The Royal Ascot seven furlong Jersey Stakes (gr. III) for three-year-olds who have yet to win a group race went to Gale Force Ten, who produced a super-game effort to prevail after being headed close home. The result was a significant boost for the form of both the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), in which Gale Force Ten was a very close fourth, and the Irish Guineas (gr. I), in which he was beaten 3½ lengths by Magician (who had excuses for a lackluster effort in the St. James’s Palace yesterday).
Gale Force Ten is by Oasis Dream (by Green Desert), crack two-year-old and sprinter, winning the Middle Park Stakes (gr. I), July Cup (gr. I) and Nunthorpe Stakes (gr. I). Oasis Dream has been an outstanding sire, and since his first runners hit the track in 2007 has sired 67 stakes winners, 33 group/grade, and nine group/grade one winners. By a sprinter, out of a staying-bred mare, he’s proved to be a stallion who can handle crossing with staying mares, and his offspring have scored at the highest level from five to 12 furlongs.
Gale Force Ten’s dam, Ronaldsay (by Kirkwall, by Selkirk), won at up to 11 furlongs, and scored a black-type win in the Warwickshire Oaks. She is half-sister to Crackle, whose daughter, Pickle, won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. III) while racing in the U.S. Bred to Oasis Dream – a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating – Pickle produced Gale Force Ten’s close relative,Gusto, a four-time sprint stakes winner. Gale Force Ten is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the Oasis Dream/Selkirk cross, which has five stakes winners from 25 starters. Oasis Dream actually has seven stakes winners out of Sharpen Up line mares, and this is part of a larger Danzig/Sharpen Up cross which has more than 110 stakes for the Green Desert branch alone. The potential for the cross was first signed by the connection between two Epsom Oaks winners, Steady Aim, the third dam of Danzig, and Rockfel, dam of Sharpen Up’s broodmare sire, Rockefella. At this point, however, we would think of this being “an associative pointer” rather than attributal as a direct cause, as the two individuals are in the sixth and seventh generations.
The second race, the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (gr. II) also went to the Danzig line, via Duntle, a daughter of Danehill Dancer. Bred by Airlie Stud and owned by the Niarchos family (as Flaxman Holdings), Duntle is by Danehill’s veteran son, Danehill Dancer. Duntle’s dam, Lady Angola, is a daughter of Lord at War, an Argentine-bred grandson of Brigadier Gerard, who was a Champion in his native country, and a group one winner and influential sire in the U.S. A half-sister to Lady Angola produced grade one winning millionaire Honor in War to Lord at War, and matings between Lord at War and Duntle’s third dam, theSecretariat mare, Lady Winborne, resulted in grade one winner La Gueriere (dam of grade one winner Icon Project, and granddam of young sire prospect Munnings), Hong Kong graded winner Lord of Warriors, and Lady Lochinvar (dam of millionaire Master Command). Lady Winborne is half-sister to European all-time great, Allez France, a daughter of Sea-Bird II, whose son Little Current is sire of Duntle’s granddam. Duntle rates A+ for TrueNicks on the basis of the Danzig/Lord at War cross.
In the ten furlong Prince of Wales’s Stakes (gr. I) over ten furlongs Mukhadram (by Giant’s Causeway’s son, Shamardal) nearly slipped the field, but was nailed on the line by Al Kazeem (by Dubawi). Five-year-old Al Kazeem to a while to come right, and won only two of seven starts racing at two and three. However, he took a step forward in his only start at four, winning the Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II), before being sidelined by a pelvic stress fracture. Returning this year, he’s gone three-for-three, his other starts seeing him take the Gordon Richards Stakes (gr. III) and Tattersalls Gold Cup (gr. I), in which he accounted for last year’s three-year-old star Camelot (who was fourth in the Prince of Wales’s). Al Kazeem is by Dubawi, winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), Prix Jacques Le Marois (gr. I) and National Stakes (gr. I), and by far and away the best runner sired by the superb Dubai Millennium (by Seeking the Gold), in a tragically short stud career. Dubawi’s first crop only hit the track in 2009, and he already has 55 stakes winners to his name, including 11 group or grade one winners, including Poet’s Voice, Makfi, Monterosso, Dubawi Heights and Luck or Design.
