Breeding the Elite as Marsha bags coveted Group 1 Nunthorpe
The four-year-old filly is one of three Group 1 winners by Acclamation
It always seemed likely Acclamation would make his mark on the 2017 Nunthorpe, with Battaash, a descendant through Dark Angel, one of two main protagonists.
But while Shadwell's hitherto progressive three-year-old rather fluffed his lines, it seems the somewhat overlooked Marsha hadn't even bothered to study hers, as the Sir Mark Prescott-trained filly put in a ferocious finishing effort to nail Lady Aurelia in the final nanosecond of the Group 1 prize.
The four-year-old Marsha is one of three top-level winners by Acclamation, an 18-year-old son of Royal Applause who has stood 14 consecutive breeding seasons at Rathbarry Stud. The other two are Middle Park Stakes winner Dark Angel and dual King's Stand Stakes hero Equiano.
Friday's success also follows hot on the heels of some other notable results for the progeny of Acclamation, with Juddmonte's two-year-old colt Expert Eye rocketing to the head of the 2,000 Guineas betting after running away with the Group 2 Vintage Stakes, and Aclaim running a career best to finish second in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
Marsha is also a fine advert for the Elite Racing Club, whose members not only own the four-year-old speedball, but have also bred several generations of her female family.
Marsha is out of the homebred Marju mare Marlinka, a Listed winner over 5f in France for Roger Charlton, which means she is a half-sister to the talented Judicial, who added further black type to the page when finishing runner-up in the Listed Queensferry Stakes at Chester earlier this year.
While certainly the best, Marsha is by no means the only success story to emerge from the Acclamation over Marju cross, with the mating resulting in eight other winners from 13 runners, including the Group 3 scorer Talwar.
Marlinka is out of another Elite homebred in Baralinka, whose seven runners produced four winners. Baralinka, a daughter of noted broodmare sire Barathea, is also a winning half-sister to another high-achieving Elite Racing bred and owned mare, the five-time Group 1 winner Soviet Song.
The likes of Triumph Hurdle hero Penzance and 2014 Prix Jean Romanet heroine Ribbons also appear further back in Marsha's pedigree.
There could still be more to come from Marlinka's brood too, as she also has a three-year-old filly named Marseille, a winning daughter of Excelebration, as well as an unraced two-year-old Cape Cross colt named Magistrate in training with James Fanshawe, a yearling filly by Iffraaj and a filly foal by Dark Angel.
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