Spirit of Sadler’s Wells reigns over Golden Slipper   Leave a comment

Spirit of Sadler’s Wells reigns over Golden Slipper

Medaglia d’Oro colt Vancouver, ridden by Tommy Berry, wins the Golden Slipper Stakes on S

Medaglia d’Oro colt Vancouver, ridden by Tommy Berry, wins the Golden Slipper Stakes on Saturday. Picture: Simon Bullard Source: News Corp Australia

THE spirit of Sadler’s Wells, one of thoroughbred breeding’s greatest stallions, swirled vigorously throughout the Golden Slipper program at Rosehill on Saturday.

And it reached its strongest force in a race least likely to fit the Sadler’s Wells profile of stamina — the Group I Golden Slipper ­itself. The 1200m scamper for two-year-olds was won in a memorable performance by the unbeaten colt Vancouver.

The visually powerful Van­couver is a bay colt by Medaglia d’Oro, in turn a son of El Prado who was one of the very early Group I winners on a lengthy honour roll of more than 350 stakeswinners sired by Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer-Fairy Bridge, by Bold Reason).

There were five Group Is on the Rosehill card and the Sadler’s Wells sire line was, unsurprisingly, not represented in the $400,000 The Galaxy (1100m).

But the dynasty’s sole representative Kermadec, by Sadler’s Wells’s grandson Teofilo, might have been the hard luck story of the $1 million George Ryder Stakes (1500m) when finishing a grand fourth after losing valuable ground from a tardy start.

With the other two Group Is at 2000m, the $500,000 Rosehill Guineas for three-year-olds and the weight-for-age $500,000 Ranvet Stakes, the influence of Sadler’s Wells flowed on through the wins by Volstok’n’barrell in the former and Contributer in the latter.

Volstok’n’barrell is a first crop son of Tavistock, who is by Sadler’s Wells’s most acclaimed stamina agent Montjeu but who himself found his niche as a sprinter-miler, with two Group Is at 1400m put on his race record before he joined Zabeel and others at the Cambridge Stud in New Zealand.

Irish-bred Contributer is by High Chaparral, the high-class middle-distance Sadler’s Wells horse who won Group Is at 2400m in three countries before taking up a stallion shuttle role for the Coolmore Stud until his untimely death in December last year.

While Sadler’s Wells would reel off a seemingly endless line of classic and major winners at 2000m and further, it was a rarity for him to sire the winner of a Group I race under 1600m.

His honour roll to that end was three winners of the Dewhurst Stakes in England and the Nat­ional Stakes in Ireland, both races for two-year-olds at 1400m. El Prado, who raced for Robert Sangster, the breeder-owner of Sadler’s Wells, was one of those rare winners, taking the 1991 ­National Stakes.

A double rarity as a grey son of Sadler’s Wells, El Prado entered a stud career in the US and reached a peak as North America’s leading sire of 2002, when Medaglia d’Oro was his major runner.

Foaled by Capuccino Bay, a minor stakeswinning granddaughter of US horse of the year Damascus, Medaglia d’Oro won eight and was seven times placed second in 17 starts, retiring to stud with earnings of $US5.7m ($7.3m).

He was runner-up over 1200m on debut as a late two-year-old, won his first start at three at 1200m and then never ran in any race shorter than 1700m up to the 2400m of the 2002 Belmont Stakes. He contested 11 Group Is, winning three while finishing second in the Belmont Stakes, the Dubai World Cup and in two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

That Medaglia d’Oro could sire one in the same mould as the superior, sustained speed runner he was between 1600m and 2000m was quickly apparent when first crop member Rachel Alexandra emerged as a three-year-old to rewrite the US record books in a dazzling season of eight unbeaten starts which saw her voted horse of the year in 2009.

In 2010, Medaglia d’Oro became available to Australian broodmare owners after the Darley Stud acquired a majority share in him to stand at its Kentucky base and to shuttle him for the southern season to its NSW Hunter Valley headquarters, with his fee set at $88,000.

Vancouver arrived in Medaglia d’Oro’s second foal crop of 2011, from a covering fee of $77,000, to become the 13th Group I winner worldwide for his sire but, notably, the first stakeswinner at 1200m.

The Darley stallion roster claimed six of the 16 Slipper runners and recorded the fourth triumph of the past five editions through Vancouver, after Sepoy (Elusive Quality) in 2011, Pierro (Lonhro) in 2012 and Overreach (Exceed And Excel) in 2013.

The 2015 Golden Slipper winner was far from the furnished individual he physically presented on Saturday when the late October foaled colt paraded at the 2013 Magic Millions yearling sale on the Gold Coast and as one of only two Medaglia d’Oro colts in the select section of the sale.

Vancouver was led out unsold but the colt was later listed as a $185,000 buy after negotiations between breeder John Camilleri and trainer Gai Waterhouse, who had bought three of her previous four Slipper winner in this arena — including Sydney grand slam winners Dance Hero and Pierro.

Vancouver is the third foal Camilleri has bred from Skates, a Danehill mare who is presently in foal to Medaglia d’Oro after delivering a colt to Pierro last spring.

Camilleri bought Skates privately in 2010 from the Coolmore Stud which had bought her for $300,000 from the 1998 Sydney Easter yearling sale to race her briefly before putting her to stud where she produced eight foals, including Group I winner Juste Momente, by Giant’s Causeway.

Skates ran 10 times for a juvenile win at Caulfield and was placed seven times for earnings of $66,180. She was first over the line in the Listed SAJC Cinderella Stakes (1000m) but lost her black type status when demoted to second for interference. As a broodmare, Skates has achieved remarkable success with eight of her foals fetching $3,610,000 — an average of $451,250 — as yearlings.

Skates, whose sire Danehill shares the Golden Slipper record of five winners with legendary Star Kingdom, is one of 10 winners from Skating, an often freakish racing daughter of the Roberto horse At Talaq.

As an autumn three-year-old of 1993, Skating ran off a sequence of wins in the Group III Light Fingers Stakes, Group II Surround Stakes and Group I Coolmore Classic before adding the Group I Doncaster Handicap against older horses.

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Posted March 23, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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