Al Kazeem’s dam, Kazeem, a daughter of Darshaan, out of Kanz (by The Minstrel), won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (gr. III), and ran second in the Yorkshire Oaks (gr. I). The third dam, Treasure Chest, was a good stakes winner at set a track-record for seven furlongs. By Rough’n Tumble, she was a sister to Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, My Dear Girl, who is now best known as dam of In Reality. Treasure Chest also produced graded scorer Diomedia and stakes winner Gold Treasure, and she’s ancestress of numerous other top-class performers, including the brothers Glint of Gold and Diamond Shoal (both Champions/highweights in Europe), Italian Oaks (gr. I) victress Zanzibar, German Champion Catella, Hong Kong star, Floral Pegasus, Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) heroine Ensconse, and other group one winners Armiger, Shining Energy and Law Enforcement.
Al Kazeem is an example of a pattern we often see working, that of crossing a stallion back over his own broodmare sire line, in this case, Zomaradah, the dam of Dubawi, and Kazeem are both by sons of Shirley Heights. In fact Zomaradah, who won the Italian Oaks (gr. I) and ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf (gr. I), and Kazeem are actually parallel Shirley Heights/Northern Dancer crosses.
The Queen Mary Stakes (gr. II) a sprint for two-year-old fillies fell to Rizeena, who just reeled in Sweet Emma Rose, a U.S.-trained daughter of City Zip. She is by Iffraaj, a son of Zafonic (by Gone West) out of a Nureyev half-sister to good sire, Cape Cross, who won three group two events at seven furlongs, and was runner-up in the July Cup (gr. I) at a furlong shorter. Iffraaj made an astonishing start to his career, his first crop, which race in 2010, producing 38 juvenile winners , including grade one scorer Wootton Bassett. Like most horses who begin their stud careers relatively inexpensively, Iffraaj has been a little quieter since (although his shuttle crop foaled in New Zealand in 2009 has done reasonably well), but one could look for him to bounce back in 2015 with his first “rebound crop.”
The dam, Serena’s Storm, is by Storm Cat’s son, Statue of Liberty and is closely-related to Australian multiple graded winner Puissance de Lune, who is by Storm Cat grandson, Shamardal, out of Serena’s Storm’s dam, Princess Serena (by Unbridled’s Song). The third dam, Serena’s Sister is also dam of multiple graded winner Doubles Partner and stakes winner Stormy Venus. Interestingly enough, Stormy Venus is by a son of Storm Cat, and when bred to the Gone West son, Mr. Greeley, produced South American stakes winner Don Americo, whose bred on similar lines to Rizeena. As her name suggests, Serena’s Sister, is a sibling to the splendid runner and producer Serena’s Song.
The final stakes race of the day at Royal Ascot, the Sandringham Handicap a listed race for fillies at a mile, went to Annecdote, a three-year-old daughter of Lucky Story (by Kris S.). A group winning two-year-old and a brother to top miler, Dr. Fong, Lucky Story has previously been represented by Art Connoisseur, winner of the Golden Jubilee Stakes (gr. I) and Coventry Stakes (gr. II) at the Royal meet. This is the first stakes winner from at least the first six generations of the female line. Annecdote was TrueNicks rated B+ prior to her win on the basis of Kris S./Nureyev cross, which was also recently represented by three-year-old U.S. graded stakes winner Sarach. Annecdote is inbred 3 x 5 to Lucky Story’s broodmare sire, Miswaki, and we can note two stakes winners, one group one, by Lucky Story’s brother, Dr. Fong, with this pattern, and there is also a group winner out of a Dr. Fong mare with the pattern. Four other stallions, including Galileo and Dalakhani, who are out of Miswaki mares have stakes winners with Miswaki inbreeding, so if we may be permitted a bad pun, anecdotal evidence suggests it is a positive.