O’Brien duo’s Derby claims
Chester has become a noted track for Derby hopefuls to test their credentials before Epsom, and one individual who made a firm impression ahead of the colt’s Classic was the Aidan O’Brien-trained Sir Dragonet.
The son of Camelot had made a winning debut only 14 days before lining up in the Group 3 MBNA Chester Vase on Wednesday, but he showed rapid progression from Tipperary to win the contest by a sensational eight lengths.
Sir Dragonet does not hold an entry in this year’s Derby and connections would have to supplement the three-year-old into the race, but a deeper look at his pedigree gives confidence that he would be more than qualified for the contest.
He is by the 2012 2,000 Guineas, Derby and Irish Derby hero Camelot and is the first foal out of the Oasis Dream mare Sparrow. His third dam is none other than legendary mare Urban Sea, who not only was victorious in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but also went on to be the dam of superstars Galileo and Sea The Stars – both of whom were successful in the Epsom showpiece.
Bred by Orpendale, Wynatt and Chelston, Sir Dragonet is from the second crop of Camelot. A son of Montjeu, Camelot has now supplied 16 stakes winners, including the top-level scorers Athena, Latrobe and Wonderment.
On Thursday, another O’Brien inmate put himself firmly in the Derby picture thanks to a workmanlike success in the Listed Dee Stakes. Circus Maximus, owned by the Niarchos family and the Coolmore partners, holds an entry in the 1m4f contest.
Circus Maximus was bred by Flaxman Stables and is a son of perennial champion sire Galileo out of the Group 2-winning miler Duntle, a daughter of Danehill Dancer.
Dandy Man’s treble
Ballyhane Stud resident Dandy Man looks to have another of couple exciting prospects in the shape of Chester winners Great Dame and Leodis Dream, both of whom were successful on the opening day of the three-day meeting on Wednesday.
It was the David O’Meara-trained Great Dame who got the ball rolling when she followed up her first success at Ripon last month with a half-length victory in the 5f Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes. Bred by Mark Salmon, Great Dame is out of the winning Diktat mare Aunt Hester and is a half-sister to the German Group 2 scorer Donnerschlag and Listed winner Izzy Bizu.
Raced in the colours of Nick Bradley Racing 7 and Partner 2, it was Nick Bradley Racing who secured the juvenile for £30,000 as a yearling at last year’s Goffs UK Premier Yearling Sale.
O’Meara was also responsible for Leodis Dream, who landed the 5f Boodles Diamond Handicap.
— Owner Breeder (@OwnerBreeder) January 12, 2019
R & M Bloodstock bred Leodis Dream out of the two-year-old winner Paddy Again, a daughter of Moss Vale, and the gelding went through the ring on three occasions; firstly as a foal when bought by Clifton Stud for €24,000, secondly as a yearling where Howson & Houldsworth Bloodstock went to €25,000 for him, and finally as a juvenile at the Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Breeze-Up Sale where Federico Barberini paid £58,000 for him.
On Friday, Dandy Man posted his third winner at Chester’s May meeting when the Tom Dascombe-trained She Can Boogie, who had finished third behind Leodis Dream on Wednesday, got the better of the opposition to take out the White Oak UK Conditions Stakes (5f).
A high-class sprinter who won at Listed level three times, Dandy Man also finished runner-up in the (then) Group 2 King’s Stand Stakes. Having begun his stud career at a fee of €4,500, his ability to get such high-class stock as La Pelosa, River Boyne and now QIPCO 1,000 Guineas second Lady Kaya means he is standing at a career high fee of €12,500 this year.
Exciting debutant for Kingman
There has been a palpable buzz around Kingman since his first crop hit the track last year and he looks to have an exciting prospect in his second crop in the shape of the David O’Meara-trained Full Authority.
The colt made his debut in the 5f maiden on Thursday and immediately led the race when the stalls opened. He never saw another rival and stormed home to win by six lengths.
Epona Bloodstock bred Full Authority out of the Maria’s Mon mare Ashley Hall. His owner, Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah, went to 115,000gns to secure him at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale last year.
Full Authority’s eye-catching performance comes ahead of a potentially big weekend for Banstead Manor Stud resident Kingman. His son, Persian King, lines up in the French 2,000 Guineas at Longchamp on Sunday in a bid to supply his sire with a first-crop Group 1 winner.
Johnston’s shrewd purchase
It is no secret that trainer Mark Johnston is a shrewd operator when it comes to unearthing stock at the sales and there was further evidence of that on Friday when 16,000gns yearling purchase Aquarium captured the Boodles Diamond Handicap (1m2½f).
The son of Leroidesanimaux, a half-brother to dual Group 3 winner Cubanita bred by Kirsten Rausing, was picked up by Johnston at the 2016 December Yearling Sale, and has since gone on to amass almost £100,000 in prize-money.