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Four things we learned from the week racing resumed in Britain

James Thomas highlight the key talking points from a busy seven days of action

English King: the Lingfield Derby Trial winner is another Classic hopeful for Camelot
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Camelot's Classic contender

For the second successive year, Camelot has produced a colt who will head to Epsom with live Classic aspirations. Some 12 months ago it was Sir Dragonet, who was sent off 11-4 favourite in the Derby after an impressive success in the Group 3 Chester Vase. The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt finished fifth to stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, albeit beaten only three-quarters of a length.

This year, English King will fly the flag for Camelot after the Ed Walker-trained colt ran out an eyecatching winner of the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield. He not only boasts the race record of a potential Classic winner but also the pedigree, as he is by a 2,000 Guineas and dual Derby winner and out of Ecurie des Monceaux's foundation mare Platonic, who is co-owned by Lady O'Reilly's Skymarc Farm. 

This means English King is a half-brother to the Listed-winning Prudenzia, who is best known as the dam of Irish Oaks heroine Chicquita and Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes scorer Magic Wand. He is also closely related to Pacifique, a Group 3-winning daughter of Montjeu and the dam of Parabellum, who set an Arqana sales-ring record when sold to John Ferguson for €2.6 million in 2015.

Camelot shows off while on parade at Coolmore
There is more Classic form further back in the pedigree too, with English King's third dam, Souk, an ancestress of dual Oaks heroine Alexandrova - who is also the granddam of Preis von Europa scorer Aspetar. Cheveley Park Stakes hero Magical Romance and Melbourne Cup victor Rekindling also appear on the page.

English King was bought for Bjorn Nielsen by Jeremy Brummitt for €210,000 at the Arqana October Yearling Sale in 2018.

English King's success is not the first noteworthy result that Brummitt has enjoyed with the progeny of Camelot this year, as the agent also sourced South Australian Derby winner Russian Camelot, who rewrote the record books when becoming the first northern hemisphere-bred three-year-old to win a Classic in Australia.

Moreover, English King is not the only rising star among Camelot's three-year-old ranks, as the blue-blooded Ricetta marked herself down as a filly with a bright future when recording a cosy debut success at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Juddmonte-homebred is from one of Khalid Abdullah's most active families, being out of Panzanella, a winning daughter of Dansili and therefore a sister to Tercentenary Stakes scorer Remote and a half-sister to champion miler and rising star sire Kingman.

The pedigree received a further boost on Sunday when Sunray Major, a three-year-old Dubawi half-brother to Kingman and Panzanella, made an impressive winning debut in a novice event at Newmarket.

First-season sires off to a flyer

A two-month delay to the start of the Flat season has meant this year's crop of first-season sires have had to bide their time before kickstarting their careers in earnest. However, a slew of two-year-old races across the first seven days of action brought with them a flurry of winners for this year's freshman.

Mehmas, widely fancied to be crowned champion first-season sire by number of individual winners, set the tone early on when his son Muker claimed only the second juvenile race of the British season at Newcastle on Tuesday. Barely 30 minutes earlier, Bridge Dress Me had become his sire's first winner in Rome.

On Wednesday The Lir Jet made an impressive winning debut at Yarmouth to give Prince Of Lir his first winner. The Michael Bell-trained colt could now bid to emulate his sire when lining up in the Norfolk Stakes.

The Lir Jet (white cap) makes a winning debut at Yarmouth
Shalaa, the most expensive retiree to stud in 2017 after winning the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, opened his account on Thursday when Cherie Amour, a three-parts sister to National Defense, won at Clairefontaine. Later that day Saeiqa also ran a promise-filled third for John Gosden at Newmarket.

Whitsbury Manor Stud's Adaay, who opened his account when Doctor Strange won in Milan in late May, was responsible for Adaay Dream, a comfortable winner of a Newcastle novice event.

Friday brought two more winners by first-season sires, with former Rathbarry Stud resident Ajaya represented by Lingfield victor Igotatext and Compas Stallions' Strath Burn fielding Speed Whay, who struck at Naples.

Top-class two-year-old Air Force Blue, winner of the Phoenix, National and Dewhurst Stakes and now a resident at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky, also opened his account on Saturday when Beauty Queen struck at Gulfstream Park.

