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Buzzword - Goodwood 31/7/09

Buzzword: became the first foreign raider to win the Deutsches Derby

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Buzzword: honest horse willing to give his all

Buzzword
3yo b c Pivotal - Bustling (Danehill)

HISTORY was made in Hamburg this month, when for the first time the Deutsches Derby was won by a colt trained outside Germany.

The Classic, instituted in 1869, was not opened to foreign competition until 1993, when three British challengers were readily repelled, and Overbury's second place for David Loder in 1994 was the stand-out performance until Buzzword claimed the prize for Godolphin at the weekend.

The locals seemed resigned to a British success, but it was theless fancied of the raiders who triumphed, with Middleham-trained Monterosso a defeated Derby favourite for the second time, after his fourth place at the Curragh last month.


Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed's colt seemed the logical market leader, having beaten Buzzword by more than four lengths when they clashed in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, but his father's home bred son of Pivotal turned the form upside down.

Buzzword had a busy first season when in the care of Saeed Bin Suroor, running eight times between the end of June and early November. Second on his debut at Windsor, he returned to the Berkshire course to break his maiden over 6f two weeks later, and since then he has competed only in Pattern company.

Runner-up to Dick Turpin in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and to Shakespearean in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown, he graduated at Group 3 level with a surprise victory over Siyouni in the Prix La Rochette, but he could not confirm that running when third in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, his first effort in Group 1.

He ran to a similar level of form when a close fifth in the Dewhurst Stakes and when filling the same berth inthe inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, ending his juvenile campaign with the reputation of a smart performer who promised to train on and prove effective at distances beyond a mile.

Buzzword's first start in 2010 for new trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni came in the 2,000 Guineas, and he turned in a disappointing effort, hanging left under pressure and finishing a poor 14th. It seemed likely he now needed a longer trip, but he ran right up to his previous best when tried at 1m again in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, reaching a creditable fourth place behind Lope De Vega.

Nevertheless, the impression remained that a stiffer test of stamina would suit the colt, and he joined better-fancied stable companion Rewilding in the Derby. It was a tall order and he never promised to reach contention, arriving last into the straight before plugging on to finish eighth of the 12 runners. He was ridden in much the same way at Royal Ascot, coming from far back, and while he never posed a threat to Monterosso, he was striding out at the end, establishing that 1m4f was well within his compass.

The proof of Buzzword's staying power, gained from Ascot, prompted his supplementary entry to the Deutsches Derby and gave Royston Ffrench the confidence to adopt different tactics in Hamburg.

The colt was never far off the pace, delivered a smooth challenge approaching the final furlong, and was well on top atthe finish, just over a length ahead of the local favourite, Zazou. His Classic triumph came as a just reward for honest, consistent endeavour at the highest level.

Buzzword comes from the tenth crop by Cheveley Park Stud's outstanding sire Pivotal, who made his name off a low fee with the produce of modest mares and now is favoured with large books replete with quality in terms of performance and pedigree. His fee for 2010 was £65,000, the joint-highest in England, on a parwith the Juddmonte duo Dansili and Oasis Dream.

Bred by Cheveley Park and by the home based stallion Polar Falcon, Pivotal had only six starts, beginning with an unplaced effort in a 6f Newbury juvenile maiden in mid-October. He made some eye catching late progress that day, and over the next three weeks he realised the promise with a brace of victories, over 6f at Newcastle and 5f at Folkestone. A strong, well-made individual, he seemed guaranteed to progress at three, though few could have imagined quite the degree of improvement he found.

The start of Pivotal's second campaign was delayed until Royal Ascot, where he triumphed by half a length over the favoured Mind Games in the Group 2 King's Stand, so the July Cup was a natural next objective. He could not match strides with the impressive Anabaa at Newmarket, coming back sixth, but at York he became Sir Mark Prescott's first Group 1 scorer when catching Eveningperformance in the final strides of the Nunthorpe Stakes.

The Prix de l'Abbaye was supposed to feature on his agenda after that, but the predicted soft ground ruled him out and his career was over.

Pivotal had clearly been a high-class sprinter when he had a surface to suit, but what was to be expected of him as a stallion? It would have required a leap of faith to imagine him as an important sire of stock capable of winning at the top level over a variety of distances and on any kind of ground. Most would have seen him as just a likely purveyor of cheap speed.

