Shaden wins the Group 3 Firth of Clyde Stakes at AyrPICTURE: john Grossick (racingpost.com/photos)
Dazzling covers in store for Blue Diamond mares
BIG plans are in place for the upcoming breeding season at Blue Diamond Stud, with a host of exciting covers lined-up for the blue-blooded broodmare band of Derby-winning owners Saleh Al Homaizi and Imad Al Sagar.
Decorated Knight, a son of Galileo and Pearling, ensured the owners' familiar green and gold starred colours were carried into the winner's enclosure recently when landing the Winter Derby Trial, and Pearling is set for a return visit to the Coolmore kingpin in 2017.
"As a sister to Giant's Causeway and You'resothrilling, among plenty of others, Pearling deserves the best," said Tony Nerses, racing and breeding adviser to Al Homaizi and Al Sagar. "We bought her in foal to Galileo and that foal is Decorated Knight, so it's a case of returning back to the well. There's no better stallion than Galileo in the world."
Joining Pearling on the trip to Tipperary is Azenzar, out of a half-sister to Alexander Goldrun; Full Steam, by Oasis Dream and out of a sister to Zafonic and Zamindar; Gadwa, a half-sister to Listed winner Lady Of Dubai; and Native Picture, a Kodiac half-sister to Kingsgate Native, all of whom are due to visit Gleneagles.
"We were very taken with Gleneagles as a racehorse - we were at Ascot when he won the St James's Palace Stakes. And of course he's from a family we know well being out of a sister to Pearling," said Nerses. "It's a tremendous family, and one that is particularly noted for producing successful stallions.
"Azenzar is a daughter of Danehill Dancer, so it made sense to go to a son of Galileo. With Full Steam and Gadwa, we like the idea of a miling son of Galileo over daughters of Oasis Dream. And both are from exceptional families that warranted such support."
Also visiting a Coolmore sire is Bouyrin, an Invincible Spirit half-sister to Oh So Sharp Stakes winner Alsindi, who will go to new boy The Gurkha.
"Again it's that Galileo - Danzig cross," continued Nerses. "We probably didn't see the best of The Gurkha - he was an excellent miler with bags of pace."
Fastnet Rock is set to receive a quintet of the stud's mares in the once-raced Island Dreams; Listed-placed Lady Nouf; Nessina; Queen Sarra, a daughter of Shamardal; and Soon, who is by Galileo and out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Classic Park.
"We had luck with Fastnet Rock - he's the sire of Euginio, who we think could be good. Soon was a Listed winner and is from a Classic family. And we've all seen how well Fastnet Rock has clicked with Galileo mares up here," he said.
"Lady Nouf, as a granddaughter of Galileo, also promises to work particularly well. She was a good filly who ran second to Talent in the Pretty Polly Stakes. And Nessina of course is the dam of Ajaya. Fastnet Rock been a good sire of two-year-olds in Australia and he's done particularly well with mares carrying Storm Cat and Hennessy."
One of Blue Diamond's best bred mares is Maid To Master, a Danehill Dancer sister to Mastercraftsman. She is due to foal to dual world champion Frankel, and the eight-year-old will again visit the Banstead Manor resident in 2017.
"It goes without saying that Frankel has made a brilliant start," said Nerses. "We have three Frankel three-year-olds in training - all have above-average ability and we're excited about them."
Last year the owners sent Alfajer and Bella Lulu to Derby winner Golden Horn, and this year it is the turn of dual Listed winner Nouriya to visit the son of Cape Cross.
"Nouriya was our first homebred stakes winner and then bred [stakes winner] Aljazzi. She's a lovely stamp of a mare, a Danehill Dancer out of our foundation mare Majestic Sakeena who is from an improving family. She is already proven, so should be good fit for Golden Horn who was exceptional on his day," Nerses said.
Lady Wingshot, a Group 3-winning daughter of Lawman trained by Jim Bolger, is due to Zoffany, and will also head to Darley's Dalham Hall, with a date with with Dubawi lined up.
"She was a very good filly herself and we're delighted with the foals she produced. It's a fantastic family," said Nerses.
New to the broodmare band at Blue Diamond is Shaden, a Group 3-winning daughter of Kodiac, who is due to visit the ever-popular Dark Angel.
"On profile at least, she seems to be just the kind of mare that works well with Dark Angel - a good two-year-old who was all speed," Nerses added.
Receiving the strongest support numerically is Rathbarry Stud newcomer Ajaya, who Al Homaizi and Al Sagar bred and raced with William Haggas to win the Gimcrack Stakes. They have 12 mares pencilled in to Ajaya, including Sewards Folly, dam of Sayif, and Shryl, dam of smart sprinter Raucous.
"We're keen to support Ajaya," said Nerses. "He was an excellent two-year-old, typical of the Invincible Spirit sire line and he looks sure to inject speed.
"We've all seen how well Invincible Spirit has done as a sire of sires and Ajaya is from the female family of Redoute's Choice, a champion sire, and Bated Breath. So we're excited about his future prospects and thrilled that he's with a stud with such a long history as Rathbarry Stud.
"Sewards Folly has been a grand servant for us. We had Sayif out of her - he was a Group 1 sprinter on his day and a grandson of Green Desert, so it made sense to send Sewards Folly to Ajaya.
"Shyrl was a very quick two-year-old who is the dam of another quick horse in Raucous. It also gives us the Invincible Spirit - Acclamation cross, which has already worked."
They will also send a trio of mares to Ajaya's sire, the Irish National Stud stalwart Invincible Spirit. The son of Green Desert is due to cover Loulwa - a Listed winner due to foal to Muhaarar, Princess Lulu - a Listed-winning daughter of Pivotal, and Turama - a Pivotal half-sister to Spinning Queen.
"Loulwa produced Justineo to Oasis Dream so it made sense to try another fast son of Green Desert in Invincible Spirit. They should complement each other on paper and physically," Nerses noted.