Galileo Gold takes Group 1 glory at the first attempt
Frankel and Footstepsinthesand also make a top-level mark in Europe
There could have been no more appropriate way for Galileo Gold to have clinched a Group 1 winner from his debut crop than when the Classic hero's owner, Al Shaqab Racing, and trainer Hugo Palmer took the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes with Ebro River.
Upon the Guineas and St James's Palace Stakes winner's retirement in 2017, Sheikh Joaan's operation announced that it would be giving him the best opportunity to flourish by standing him in partnership with Tally-Ho Stud.
It worked a treat with last year's champion freshman Mehmas and Galileo Gold had already made an auspicious start with Ebro River becoming the first of what are already three black-type performers when landing the National Stakes at Sandown.
After running respectably in three subsequent Group outings, most notably in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, he held off Dr Zempf and Go Bears Go for the season's first juvenile Group 1 in Europe in what will have been a very satisfying moment for the attending Paul Hensey, who was in charge at the Curragh before been appointed as Al Shaqab's chief operating officer last year.
A chestnut like his father, the colt was yet another promising product from the O'Callaghan family's Tally-Ho, who was bought by Charlie Gordon-Watson Bloodstock on behalf of Al Shaqab for 75,000gns at last year's Tattersalls Book 2.
He has plenty of speed on his page as his dam Soft Power, a minor winner for Eddie Lynam, is out of a half-sister to the dam of Slade Power, Lynam's decorated champion European sprinter.
Initially chalked up at a €15,000 fee - a price he could easily be raised back to after this season - Galileo Gold has had eight individual winners from a first crop of 110.
Alpinista evokes fine memories for Lanwades
An enduring story of top-level German success came full circle for Kirsten Rausing's Lanwades Stud when Luke Morris drove Alpinista clear in the Grosser Preis von Berlin.
The grey's granddam Albanova became one of the cornerstones of the Lanwades breeding programme, having been also trained by Sir Mark Prescott to claim a hat-trick of Group 1s in Germany in 2004, including this very race when it was held under a different guise.
Albanova is an Alzao full-sister to Rausing's beloved dual Champion Stakes heroine Alborada and enjoyed just as much success from the paddocks, producing five black-type progeny headed by the consistent middle-distance performer Algometer.
Among Albanova's other daughters was Alpinista's dam, Hernando mare Alwilda, whom Prescott guided to claim another prize in Germany, the Listed Silbernes Band at Cologne in 2015.
Her first foal, who had claimed Group success in the Lancashire Oaks, was also continuing a landmark season for his sire Frankel. He was reaching his 18th Group 1 winner in a year which has seen him responsible for two Derby winners, Adayar and Hurricane Lane, as well as the Falmouth winner Snow Lantern.
Marianafoot maintains magic streak
Footstepsinthesand is not quite as lauded a name as Frankel but he was represented by a seventh top-flight scorer in a progressive sprinter who has claims to becoming his most accomplished son to date.
Marianafoot is an extraordinarily progressive homebred for Jean-Claude Seroul and a six-year-old entire who has earned stallion credentials the hard way. He has now compiled an unbeaten streak of eight right through the grades as he saw off a field of top-notch sprinters in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.
He was bred off a €10,000 fee when the 2,000 Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand was standing at Coolmore (he has moved across to Castlehyde) out of an Anabaa mare who has already produced Padron, a Listed winner at Saint-Cloud for the same team in March.
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