By Quality Road out of Shiva - Sputnik Planum one to watch on Friday
Also a half-sister to popular Wicklow Brave to look forward to
On a Friday with lots of intriguingly bred newcomers in Britain, the pick of the bunch is perhaps Sputnik Planum in the 1m2f maiden race for three-year-olds at Nottingham (5.45).
The Niarchos family's homebred colt is by a US stallion in the news, out of a mare who beat the colts at the highest level and hails from a family in flying form.
The David Lanigan-trained Sputnik Planum is a son of Quality Road, a four-time Grade 1 winner who stands at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky and has supplied four top-level winners including Abel Tasman – successful in the Kentucky Oaks last Friday – as well as Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf scorer Hootenanny.
He is out of the Hector Protector mare Shiva, who defeated a great champion in Daylami when she won the Tattersalls Gold Cup by two and a half lengths in 1999.
Shiva is a half-sister to Oaks heroine Light Shift, the dam of last month's Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes winner Ulysses, and also to Strawberry Fledge, the dam of this month's Group 1 Prix Ganay winner Cloth Of Stars.
Shiva has not exactly sparkled at stud, although her daughter That Which Is Not, by Quality Road's sire Elusive Quality, won the Listed Prix Zarkava last month.
Half-sister to a dream horse
There is only one unraced entrant in the 1m3½f three-year-old maiden at Lingfield (2.15) and Dreamtide just happens to be a sibling to a horse becoming one of the most popular in training.
The filly, trained by Amanda Perrett for owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, is by Champs Elysees out of Moraine, a winning daughter of Rainbow Quest.
That makes her a half-sister to Wicklow Brave, who has won at the Cheltenham Festival in the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle, has taken a Classic in last year's Irish St Leger and then became a rare Classic winner-turned jumps Grade 1 winner when he scored in the Champion Hurdle at Punchestown last month.
Two-year-olds to savour
The two-year-old maidens are really warming up now with only five weeks until Royal Ascot and the 5f race for fillies at Ascot (6.05) could work out well with some interesting debutantes engaged.
Awesome, trained by Clive Cox for owner-breeder Carmel Stud, is by Bahamian Bounty out of the winning Peintre Celebre mare Ballymore Celebre, making her a sister to Anjaal, who won the July Stakes and was a close fourth in the Dewhurst at two, and who has proved popular in his early years as a stallion at Rathasker Stud.
Ertiyad, a £90,000 yearling trained by William Haggas for Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum, is by accomplished juvenile sire Dark Angel out of Lily Again, winner of the Listed Star Stakes at two.
Out Of The Flames was purchased by David Redvers on behalf of Qatar Racing for £190,000 at the Goffs UK Breeze-up Sale last month. The Richard Hannon-trained filly is by Showcasing, sire of that sale's best graduate of recent years, dual Group 1-winning sprinter Quiet Reflection, out of the Lucky Story mare Primo Lady, who scored in the Listed Marygate Stakes at York at two and had earlier written her name in the history books by becoming the first ever winner of a Racing Post Yearling Bonus payout.
Midday could strike twice
Midterm will be a leading fancy for the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes at Chester (3.35) and look out for his three-year-old three-parts sister Mori – by Frankel out of the brilliant racemare Midday – when she attempts to break her maiden at the second attempt in the 1m2f fillies' maiden at Ascot (6.40) for the same connections, trainer Sir Michael Stoute and owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah.