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Makfi Wins the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket 01.05.2010

Makfi: a second Guineas winner for second-crop sire Dubawi


Makfi: Classic cast-off fine advert for young sire

MAFKI 3 c Dubawi - Dhelaal (Green Desert)

"NOTHING can make a fool of a man like a horse" says the oldest adage in the business, and on Saturday Sheikh Hamdan's racing manager Angus Gold had to concede that Makfi had made him a victim.

Charged with the task of choosing culls from the Shadwell horses in training last October, Gold included the as-yet-unraced colt from Marcus Tregoning's stable in the draft for sale at Tattersalls and the decision came back to haunt him when the son of Dubawi proved a comfortable winner of the 2,000 Guineas for his new owner.

But among those who found amusement in Gold's discomfiture there were surely many others less ready to admit that they had been made to look foolish by the very same horse.

As lot 888 was led around the ring in Park Paddocks on October 28 there were plenty of trainers and agents on hand, set on the acquisition of a promising two-year-old, but how many discerned the potential in a colt who boasted one of the best pedigrees in the catalogue? The fact that the hammer came down at the bargain-basement price of 26,000gns stands as proof that there was no shortage of fools looking on and being deceived.

Of course, it is understandable that the market should have its suspicions about young horses cast out from major operations; they tend not to make a habit of letting future stars go. But there always have to be culls from large strings and once in a while a really good onedoes escape the net.

Was it so hard to imagine that Makfi might be one in that category? He was after all, by a young Classic winner who was already making an impression as a sire, with a couple of juvenile Group 2 winners to his credit in his first crop. In addition, he was out of a half-sister to a champion European two-year-old who was himself the sire of a Guineas winner, and he came from a female family of exceptional quality which had recently delivered a Derby hero in Authorized.

It is certainly a fact that good pedigrees sometimes come in unattractive packages, but where Makfi was concerned that was not the case. To agent Hubert Barbe's eye he was an impressive individual, sound enough and forward enough tosee action in the near future, and all that bothered him was whether his order - up to 30,000gns - would be sufficient to secure him.

Fortunately, the deed was done within budget, and less than a month later came the first return on the investment - a smooth victory over 7f in a newcomers' race at Fontainebleau worth over £11,000 to the winner. That performance could not identify him as a star in the making, but it naturally did encourage his new connections in the belief that they had secured a bargain.

Confirmation came on Makfi's reappearance last month in the Prix Djebel, the 7f Maisons-Laffitte contest upgraded from Listed to Group 3 status this year. Sent off at a little more than 6-1 in an eight-runner event featuring an odds-on favourite in Boltcity, Makfi was waited with out the back, made smooth progress from halfway, and once shaken up by Christophe Lemaire, he quickened impressively to draw clear, eventually winning with complete authority by three lengths.

That display clearly entitled him to bid for a 1m Classic, and the decision to come to Newmarket rather than stay at home for the Longchamp counterpart should have drawn more attention from British punters than it did. On the day, the faster ground was the only reason for doubting that he would figure in the shake-up.

This year's 2,000 Guineas was one of the most satisfactory of recent seasons. True, the early gallop was not brisk, but the final time was respectable and none of the vanquished 18 had the semblance of an excuse. Makfi was held up, gained ground smoothly over two furlongs out, quickened to lead inside the last, and was well on top at the finish.

Although his starting price of 33-1 might suggest that he was a shock winner, he was really anything but. The only shock about the result came for Tote punters, who had to settle for a measly dividend of £12.80, though in truth that represented a far more realistic reflection of his chance than the bookmakers, generous for once, provided.

As mentioned above, Makfi comes from the first crop of Dubawi, the best runner to emerge from Dubai Millennium's sadly abbreviated innings at stud. A Guineas failure himself (only fifth to Footstepsinthesand on ground faster than suited him), he made amends with an emphatic victory in the Curragh equivalent, later accounted for older milers in the Prix Jacques le Marois, and was arguably unlucky when narrowly thwarted by Starcraft in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, run that year on the Rowley Mile.

Dubawi had also been a Group 1 winner at two in the National Stakes, and he had delivered an honest effort over a tripfar in excess of his best as third in Motivator's Derby. That was a record which, combined with his impressive pedigree background, gave him licence to succeed at stud, and he was duly provided with appropriate chances by private and commercial breeders.

It is easy to misjudge a stallion from his early results, but this is a horse who already has five individual Pattern winners to his name, three of them in the first two months of this season. He is getting quality stock, is popular with breeders and buyers, and it seems reasonable to suppose that he will capitalise on his extremely promising start.

Makfi is the first foal of his dam, Dhelaal, who went into training with Marcus Tregoning, but never got to the races. She could, however, boast an impeccable pedigree, as half-sister to Alhaarth and the Group 3 scorer Green Pola, and to the dam of Derby-placed Aqaleem.

Her dam Irish Valley was an athlete of no account, but she was the only one of 14runners out of the unraced Green Valley who failed to win. Green Dancer, Val Danseur, Ercolano, Sir Raleigh, Soviet Lad and Pink Valley were the stakes-winners among her siblings, while one of the minor winners became the granddam of Derby hero Authorized and two other Group 1 scorers in Okawango and Quijano.

This is a family that sprang to prominence in Europe in the 1950s, when Makfi's fourth dam Sly Pola won the Prix Robert Papin. Among the many other celebrities to triumph at the top level are Grey Dawn, Right Away, Faraway Son, Fair Salinia, Lyphard's Wish and Baillamont. Few families in the book can show a comparable level of consistent success.

I should hardly need to point out that Makfi is a Classic winner with a true stallion's pedigree.


Bred by Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. in England. 26,000gns 2009 Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale. _______________________________________________________________________


Bred by Darley in Ireland. Won 5 (6f-1m) of 8 races, viz. 3 (inc. Superlative S.-Gr3, National S.-Gr1) out of 3 at 2 years, 2 (Irish 2,000 Guineas-Gr1, Prix Jacques le Marois-Gr1) out of 5 at 3 years. Also 2nd in Queen Elizabeth II S., 3rd in Derby. RPR 122 at 2, 128 at 3. Earned £757,340.

Smallish (15.3hh), but strong, attractive sort. Top-class miler, with a good turn of foot, failed to stay in Derby. Effective on good and easier ground, below par on firm.

Very well bred. The best son of a top-class 1m-1m2f horse who got only one crop. Half-brother to Gr2-placed Listed winner Princess Nada (by Barathea). Dam Gr1 winner in Oaks d'Italia, out of half-sister to Derby winner High-Rise. Third dam half-sister to the dam of In the Wings. Excellent family whose members tend to excel over middle distances.

Stands at Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket, at a fee of £20,000. Sire of 2 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Anna Salai (Gr3), Makfi (2,000 Guineas-Gr1), Poet's Voice (Gr2), Sand Vixen (Gr2), Worthadd (Gr3).



Bred by Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. in England. Unraced.

Very well bred. By a top-class sprinter who has succeeded as sire, broodmare sire and sire of sires. Half-sister to 8 winners, inc. Alhaarth (by Unfuwain; champion 2-y-o, successful sire) and Green Pola(by Nijinsky; Gr3), and to unraced dam of Classic-placed Gr3 winner Aqaleem). Dam unplaced half-sister to 13 winners, inc. Green Dancer (Classic winner, sire of Classic winners), Val Danseur (Gr3), Ercolano (Gr3) and Vallee Dansante (granddam of Authorized, Okawango and Quijano). Exceptionally high-class family.

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Makfi (2007 c by Dubawi; Classic winner), Jadhwah (2008 f by Nayef; unraced to date). She has a yearling colt by Medicean, was covered by Teofilo in 2009, and booked to New Approach this year.


Thoroughly worthy Classic winner. Races asthough 1m may not be his limit, but probably best exploited at that trip.






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