Bloodstock Bites: Third St Leger for Montjeu
Chris Hill brings us the latest news from the bloodstock world as Montjeu sired a third Ladbrokes St Leger winner.
By Chris Hill
Last Updated: 18/09/13 8:48am
The final Classic of the domestic season, the St Leger, was won in convincing fashion by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Leading Light (Montjeu) helping erase memories of the bitter disappointment felt by connections when a paternal sibling to Saturday's big race winner, Camelot, came agonisingly close to completing the famed Triple Crown for the same connections.
Purchased for 520,000 guineas at the Tattersalls October Yearlings Sale back in 2011 by Demi O'Byrne on behalf of Coolmore, Leading Light is a full brother to the four-time winner and Group Two Royal Whip Stakes-placed Warwick Avenue (Montjeu) being out of the Grade Two Buena Vista Stakes and four-time Grade/Group Three winner Dance Parade (Gone West). The same cross has been responsible for fellow Classic winner Motivator, the 2005 Epsom Derby hero, as well as Group Two Hardwicke Stakes winner and Group One Coronation Cup placed Macarthur.
Dance Parade herself is out of the Italian Listed race winner River Jig (Irish River) and is therefore a half-sister to the Grade Three winner Ocean Queen (Zilzal) - the dam of Group Three runner-up Bicoastal (Gone West), the U.S. Listed race winner Jig (Catrail) and Treasure Trove (The Minstrel) - the dam of Group One Prix de la Foret winner Toylsome (Cadeaux Genereux) whilst her full sister, the Listed race third Western Reel (Gone West) has produced the U.S. Grade Three runner-up Midnight Mischief (Medaglia d'Oro) and U.S. Stakes-placed Klondike Kate (Henny Hughes).
Leading Light's St Leger success was a third in the race for his sire following the victories of Scorpion in 2005 and Masked Marvel in 2011 and coming the same season as his daughter Chicquita landed the Irish Oaks and St Nicholas Abbey landed a third Coronation Cup, reinforces just what a blow it was to the bloodstock industry when Montjeu passed away last year following complications from treatment for septicaemia.
The Irish St Leger saw the Dermot Weld-trained filly Voleuse de Coeurs (Teofilo) record an equally convincing victory in the colours of Lady O'Reilly, improving significantly on her greatest previous success in the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes and going one place better than when second on her latest start in the Group Three Irish St Leger Trial.
The sole winner produced to date by the French-placed mare Vadorga (Grand Lodge), a half-sister to the French 2000 Guineas and Prix Jacques Le Marios winner Vahorimix (Linamix) and French Listed winner Vadalix (Linamix), Voleuse de Coeurs was purchased by Skymarc Farm for €30,000 at the Goffs Orby Yearlings Sale and hails from the further family of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal (Royal Academy) and fellow Group One scorers Valixir (Trempolino), Vadawina (Unfuwain) and Valyra (Azamour).
Darley stallion Teofilo, who was crowned Champion Two Year-Old off the back of an unbeaten juvenile season that included victories in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes and National Stakes, has made a blistering start to his stud career having now been represented by five Group One winners from just three crops of racing age, including this season's Irish Derby hero Trading Leather and the Prix Jean Prat winner Havana Gold.
Toormore (Arakan) followed in the hoof prints of Teofilo and stretched his own unbeaten record to three when landing the Group One National Stakes under Richard Hughes for trainer Richard Hannon and owners Middleham Park Racing. Bought by Peter and Ross Doyle Bloodstock for just £36,000 at last year's DBS Premier Yearlings Sale, the juvenile colt is the second winner out of the unraced mare Danetime Out (Danetime) following the three-time winner Try The Chance (Majestic Missile), and descends from the family of Group Three winners Peace Girl (Dominion) and Hawridge Prince (Polar Falcon).
