Ralph Beckett to unleash Pakistan Star half-sister at Salisbury
Mastercraftsman filly Nette Rousse set to make her debut against colts
Among the many well-bred newcomers to look forward to on Wednesday, one perhaps stands out from the others in terms of international significance.
That is Nette Rousse, a chestnut Mastercraftsman half-sister to Hong Kong fan favourite Pakistan Star trained by Ralph Beckett for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Thani.
She is one of 14 runners declared for the first division of the PKF Francis Clark EBF Novice Stakes over a mile at Salisbury at 1.40.
Pakistan Star, a son of Shamardal bought by the Hong Kong Jockey Club for €180,000 at the Arqana August Yearling Sale in 2014, has become a legendary figure for reforming from his former bad boy ways to become one of the best runners in Asia.
He sulked during his appearance at the Hong Kong International Breeze-Up Sale and had to be hard ridden in his gallop, although that did not deter owner Kerm Din paying HK$6 million to secure him.
He then became famous worldwide for flying home to win a 'griffin' race for first-season horses from an impossible position, although he soon became equally notorious for his tendency to fluff the start letting him down.
However, this year everything has come together for Pakistan Star and he landed two of Hong Kong's most prestigious races – the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup and the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup – by wide margins.
His younger half-sister Nette Rousse, who shares her sire with this season's outstanding three-year-old filly Alpha Centauri, joined Beckett's Kimpton Down Stables after being purchased by Bertrand Le Metayer for €235,000 at the BBAG Yearling Sale in Baden-Baden last year.
Nette Rousse has another claim to fame among her close family members as her Tertullian half-sister Ninas Terz is the dam of Fashion's Star, who sold for €400,000 at the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale in May and made a stylish winning debut for Roger Charlton at Newbury last month.
Nette Rousse is out of the Listed-winning Peintre Celebre mare Nina Celebre, whose dam Next Gina and granddam Night Petticoat are both German Oaks winners.
A good debut run from her would come at just the right time for Stauffenberg Bloodstock, who consign her Golden Horn half-sister to Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale next month.
However, she faces stiff competition at Salisbury as one of only three fillies in the field taking on colts, with three rivals who finished in the first three on their previous starts as well as a number of other well-bred debutants to contend with.
Martyn Meade, for example, unleashes the Scat Daddy colt King Ademar, a €320,000 Arqana Breeze-Up purchase by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, while Ed Walker is set to take the wraps off Ginistrelli, a Frankel three-parts brother to Lillie Langtry Stakes winner Gravitation who races in the colours of Bjorn Nielsen and Eastwind Racing after being bought by Jeremy Brummitt for 475,000gns at Book 1 last year.
Nor is Nette Rousse the only brilliantly bred newcomer who Beckett is taking to Salisbury on Wednesday.
Copal, who contests division one of the Radcliffe & Co EBF Novice Stakes over seven furlongs at 2.45, is a homebred for Khalid Abdullah who is a Dark Angel half-brother to this season's Listed Wolferton Stakes scorer Monarchs Glen.