Preps for the Dubai World Cup meeting continued at Meydan on February 23, with the UAE Oaks (gr. III) and Meydan Classic.
A slowly-run Oaks saw Falls Of Lora (TrueNicks A++), who had good, but not outstanding form in Europe last year – she ended the year with a fifth of five finish in the Prix Marcel Boussac, although beaten only 6½ lengths – run down the long-time leader, Mary Fildes, to score by 2¾ lengths. By Street Cry out of the Danehill mare, Firth of Lorne, Falls of Lora is bred on one of those “had to happen crosses.” Street Cry is free of Northern Dancer, but linebred to Northern Dancer’s granddam, Almahmoud, once through Northern Dancer’s dam, Natalma. Danehill of course is a grandson of Northern Dancer, and his second dam is out of Natalma. Falls of Lora is the third graded stakes winner to appear from only 11 starters by Street Cry out of Danehill mares, the star for the nick being Australian grade one winner, Shocking.
Falls of Lora is half-sister to German listed winner, Etive (by Elusive Quality, another Mr. Prospector line horse who has found success with Danehill mares). Firth of Lora was a classic performer in her own right, taking second in the French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I), as well as landing a black-type event. Firth of Lora is half-sister to two other stakes producers, including Sadler’s Wells’ daughter, June Moon, who bred a trio of stakes winners by Zafonic, including Dupont(Italian 2,000 Guineas (gr. II) and German 2,000 Guineas (gr. II)), and Pacino (German 2,000 Guineas (gr. II)). The granddam, Kerrera – by Diesis out of group winner Rimosa’s Pet – is a half-sister to the talented multiple group winning sprinter/miler, Rock City, and herself won the Cherry Hinton Stakes (gr. III) and ran second in the English 1,000 Guineas (gr. I). The fifth dam,Rosy Dolly, is half-sister to English Derby winner Dante, and his St. Leger winning brother,Sayajirao, both by Nearco, the grandsire of Falls of Lora’s fourth dam, Rimosa. Despite these antecedents, close up the family has tended towards the faster end of the spectrum, and one wouldn’t guarantee that Falls of Lora would want to go too much further than the 9 1/2 furlongs of the UAE Oaks.
The Meydan Classic over a mile on turf was captured by Burano, who was winning for the first time in seven starts. Burano was bred by Sir Edmund Loder, whose family name will forever be associated with the “Peerless” Pretty Polly, but Burano’s pedigree is far more representative of the bloodlines of H. H. Aga Khan. He is by the Aga Khan’s French Derby (gr. I) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) victor, Dalakhani, and out of the Aga Khan-bred Kalimanta (by Lake Coniston, a top-class sprinting son of the Storm Bird horse, Bluebird). Kalimanta is half-sister to a trio of stakes winners, including Kalanisi (by Doyoun, like Dalakanhi a Mill Reef line stallion). The second dam, Kalamba, by Green Dancer out of the Riverman stakes winner,Kareena, is a sister to black-type winner, Karaferya. The family goes back to the Sayajirao mare, But Lovely, ancestress of numerous good winners, including the notable French sire,Kaldoun, and group winners Kerita, Keraka, Kalaman (another half-brother to Burano’s dam) and Karmiska.
Burano is Rated TrueNicks A on the basis of the Darshaan/Storm Bird cross, and Darshaan and his sons have also done well when crossed with mares descending in male-line from The Minstrel and Nijinsky II, both of whom are bred on similar lines to Storm Bird. Burano is also yet another stakes winner to combine the similarly-bred Mill Reef and Riverman, a pair who appear in going on for 120 stakes winners, 15 of them grade one, including Dalakhani’s standout, Conduit.