From Derby glory to Hong Kong sales for progeny of Ysoldina
Two relatives were sold to the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Arqana last year
When the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Mark Richards raided the Arqana August Sale for six select yearlings last year, he surely would not have predicted the pedigree update that lay in store for two of his purchases less than 12 months later.
Bred by the Forien family behind Haras de Montaigu, Ysoldina is now the dam of a Derby winner after her sixth foal, Wings Of Eagles, came with a late charge that saw him going away at the finish of the Epsom Classic on Saturday.
"Wings of Eagles' performance was breathtaking," said Richards. "With less than a furlong to go he still looked to have virtually no chance to win, but it was a very thorough test of stamina."
Asked about what race he would like to see Wings Of Eagles contest next, Richards said: "I’m sure that Aidan [O'Brien] will know exactly where he wants to send him, certainly better than me!"
Wings Of Eagles' unexpected triumph is not the only piece of Classic form in the family, however, as Ysoldina was third in the French 1,000 Guineas. The Kendor mare, who is set to be represented at the sales this year by her Kingman yearling filly, is a half-sister to Prix Saint-Alary scorer Belle Et Celebre and the Scandinavian champion Appel Au Maitre. That trio are among an amazing 13 winners from 15 runners out of the Forien's foundation mare Rotina.
So what drew Richards to the colt whose half-brother's catalogue details simply read: "2014 colt, by Pour Moi, in training in Ireland"?
"Firstly, the Holy Roman Emperor yearling was from a good family that produces Group 1 winners and the mare, Ysoldina, had produced good performers at sprint distances which suits Hong Kong perfectly," he said.
"As an individual he was a neat, balanced type that was going to take a bit of time, again something that suited us as he will not be asked to race until he’s three.
"He's currently being prepared by Malcolm Bastard for the 2018 Hong Kong International Sale in March, which is an event held every year on the eve of the Hong Kong Derby," Richards added.
As if being a half-brother to a Derby winner was not enough, the progeny of Holy Roman Emperor tend to prove popular in Hong Kong, as highlighted by the sire's sole representative in the most recent renewal of the sale, who fetched the second-highest price of HK$9 million (£892,000/€1,027,000).
"The Redoute’s Choice colt had a bit more size and scope to him, and again, Torentosa had already produced a winner at less than 1,600m with Jackfish," added Richards.
"The plan is also for him to be sold at the 2018 Hong Kong International Sale. Obviously, it’s something that we are now looking forward to."
Torentosa also has an unraced three-year-old Henrythenavigator filly named Tiresias in training with Alain de Royer-Dupre. Both yearling purchases - who, like Wings Of Eagles, were sold by Haras du Montaigu - have since been gelded.
Holy Roman Emperor has already made a significant impact on the Hong Kong racing scene through his sons Beauty Only, winner of the Hong Kong Mile, and Designs On Rome, a four-time Group 1 winner whose record includes two runnings of the Hong Kong Gold Cup.
The other four purchases made by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at last year's Arqana Sale were a €450,000 Dutch Art brother to Slade Power; a €380,000 son of Dark Angel and the Listed-winning Trip To The Moon, who is from the family of influential sire Bellypha; a €260,000 son of Bated Breath from the family of French Derby second Act One and Classic scorer Bosra Sham; and a €120,000 son of Elusive Quality out of the Listed-winning Tamayuz mare Ighraa.
A Derby win may have set the bar pretty high, but with truly international pedigrees behind them, here's betting that Wings Of Eagles' relatives are well worth keeping an eye on.