Dual Group Three winner Arakan has now produced two Group One winners with the other top level scorer, the Prix Jean Prat and Premio Vittorio di Capua winner Dick Turpin, also having being handled by Hannon. In addition, the next best son of the Ballyhane Stud resident, the Group Two Champagne Stakes and bet365 Mile winner Trumpet Major was also trained by the three-time Champion trainer.
At Longchamp on Sunday, both the Group Two Arc trials were claimed by Japanese raiders with Orfevre (Stay Gold) cruising to victory in the Prix Foy and, in a tight finish, Kizuna (Deep Impact) clinching the Prix Niel ahead of the Epsom Derby winner Ruler of The World (Galileo). However, the two Group Ones on the card stayed on home soil thanks to the easy victories of Treve (Motivator) in the Prix Vermeille and Maxios (Monsun) in the Prix du Moulin.
Running in the colours of Sheikh Joaan al Thani, having been purchased privately from previous owner and breeder Haras du Quesnay following her French Oaks success, the Criquette Head-Maarek trained Treve was mightily impressive in maintaining her unbeaten record in the Prix Vermeille, her first test against older horses.
Out of Trevise (Anabaa), a winning full sister to the U.S. Listed winner and Grade One-placed Tsigane (Anabaa), Treve is a half-sister to the French Listed winner and Group Two Prix Greffulhe third Trois Rois (Hernando) and more distantly she descends from the family of Group One winners Treble (Riverman) and Tamarisk (Green Desert), as well as Champion European Older horses, Trillion (Hail To Reason) and Triptych (Riverman).
In the Prix du Moulin, the Jonathan Pease-trained Maxios (Monsun) claimed the notable scalp of Olympic Glory (Choisir) when registering his second Group One victory of the season following his Prix d'Ispahan triumph at the same course in May.
Owned and bred by the Niarchos family out of the unraced Nureyev-mare Moonlight's Box, the five year-old colt is a half-brother to the Champion European Two and Three Year-Old Bago (Nashwan), who landed five Group Ones including the 2004 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and also to the French Listed winner Beta (Selkirk) , who both raced for the same connections.
All three are closely related to Coup de Genie (Mr Prospector), the Champion French Two Year-Old Filly in 1993 who has produced fellow Group One winner and Champion French Two Year-Old Filly Denebola (Storm Cat), and descend from the family of top class winners and sires Exit To Nowhere (Irish River) and Machiavellian (Mr Prospector).
Prior to the St Leger, Doncaster played host to the DBS St Leger Festival Sale where trainer David Brown secured the top lot, a son of Majestic Missile for £38,000 on behalf of regular purchaser John Fretwell. The yearling colt is out of Carpet Lover (Fayruz) - a half-sister to the Group Three Molecamb Stakes winner Misty Eyed (Paris House) - who has produced one winner to date, the three-time winner Beau Mistral (Windsor Knot), and hails from the further family of Grade Two winner and sire Norwich (Top Ville).
Although the price paid for the top lot exceeded that of last year's St Leger Festival renewal, the overall figures were a reduction on the 2012 sale with the aggregate being just £499,800, a drop of 39% from a significantly smaller catalogue.
The average dropped 1% to £8,925 though the median, obviously helped by the top lot and a reduced catalogue, ended 14% up at £8,000.
Whereas trade was disappointing at Doncaster, over in the U.S.A. the first book of the Keeneland September Yearlings Sale saw a phenomenal eighteen lots change hands for seven figure sums and helped the sale gross $153,385,000, an increase of 15% on the 2012 renewal.The priciest lot of them all was a colt by rapidly emerging U.S. sire War Front out of the Stakes-placed mare Blading Gold Ring (During), who M. V. Magnier purchased on behalf of Coolmore for $2.5 million, the highest price paid for a yearling at public auction in North America since 2010. New connections have enjoyed notable success in recent months with sons of the Claiborne Farm resident with Declaration of War landing the Group One Juddmonte International and Queen Anne Stakes and War Command successful in the Group Two Futurity Stakes and Coventry Stakes this side of the Atlantic.