Media Centre

Circumvent - Kempton - 05.09.09

Circumvent - shown running at Kempton in September - is by Tobougg

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Circumvent: boost for dual-purpose sire

2 ch g Tobougg - Seren Devious (Dr Devious)

THE Aga Khan's remarkable Group race sweep during Arc weekend is something that won't be matched for some time, but there was a moment five days later in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Bryon at Saint-Cloud when it looked as if his run could continue.

The Aga Khan's representative in the four-runner event was the second favourite Rajsaman, and as he loomed up alongside the long time leader Ameer two furlongs out, a ninth stakes victory within six days for the familiar green and red colours looked more than a possibility.

But just as Ameer was starting to come out on top, the complexion of the race changed completely as the British-trained pair Circumvent and Silver Grey swooped from unpromising positions to land an unexpected exacta.

Although a winner over 6f earlier in the year, the Paul Cole-trained Circumvent appeared to need all of the 1m trip to wear down the front pair.

Despite not leading until the final 100 yards, he had one-and-a-half lengths in hand over Silver Grey at the line, suggesting that like most of his immediate family, he will relish middle-distances next season.

There is stronger juvenile Group 3 form on offer and the way the race set up probably played to the gelding's strengths. But it would be foolish to disregard such an improving youngster and it is worth remembering that past winners of the Prix Thomas Bryon include the likes of Silver Frost and Thewayyouare.

Circumvent's ability may be better gauged later this month if he takes his chance in the Criterium International over course and distance. Victory there, however, would have little bearing on next year's Classic markets as Circumvent is agelding and his options are therefore restricted.

What we do know is that Deepwood Farm Stud, who bred each one of Circumvent's first three dams, have a horse who is as versatile as he is talented: from four starts he has won three races and been second on Fibresand, Polytrack and turf.

Southwell doesn't feature in the programme of many notable horses but it was at that venue that Circumvent made a winning debut over 6f. Switched to Kempton's Polytrack next time out, the gelding went down by only a head to the useful Quadrille in a 7f conditions race before breaking his duck on turf in a competitive nursery at Leicester.

Circumvent's success on Friday caps a strong season for Tobougg, who spent six seasons at Dalham Hall Stud prior to shifting to the dual-purpose ranks earlier this year.

His time in Newmarket exposed him as no more than useful but that is hardly surprising given that he was consistently advertised at a fee of £5,000 and often the subject of hefty concessions.

With several promising young hurdlers, such as Bouggler and Shalone, on the horizon, the son of Barathea looks capable of filling a void under both codes for breeders operating under budget, and his prospects in his new role at East Burrow Farm appear far brighter than those of his former stud companion Best Of The Bests, who made the same journey in 2006.

Tobougg's early popularity, which saw him never covered less than 130 mares a season during his first five years in Newmarket, stemmed from an unbeaten two-year-old campaign.

His memorable juvenile career under the care of Mick Channon encompassed wins in the Prix de la Salamandre and Dewhurst Stakes, a double previously pulled off by Zafonic, Xaar and Pennekamp.

Yet neither victory could place him in the same league as at least the first two named as just three rivals faced him in the Salamandre while the late defection of Middle Park Stakes winner Minardi made his task in the Dewhurst significantly easier.

Nevertheless, the cosy manner of the latter victory suggested there was more to come, and despite a defeat by Rumpold in one of Godolphin's private trials at Nad Al Sheba, he was sent off favourite for the 2001 2,000 Guineas.

Tobougg disappointed badly in ninth on that occasion but although he was never to win in the Godolphin blue, he laterran some good races in defeat, notably when a close second in the Champion Stakes and Hong Kong Cup, and third in the Derby. Given that he appeared to progress throughout that season, it was disappointing to see him return the following year with a questionable attitude and several lacklustre performances.

Tobougg's first crop of 110 foals hit the track in 2006 and contained seven stakes horses led by the Listed winners Sweet Lilly and Market Day. His first southern hemisphere crop promised even more when The Pooka won the New Zealand 2,000 Guineas but that gelding is Tobougg's only stakes winner down under and it wasn't until this season that a first European Group winner came his way.

