Arc Angles

Despite the very soft ground that prevailed over ‘Arc’ weekend, there was plenty to engage from a pedigree perspective. In the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) itself, the Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Workforce redeemed his reputation following a disappointing outing in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. I). This was a triumph more for courage, as under a very strong ride, he prevailed by a head over the Japanese invader Nakayama Festa, with the Aga Khan’s three-year-old filly Sarafina out-finishing her stable companion, Behkabad (who started favorite), for third.

We've reviewed the pedigree of Workforce (TrueNicks B+) before, but we’ll briefly recap here. He is by Kingmambo (TrueNicks,SRO)’s son King’s Best, who has had a breakout year in 2010, as he’s also responsible for Japanese Derby (gr. I) winner Eishin Flash. Workforce is out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells, so bred on the famous Sadler’s Wells/Kingmambo cross (which gives the three-parts-brothers Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev), and the direct cross has produced six stakes winners from 76 starters for the sire, also including the group I-winning miler Creachadoir. Funnily enough, the cross of King’s Best with mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells has even better strike rate with five stakes winners from 29 starters.

Workforce‘s dam, unraced Sadler’s Wells daughter Soviet Moon, is a sister to Brian Boru, winner of the third leg of the English Triple Crown, the St. Leger (gr. I), run over an extended mile-and-three-quarters. The granddam, Eva Luna, is by two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) victor Alleged, out of Media Luna (by another Prix de l’Arc hero, Star Appeal), who was runner-up in the Epsom Oaks (gr. I). Eva Luna won the “Fillies St. Leger”, the Park Hill Stakes (gr. II), and was highweighted older mare in Europe at 14 furlongs and up. Media Luna is also dam of Rougeur, a U.S. stakes-winning daughter of Blushing Groom who subsequently produced the Alabama Stakes (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner Flute (by Seattle Slew). In tail female line, the family goes back to the “peerless” Pretty Polly via Lady Sybil, a three-parts-sister to Nearctic.

One interesting aspect of the King’s Best/Sadler’s Wells cross is that King’s Best is three-parts-brother Urban Sea, the dam of Sadler’s Wells’ son Galileo. That sire continued to emphasize his class with a double in Paris. His two-year-old Misty For Me, who had won the Moyglare Stud Stakes (gr. I) earlier in the year, added the Prix Marcel Boussac-Criterium des Pouliches (gr. I), outstaying favored Helleborine (by Observatory). Rated A+ by TrueNicks, Misty For Me is out of Butterfly Cove, a Storm Cat mare who is sister to group III winner Kamarinskaya, and half sister to the brilliant juvenile Fasliyev (by Nureyev, a three-parts-brother to Sadler’s Wells). The second dam, Mr. P’s Princess, is a half sister to Storm Cat grandson Menifee (Haskell Invitational (gr. I), Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), second in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and half sister to multiple grade I winner Desert Wine). Both Galileo and Butterfly Cove are bred on the Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, and for good measure, Misty For Me’s third dam, Anne Campbell, is a daughter of Never Bend, the half brother of Sadler’s Wells’ broodmare sire, Bold Reason.

Galileo’s other group I winner of ‘Arc’ weekend was Lily of the Valley (TrueNicks A++) who was successful in the Prix de l’Opera (gr. I). She is one of two group winners from three starters by Galileo out of mares by Pennekamp (by Bering), and the second dam is by that excellent Sadler’s Wells line foil Last Tycoon (Northern Dancer/Never Bend cross, where Sadler’s Wells is Northern Dancer/Bold Reason, a half brother to Never Bend).

Whipper is by Kingmambo’s brother Miesque’s Son, out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells. Standing in France, he’s made a smart beginning to his stud career with three stakes winners, two group winners, in his first crop (now three-year-olds). They include Royal Bench, won the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at the weekend. Rated A++ by TrueNIcks, Royal Bench is out of Hit the Sky, a Cozzene half sister to the Doncaster Cup (gr. II) victor Honolulu (by Montjeu, a son of Sadler’s Wells). The second dam, Cerulean Sky (by Darshaan) won the Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I), and is a sister to Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. I) and Irish Oaks (gr. I) runner-up L’Ancresse, and three-parts-sister to Moonstone (by Dalakhani), heroine of the Irish Oaks (gr. I). Whipper’s granddam, Millieme, is a sister to Shirley Heights (sire of Darshaan), so Royal Bench has the siblings Millieme/Shirley Heights 3 x 4. Since Sadler’s Wells/Shirley Heights combines so well, surely Shirley is one strain that should combine well with Whipper.

Not be completely overshadowed by Galileo, that horse’s fellow Sadler’s Wells son and stud companion Montjeu was represented by Maria Royal, who took the Prix de Royallieu (gr. II). She is out of the Zafonic mare Notable, a half sister to Offordness (a group III winner and dam of group and stakes winners Weightless, Main Aim, and Home Affairs). Another half sister, Nishan, is dam of Irish highweight Molomo, and granddam of 2010 group winner and group I-placed Rainfall. The second dam is by Topsider (genetic relative to Sadler’s Wells), out of group winner Sylph (by Alleged). Maria Royal is the second stakes winner by Montjeu out of a Zafonic mare, and he also has Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Motivator out of a mare by Zafonic’s sire, Gone West, and at least 18 stakes winners out of mares from all branches of Mr. Prospector.

