Cracksman brings a pinch of magic to half-sister's page
Saxon Princess is catalogued as Lot 957 at the Goffs November Sale
Cracksman's demolition of the Champion Stakes field at Ascot on Saturday not only provided his sire, Frankel, with a first European Group 1 success. It also gave Lot 957 at the upcoming Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale a hefty and timely update that will doubtless have seen the mare added to a plethora of shortlists.
Saxon Princess, his half-sister by Dalakhani, became the only daughter of Rhadegunda to have changed hands at public auction when bought by Meadowlands Stud, County Down, for just 20,000gns back in December 2014.
Admittedly she was unable to trouble the judge in five starts, and Cracksman was a mere foal in the Hascombe and Valiant paddocks when she went through the Tattersalls ring. But this was by no means an unheralded pedigree.
Her sister Fantastic Moon had won the Solario Stakes two years earlier, while Rhadegunda, herself a Pivotal half-sister to the smart Halla San, had rounded off her own racing career with success in a Listed event at Fontainebleau.
There is an ample helping of stakes form further back on the page, too, as her third dam is On The House, a daughter of Be My Guest who carried the colours of Sir Philip Oppenheimer to success in the 1982 1,000 Guineas before beating the colts and her elders to land that year's Sussex Stakes.
"I love Dalakhani and Pivotal is another grand horse to get a good mare from," says Meadowlands Stud owner Brian Kennedy, when asked how he came to acquire a blueblooded mare for chicken-feed money. "At that stage Cracksman was still just a foal, but I thought that with a colt by Frankel sitting on the page anything could happen."
Even so, Kennedy must have had to pinch himself on more than one occasion as Cracksman maintained a relentless upward curve that has taken in placed efforts in two Classics, a brace of facile Group 2 wins, and a breakthrough Group 1 performance of which his all-conquering sire would have been proud.
"I enjoyed watching the Champion Stakes very much," says Kennedy with some understatement. "It was brilliant, it was just unreal to see him win like that. And he'll only get better next year, too."
And Cracksman is not the only name on the page who could yet enhance the pedigree of Saxon Princess further still. The six-year-old mare's first foal, a colt by Born To Sea, was bought by Des Donovan for €25,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale; she also has a filly by Raven's Pass bound for the December Foal Sale at Park Paddocks; and she will herself be offered with a commercial-looking cover.
"The filly by Raven's Pass going to Tattersalls is a lovely foal, and the mare has been covered by The Last Lion," says Kennedy. "I'm very fond of using first-season sires. The Last Lion was a very good racehorse and it's a nice, early cover so everything's tickety boo."
Should the sheer scale of Cracksman's ability be directly reflected in the price of his half-sister when she enters the Goffs ring on November 23, Kennedy might just have to pinch himself one last time.
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