A look at the pedigrees of the Leopardstown Classic trial winners
Leopardstown staged a trio of Classic trials on Saturday, and while all three winners have done their form claims no harm, what do their pedigrees tell us about their chances of landing a prestigious prize further down the line?
The Listed Ballylinch Stud 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes went the way of Gustav Klimt, one of 436 stakes performers by perennial champion sire Galileo. The colt is bred on the tried and tested method of pairing the son of Sadler's Wells with a speedy and precocious female partner.
The three-year-old was bred by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt out of Massarra, a daughter of Danehill who landed a Newmarket Listed race over 6f at two while in training with John Dunlop and owned by Prince A A Faisal.
A very smart two-year-old himself, Saturday's victory was Gustav Klimt's second at stakes level, having won last year's Group 2 Superlative Stakes in impressive fashion. Indeed, his siblings have also tended to come to hand early, even those by the Derby winner Galileo.
Massarra - who has produced nine winners from as many runners, including the Group 1 Gran Criterium scorer Nayarra - was bought by Coolmore for 600,000gns at the 2009 Tattersalls December Sale while carrying a colt by Galileo.
She has visited the Coolmore kingpin each year since she changed hands, matings that have produced St James's Palace Stakes third Mars, Group 3 winner Wonderfully and the Listed-winning Cuff.
She also has a two-year-old filly by Galileo, named Fire Fly, and a yearling filly by the same sire.
Massarra boasts an exceptional pedigree, as she is out of the Prix de Diane winner Rafha, who produced no fewer than eight black-type performers, most notably Haydock Sprint Cup winner and Irish National Stud stalwart Invincible Spirit and his closely related half-brother Kodiac, who in 2017 smashed the world record for number of two-year-old winners supplied in a calendar year.
Further back on the page are the likes of Pretty Polly Stakes winner Chinese White, the dual Group 1-winning two-year-old Pride Of Dubai, who now stands at Coolmore, and last year's Mill Reef Stakes winner James Garfield.
Given the way Gustav Klimt stayed on over 7f, the mile of the 2,000 Guineas should hold no fears. But given the precocity his family have tended to show, it remains to be seen if he will keep improving for quite as long as some of his peers.
Remember the name
Who's Steph has clearly progressed well during her winter break, as the three-year-old daughter of Zoffany stormed to a decisive success in the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud Priory Belle 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes.
The filly was signed for by her trainer - Ger Lyons - at €40,000 from the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale, having been pinhooked as a foal by Whitehall Stud for €20,000.
The grey is one of 14 stakes winners by her sire, whose leading performers include dual Oaks runner-up Architecture, the smart Foundation and the Group 1 winner Ventura Storm.
Although her performance on Saturday entitles her connections to harbour Classic aspirations, there is, however, not quite so much encouragement to be taken from her pedigree.
She is the second foal of the placed Verglas mare Llew Law, whose half-brother Hototo landed the 2012 Windsor Castle Stakes over 5f.
Who's Steph's second dam is the Listed-placed Harlem Dancer, in a pedigree otherwise short on black-type performers.
Nelson sails on
Frankel looks to have another live candidate for Epsom in early June after Nelson fought to a game victory over stablemate Delano Roosevelt in the Group 3 PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes.
Another winner on the card bred by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt, Nelson is from Frankel's second crop, and is one of 16 Group winners sired by the Banstead Manor Stud resident.
Nelson is the sixth foal out of Moonstone, a daughter of Dalakhani who finished second to Look Here in the 2008 Oaks before going one better in the Irish equivalent. Moonstone has also proved herself a highly talented broodmare, with all five of her foals to race having won at stakes level.
Her highest-rated offspring by Racing Post Ratings is US Army Ranger, who achieved a mark of 122 when beaten just a length and a half by Harzand in the 2016 Derby. The son of Galileo has since rather lost his way, however, and was last seen finishing 18th of 23 behind Rekindling in the Melbourne Cup.
Moonstone's other progeny are Words, a Group 3-winning daughter of Dansili, that filly's Listed-winning brother Nevis, and half-brother Stubbs, also a Listed winner.
Moonstone also is a half-sister to Prix Saint-Alary winner Cerulean Sky and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf runner-up L'Ancresse, so this is plainly a pedigree packed with stamina and class.