The male line of Sadler’ Wells’ three-parts-brother Nureyev also got a run on the board when Celtic Celeb won the Prix Chaudenay (gr. II) over 15 furlongs. By an ‘Arc’ winner in Peintre Celebre, Celtic Celeb is out of the U.S. stakes-winning Gay Mecene mare Gaelic Bird, with group I winners Gabina, Galetto, and Goldmark appearing under the second dam.

Nureyev also appeared as broodmare sire of the sire of two ‘Arc’ weekend group winners. Gentoo, who won the marathon Prix du Cadran (gr. I), is by Loup Solitaire (by Lear Fan, out of a Nureyev mare, inbred 3 x 4 to siblings Lt. Stevens and Thong). The dam is by Bering, and the second dam, a stakes-placed daughter of Rainbow Quest, out of a stakes-winning Troy mare. That makes her a three-parts-sister to Champion Italian Two-Year-Old Steamer Duck, who was by Bering out of a sister to the granddam of Gentoo.

Iffraaj, by Zafonic, out of a Nureyev half sister to excellent sire Cape Cross (and to the dam of Diktat, sire of recent Middle Park Stakes (gr. I) winner Dream Ahead), put the seal on the freshman sire title when his son Wootton Bassett (TrueNicks A++) captured the Prix Jean Luc Lagardere-Grand Criterium (gr. I). Wootton Bassett is out of a stakes-placed mare by Primo Dominie (by Dominion, from the Darius/Dante branch of the Nearco line). The second dam is by Chief’s Crown, out of a daughter of Broodmare of the Year Key Bridge, dam of Fort Marcy, Key to the Mint, Key to Content, and Key to the Kingdom. This was a first stakes try for the undefeated Wootton Bassett who had previously been mopping up valuable sales races.

With due respect to the fighting finish of the ‘Arc’ and admitting a bias, the true star of ‘Arc’ day was almost certainly Goldikova. Running on ground that she is generally acknowledged to hate, she established a new record of 11 group/grade I wins by a European thoroughbred by taking the seven-furlong Prix de la Foret (gr. I). She was followed home by five group I winners, and the multiple group I-placed Joanna, and while Paco Boy, winner of this event in 2008, did close within ½ length, the mare was not fully extended to defeat that rival for the fourth time. Those behind her here included Dick Turpin, Regal Parade, Special Duty, and Siyouni, and her other victims include Rip Van Winkle, Henrythenavigator, Court Vision, Kip Deville, Aqlaam, Silver Frost, Sageburg, Never On Sunday, Karelian, Byword, Awesome Gem, Proviso, Sahpresa, Stacelita, Wiener Waltz, Darjina, Music Show, Elusive Wave, Heaven Sent, Spacious, Rainbow View, and Natagora.

We covered the pedigree of the daughter of Anabaa – Born Gold, by Blushing Groom, in detail in several other posts. We do have to note on piece of irony, however. Born Gold is by Blushing Groom, out of a mare by Lyphard, and we’ve frequently noted that from 80 foals and 71 starters out of Blushing Groom line mares, Anabaa had never sired a stakes winner unless Lyphard was in the pedigree, whereas there were four stakes winners from only 14 starters with Blushing Groom and Lyphard in the pedigree. Well, on October 1, Anabaa finally came up with his first Anabaa stakes winner from a Blushing Groom line mare without Lyphard. Baahama, bred by Wertheimer et Frere, like Goldikova and another 2010 group I winner on the cross, Plumania, won the Prix Charles Laffite. Her dam, Silver Rain, is by Rainbow Quest out of Riviere d’Argent, a Nijinsky II three-parts-sister to Riviere d’Or, the granddam of Goldikova.

The Danzig line that supplied Goldikova was provided a group I double when Gilt Edge Girl upset the five-furlong Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (gr. I). She is from the first crop of the Danehill Dancer horse Monsieur Bond, and is his third stakes winner and second group winner (earlier in the week he was represented by English stakes-winning two-year-old Ladies Are Forever, who is out of a daughter of Danetime, and inbred 3 x 3 to Danehill). The dam, Tahara, is by the 1½-mile horse Caerleon, but has also produced the Flying Childers Stakes (gr. II) winner Godfrey Street to Compton Place. The second dam, Tarwiya (by Dominion), was a group winner at two and also ran second in the Moyglare Stud Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I). She is also granddam of the Prix Morny (gr. I) captor, Arcano (by Oasis Dream, another Danzig grandson). In tail female Gilt Edge Girl goes back to the very fast Relic daughter Texana, who was another Prix de l’Abbaye heroine, as was her sister, Texanita.

Finally, the Prix Dollar (gr. II) fell to Cirrus des Aigles (TrueNicks A+). He is by Even Top, by Topanoora, a son of Ahonoora. The dam is by Septieme Ciel, and rather surprisingly, the Ahonoora/Seattle Slew cross has produced two group winers from only four starters.

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