Neptune Collonges: victory in the Argento Chase marked the first leg of a notable Cheltenham double for his sire Dom AlcoPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Cheltenham: Neptune caps excellent day for sire
Argento Chase (Grade 2) 3m 1/2f
NEPTUNE COLLONGES (g Dom Alco - Castille Collonges by El Badr) Breeder: G E A C Delorme Freres
THE late Dom Alco has been enjoying a good run of late which continued in style on Saturday when flag-bearers Neptune Collonges and Grands Crus pulled off a major Cheltenham double. In doing so, the pair brought the stallion's tally to four winners from five runners during the past ten days.
Grands Crus: closely related to smart jumper Al TipPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Neptune Collonges is the highest rated performer by Dom Alco, who died at the age of 23 at Haras de Cercy-la-Tour last December. Other high-profile representatives include Prix d'Automne winner Monalco and the highly regarded Al Ferof, another grey who races for the same connections as Neptune Collonges.
Placed three times on the Flat as a two-year-old in France, Dom Alco swiftly made his mark over jumps for trainer Xavier Guigand, winning the Prix Aguado and Prix Cambaceres Hurdles as a three-year-old and the Prix Amadou Hurdle the following year. He was also second in the Grade 1 Grand Prix d'Automne at Auteuil.
The son of Dom Pasquini retired to stud in 1994 and was due to stand this season for €2,500.
Neptune Collonges is out of the placed Castille Collonges and a half-brother to Quadrette Collonges, who ran third in the Grade 3 Prix Andre Michel at Auteuil. Further back, this is the family of Albert Bartlett Spa Novices' Hurdle winner Nenuphar Collonges.
Grands Crus is closely related to the Listed-winning jumper Al Tip, a Dom Alco half-brother to his dam Fee Magic.
Neptune Investment Novices' Hurdle (Registered as the Classic Novices' Hurdle) (Grade 2) 2m4½f, 4yo+
BOB'S WORTH (g Bob Back - Fashionista by King's Theatre)
Although bred by Mrs L. Eadie, Bob's Worth's background contains a strong Ballylinch Stud influence.
By Bob Back, who was managed by Ballylinch throughout his stud career, he is out of a mare by current resident King's Theatre, who currently heads the leading jumps sires' list. Bob Back and King's Theatre have been each hugely versatile at stud, siring winners at top level on the Flat and over jumps.
Bob's Worth female family is predominantly Flat-orientated. Although his dam, the unplaced Fashionista, is a half-sister to the smart hurdler Il Trovatore, she is also a sister to the Listed-placed Love Theatre and a half-sister to Listed winner Ballykett Nancy.
She also descends from the 1959 champion two-year-old Paddy's Sister, the dam of Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Ballymore.
Cheltenham doubles for Shade Oak Stud and Lomitas
Further evidence that Black Sam Bellamy is a welcome addition to the British jumps stallion ranks was in evidence earlier in the day through victory of The Giant Bolster in the Timeform Novices' HandicapChase.
Black Sam Bellamy - a Group 1-winning brother to Galileo and half-brother to Sea The Stars - was originally leased to Shade Oak Stud by Gestut Fahrhof in a two year agreement that was set to end last year. However, Shade Oak recently revealed that they have secured the stallion's services for another three seasons.
David Hockenhull, owner of Shade Oak Stud, told the Racing Post at the time: "Black Sam Bellamy has the scope to do the job I want him to do and you can't find a better pedigree. A lot of things are starting to kick off for him now. Some of his biggest crops are coming through and there's The Giant Bolster to look forward to."
Black Sam Bellamy spent his first five seasons in Germany at Gestut Fahrhof, during which time he sired the Group 3 winners Goathemala, Saphir and Valdino
Fahrhof bred The Giant Bolster out German Group 3 winner Divisa. She is by Lomitas, also the sire of Saturday's JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial winner Local Hero, who is a brother to German St Leger winner Liquido.
The Giant Bolster completed a Cheltenham double for Shade Oak stallions following the victory of the Alflora gelding Wishfull Thinking in the Grade 3 Murphy Group Chase.