It was on a blustery Newmarket Rowley Mile 13 years ago that Dark Angel set the seal on an excellent start to Acclamation’s stud career by landing the Middle Park Stakes for Barry Hills. Produced by a Machiavellian mare, the grey was his sire’s first Group 1 winner in a lengthy stud career and has since become one of the leading lights of the European stallion scene.
Matters came full circle on Saturday when Supremacy lifted this year’s renewal on a similarly blustery Newmarket day. In victory, the colt became the first Group 1 winner for his young sire Mehmas, the runaway leader among this season’s first-crop sires. And like Dark Angel, Mehmas is a son of Acclamation and out of a Dark Angel mare, in his case Lucina.
Just for good measure, Mehmas also supplied the third home, Minzaal, while it would have been interesting to have known how another son, Method, would have fared had his saddle not slipped.
Mehmas himself actually lined up in the Middle Park Stakes of 2016. He had progressed through a busy two-year-old season for Richard Hannon and Al Shaqab Racing, winning four races including the Group 2 July and Richmond Stakes after changing hands for 170,000gns as a Tattersalls Craven breezer. He was also second to Churchill in the Group 1 National Stakes and ultimately ran with credit in the Middle Park when third to The Last Lion. That race turned out to be his swansong, with the colt retiring straight to Tally-Ho Stud following that effort. It was understandably a decision that didn’t please the purists but from a commercial perspective, it made sense – just as it had done for Dark Angel following his two-year-old season nine years previously.
Mehmas proved to be a highly commercial package, covering 187 mares in that opening season at a fee of €12,500. He tends to throw a strong, forward type not too dissimilar to himself and they were duly quick to be unleashed once racing resumed in June, all of which means that he has never been short of ammunition.
As it currently stands, he has been represented by close to 90 individual runners across Europe. Yet in fairness, that group includes 34 winners to place him within striking distance of the first-crop record of 38 set by Iffraaj in 2010. More importantly, he has already sired six stakes performers; in addition to Supremacy, who had previously emulated his sire by winning the Richmond Stakes, the list comprises the aforementioned Gimcrack Stakes winner Minzaal, Rose Bowl Stakes winner Method, Roses Stakes winner Acklam Express, Gimcrack Stakes third Mystery Smiles and the Listed-placed Muker, who was also the stallion’s first winner when successful at Newcastle on June 2. Another representative, Line Of Departure, also landed the £200,000 Weatherbys Bank 2-Y-O Stakes at Doncaster earlier this month.
“In victory, the colt became the first Group 1 winner for his young sire Mehmas”
Those breeders who sent 114 mares to Mehmas at a fee of €7,500 this season have good reason to feel very satisfied.
In the case of Supremacy, he was bred in Ireland by Kangyu International Racing. However, he hails from a particularly live family associated with Paul and Marie McCartan’s Ballyphilip Stud that has long thrived in the hands of his trainer Clive Cox via the likes of Harry Angel and Xtension. Now add Supremacy, a £65,000 purchase by Cox out of the Owenstown Stud draft at last year’s Goffs UK Premier Sale, to the list.
Supremacy is the third foal and winner out of the Arcano mare Triggers Broom, whose second, Star Alexander, won once as a two-year-old last year for Cox. Her first, the Dandy Man gelding Triggered, won twice for Ed Walker and was rated 90 at his peak.
Triggers Broom’s burgeoning stud career is a remarkable development considering she retired from racing with a terrible rating of 36.
However, she is well related as a daughter of the Grand Lodge mare Great Joy and therefore a half-sister to one of Cox’s first stars in Xtension.
One of the best sired by the former Darley stallion Xaar and produced by Ballyphilip, Xtension was picked up by his trainer for just €15,000 as a Tattersalls Ireland September yearling.
Xtension made a mockery of that price, firstly by winning the 2009 Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood before filling the frame in the Dewhurst Stakes, 2,000 Guineas and Prix Jean Prat. A tough horse, he later acquitted himself well in Hong Kong for John Moore, for whom he won the 2011 and 2012 editions of Group 1 BMW Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
Prior to Xtension, Great Joy had foaled the Cadeaux Genereux filly Beatrix Potter, for whom Peter Doyle gave €120,000 at the 2006 Goffs Million Sale. Unlike Xtension, Beatrix Potter didn’t come close to justifying that price on the track, failing to win in 15 starts (although she was only two lengths adrift of the subsequent Group 1 winner Saoirse Abu when fifth on debut for Francis Ennis at Naas). However, bought back by Ballyphilip, she has developed into a broodmare of real note, primarily as the dam of the crack Cox-trained sprinter Harry Angel.
Another relatively inexpensive purchase by Cox, in his case when sold by Ballyphilip for £44,000 at the 2015 Goffs UK Premier Sale, Harry Angel went on to win the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes as a two-year-old and the Group 1 July Cup and bet365 Cup during a championship season at three. He also won the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes and ran second in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes at four.
Just as Harry Angel was taking his place on the stallion roster at Dalham Hall Stud, Beatrix Potter was to the fore again, this time as the dam of the 2019 Mill Reef Stakes hero Pierre Lapin, by far the best runner sired in two crops by Cappella Sansevero.
Pierre Lapin has failed to fire in three starts this year but he has been gelded since an underwhelming effort in the Hungerford Stakes in August, and it will be interesting to see how he fares for Roger Varian next season.
Beatrix Potter was sold privately to the China Horse Club after foaling Pierre Lapin and has plenty coming for her in the pipeline, notably a two-year-old sister to Harry Angel named Fanciful Tale who was bought for €1 million by Godolphin as a yearling, and a filly foal from the first crop of the American Triple Crown hero Justify.
“Supremacy’s emergence as one of Europe’s best two-year-olds is naturally excellent news for his breeder Kangyu International Racing”
In addition to Xtension and Beatrix Potter, Triggers Broom is also a half-sister to the Listed-placed A Huge Dream, dam of the Listed-winning sprinter Mrs Gallagher.
This family joined the Ballyphilip fold in 2003 with the purchase of Great Joy for 24,000gns at the Tattersalls December Mares Sale.
From the first crop of Grand Lodge, the Listed-placed Great Joy was a half-sister to Listed winner A La Carte and out of the unraced Spectacular Bid mare Cheese Soup. Her dam, the Grade 3-placed Avum, was a tough ten-time winner and latterly became a noted producer whose eight winners were led by the American Grade 2 scorer Minneapple. She is also the ancestress of American Grade 1 winners Stephen Got Even, also a successful sire, and Artemis Agrotera.
In turn, Avum was a half-sister to the high-class Lord Avie. Bought for just $37,000 as a two-year-old in training at Hialeah and trained by Danny Perlsweig, the Lord Gaylord colt won the Grade 1 Champagne and Young America Stakes during his championship juvenile season of 1980 and returned at three to land the Grade 1 Florida Derby. He later stood in Kentucky, where he became a useful stallion.
Supremacy’s emergence as one of Europe’s best two-year-olds is naturally excellent news for his breeder Kangyu International Racing, which purchased him in utero through SackvilleDonald for 110,000gns at the 2017 Tattersalls December Sale.
Kangyu International Racing campaigned the classy sprinter Cotai Glory and have endeavoured to support him at stud; Triggers Broom was one such mare and the resulting colt is catalogued as Lot 500 from Owenstown Stud at Book 1 of the upcoming Tattersalls October Sale.
The Arcano mare also has a filly foal by Cotai Glory and was covered by that stallion again this year.