Chris Hill brings us the latest from the bloodstock world and reflects on the action from the track and the sales ring.

By Chris Hill.   Last Updated: 24/05/14 4:25pm

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Frankie Dettori celebrates his victory on Olympic Glory

Frankie Dettori celebrates his victory on Olympic Glory

Sky Bet

In the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, last year’s Joint Champion Three Year-Old Colt in Europe, Olympic Glory (Choisir), landed his third Group One when steered by Frankie Dettori to a comfortable two-and-a-quarter length success, in the process giving the jockey a 200th winner at the highest level.

Originally bought by Peter and Ross Doyle on behalf of Julie Wood for £65,000 at the Doncaster Premier Yearling Sale in 2011, Olympic Glory is undoubtedly the best of the four winners produced by James Fanshawe’s seven-and-a-half furlong winner Acidanthera (Alzao), who died in November 2010 having foaled Olympic Glory earlier that year. You have to go back to Olympic Glory’s third dam, the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes winner Amaranda, to find the next lot of black-type in his pedigree, but his fourth dam Favoletta was an Irish 1000 Guineas winner and is herself the third dam of the 2004 St Leger winner Rule of Law.

For his sire Choisir, a two-time Group One winner who shuttles between hemispheres for Coolmore, the Newbury triumph of Olympic Glory was a fourteenth individual Grade/Group One  victory and fourth top level race won by a horse from one of his forays to the Northern Hemisphere. Three of those of course have come courtesy of Olympic Glory, with the other achieved by last year’s Shoemaker Mile Stakes winner Obviously who was also successful last Saturday, in his case in the Grade Three American Stakes at Santa Anita.

At York earlier in the week, the Kevin Ryan-trained The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman) sprang a surprise under Ryan Moore when landing his first Group race in the Group Two Dante Stakes, having been runner-up in the Group Three Craven Stakes in April and twice Group-placed as a juvenile.

"A four-time Group One winner, Mastercraftsman was unlucky to be from the same generation as the great Sea The Stars but he has made a fantastic start to his stud career with seven individual black-type winners from just two crops of racing age."

A €120,000 purchase by Stephen Hillen Bloodstock at last year’s Arqana Saint-Cloud breeze-up, The Grey Gatsby is one of two winners out of the French six-and-a-half furlong winner and Listed Prix Solitude runner-up Marie Vision (Entrepreneur). Marie Vision herself is a half-sister to the Group Three Prix Daphnis third Saint Thomas (Dansili) and the Listed Premio Natale di Roma third Steady As A Rock (Rock of Gibraltar) being out of Metisse (Kingmambo), a dual-winning half-sister to the Group One winners Septieme Ciel and Macoumba, out of the Group One Prix de la Salamandre winner Maximova.

With his Dante victory, the Frank Gillespie-owned grey became his Coolmore sire’s seventh individual black-type winner from just two crops of racing age. A four-time Group One winner when trained by Aidan O’Brien, Mastercraftsman was unlucky to be from the same generation as the great Sea The Stars but he has made a fantastic start to his stud career being responsible for last year’s Racing Post Trophy winner Kingston Hill and the exciting Amazing Maria, who both hold entries in next month’s Epsom Classics, as well as this year’s Italian 1000 Guineas winner Vague Nouvelle.

Ali Saeed’s five year-old mare Ambivalent (Authorized) gamely landed the Group Two Middleton Stakes at the same venue for trainer Roger Varian to bring her Darley sire a twenty-first individual black-type race victory, less than a week after his three year-old daughter Honor Bound had claimed the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial for Ralph Beckett.

Out of the Listed Aphrodite Stales runner-up Darrery (Darshaan), Ambivalent, who was bought for 24,000 guineas at the 2010 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale by James Given, is a half-sister to the 2004 Triumph Hurdle winner Made In Japan (Barathea) and the Listed-placed pair Al Waffi (Fairy King) and Sunday Symphony (Sunday Silence). Another of her siblings, the three-time winner Diary (Green Desert), is the dam of the 2009 Prix de l’Abbaye winner Total Gallery (Namid) as well as the Listed winner Tempest Fugit (High Chaparral).

Friday’s Group Two Yorkshire Cup was secured by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Gospel Choir (Galileo) who, under Ryan Moore, held off the strong challenge of recent Sagaro Stakes winner Tac de Boistron (Take Risks).