A busy week of first-season sire action drew to a close on Sunday when Kirsten Rausing's homebred filly Sands Of Time gave Lanwades' Bobby's Kitten his maiden winner with a decisive success at Lingfield, before Golden Melody got Darley's Kildangan Stud resident Belardo off the mark with a clear-cut victory at Haydock.

A total of 14 European-based first-season sires have now supplied at least one winner apiece, with Mehmas and Adaay tied on two apiece behind runaway leader Goken. The Haras de Colleville stallion has supplied five winners from just 15 runners for a strike-rate of 33 per cent.

Martinborough became the latest name to join that list when supplying his first winner, Central Park West, at Dieppe on Monday. 

With a busy schedule of two-year-old races set to continue, there is, at last, an early opportunity for this year's first-season sires to prove their worth.

Farhh too good

Despite subfertility meaning that he will never boast the numbers that so many of his peer group have, Farhh continues to prove himself a decidedly useful member of Darley's stallion roster.

His highest-rated runner is the proven Group 1 miler King Of Change, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and runner-up in last year's 2,000 Guineas, while his top-rated filly is the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes scorer Move Swiftly.

He is, of course, also the sire of leading stayer Dee Ex Bee and the classy middle-distance runner Wells Farhh Go.

And now Farhh has added another string to his bow by supplying up-and-coming sprinter Far Above, who showed bags of speed to make most of the running in the Group 3 Palace House Stakes on his first attempt at five furlongs.

Far Above: an exciting sprinter for Darley's Farhh
Far Above isn't an obvious candidate to be a top sprinter on pedigree, being by a Champion Stakes scorer from a German family and out of a seven-furlong winner by Shamardal, but it may just be a case of Farhh passing on the proclivity for speed shown by his own sire, Pivotal.

The elder statesman of Cheveley Park Stud was a Nunthorpe Stakes winner on the track but has developed a stud record of impressive breadth as well as depth, having sired top-class sprinters Kyllachy, Somnus and Regal Parade, Group 1-winning milers like Excellent Art and Immortal Verse, a dual Oaks heroine in Sariska and Chester Cup scorer Making Miracles.

Despite fielding just 72 runners worldwide since his first two-year-olds hit the track in 2017, Farhh has supplied 36 successful sons and daughters (so a winners-to-runners ratio of 50 per cent), with his 11 black type performers coming at an impressive clip of 15 per cent - statistics that place him among the stallion ranks' elite.

German genes to the fore

There is much to admire about the German breeding industry, not least that it prioritises soundness and durability over precocity and saleability, as is, regrettably, so often the case in other jurisdictions.

And in Miss Yoda and Run Wild, the country has two flagbearers who could be set to showcase those attributes and a whole lot more as the season unfolds. Miss Yoda initiated a stakes-race brace for German-bred fillies when she overcame a slightly troubled run to land the Listed Lingfield Oaks Trial.

Bred by Gestut Etzean from the Sholokhov mare Monami, a champion two-year-old in her home country, the daughter of Sea The Stars topped the 2018 BBAG Yearling Sale when bought by Blandford Bloodstock on behalf of Swiss billionaire Georg Von Opel's Westerberg for €280,000.

Miss Yoda: German-bred filly cost €280,000 in 2018
The John Gosden-trained filly still has a fair way to go if she is to trouble the principals in the Oaks itself, but her pedigree and the manner of her performance on Friday make such progress seem a distinct possibility.

Run Wild graduated from that same BBAG sale, where she was signed for by Ghislain Bozo's Meridian International at €160,000. Owned in partnership between Meridian and the Tweenhills Fillies syndicate, Run Wild showed she had improved from two to three by running out a comfortable winner of the Listed Pretty Polly Fillies' Stakes at Newmarket.

Her success also shone the spotlight on Gestut Etzean, as the farm stands Run Wild's sire, Amaron. The filly became the first black type winner by the son of Shamardal, who stands for €4,500.

Also flying the flag for German breeding is Lanwades Stud's Sea The Moon, sire of the well-bred Alignak, who looked a potential Pattern performer in the making after a fine success at Newcastle.

Similar comments apply to Moon King, who continued the German Derby winner's bright start to life at stud when landing his sixth race at Haydock on Monday.


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The colt not only boasts the race record of a potential Classic winner, but also the pedigree
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