Almanzor (blue): Group 1 winner from Wootton Bassett's first cropPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Wootton Bassett sires first Group 1 winner
ALMANZOR, from the first crop produced by Wootton Bassett, provided his sire with his first Group 1 winner when powering to victory in Sunday's Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget and owners Ecurie Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand.
The three-year-old colt travelled in mid-division and, having quickened to the front with around a furlong to go, merely had to be ridden out by Jean-Bernard Eyquem to see off the Aga Khan's Zarak, a son of the mighty Zarkava, by a comfortable length and a half.
Bred by Haras d'Etreham, Almanzor is the first foal produced by the unraced Maria's Mon mare Darkova, who, ironically, hails from a family which has been nurtured by none other than the Aga Khan.
Darkova is out of the Listed-winning Halling mare Darkara, who won four races for Princess Zahra Aga Khan and Alain De Royer-Dupre.
She also shares her page with the likes of triple Group 1 winner and 2007 French champion three-year-old filly Darjina.
Almanzor had already recorded four other victories, including when providing Wootton Bassett with his first Group success when claiming the Group 3 Prix de Guiche back in May.
Wootton Bassett, an eight-year-old son of Iffraaj, is no stranger to success in France, with the highlight of his five career victories when in training with Richard Fahey coming in the 2010 Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp.
Bred by Melba Bryce's Laundry Cottage Stud, Wootton Bassett is out of the winning Primo Dominie mare Balladonia and is related to eight winners, including his Listed-placed half-brother Mister Hardy.
Bobby O'Ryan purchased Wootton Bassett for £46,000 from the Doncaster St Leger Yearling Sales when consigned by Jaime Railton on behalf of Laundry Cottage.
Once Wootton Bassett's owners, Frank Brady and The Cosmic Cases, called time on his racing career at the end of 2011 he was retired to Haras d'Etreham in Normandy where he has remained since. He is currently standing his fifth covering season at a fee of €6,000.
His most expensive offspring to have been offered at public auction to date is a sister to the Prix du Jockey Club hero, with Rouget going to €110,000 to secure the filly from last year's Arqana Deauville Yearling Sale when offered by Haras d'Etreham.
Wootton Bassett's has yet to make quite the same impact on these shores as he has in France, with Lingfield winner Clive Clifton and Nottingham winner Hakeem his only successful British representatives to date.