Violin Davis: picked up valuable black-type in the mares hurdle at AscotPICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
Saturday's big races: the breeding angles
Ascot: 1942 Was A Vintage Year Mares' Hurdle (Registered As The Warfield Mares' Hurdle) (Grade 2), 3m
Violin Davis (Turgeon - Trumpet Davies)
Bred by Claude Quellier
VIOLIN DAVIS stuck on grimly to deny the late challenge from hot favourite Kentford Grey Lady and win her first graded race. Not only has she picked up some valuable black-type, but this victory puts her firmly in the picture for the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Violin Davis is by Turgeon, who has established himself as a leading sire of top-class National Hunt horses, including theJonjo O'Neill-trained Grade 1 winner Exotic Dancer. Paul Nicholls, trainer of Violon Davis, has encountered considerable success with the sires progeny, courtesy of Chapoturgeon, Turko and recent Ascot scorer Aerial.
Turgeon, winner of the Irish St Leger, has stood at Haras Du Mesnil for the last seven years and this year will command a fee of €4,000.
The six-year-old Violin Davis is out of the Rose Laurel mare Trumpet Davis, a full-sister to the Grade 1 Cheltenham Champion Chase winner Klairon Davis. Trumpet Davis has produced two other winners: Synthe Davis, who has won three hurdle races at up to 2m4f and Tambourine Davis, who won two novice hurdles for Nicky Henderson.
Haydock: StanJames.com Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade 2), 2m
Celestial Halo (Galileo - Pay The Bank)
Bred by Roncon Churchtown Bloodstock & Lane Ltd
THE ultra consistent Celestial Halo stayed on well in the heavy ground and must now be in line for another crack at the Champion Hurdle in March, a race he was narrowly touched off in back in 2009.
The Grade 1-winning hurdler Celestial Halo, a 40,000gns yearling, won over a 1m2f on the Flat for trainer Barry Hills. By far and away the best jumper by super sire Galileo, Celestial Halo is out of the 1m maiden winner Pay The Bank, who has also produced another Grade 1- winning hurdler High Prospect
Plenty of speed can be traced in Celestial Halo's pedigree; he is a half-sister to My Branch the dam of Tante Rose, winner of the Group 1 Sprint Cup at Haydock and he is also closely related to the American dual Grade 1 winner Dubawi Heights.
Ascot: 25th Anniversary Of The Victor Chandler Chase (Registered As The Clarence House Chase) (Grade 1), 2m1f
Somersby (Second Empire - Back To Roost)
Bred by Miss Nicola Ann Adams
THIS was a well deserved success at the top level for Somersby, who has been knocking on the door for a number of years and it was also a first Grade 1 winner for his sire Second Empire.
Second Empire, a son of Fairy King, won the Group 1 Grand Criterium as a juvenile for Aidan O'Brien, before disappointing slightly as a three-year-old. He was retired to Coolmore Stud in 2000, however, in 2004 he moved to South Africa.
The sire was put down in September of last year. After a successful surgery on a fractured radial carpal; Second Empire shattered his hind leg while getting up after the anesthetic.
Somersby was bought for €8,800 as a foal. He is the first foal out of the unraced Presenting mare Back To Roost, who is a half-sister to the Grade 1-placed chaser Horner Woods. She is also responsible for Nicky Henderson's useful novice chaser Cucumber Run.