A Rocking “Hello” and “Royal” Lodge
Photo courtesy of Megan Ridgwell
Courtesy of Ren Carothers
Two tickets to the Breeders’ Cup: Future Stars Friday program on November 5th at Del Mar went up for grabs at Newmarket over the weekend. On Friday, two-year-old fillies took to the Rowley course in the 7-furlongs, Group 2 Unibet Rockfel Stakes, a “Win and You’re In” for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Seizing a place in the gate along with Discoveries and Wild Beauty, who earned berth with victories in the Gr1 Moyglare Stud (The Curragh) and G1 Natalma Stakes (Woodbine), respectively, is Hello You, bred by Serge Boucheron, owned by Amo Racing Limited, and trained by David Loughnane.
Under Rossa Ryan, the filly, sporting a full, black, noise-muffling hood reminiscent of Gate Dancer’s white one, took the Rockfel by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:23.12. It is the second victory, and fourth in-the-money finish, of her six-race career. The first three were run under the oversight of then-trainer Ralph Beckett, and include a runner-up finish to Sandrine in the Gr3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot over heavy going and a third in the Gr1 Duchess of Cambridge over good-to-firm behind Sandrine and Desert Dreamer at Newmarket. The ground was similar for Friday’s score.
An introduction to Hello You’s pedigree impresses. She’s a daughter of the potent, Gr1 sprinter Invincible Spirit, whose three-quarter brother, Kodiac, has also proven to be a successful sire. Invincible Spirit is represented by a Breeders’ Cup champion in 2009’s Juvenile victor, Vale of York. Hello You is out of Lucrece, a daughter of another Gr1 winning sprinter, Pivotal, who has been a tremendous broodmare sire. Among stars produced from Pivotal mares are Cracksman, Golden Horde, and Love. Fairyland is another decorated racehorse out of a daughter of Pivotal, and her sire? Well, Fairyland is by the aforementioned Kodiac.
Hello You’s own family has already proven successful with this specific sireline, too, as her mother is a half-sister to Signs of Blessing, winner of the Gr1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, and a daughter of…Invincible Spirit. Other top-tier performers in the family include Prix Saint-Alary winner Nadia, and Sophie P, who picked up the Gamely Stakes. Yet, what is most intriguing is Hello You’s tail-female ancestors include Halo’s dam Cosmah, and her blue hen mother Almahmoud (who also produced Northern Dancer’s dam, Natalma), and is thus the line of champion juvenile filly, and stakes-namesake, Mother Goose. We’ll see if she gets a fairytale ending to her season, trying a mile in the Juvenile Fillies Turf… Saturday at Newmarket, Royal Patronage earned a spot in the Juvenile Turf gate, and 10 points toward the Kentucky Derby (though Epsom’s may be the target), prevailing in the Gr2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge for Highclere Thoroughbred’s and the Woodland Walk syndicate, and trainer Mark Johnston. This puts his name alongside Gr2 KPMG Champions Juvenile (Leopardstown) winner Atomic Jones and Albahr, who recently won the G1 Summer Stakes (Woodbine). This was Royal Patronage’s third consecutive victory in five career starts, all wins under jockey Jason Hart, and second group score, as he entered the race off a 25-1 shocker in the Gr3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York.
In the final measure of the Juddmonte Royal Lodge, it appeared the Charlie Appleby trained Coroebus, a son of Dubawi out of First Victory (a Gr3 winning, half-sister to two-time Dubai World Cup hero Thunder Snow), was heading to the wire a winner under William Buick. He handled the course’s dip with grace, whereas Royal Patronage got a little “lost”, but as the ground began to rise, demanding Coroebus to find more, Royal Patronage was able to inch back into contention to ultimately take it by a neck in a final time of 1:38.06 for the mile.
The colt was bred by Emma Capon and is a son of Coolmore acquisition Wootton Bassett (a son of Iffraaj, from the female family of champions Key to the Mint and Fort Marcy), who was an undefeated champion two-year-old in France. Wootton Bassett’s stud career started off modestly, but with the likes of multiple Gr1 winner Almanzor representing his first crop, and later, 2020’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf champion Audarya, as well as offering an out-cross from Galileo, it’s little wonder he garnered interest. In fact, he relocated to Ireland to service a book of 244 mares in 2021, among them The Fugue and Peeping Fawn.
Royal Patronage’s dam, Shaloushka, is by 2003’s Cartier Horse of the Year, Dalakhani, whose wins include the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and out of Shalama, a half-sister to 1986’s Epsom Derby victor, Shahrastani. He won the Derby over the great Dancing Brave and later crushed the field of the Irish Derby by eight lengths. It’s quite a Gr1, Aga Khan cultivated family, indeed, as it also includes Shakapour, who won the Gran Prix de Saint-Cloud, Sharannpour, winner of the ’85 Bowling Green, European highweight and millionaire Recoletos, and Prix Royal Oak victor Technician. As we move ever-closer to Future Stars Friday, it’s always interesting to see past luminaires dotting the pedigrees of our Challenge Series winners. We’ll have to wait and see to what degree they ultimately shine through come the big day, but it certainly is fun to consider the possibilities. In the meantime, we continue along the path to that fantastic Friday, with this weekend providing multiple opportunities to make the card.
Friday, October 1st, Santa Anita’s program includes the American Pharoah Stakes, a G1, “Win and You’re In” for the TVG Juvenile, the G2 Chandelier Stakes, which provides berth to the Juvenile Fillies, and the Speakeasy Stakes, offering a ticket to the Juvenile Turf Sprint. On Saturday, October 2nd, the boys on the east coast get a chance at the TVG Juvenile in the G1 Champagne Stakes. Then, on Sunday, October 3rd, the two-year-old gals at Belmont vie for the Juvenile Fillies in the G1 Frizette, while Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf starts are on the line in the Gr1 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and Gr1 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac at France Galop’s storied Longchamp Racecourse.
- October 24, 2021
“We were very saddened to learn today of the passing of Bob Neumeier. Bob was a big part of the NBC Breeders’ Cup World Championships broadcasts for many years as a handicapper, reporter and analyst. Bob brought his expertise of Thoroughbred racing and a great sense of humor to every show. We extend our sincere condolences to Bob’s wife Michele and to his extended family.”
- October 22, 2021
For good reason, much of the attention on the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) will be on the international runners who come to Del Mar for the 12-furlong contest. In the last decade, just three winners have hailed from the United States, with the other seven coming from Europe. Since 2000, that split is 16 Europe, six for America.
- October 22, 2021
Breeders' Cup Pre-Entry Announcement to be Televised Live on TVG and Streamed Live on Breederscup.com on Wednesday, October 27
Pre-entered fields for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be announced live on TVG along with the Breeders’ Cup website, Official Mobile App, and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channels on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET.