Magnificient Style was already regarded as a true blue hen of the breeding shed but two of her offspring, the full-siblings Nathaniel and Great Heavens, boosted her credentials yet further on Saturday with a tremendous Group-race double in the Eclipse Stakes and the Lancashire Oaks.
Trainer John Gosden had been advising caution for supporters of Nathaniel ahead of his seasonal resumption but the son of Galileo looked to have strengthened impressively since his last Group 1 victory in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and, under a bold ride from William Buick, proved just too tenacious up Sandown’s hill for his main challenger, runner-up Farrh. The 2010 Eclipse winner Twice Over ran home gamely to take third.
If an absence of 266 days appeared to put Nathaniel’s chances in doubt ahead of the off, the omens suggested otherwise, with his stable-mate Trade Commissioner, another Rothschild homebred, won the preceding race at Sandown just 15 minutes before three-year-old Great Heavens notched a hat-trick and her first Pattern success with a similarly determined all-the-way effort in the Lancashire Oaks at Haydock.
Magnificient Style, who was bought privately from the Sangster family by Lord and Lady Rothschild when carrying Nathaniel, is the dam of ten winners, eight of which are stakes winners. Five of those winners have been trained by Gosden, who also guided Playful Act, by Great Heavens’ grandsire Sadler’s Wells, to victory in the Lancashire Oaks and the Fillies’ Mile, while her full-brother Percussionist won the Lingfield Derby Trial for the trainer.
Now 19, Magnificient Style’s other black-type winners are Echoes In Eternity (Spinning World), who won the Park Hill and the Sun Chariot Stakes, Feilden Stakes winner Petara Bay (Peintre Celebre), and the dual American Grade 3 winner Changing Skies (Sadler’s Wells).
Saturday’s victories continued a fine run of form, not only for Gosden’s Clarehaven Stables, but also for Lady Rothschild’s runners, which include last weekend’s Listed winners Thistle Bird and Polygon.
Nathaniel is now owned in partnership with Newsells Park Stud, where he will start his stallion career on retirement from racing.