First foal of Irish Oaks winner Chicquita primed for Leopardstown debut
The Classic-winning daughter of Montjeu cost an Irish record €6 million
7f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden
The Coolmore partners are set to unleash another weapon from their two-year-old armoury when the Aidan O'Brien-trained Secret Thoughts lines up in the opening race at Leopardstown on Thursday.
The filly is by War Front and is the first foal produced by 2013 Irish Oaks heroine Chicquita, a daughter of Montjeu who joined the ranks at Ballydoyle after she was signed for by Peter and Ross Doyle for an Irish record price of €6 million at the Goffs November Sale following her Classic victory.
She raced on at four, finishing third to Madame Chiang in the 2014 Qipco British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes and fifth to Main Sequence in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
For all her considerable talent, Chicquita also displayed a somewhat temperamental streak during her racing career, most famously in the Prix Lunadix while still under the care of Alain de Royer-Dupre.
She appeared to have the race at her mercy on her three-year-old reappearance, but she swerved right inside the closing stages and turned a dramatic somersault through the hedge on the stands' rail.
Chicquita was bred by Ecurie des Monceaux and Skymarc Farm, and bought for her original owner, Paul Makin, as a yearling by Badgers Bloodstock for €600,000.
They are the €1.1m Galileo filly Sinnamary, the €1m Galileo filly Truth, the €1.1m Invincible Spirit colt Craven's Legend and recent Oaks fourth Magic Wand, who topped the 2016 edition of the sale when fetching €1.4m from Peter and Ross Doyle, MV Magnier and Mayfair Speculators.
Prudenzia is a daughter of Dansili and out of Platonic, one of the foundation mares of leading French nursery Ecurie des Monceaux.
Since joining the Coolmore broodmare band Chicquita has twice visited Claiborne Farm resident War Front, and also produced a filly by the son of Danzig last year.
Coolmore have enjoyed notable success when matching their Sadler's Wells-line mares, most commonly daughters of Galileo, with War Front, having bred the likes of champion juvenile and Irish 2,000 Guineas runner-up US Navy Flag and his sister, the three-time Group 1 winner Roly Poly; Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It A Bomb and his Group 1-winning sister Brave Anna; and the smart Fleet Review.
Secret Thoughts is set to be joined by the O'Brien-trained Fire Fly, a daughter of Galileo and the Danehill mare Massarra. That lineage makes her a sister to the Group 2-winning Gustav Klimt, who was last seen finishing third to Romanised in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
This is a family noted for its precocity, as Massarra is out of Rafha, a winner of the May Hill at two and later the Prix de Diane, who went on to produce Haydock Sprint Cup winner Invincible Spirit and the Group 3-placed Kodiac, both of whom have gone on to be influential stallions.
Both Fire Fly and Secret Thoughts were bred by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt.
Completing the Ballydoyle trio is Tracing, who is by Galileo and is out of Ishvana, who carried the colours of Ann Marie O'Brien to success in the 2012 Jersey Stakes.
Ishvana is by Holy Roman Emperor, meaning that Tracing is bred on the same cross as the likes of Group 1 winner Johannes Vermeer and his Group 2-winning sister Elizabeth Browning.
This is clearly an event that O'Brien and the Coolmore partners target with their better fillies, having won the race with the likes of September and Bracelet in recent years.
But they should not be too despondent if their runners fail to get off to a winning start, as even the great Minding tasted defeat on debut in the 2015 renewal of this race before going on to land a staggering seven Group 1s.
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