Stakes winner sends Havana Gold to the top of the class of '17
Havana Grey makes all in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown
Havana Gold has become the first of this year's first-season sires in Europe to supply a black-type winner, with the all-the-way victory of his son Havana Grey in the Listed National Stakes over 5f at Sandown on Thursday.
Havana Grey had previously finished second in a Nottingham novice stakes on his debut and broken his maiden by five lengths at Ayr.
At Sandown he set a strong pace against the rail and had his rivals in trouble a furlong from home, with the others making ground late but unable to pass the frontrunner.
Frozen Angel, an impressive winner of an Ascot conditions stakes on his previous start for Tom Dascombe, ran on best of all and got to within a length of the winner on the line.
Haddaf, by another freshman sire in Dawn Approach, finished third for trainer James Tate. Both Dawn Approach and Havana Gold are paternal grandsons of Galileo via New Approach and Teofilo, in a development that will make those of us who can remember the Coolmore phenomenon's own first runners feel old.
Havana Grey was saddled by Karl Burke for the trainer's wife Elaine and Global Racing Club, having been bought by BBA Ireland for €70,000 from last year's Arqana August Yearling Sale. He was originally a 42,000gns foal purchase at Tattersalls by Crimbourne Stud, the breeder of Havana Gold.
Mickley Stud and Lady Lonsdale bred Havana Grey out of the Dark Angel mare Blanc De Chine, a six-time winner over the minimum distance.
Blanc De Chine is a half-sister to seven winners including Fast Act, who also finished second in the Molecomb Stakes, and she is out of Nullarbor, a winning Green Desert sister to Felucca, the winning dam of Prix Daphnis winner Lateen Sails and granddam of Group-winning half-brothers Crazy Horse and Richard Pankhurst. Nullarbor is also a half-sister to Prix Eugene Adam winner Radevore.
Nullarbor's granddam is blue hen Chain Store, a 1972-foaled daughter of Nodouble who is the ancestress of top-level winners Al Bahathri, Giant Treasure, Gladiatorus, Haafhd, Hearts Of Fire, Heatseeker, Lord Shanakill, Military Attack, Red Cadeaux, Spanish Fern and Together Forever.
Havana Gold won his two first starts at two and landed the Listed Ascendant Stakes and Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes that season.
At three he ran second in the Craven Stakes, fifth in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and fourth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas before gaining a deserved first Group 1 success in the Prix Jean Prat.
He was retired to stand at Tweenhills Farm and Stud on behalf of his owner Qatar Bloodstock at the end of his career, and stands at the Gloucestershire operation at a fee of £7,000 this year.
Havana Gold has sired three winners to date, as well as Headway, who looks a promising sort after finishing a neck second on his debut at Newbury last month for William Haggas.
The National Stakes at Sandown was also a good race for Yeomanstown Stud's commercial firecracker Dark Angel, as Havana Grey is a first stakes winner for him as broodmare sire, and he is also the sire of runner-up Frozen Angel.
Later on the card at Sandown on Thursday, Dark Angel registered a new stakes winner when son Khafoo Shemimi narrowly landed the Listed Heron Stakes for Richard Hannon and owner Saeed Suhail.