Like his grandfather and father before him – Turf Talk: 4 June 2018
When the racing world’s most famous crossbelts were carried to victory in the French Derby yesterday by Study of Man, there could hardly have been a more emphatic demonstration of the global nature of bloodstock racing and breeding.
The son of Deep Impact provided that supersire from Japan with his third European Classic winner, while back home, the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen was won by Mozu Ascot, a son of UK-based Frankel.
However, the fact that Deep Impact did not have another Classic win on the weekend was not only a matter of celebration for hundreds of bookies but also for the Royal Blue of Godolphin, passing Federico Tesio’s “Piece of Wood” at Epsom for the first time.
Yes, Lammtarra won in 1995 but in the green colours of Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew, sent out from the then relatively new Godolphin operation. The tragic murder of Lammtarra’s Newmarket trainer Alex Scott had brought about that transfer.
Lammtarra’s Derby was, unusually, his seasonal reappearance and was the first Saturday Derby forming part – not of “the” Triple Crown – but of a hell of a treble, following up with the King George and the Arc. Only Mill Reef has also done that.
The brave, underrated little chestnut had another quiz question tied to him. Lamtarra was out of the Blushing Groom mare Snow Bride, the 1989 Oaks Winner by default after the disqualification of HH The Aga Khan’s Aliysa.
Since then… well it’s been a long wait for the massive, powerful Godolphin operation and there is a very happy irony in the Masar’s victory on Saturday, sent out by one of their own trainers Charlie Appleby.
For many years, Coolmore and Godolphin famously boycotted each other in the sense of not buying stock by each other’s stallions. A common observa-tion about Godolphin perhaps not winning as many Group 1s as might be expected was “Not surprising – they’re trying to do it without Galileo”. Well, life is never as simple and the name of Dubawi of course ranks right up there, but look what has happened?
Before the “boycott” was ended after a management shake-up at Godolphin and reciprocal action by Coolmore, Godolphin had raced the progeny of a Coolmore sire or two by purchasing from third parties.
New Approach – a name known in South Africa through a few successful runners – was bought by Sheikh Mohammed’s operation from owner/trainer Jim Bolger during a successful racing career. New Approach was bred by Lodge Park Stud which meant Seamus Burns, a client of this writer with whom we have tried and failed to buy the best at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale for a number of years.
Seamus’s excellent Ahonoora mare Park Express visited Galileo, producing New Approach, a stunning looking chestnut who became a dual Group 1 win-ner at 2. After the purchase, continuing to be trained by Jim Bolger, he raced in the colours of HRH Princess Haya of Jordan. The wife of Sheik Mohammed is undoubtedly true to her nationality, culture and the roots of her father King Hussein, something of an anglophile, but she bridges cultures by being seemingly as English as can be when in the country having gone to school in England and taken a degree in PPE at Oxford.
An Olympian herself, member of the International Olympic Committee, two-time President of the FEI responsible for great advances, and immersed in humanitarian work, New Approach’s owner when interviewed after The Derby deferred to Sheikh Mohammed as if a full-blown member of the Diplomatic Corps.
New Approach went to stud at Dalham Hall at a strong fee but made everyone stand back when in his first crop he sired no less than three juvenile Royal Ascot winners.
Astonishing! Not long afterwards, this seemed like flattery / deception and his whopping fee needed to tumble, but never to anything low. His well-bred fillies being sold on at 2 and 3, usually stamped smart and chestnut by their sire, were excellent breeding prospects, often shunned while his roller coaster car was in a trough.
And so to Epsom on Saturday. Masar (by New Approach out of a Darley Cape Cross mare) had won the Solario (Gr3) at Sandown at 2, finished 3rd in the Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère at Chantilly and run 6th behind Coolmore’s Mendelssohn in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He then wintered in Dubai running just once without distinction, but a key point of pride for Godolphin’s programme of wintering at their home.
First time out at Newmarket in the Guineas Trial (Gr3 Craven Stakes) he made everyone blink, gleaming in his coat while others looked – well – hairy after snow and ice. He won by an amazing 9 lengths. In the Guineas itself he was 3rd to the impressive Saxon Warrior, odds on favourite the day before yesterday and as short as 3/1 to complete the Triple Crown.
Saxon Warrior, uncomfortable before and during The Derby, will surely bounce back perhaps at The Curragh but an Epsom 1-2-3 of Middle Eastern owned colts trained in England was spearheaded by an impressive grandson of Galileo.
Galileo won The Vodafone Derby. His sons New Approach, Ruler of the World and Australia have won The Vodafone, Investec, Investec Derby respectively. Only New Approach has had time to sire a winner of The Investec Derby and he has. Granddad, Dad and now the new young lad. All Derby Winners.
Been done before? Well I’m not sure going all the way back but the wonderful Never Bend line has done it: Mill Reef (1971 Derby) begat Shirley Heights (1975) who begat Slip Anchor (1982) – a lovely sequence of naming.
Shirley Heights gave us the great Darshaan and his good broodmare sire son Mark of Esteem. Slip Anchor sired European Champion filly User Friendly.
Masar has plenty more racing in him, surely, but he is the one with a chance of siring a fourth Derby Winner in the sequence. –tt.