The winner of the Group Two Jockey Club Stakes on his previous start, Gospel Choir is a Cheveley Park homebred out of their Group One Pretty Polly Stakes winner Chorist (Pivotal), making him a half-brother to three other winners including Mark Johnston’s seven-time winner Sennockian Star (Rock of Gibraltar). Further back, Stoute’s dual Group Two winner hails from the family of the Italian Group One winner Faberger and two-time Grade One winning jumper Foreman, as well as the European Group Two winners Sacrament and Friedrichsruh.

Last year’s Prix de l’Abbaye winner Maarek (Pivotal) returned to the winner’s enclosure for the first time since that Longchamp success when keeping on well under Declan McDonogh to land the Group Two Duke of York Stakes for new trainer Evanna McCutcheon.

A graduate of three sales companies, most recently Goffs when bought by E P Harty for €95,000 at their 2011 Horses in Training sale, Maarek is a half-brother to the one-time winner Mississippi (Exceed And Excel) being out of the Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes and Listed Boadicea Stakes winning mare Ruby Rocket (Indian Rocket). Further back, the seven year-old gelding is closely related to the Listed winners Inzar’s Best (Inzar) and Alexander Alliance (Danetime) as well as the 1984 Champion European Three Year-Old Sprinter, Anita’s Prince and the Group Three winning siblings Swiss Diva and Swiss Spirit.

Aidan O’Brien’s 2013 St Leger hero Leading Light (Montjeu) made an impressive return to action when easily claiming the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan under Joseph O’Brien.

Purchased for 520,000 guineas at the 2011 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale back by Demi O’Byrne on behalf of Coolmore, Leading Light is a full brother to the five-time winner and Group Two Royal Whip Stakes-placed Warwick Avenue (Montjeu) and John Constable (Montjeu), who recorded his maiden success the race after Leading Light, being out of the Grade Two Buena Vista Stakes and four-time Grade/Group Three winner Dance Parade (Gone West).

Dance Parade is out of the Italian Listed winner River Jig (Irish River) and is therefore a half-sister to the Grade Three winner Ocean Queen (Zilzal) - herself the dam of the Group Three runner-up Bicoastal (Gone West) - the U.S. Listed winner Jig (Catrail) and Treasure Trove (The Minstrel) - the dam of Group One Prix de la Foret winner Toylsome (Cadeaux Genereux) - whilst her full sister, the Listed race third Western Reel (Gone West), has produced the U.S. Grade Three runner-up Midnight Mischief (Medaglia d’Oro) and U.S. Stakes-placed Klondike Kate (Henny Hughes).

"Gospel Choir is a Cheveley Park homebred out of their Group One Pretty Polly Stakes winner Chorist (Pivotal), making him a half-brother to three other winners including Mark Johnston’s seven-time winner Sennockian Star."

In the Group Three Musidora Stakes, the David Simcock-trained Madame Chiang (Archipenko) maintained her unbeaten record and in the process became her sire’s first Group winner when seeing out the one mile two furlongs trip best under a determined Kieren Fallon.

A Lanwades Stud homebred from a family that Kirsten Rausing knows particularly well, Madame Chiang is out of the dual winner Robe Chinoise (Robellino), making her a half-sister to two other winners, the full siblings Oriental Scot (Selkirk) and Mannlichen (Selkirk). Robe Chinoise herself is a half-sister to the German Listed winner Kiswahili (Selkirk), the dam of the Listed Star Stakes winner Kinetica (Stormy Atlantic), being out of the 1985 Group Three Lingfield Oaks Trial winner and Epsom Oaks runner-up Kiliniski (Niniski).

Finally, Mark of Esteem, the two-time Group One winner and sire of four individual Grade/Group One winners unfortunately had to be put down last week due to ill health. Trained as a juvenile by Sir Henry Cecil for whom he finished a narrow runner-up to Alhaarth on debut before winning a Goodwood maiden, Mark of Esteem was switched to Saeed Bin Suroor for his three year-old career which yielded victories in the 1996 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, leading to him being crowned Champion Three Year-Old in England and European Three Year-Old Miler.

On retirement to Darley’s Dalham Hall Stud in Newmarket, Mark of Esteem produced the 2001 1000 Guineas winner Ameerat from his first crop. 2005 saw the Marcus Tregoning-trained colt Sir Percy claim the Dewhurst Stakes before going on to land the following year’s Epsom Derby, the same season as Mark of Esteem’s five year-old son Reverence won the Nunthorpe Stakes and Sprint Cup, whilst the French-bred Bribon triumphed in the Grade One Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park for the son of Darshaan in 2009.

Chris Hill

Chris is a Pedigree Researcher for Weatherbys Ltd, the company that provides the majority of pedigrees for thoroughbreds sold at public auction in Britain and Ireland and who offer a range of products and services to suit your Bloodstock needs.

For further information please visit

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