ROYAL ASCOT – DAY THREE: VISION OF GOLD

Despite being run over 2½ miles, the Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) resulted in a three way photo finish. In a Godolphin one-two, and after surviving a stewards’ inquiry, the verdict went to four-year-old Colour Vision, over Halling’s son, Opinion Poll, and Saddler’s Rock. The defending champion of the race, Fame and Glory, made a smooth move from the rear early in the stretch, but his run petered out, and he ended up seventh of nine.

Colour Vision (TrueNicks A++) is a last hurrah for his sire, Rainbow Quest, a Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) winning son of Blushing Groom, who for several years was the leading sire standing in England. The dam, Give Me Five, a group winner in German, is by Monsun, and from a family that has been in Germany since the 1890’s when U.S. bred Grave and Gay (by Domino’s rival Henry of Navarre) was imported. You have to go back to Colour Vision’s fifth dam, Grolldocnicht, to find the most recent top-class horse from the family, this being Grolldochnicht’s daughter, Ghana, Champion Older Mare in Germany, and dam of the Irish Oaks winner, Gaia.

While Colour Vision did hang in the closing stages of the Gold Cup, his deviation was nothing compared to that of Reckless Abandon in the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II), for two-year-olds run over five furlongs. Making only his second start Reckless Abandon looked as if he was set for a comfortable victory until he swerved dramatically across the course. Fortunately, he didn’t impeded any of his rivals, and got back on course in time to score by ¾ length.

Reckless Abandon is from the second Kentucky crop of Exchange Rate (by Danzig) a horse who has made quite a reputation as a sire of fast two-year-olds. The dam, Sant  Elena, by the prolific stakes sire Efisio (by Formidable, by Forli) is a stakes placed half-sister to the American Invitational Oaks (gr. I) and Queen Elizabeth II Invitational Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. I) winner Ticker Tape. The second dam, Argent du Bois (by Silver Hawk) is a granddam of the multiple group winning Chapel of Dreams, who was by Northern Dancer out of Terlingua, and thus a three-quarters sister to Storm Cat. Reckless Abandon is 5 x 4 to the noted foundation mare, Native Partner, who is in the tail-female line of Exchange Rate and also dam of Formidable. The same duplication is found in the pedigree of another Exchange Rate two-year-old Gordol du Mes (a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating in conjunction with Sal and Colleen Simeone of Sienna Farms in Florida) who was an impressive winner in Italy last month on his only start to date. He’s out of a mare by Arazi, a horse whose dam is half-sister to Formidable.

The great German sire, Monsun, who we’ve already mentioned as broodmare sire of Colour Vision, also had a winner on the day in German-bred Energizer, who took the Tercentenary Stakes (gr. III) for three-year-olds over ten furlongs. TrueNicks rated A++, Energizer, who is out of a mare by Theatrical, is one of four stakes winners from only 15 starters sired by Monsun out of Nureyev line mares (Colour Vision’s dam is another). Energizer’s dam, Erytheis, is half-sister to the Irish group winner Norman Invader, and her dam, the Lowther Stakes (gr. II) and Princess Margaret Stakes (gr. III) winner, Enthused, is by Seeking the Gold, out of Magic of Life, a Seattle Slew daughter who won the Coronation Stakes (gr. I) at Royal Ascot. The fourth dam, Larida, is a multiple graded stakes winner by Northern Dancer out of Kittiwake, and Energizer follows the Coventry winner, Dawn Approach, and Love Theway You are, who took the Vanity Handicap (gr. I) as the third group/graded winner from the Kittiwake/Ole Liz family in the last few days.

In 2002, Dermot Weld saddled Irresistible Jewel to win the Ribblesdale Stakes (gr. II), for three-year-old fillies, run over 1½ miles. Ten years on, he was represented by Princess Highway, a daughter of Irresistible Jewel, who romped home by six lengths. This was the third straight victory in four starts for Princess Highway, and the daughter of Street Cry, will now head towards the Irish Oaks (gr. I). Princess Highway (TrueNicks A++) is the product of a very successful cross, as Street Cry has now sired four graded stakes winners from only 12 starters out of mares by Irresistible Jewel’s broodmare sire, Danehill. It’s not surprising that this cross has enjoyed considerable success as Street Cry, who is free of Northern Dancer, is by Machiavellian, whose dam is by Halo (granddam, Almahmoud, also granddam of Northern Dancer) out of a daughter of Northern Dancer’s dam, Natalma. Danehill is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a granddaughter of Natalma, so Street Cry and Danehill give two daughters and a son (Northern Dancer) of Natalma, and four crosses of Almahmoud.  Princess Highway has another cross of Northern Dancer through her second dam, In Anticipation, a daughter of Sadler’s Wells. In Anticipation is dam of stakes winner, Diamond Trim, and when that mare was bred to Danehill, she produced Irresistible Jewel’s three-quarters sister, Profound Beauty, twice high-weighted older mare in Ireland. The third dam is Fappiano’s daughter, Aptostar, winner of the Acorn Stakes (gr. I).

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