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Lightning strikes twice for owner-breeder as Alpha wins Nunthorpe

Marie Matthews also bred Tangerine Trees from same mare

Alpha Delphini the second 5f Group 1 winner out of Easy To Imagine
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Alpha Delphini - a seven-year-old son of Captain Gerrard - made no slip-ups as he managed to hold on by the narrowest of margins from Mabs Cross to win the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday.

His victory signified a phenomenal breeding feat for owner-breeder Marie Matthews, as he became the second 5f Group 1 winner out of the unraced Cozzene mare Easy To Imagine, who also produced the 2011 Prix de l'Abbaye hero Tangerine Trees, by Mind Games.

Adding to the achievement is the fact that neither of their sires was ever the height of fashion, with previous Listed winner Alpha Delphini the first Group 1 winner for his Mickley Stud-based sire.


Watch Alpha Delphini's thrilling win


Captain Gerrard won two Group 3 races over the minimum trip at two and three before he took up stallion duties at Mickley Stud in Shropshire, from where he has been a reliable source of two-year-old winners - though Alpha Delphini posted his first victory as a four-year-old and is now seven.

He stood the latest season at a career-low fee of £2,500 having stood for £4,000 in 2014, though his price will surely rise on the back of Alpha Delphini's success.

Easy To Imagine - who has thrown six winners from as many runners -  has also produced the smart two-year-old Kuroshio filly Kurious and was covered by Mayson earlier this year.

She is a daughter of Cozzene, who is also the damsire of Pivotal, who in turn is the broodmare sire of Mabs Cross - whose second further strengthens Pivotal's position at the head of the leading European broodmare sires' table.


Read about the other stakes race action from York:

Stradivarius lands million bonus to extend excellent Ebor week for sire

Book 1 to include New Approach half-brother to Gimcrack hero

Fairyland confirms Kodiac's domination of the Lowther Stakes

Easy To Imagine has also produced the smart two-year-old Kuroshio filly Kurious and was covered by Mayson earlier this year
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