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Coolmore's purchase of pricey Evans mare rewarded again with Christmas

Son of Galileo strikes in the Listed Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary

Christmas (right) sticks his neck out to win the Caravaggio Stakes
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Stock that belonged to the late Edward P Evans appear to have thrown another high-class performer in Christmas, who became a 278th stakes winner for Galileo in Friday’s Listed Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary.

Christmas also becomes the fourth stakes horse from just five runners out of the 2007 Grade 1 Ashland Stakes winner Christmas Kid, who commanded $4.2 million from Aisling Duignan on behalf of Coolmore at the Evans dispersal at Keeneland in 2010.

The Bernardini foal she was carrying at the time turned out to be Father Christmas, third in the 2015 King Edward VII Stakes for Aidan O’Brien.

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Since then, the Lemon Drop Kid mare has been a regular partner of Galileo, to whom she has also foaled the 2016 Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial winner Black Sea. 

The Coolmore partners also campaigned the mare’s Elusive Quality colt, the 2013 Killavullan Stakes runner-up Michaelmas.

Both were secured out of the Evans dispersal at Keeneland in 2010.

Evans bred more than 100 stakes winners at his Spring Hill Farm in Virginia from 1969 to 2010, including American Horse of the Year Saint Liam and multiple Grade 1 winner Quality Road, now a leading sire, and buyers duly descended on Keeneland when his bloodstock came under the hammer upon his death.

At $4.2m, Christmas Kid was the highlight of 220 horses that turned over a total of $62,347,000. Michaelmas, then a weanling, was also a pricey acquisition, selling for $525,000 to Timmy Hyde.

Christmas Kid is the best runner out of Christmas Gift, a rare American-bred foal by Green Desert who won a pair of turf Group 3 races for Evans. In turn, she was the best foal out of Listed winner Christmas Bonus, whose Grade 1-placed daughter Bright Candles left her mark on the breed as the dam of successful Coolmore Kentucky stallion Grand Slam.

Further back, this is a noted Calumet Farm family that goes back to Plum Cake, the granddam of their great Alydar.

Christmas is one of two stakes-winning juveniles for Galileo so far this year alongside Tyros Stakes winner Anthony Van Dyck. Another representative, Highland Reel’s brother Cape Of Good Hope, recently ran second to Quorto in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

Stock once belonging to Evans have done his name proud since they were dispersed in 2010. For instance, Gun Runner, a product of Evans’ outstanding Flight Dancer family also responsible for Saint Liam, captured six Grade 1 races including the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup.

Now at stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky, he covered 172 mares in his first season at a fee of $70,000.

The Flight Dancer family is also responsible for recent Grade 1 United Nations Stakes winner Funtastic, bred by Benjamin Leon’s Besilu Stables out of Quiet Dance, while the Evans-bred More Hennessy went on to foal the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny - by Quality Road - for Barronstown Stud.

Bob Baffert’s highly regarded two-year-old Roadster, who recently lived up to the hype with an impressive debut win at Del Mar, is also the product of Evans stock.

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Stock once belonging to Evans have done his name proud since they were dispersed in 2010
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