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Royal Ascot Day 2: Byword for Success

The big race on Wednesday, the ten-furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes (gr. I), saw a Juddmonte one-two, as Byword scored from Twice Over. The result paid a further compliment to Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes (gr. I) heroine, Goldikova, who had defeated Byword by a ½ length in the Prix d’Ispahan (gr. I) on her seasonal reappearance.

Byword (TrueNicks A++) is by Peintre Celebre, one of the best sons of Nureyev, and an impressive winner of the French Derby (gr. I) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) in 1997. Although he’s never really hit the commercial high spots, Peintre Celebre has sired 47 stakes winners in his first eight years at stud, with 14 group or grade I winners in at least seven different countries. Byword is half brother to Proviso (by Dansili), winner of the Just a Game Stakes (gr. I) and Frank E. Kilroe Mile (gr. I) this year. Their dam, Binche, is half sister to Binary File, a Nureyev colt who had outstanding form in Scandinavia, but also captured the Strensall Stakes in England. The granddam, Binary, was a listed winner and group-placed in France, and is a sister to listed scorer Bequeath and half sister to listed scorer Bal Harbour. By Rainbow Quest out the Nijinsky II daughter Balabina (sister to group I winner Quiet Fling), Binary is from a Whitney family that goes back to the Klairon mare Peace II, also ancestress of such well-known runners as U.S. Champion Turf Mare Wandesta (a three-parts-sister to Byword’s granddam), Zambezi Sun, Invited Guest, Interval, Bon Point, Continent, Midships, Much Faster, and Deportivo.

Byword’s dam is by Woodman, and Peintre Celebre has three group winners (two group I) from just 18 starters on that cross. The mating combines Peintre Celebre’s broodmare sire, Alydar, with his genetic relative Mr. Prospector (sire of Woodman), although Woodman appears to be a particularly good channel, as Peintre Celebre has five stakes winners from 58 starters overall with mares by sons of Mr.Prospector.

The day opened with the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes (gr. III) in which Pedigree Consultants recommended mating Red Jazz (by Hennessy) gave it a brave try, but went down by a head to the Oasis Dream filly Rainfall, who was making only her third lifetime start, and broke the course record. She is the eighth stakes winner and sixth group winner to appear from the third crop of the Green Desert stallion, who has been on a remarkable tear in the last year or so. Rainfall’s victory takes his total score from his first three crops to 30 stakes winners, and 19 group or graded, including group and grade I winners Midday, Tuscan Evening, Aqlaam, Arcano, Querari, and Naqoos.

Rainfall’s dam, Molomo, was group III-placed, but Rainfall is the first black type winner in the first two generations of the pedigree. The granddam, Nishan (by Nashwan), is half sister to Ofrord Ness, a group-winning daughter of Selkirk who has produced three group winners, including Main Aim, a son of Oasis Dream. The fourth dam, Sylph, won the Princess Royal Stakes (gr. III), is dam of two group winners, and granddam of French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) third and Matriarch Stakes (gr. I) winner Price Tag. This is the Journalette branch of the Myrtelwood/Frizette family that also produced Champion Typecast.

Out of a mare by Barathea, Rainfall (rated TrueNicks A prior to her win) is the second stakes winner for Oasis Dream out of a Sadler’s Wells line mare (there have only been 18 starters by this sire out of mares by Sadler’s Wells and sons). Barathea would be particularly interesting here, as he is a Northern Dancer/Sir Ivor (Sir Gaylord) cross, as is Green Desert, the sire of Oasis Dream, while Oasis Dream’s broodmare sire, Dancing Brave, is another Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross. For good measure, both of Oasis Dream’s parents have Never Bend close up in the pedigree, and of course, Sadler’s Wells is out of a mare by Never Bend’s half brother Bold Reason. Oddly enough, here there is a fourth combination – although not a cross – of Northern Dancer and Sir Gaylord, as Rainfall’s third dam, Nesaah, is by Topsider (by Northern Dancer) out of a daughter of a Sir Gaylord mare. Oasis Dream has also sired stakes winner Rain Delayed from a mare by Shareef Dancer, another Northern Dancer/Sir Ivor (Sir Gaylord cross).

A variation on the theme is found in the pedigree of Maqaasid (TrueNicks B+ prior to the race), who won the Queen Mary Stakes (gr. II) for two-year-old fillies. She is by Green Desert (Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord) out of Eshaadeh, a daughter of Storm Cat, a Northern Dancer/Secretariat (half brother to Sir Gaylord cross). Eshaadeh is a three-parts-sister to Ghanaati (by Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO)), winner of last year’s 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes (gr. I), and half sister to group winner Mawatheeq (by Green Desert’s sire, Danz) and stakes winner Rumoush.

Eshaadeh is out of the Mr. Prospector mare, Sarayir, a two-time listed winner in England. Sarayir’s dam, Height of Fashion, is one of the great producers of recent times. Bred by Her Majesty The Queen, the daughter of Bustino and Royal 1,000 Guineas and French Oaks heroine Highclere, was Champion at two when she won the Ascot Fillies’ Mile (gr. III) and May Hill Stakes (gr. III). She was less dominant at three, but did add the Princess of Wales’s Stakes (gr. II) and Lupe Stakes. Height of Fashion produced eight stakes horses from ten starters with six of them winning black type events. The most renowned of these was Nashwan, a Blushing Groom son, who took the 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), Derby (gr. I), Eclipse Stakes (gr. I), and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. I). The best of Height of Fashion’s other foals include Champion Nayef (by Gulch, and a three-parts-brother to Sarayir), successful in the Dubai Sheema Classic (gr. I), Juddmonte International (gr. I), Champion Stakes and Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and now a successful young sire; and Unfuwain, a remorseless galloper who won four group events, and sired European Champion Two-Year-Old Alhaarth, and classic winner Bolas, Lahan, Lailani, and Petrushka. Height of Fashion is also granddam of four other stakes winners, and third dam of Champion Turf Female Lahudood.

In the Windsor Forest Stakes (gr. II), a one mile contest for fillies and mares, Strawberrydaiquiri claimed the day by a short head after a thrilling battle with last year’s winner, Spacious (by Nayef). Most unusually for a mare in an English broodmare band, Strawberrydaiquiri’s dam, Strawberry Morn, spent most of her racing career at Hastings Park (it’s near Vancouver, on Canada’s Western seaboard) winning a baker’s dozen stakes at the British Columbia oval. Strawberry Morn is by Travelling Victor, by Hail to Reason’s son Hail to Victory. What’s really interesting here, however, is that Strawberrydaiquiri’s second dam is by Strawberry Road, by Whiskey Road. Since Strawberry Road stood in the U.S., you don’t see a lot of Strawberrydaiquiri’s grandsire, Danehill, with Strawberry Road. However, Strawberry Road was Australian-sired, by Whiskey Road, and there have been at least 15 stakes winners, ten graded, and three grade I, with Danehill and Whiskey Road combined. Of course, Danehill is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a mare by His Majesty, and Whiskey Road is by a son of Northern Dancer (Nijinsky II) out of a half sister to His Majesty.

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