The Group winner in questionwas German 1,000 Guineas heroine Penny's Gift and since then there have been others in the form of Distinctive, who was successful in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes, and Italian Group 3 winner Lady Alida. Goodwood Cup third The Betchworth Kid, who is about toembark on a career over hurdles, has also been a valuable contributor to what has ironically been Tobougg's most successful season yet.

If Circumvent triumphs in the Criterium International, he won't just mark the first northern hemisphere Group 1 winner for his sire but also the first within eight generations of his female family and the second descending from Barathea to be inbred to Habitat following Haydock Sprint Cup winner Tante Rose. Grade 2 winner Obrigado and the high-class French colt Apsis are also bred in a similar fashion.

Circumvent's sixth dam, Couloir, was third in the 1961 Cheveley Park Stakes but success for this particular branch of the family had been patchy prior to the exploits of Circumvent'sgranddam Seren Quest, who bred two useful middle-distance performers for Deepwood Farm in Saddler's Quest and Seren Hill.

That pair's half-sister, Seren Devious, never reached the track but she has more than made up for it at stud - Circumvent is the mare's second stakes runner from as many foals following the Listed-placed Elnadim filly Seradim, who lined up in this season's 1,000 Guineas.

Few mares can lay claim to producing two high-class runners within her first two years at stud, especially ones by stallions standing for the equivalent of £5,000 or under, making Seren Devious - who shares her Derby-winning sire, Dr Devious, with the dams of Group/Grade 1 winners Shamdinan, Koiuta and Daiwa El Cielo - a mare of immense potential.

Bred by Deepwood Farm Stud


Sire: Tobougg

Bred by Citadel Stud in Ireland. 230,000gns Tattersalls Houghton yearling. Won 3 (7f) races viz. 3 (Prix de la Salamandre - Gr1, Dewhurst Stakes - Gr1) out of 3 at 2 years, 0 out of 5 at 3 years and 0 out of 4 at 4 years. Also 2nd Champion Stakes-Gr1, Hong Kong Cup-Gr1 and third Derby-Gr1. Earned £742,780. RPR 122 at 2 years, 122 at 3 years and 109 at 4 years.

Good-looking, well-made colt. Effective on most grounds bar extremes, below form only try on firm. Reportedly tried in blinkers at home but never on track, attitude questionable on occasions.

Well-bred. Best son of a top-class miler and later high-class sire, out of a winner of the Prix de Diane and Prix Saint-Alary who was retired due to injury; later dam of three stakes performers. Further family of Group 1 winner and high-class sire Miswaki.
Stands at East Burrow Farm for £2,500.

To stud at 5 years and sire of four crops of racing age inc. notable winners: Penny's Gift (German 1,000 Guineas - Gr2), Lady Alida (Gr3), Distinctive (Gr3), Circumvent (Gr3), Born Tobouggie, Sweet Lilly, Market Day, Biz Bar. Also sire in southern hemisphere of The Pooka (NZ 2,000 Guineas - Gr1) etc.

Dam: Seren Devious

Bred byDeepwood Farm Stud in GB. Unraced.

Quite well-bred. By a versatile and tough Derby winner, who was also a top-class two-year-old, later a well-travelled sire with fair records in Japan, Ireland and Italy (champion). Out of an Italian Listed winner and half-sister to 1m3f Group 3 winner Saddler's Quest (by Saddler's Hall) and 1m4f Listed winner Seren Hill (by Sabrehill).

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Seradim (05 f Elnadim: Listed-placed winner); Circumvent (06 g Tobougg: Gr3 winner). She was barren to Mark Of Esteem in 2005, and has a yearling colt by Fasliyev and a colt foal by Royal Applause.


Highly progressive gelding who could improve again as he tackles further. Looks set to continue providing his owner-breeder with some memorable days on the track.





King's Theatre £928,943
Presenting £854,809
Beneficial £702,808
Milan £673,067
Oscar £656,070
Westerner £543,568
Flemensfirth £465,623
Kayf Tara £421,559
Stowaway £372,236
Midnight Legend £361,335