Dexterity out to give voice to sire's prowess
Vocalised seeking a breakthrough from Railway Stakes fancy
Jim Bolger's typically maverick attempt to salvage the Bold Ruler line in Europe reaches a potentially significant crossroads on Saturday when he saddles an exciting son of Vocalised for the first juvenile Group race of the Irish season.
Verbal Dexterity made a spectacular debut at the Curragh three weeks ago, routing a field of maidens by no fewer than nine and a half lengths. Now his challenge for the GAIN Railway Stakes gives him the chance to showcase a sire retired by Bolger to his Redmonstown Stud after a career that also began in highly promising fashion - Vocalised, after finishing fourth on debut in the maiden won by Sea The Stars, won his next four starts including two Group races - before somewhat trailing off.
Vocalised is a son of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Vindication, who died in 2008. Bolger bought Vocalised, a grandson of the great Serena's Song, for $560,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale from the draft of Hill 'n' Dale.
Serena's Song, the US Champion three-year-old filly of 1995, won 18 of her 38 starts - including 11 at the highest level - and amassed over $3 million in prize money. At stud she produced Coronation Stakes winner Sophisticat and US Group 2 scorers Grand Reward and Harlington, as well as Vocalised's dam, the Mr Prospector mare Serena's Tune.
Serena's Tune has also produced the Listed winner Serena's Cat, who foaled dual Group 1 winner Honor Code; Group 2 scorer Nobel Tune; and MV Magnier’s $2.6m purchase, Declarationofpeace. The latter won his maiden by six lengths but failed to fire as hot favourite for the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot last week.
Vocalised has had just 65 starters from his first four crops of racing age - the highlight thus far being Steip Amach, who won twice at Group 3 level for Bolger. After covering 75 mares in 2015, he appears to have been more or less "spelled" last year but is understood to have been sent around 40 mates this time round, Steip Amach having vindicated a switch to France with two Group 1 podiums.Lonrach, herself out of a Listed-winning half-sister to Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes second Luminata.
Holy Roman Emperor, like other future sires Rock Of Gibraltar and Mastercraftsman, contributed to a remarkable sequence of 10 wins for Aidan O'Brien in 11 runnings between 1999 and 2009 - broken, as it happens, only by Bolger in 2004 with Democratic Deficit. But the Ballydoyle trainer has only mustered one win since. This time he looks to Rostropovich - a Frankel half-brother to Zoffany who broke his maiden tag just six days ago - and Scat Daddy’s Coventry third, Murillo.
Fozzy Stack and Joseph O’Brien both field sons of Holy Roman Emperor while Gordon Elliott aims to show his versatility as a trainer with Beckford, a son of Juddmonte's Bated Breath out of a half-sister to the 1,000 Guineas fourth Malabar.