Pivotal served his first two seasons at a fee of £6,000, the next three at £5,000, and there were no mares of aristocratic lineage among his visitors. But remarkably there were Group 1 winners from all five of those crops - Golden Apples, Kyllachy and Silvester Lady in the first, Chorist and Megahertz in the second, Somnus in the third, Peeress in the fourth and Saoire in the fifth.

That record ensured more and better patronage and the run of success has continued unabated, featuring top-level victories from 6f (by Regal Parade at Haydock) to 1m4f, famously by the admirable Sariska in the Oaks and Irish Oaks, and now by Buzzword, his sire's 16th individual Group 1 scorer.

Although Pivotal was himself a natural sprinter, there are staying elements in his background; his granddam Stufida was a Group 1 winner in Italy over 1m2f, and she was a daughter of St Leger winner Bustino. Buzzword's capacity for 1m4f was perhaps ensured by his dam Bustling, whose major victory came over that distance in the Listed Derby du Midi at La Teste du Buch.

His granddam Carnival Spirit was also third dam of Lush Lashes, who gave one of her best displays at the same trip in the Yorkshire Oaks, and she was herself a half-sister to 1990 Arc de Triomphe hero Saumarez.


PEDIGREE ANALYSIS

Sire: Pivotal

Bred by Cheveley Park Stud Ltd in England. Won 4 (5-6f) of 6 races, viz. 2 out of 3 at 2 years, 2 (King’s Stand S.-Gr2, Nunthorpe S.-Gr1) out of 3 at 3 years. RPR 103 at 2, 120 at 3. Earned £148,023.

Powerfully-built, attractive sort, 16.2hh, who always impressed in appearance and condition. High-class sprinter on fast ground (which he evidently needed). Best form at 5f, but probably capable of running to same mark at 6f.

By a high-class sprinter-miler who died young, having made a promising start at stud. Half-brother to Listed-placed winner Brave Revival (f by Dancing Brave; dam of Listed-placed winner Bravado).

Dam smart performer, 2yo winner, Gr3-placed. Grand dam Gr1 winner over 1m2f in Italy, half-sister to 7 other winners. third dam won twice at 2, daughter of Listed 2yowinner. Good, if not exciting, family.

Stands at Cheveley Park Stud, Newmarket, at a fee of £65,000. Sire of 11 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Golden Apples (Del Mar Oaks-Gr1, Beverly D S.-Gr1, Yellow Ribbon S.-Gr1), Kyllachy (Nunthorpe S.-Gr1), Silvester Lady (Preis der Diana-Gr1), Chorist (Pretty Polly S.-Gr1), Megahertz (John C. Mabee H.-Gr1, Yellow Ribbon S.-Gr1), Somnus (Haydock Sprint Cup-Gr1, Prix Maurice de Gheest-Gr1, Prix de la Foret-Gr1), Peeress (Sun Chariot S.-Gr1, Lockinge S.-Gr1), Saoire (Irish 1,000 Guineas-Gr1), Excellent Art (St James’s Palace S-Gr1), Regal Parade (Haydock Sprint Cup-Gr1), Falco (Poule d’Essai des Poulains-Gr1), Halfway To Heaven (Irish 1,000 Guineas-Gr1, Nassau S.-Gr1, Sun Chariot S.-Gr1), Virtual (Lockinge S.-Gr1), Sariska (Oaks S.-Gr1, Irish Oaks-Gr1), Buzzword (Deutsches Derby-Gr1), Siyouni (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Gr1).

Dam: Bustling

Bred by Sheikh Mohammed in England. Ran only at 3 years, won 2 (1m2f-1m4f) of 9 races, inc. 1 Listed. Also 3rd in Gr2. RPR 109. Earned £40,843.

Usefulperformer, stayed 1m4f well, unraced on fast ground. Very well bred. By a leading sprinter and multiple champion sire. Half-sister to Listed winners Carniola (by Rainbow Quest) and Baranquilla (by Acatenango) and to the granddam of multiple Gr1 winner Lush Lashes. Dam half-sister to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Saumarez.

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Roi Soleil (2004 c by Rainbow Quest; unraced), Banana Tropic (2005 f by Fantastic Light; unraced), Retake (2006 f by Reset; unplaced), Buzzword (2007 c by Pivotal; Classic winner), Montefeltro (2008 c by Medicean; unraced to date). Covered by New Approach 2009.

CONCLUSION

Tough, honest, consistent performer, effective at 1m, but
is better suited to 1m4f. Further success at distances beyond a mile await.

 

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