Vow took the honours in the Lingfield Oaks Trial
Wed, 16 May 2012
It was a Classic weekend in France whilst it was the Trials that took centre stage in the Uk.
A week after the first domestics Classics got underway at Newmarket, France’s own 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas took place at Longchamp yesterday (Sunday). Whilst the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (1,000 Guineas) went according to plan, with 7/10F Beauty Parlour earning her sire Deep Impact a first European Group 1 win, the later Poule d’Essai des Poulain (2,000 Guineas) saw quite the upset when 4/5F favourite Dabirsim was left floundering mid-field in the final stages. Despite mounting a challenge late on, the Hat Trick colt was unable to break past the leaders, and despite finishing within a length of the winner Lucayan, officially filled sixth place.
Had Christophe Soumillon’s mount followed the script, it would have earned legendary Japanese sire Sunday Silence a Classic double, as grandsire to both Dabirsim and Beauty Parlour.
As it was, Lucayan made an even greater impression on his sire’s reputation, coming from the first crop of Prix Jean Prat winner Turtle Bowl. The Haras de la Reboursiere et de Montaigu resident came agonisingly close to a first Classic win last week when French Fifteen failed by just a quarter of a length to peg back Ballydoyle’s Camelot in the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas. Just over a week later however Lucayan sprung his surprise run to defy odds of 27/1 in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.
Whilst the Classics were in action across the Channel, closer to home Lingfield’s Derby and Oaks trials got underway on Saturday. Held on the all-weather due to ongoing heavy rain across the country, both races still received excellent support from owners and trainers, ensuring both renewals gave punters a chance to see a potential Epsom hero or heroine in the flesh.
The Listed Oaks Trial gave Highclere’s Vow another chance to show off her Classic credentials with an easy win over her seven rivals. Despite hanging in the penultimate furlong, the William Haggas-trained filly won by 3¼ lengths from Colima, a first crop runner for 2007 Derby winner Authorized. The winner comes from a diverse family, with siblings including the Listed winner Harris Tweed, middle-distance performer Beaten Up and winning hurdler Vale De Lobo.
The following Group 3 Derby Trial saw 5/4F son of Galileo, Shantaram, beaten under a length by the Niarchos Family’s Main Sequence. The American-bred, trained by David Lanigan, is now four from four in his career starts, Saturday being his second outing this season. The first foal out of Group 3 runner-up Ikat, Main Sequence descends from the family of Oaks winner Light Shift.
Darley’s Dubawi came a step closer to adding the Derby to his stud CV after Mickdaam put up an impressive performance in the Group 3 Chester Vase mid-week for trainer Richard Fahey. Staying on well under pressure to beat Model Pupil by a nose on soft going, the colt firmly solidified his credentials ahead of Epsom’s showpiece next month. Dubawi has enjoyed an incredible start to his stud career, most notably thanks to his first-crop son Makfi winning the 2010 2,000 Guineas.
Coolmore’s Starspangledbanner, a four-time Group 1 winner from six to eight furlongs, has enjoyed less of a fairytale start to his own time at stud. Though his own first northern hemisphere crop are currently taking their first tentative steps into the world at present, the bloodstock powerhouse has announced that due to ongoing fertility issues, the son of Choisir has been retired from stud duties. Whether he will return to training has yet to be confirmed, but given the Royal Ascot winner is only five in southern hemisphere terms, it certainly seems a viable option.
Fellow Aussie Fastnet Rock earned his tenth Group 1 winner at the weekend as his daughter Sea Siren held back former Horse of the Year Scenic Blast by 1¼ lengths to win the BTC Cup, in a time faster than sprinting sensation Black Caviar managed the feat 12 months ago. Her win helps Fastnet Rock remain on course for a first Champion Sire title.
Summertime stablemate Galileo, no stranger to such accolades, was responsible for yet another record being broken at this year’s breeze-ups. Arqana’s one day sale enjoyed over turnover of €6,508,500 and a 72% clearance rate, which rose to 84% including private sales, but it was the €420,000 bid for Lot 129, a filly out of Classira (Danehill), which really hit the headlines. Consigned by Mocklershill, it was Emmanuel de Seroux who secured two-year-old, representing Prince Sultan Al Kabeer. The Galileo/Danehill cross continues to go from strength to strength, with the likes of Frankel, Teofilo, Maybe and Golden Lilac amongst the high-performing clan.