Blushing Groom's son Rahy (TrueNicks,SRO) ) and so is bred on somewhat similar lines to Multicolour Wave. The family is an American one tracing to Anchors Ahead, a sister to War Relic whose line also supplied champion 2-year-old filly Storm Song, crack miler Hat Trick (JPN) (TrueNicks,SRO), and other grade I winners such as Hostage and Cetewayo.

Rated B+ by TrueNicks, Elusive Wave is heavily line-bred to Raise a Native, Native Dancer, and Northern Dancer. Elusive City himself is inbred 3 x 4 to Mr. Prospector, and Elusive Wave's dam has a daughter of that horse's sire, Raise a Native, and Elusive Wave's fourth dam, Bold Honor, is bred very like the dam of Mr. Prospector (both by sons of Nasrullah with dams by Count Fleet out of Bull Dog mares).

-- Silver Frost--

Silver Frost's sire Verglas is by Highest Honor (FR), a son of Kenmare (FR) from the Kalamoun (GB)/Zeddaan (GB) branch of the Grey Sovereign (GB) (by Nasrullah) line. Verglas won the Coventry Stakes (Eng-III) at Royal Ascot at 2 and was second in the Lexus Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) at 3. Verglas initially retired to stud relatively inexpensively in France, but made a good start to his career with Del Mar Derby and La Jolla Handicap (both gr. II) winner Blackdoun (FR) in his first crop; Ozone Bere (FR), successful in the Gallorette Handicap (gr. III), in his second; and Stormy River (FR), winner of the Prix Jean Prat (Fr-I) in his third. This bright start naturally attracted better mares, and Silver Frost is from his first Irish crop, so may be a bright indicator of things to come.

Silver Frost's dam, Hidden Silver (GB), is a daughter of Anabaa. She is half-sister to the Prix Andre Baboin (Fr-III) winner Homeland (FR) (by Highest Honor, so bred on similar lines to Silver Frost), to High Rock (IRE), winner of the Prix de Conde and SG Private Banking Prix La Force (both Fr-III) , and to French listed winner Hideaway (FR). (Note that High Rock and Hideaway are both by grandsons of Danzig, the grandsire of Hidden Silver.) Silver Frost's granddam, Hint of Silver, is by Alysheba out of the stakes-placed Nureyev mare Hot Silver, and therefore has a 3 x 4 cross of the brother and sister Lt. Stevens and Thong. Hint of  Silver is a sister to French listed winner Hill Silver, and half-sister to Black Question, a Seattle Song gelding who was a listed winner and graded-placed in the U.S. Their dam Hot Silver is half-sister to graded stakes-winning U.S. turf horses Star of Manila and Mio Robertino, and out of Her Silver, a Herbager half-sister to grade I winners State Dinner and Banquet Table. This is the same branch of the Whitneys' Silver Fog family as Preakness heroine Silver Spoon, Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Gato del Sol, and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) victor Rock Hard Ten (TrueNicks,SRO) , to name but a few.

Silver Frost has several crosses of Nasrullah/Princequillo and Nasrullah/Prince Bio, including a double of Riverman. He's also line-bred to Northern Dancer and to both Sir Gaylord and his dam Somethingroyal (who is in Verglas via Secretariat). His previous group I winner, Stormy River (FR), also has a double of Riverman, line-breeding to Northern Dancer, and a double of Sir Gaylord, combined with Secretariat.

Read more about Silver Frost and Elusive Wave:

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