Leading ladies who can light up the ring
Martin Stevens on the track queens who are set to make waves next month
5 ch m Curlin-Evening Star (Malibu Moon)
Keeneland, hip 153; consigned by Lane’s End, agent
Stellar Wind bestrode the Californian racing scene, winning six Grade 1s in her home state – including when she demoted regular rival, the brilliant Beholder, into second on two occasions. The Curlin mare did not manage to win the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in two attempts but lost no caste in defeat when a neck second to Stopchargingmaria in 2015 and fourth behind Beholder, Songbird and Forever Unbridled in last year’s vintage renewal at Santa Anita.
Stellar Wind is out of a turf winner by Malibu Moon and hails from the immediate family of Grade 1 winnersgreat Hunter and Mor Spirit.
Miss Temple City
5 b/br m Temple City-Glittering Tax (Artax)
Fasig-Tipton, hip 99; consigned by Select Sales, agent
Graham Motion sent Miss Temple City to Royal Ascot in three consecutive years, resulting in a fourth to Ervedya in the Coronation, fourth to Usherette in the Duke of Cambridge, and unplaced
behind Ribchester in a red-hot Queen Anne Stakes this June. She also won three Grade 1s over a mile on turf at home, putting the colts in their place in the Maker’s Mile and Shadwell Turf Mile.
Miss Temple City is a sister to Belmont Oaks fourth Pricedtoperfection by Temple City – a son of Dynaformer, a proven Classic source in Europe – out of a fast daughter of Artax who won on turf and dirt.
5 b/br m Divine Park-Sacre Coeur (Saint Ballado)
Keeneland, hip 271; consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency
Not only a brilliant racemare but one who overcame adversity and returned to the track better than ever. Lady Eli won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Belmont Oaks, after which she stepped on a nail and developed laminitis. She recovered from the affliction that has claimed the careers of other horses – or worse – to notch three more top-flight successes, in the Flower Bowl Stakes, Gamely Stakes and Diana Stakes.
The mare is by Divine Park out of a turf winner by Saint Ballado who has also produced Bizzy Caroline, a dual Grade 3 winner on the Churchill Downs grass.
4 b f Street Boss-Sheave (Mineshaft)
Keeneland, hip 30; consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock, agent
Kentucky Oaks winners always draw the attention of the most
deep-pocketed breeders when offered as broodmare prospects, as Plum Pretty – bought for $4.2 million in 2012 – and Princess Of Sylmar – a $3.1m purchase in 2014 – have demonstrated in recent years. Cathryn Sophia was garlanded with lilies after winning at Churchill Downs by two and a quarter lengths last year, and won another two Grade 2 contests by more than 12 lengths combined.
Cathryn Sophia, by Street Boss out of a daughter of Mineshaft and Grade 2 winner Belterra, is in foal to Pioneerof The Nile
4 b f Medaglia D’Oro-Ivanavinalot (West Acre)
Fasig-Tipton, hip 120; consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency
Brace yourself when Songbird goes through the ring, as her price should soar into the stratosphere. The daughter of Medaglia D’Oro – a grandson of Sadler’s Wells whose progeny are effective the world over – won no fewer than nine Grade 1 races, most by mammoth margins, and was beaten into second in two others, once by a neck, once by a nose. Her haul, admittedly all gained against only her own sex, included the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the phenomenal front-runner was caught by just a nose by Beholder in the Distaff at the meeting a year later.
Songbird has a fine pedigree too, as a daughter of the Grade 2-winning West Acre mare Ivanavinalot, a half-sister to fellow stakes scorers Shananie’s Beat and Slick Lady.
6 b m Bernstein-Life Happened (Stravinsky)
Fasig-Tipton, hip 130; consigned by ELiTE, agent
Here’s a mare who confounds any European breeder who claims not to be interested in American bloodlines. Tepin proved herself the best turf filly in the US before seeing off foreign raiders to keep the Breeders’ Cup Mile at home in 2015.
Lest anyone thought that was a fluke, or her chances had been enhanced by domestic advantage, she came to Royal Ascot the following summer and took the Queen Anne Stakes, beating Belardo in his own backyard.
Tepin is by Bernstein, a dual Group 3winner for Aidan O’Brien who has a European Classic winner to his credit in Karakontie, out of a Stravinsky mare who has also produced dual US Grade 2 winner Vyjack, so her pedigree holds true transatlantic appeal. She is also in foal to the upwardly mobile Curlin.