ROYAL ASCOT DAY 4 – MUHAARAR SPEEDS TO TOP OF THREE-YEAR-OLD SPRINT DIVISION

Having been represented by the King’s Stand Stakes (gr. I) scorer, Goldream, earlier in the week, Oasis Dream completed a top-level sprint double when his son, Muhaarar captured the Commonwealth Stakes (gr. I). A smart two-year-old last year, when he won the Gimcrack Stakes (gr. II) and took third in the Middle Park Stakes (gr. I) and July Cup (gr. II), Muhaarar won the Greenham Stakes (gr. III) on his reappearance, but probably didn’t get the trip when unplaced in the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I).

Muhaarar is out of the stakes placed Linamix mare, Tahrir, also dam of juvenile black-type scorer Sajwah. A sister to two-time listed winner Mister Charm, and half-sister to the Prix de Guiche (gr. III) winner Mister Sacha, Tahir is out of Miss Sacha, winner of Tipperary Sprint, and  placed fourth in the King’s Stand Stakes (gr. II). The third dam is half-sister to Timarida, a group/grade one winner in Ireland, the U.S. and Germany, and is out of a daughter of Pugnacity, one of the fastest fillies of the 1960’s and subsequently dam of the Epsom Derby (gr. I) runner-up and Benson and Hedges Gold Cup (gr. I) winner, Relkino.

Muhaarar is one of three stakes winners by Oasis Dream out of mares by Linamix, a strain that has done well under Green Desert and Danzig in general and this represents the cross of Oasis Dream over a mare from his own broodmare sireline, that of Lyphard. The sire of the second dam, Last Tycoon, is a Northern Dancer/Mill Reef cross, as is the dam of Oasis Dream, and Northern Dancer and Mill Reef’s sire, Never Bend, are both found close up in Oasis Dream’s sire, Green Desert.

The Coronation Stakes (gr. I) over a mile for three-year-old fillies, fell to Ervedya, who on her previous start had taken the French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I). She was also among the leaders of her crop last year, winning her first three starts, including the Prix de Cabourg (gr. III), before ending the year with a third in the Prix Monry (gr. I) and a second in the Prix Marcel Boussac (gr. I). On her only previous start this term, she’d taken the Prix Imprudence.

Ervedya’s sire, Siyouni, is a son of Pivotal, out of a Danehill mare. He won four of six starts at two, including the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (gr. I) and Prix La Fleche, and also took second in the Prix Robert-Papin (gr. II) and Prix La Rochette (gr. III). He failed to add to his win tally in six starts at two, but was twice group one placed at a mile. Siyouni made a bright start to his stud career last year – he was Leading Freshman Sire in France – and in addition to Ervedya, he is also sire of group winners Bourree and Souvenir Delondres, and stakes winner Mocklershill, as well as four black-type placed horses.

Ervedya’s female line has been in the family of her breeder, HH Aga Khan, for several generations. Her dam, Elva (by King’s Best) took second in the Prix Vanteaux (gr. III), a feat which made her the only black-type performer to appear under the first three generations of Ervedya’s female line. The second dam, Marju’s daughter, Evora, did win at two, and Elva was her only starter, but the third dam, Eviyrna (by The Minstrel), was unplaced, and produced just three minor winners from six starters. Things improve under the fourth dam, Euliya, a Top Ville mare who was bred by the Aga Khan, but has an entirely Boussac pedigree. She won the Prix Royallieu (gr. III), Prix des Tourelles and Prix Joubert, and is half-sister to Erdelistan, whose most prestigious triumph came in the Gran Premio del Jockey Club (gr. I). Euliya’s granddam, Iroma, is half-sister to Locris, a high-class mile to ten furlong horse who was a useful sire in South America, and is out of Ormara, a sister to Boussac’s intensely inbred (2×2 to Tourbillon) Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine, Coronation V.

Ervedya is an example of the cross of Pivotal and sons with Kingmambo line mares that has also produced group one winner Regal Parade, and group winners Hot Snap and Brazilian Bride, for a stakes winner to starter figure that is currently running at about 12%. The cross with a Kingmambo mare gives a double Nureyev through Pivotal and through Kingmambo’s dam, Miesque, and Siyouni already has ten first crop starters with Nureyev inbreeding, six of them winners, with Ervedya and Mocklershill being the black-type winners with the double.

The 12 furlong King Edward VII Stakes (gr. II) – the Ascot Derby – was one by the promising Balios, who was making only the third start of his career. Balios is another credit for the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) and French Derby (gr. I) victor Shamardal (by Giant’s Causeway), who quite remarkably already has 17 stakes winners to his name in 2015, among them the official world high-ranked Able Friend and grade one winner Dunboyne Express/Dan Excel.

Balios’s dam, Elle Galante, won twice in Germany and was stakes placed in France. She’s an extremely well-bred individual as she is by Galileo out of Elle Danzig (by Roi Danzig), Champion Three-Year-Old Filly and Champion Older Mare in Germany, and twice winner of the Premio Roma (gr. I) on excursions to Italy, and is half-sister to German Highweight Older Mare, Elle Shadow (by Shamardal, and a three-quarters relative to Balios).

Balios is the first stakes winner for Shamardal out of a Galileo mare, but is the eleventh for the sire out of all mares from the Sadler’s Wells line, and Shamardal’s son, Lope de Vega also has a first crop stakes winner out of a mare by Galileo.

The Shamardal/Galileo cross is something of a reverse to Gleneagles, a son of Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare who is a sister to Giant’s Causeway, and there was another, albeit somewhat less prestigious, Royal Ascot stakes winner by Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare in Aloft, who took the Queen’s Vase, run for three-year-olds over a two miles. It’s a little surprising that he saw out the trip, as he’s half-brother to sprint group winner Beauty Bright, and out of Dietrich, a two-time group winner over five furlongs. The second dam, Piquetnol, was group one placed at France at two, and is a sister to Chimes of Freedom, a group one winner at two and three, and subsequently dam of Champion U.S. Sprinter Aldebaran and grade one scorer Good Journey. Others under the third dam, juvenile group one winner Aviance, include Champion Miler Spinning World, Champion Irish Two-Year-Old Colt Pathfork, and group and grade one winners Denon and Saddex.

The Albany Stakes (gr. III) saw Zoffany (by Dansili) equal the feat of New Approach by being represented by three first crop Royal Ascot stakes winners. The winner, Illuminate is out of the Green Desert mare, Queen of Stars, a half-sister to Italian group scorer and Italian Oaks (gr. I) second, Lady Catherine. The second dam, Queen Catherine, is a French listed winner by Machiavellian out of Nureyev’s group placed daughter, Russian Royal.

Illuminate has quite a pedigree as both her sire and dam are Danzig/Machiavellian crosses with Danzig 4×4 and Machiavellian 3×3. Illuminate has five crosses of Northern Dancer, six of Northern Dancer’s dam, Natalma, and eight of his granddam, Almahmoud.

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