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Blanco Leads Whitewash

In the Irish Derby (gr. I), Cape Blanco, who had defeated Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Workforce in the Dante Stakes (gr. II) but disappointed in the French Derby (gr. I), boosted the classic form by leading home an Aidan O’Brien one-two-three. All three are Sadler’s Wells grandsons: both the winner, and runner-up, Midas Touch, are by Galileo, and the third, Jan Vermeer is by Montjeu.

A half brother to the Kelso Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II) and Dixie Stakes (gr. II) winner Mr. O’Brien (by Mukaddamah), Cape Blanco wasn’t guaranteed to stay 1½ miles – something we rarely say about the offspring of Galileo.

His dam, Laurel Delight, was a five furlong specialist, half sister to the very speedy Paris House. She is a Secretariat line mare, as she is by Presidium, a General Assembly half brother to Kris and Diesis. Laurel Delight’s dam, Foudroyer, is by Artaius, out of Foudre, by Petingo, out of Lighted Lamp, by Sir Gaylord (meaning that she is line bred 4 x 5 to Somethingroyal, dam of Secretariat and Sir Gaylord). Lighted Lamp produced two group winners, and she is the fourth dam of French Oaks (gr. I) winner Latice and French Derby (gr. I) winner Lawman, and ancestress of several other group and graded winners. Lighted Lamp’s granddam, Queen of Light, is also granddam of Royal Palace, winner of the 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) and Derby (gr. I).

Wertheimer et Frere’s Plumania has long looked a filly of great promise. She finished fourth in the Prix Marcel Boussac (gr. I) at two, third in the French Oaks (gr. I), and second in the Prix Vermeille (gr. I) last year at three. However, she didn’t win her first black type event until her third outing of her four-year-old year, when taking the Prix Corrida (gr. II) on May 24. Building on this victory, she returned to take her first group I, capturing the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (gr. I) by a nose over the veteran Youmzain. Plumania is a half sister to the Prix de Royallieu (gr. II) victress Balladeuse. Her dam, Featherquest, is three-parts-sister to group I winner Groom Dancer, and half sister to group winner Tagel and stakes winner Slew the Slewor. She is also half sister Sea Hill, granddam of Falco, who captured the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) in the Wertheimer colors.

Plumania is by Anabaa, out of a mare by Rainbow Quest (by Blushing Groom). Anabaa has four stakes winners out of Blushing Groom line mares, including the Wertheimers’ multiple Champion Goldikova. Overall, however, the Anabaa/Blushing Groom cross had a very disappointing strike-rate, and Anabaa’s only stakes winners on the cross are either out of mares by Groom Dancer (Blushing Groom/Lyphard cross) or are out of mares that are Blushing Groom/Lyphard crosses (as is Featherquest, dam of Plumania). By way of contrast, sons of Anabaa’s sire, Danzig, have sired 11 stakes winners, four group I, out of mares by Rainbow Quest. So how does TrueNicks assess a mating where the general Anabaa/Blushing Groom cross is way below opportunity, but the Danzig/Rainbow Quest is way above opportunity? Well, it chooses between the two, and calculates that Danzig/Rainbow Quest is more statistically significant than is Anabaa/Blushing Groom, and rates her an A on the basis of the Danzig/Rainbow Quest cross.

Another mare earning a first group I in Europe was Chinese White. The five-year-old daughter of Dalakhani – now carrying her first foal, by Cape Cross – took the Pretty Polly Stakes (gr. I) on her farewell performance. She is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, and there is no dilemma how to rate her. There are already five stakes winners from 23 starters on the cross, including Chinese White and Champion Conduit.

Westerner was a rare Danehill son, being an out-and-out stayer, with back to back wins in the 2½-mile Prix du Cadran (gr. I) and near-two mile Prix Royal-Oak (gr. I), and a tally in the 2½-mile Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I), England’s greatest staying test. He has a good filly in his first crop in Never Forget, who took the 1½-mile Prix de Malleret (gr. II) by a half length over another Danehill granddaughter, Shamanova (by Danehill Dancer).

On the two-year-old front, in the Railway Stakes (gr. II) over six furlongs in Ireland, favored Samuel Morse (by Danehill Dancer out of 1992 U.S. Champion 2-Year-Old Filly Eliza) was downed by Formosina, from the second crop of Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO)’s undefeated son, Footstepsinthesand. The dam is sprint-bred by Royal Applause (by Waajib, a son of Try My Best, a brother to El Gran Senor). One day earlier, young sire sensation Dubawi (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO) had his first stakes winner from his second crop when his two-year-old daughter Khor Sheed, won the Empress Stakes. Rated A+ by TrueNicks, Khor Sheed should stay a lot further than this six furlongs, as she’s out of Princess Manila, a mare by Manila, who produced the Prix d’Ispahan (gr. I) winner Prince Kirk, a son of the miler Selkirk, who won at up to ten furlongs. The granddam, Halo’s Princess (by Halo), won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes, and is a half sister to the dam of the West Australian Derby (gr. I)-winning filly Viole d’Or.

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