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Sri Putra wins the group 2 Prix Guillaume D'Ornano Deauville 16.08.2009

Sri Putra (right) swoops to take the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano at Deauville

  PICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER  

Sri Putra: another fine advert for Oasis Dream

SRI PUTRA
3 bc Oasis Dream - Wendylina (In The Wings)

THERE were contrasting finishes to the two most important races on Sunday's Deauville card. Imperious Goldikova fairly spreadeagled her field in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois, giving a display that put even her wonderful Breeders' Cup performance in the shade, whereas only a length separated first from sixth at the end of the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano, one of the most closely contested Pattern events of recent years.

But there was no doubting that we saw a worthy winner in the Newmarket challenger Sri Putra, who was brought with a timely run by Frankie Dettori to assert his superiority in the closing stages and claim his first victory at this level in his first start over 1m2f.

Sri Putra showed that he had the potential to take high rank on his debut in June last year, when he took a 16-runner Newbury maiden in good style, and his Group 3 victory two months later in Sandown's Solario Stakes, with five other previously unbeaten colts behind him, more than confirmed that impression.

However, he did not run to that level of form in his other two races as a juvenile, meeting trouble in running when eighth behind Donativum and Crowded House in the Tattersalls Million Stakes, and he did not help himself by running too freely in the Racing Post Trophy. He was eighth again at Doncaster, considerably further behind Crowded House than he had been at Newmarket.

Looking less than cherry-ripe on his return in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury, Sri Putra missed third place by only a short head while hinting that 7f was now too short for him, so it was unsurprising that he started a well-backed 3-1 second favourite for the Group 2 Mehl-Mulhens Rennen, Germany's counterpart of the 2,000 Guineas, in Cologne three weeks later.

As it turned out, he failed to fire there, coming back a disappointing fifth of eight,nearly nine lengths behind the (then) unbeaten Irian, but he was a sick horse when Michael Jarvis got him home, suggesting that he may have had an excuse for that dull display.

The colt was given a ten-week break before his next task,which looked a formidable one under top weight of 9st 7lb in a competitive 1m heritage handicap at Ascot on King George day.

The market did not rate his chance highly, with five of his ten rivals preferred in the betting, but the 12-1chance turned in a personal best performance, progressing smoothly from the rear to assume command, then running on resolutely to hold the challenge of Peking Prince (who received 26lb) by half a length.

After that effort, which was clearly up to Pattern standard, Sri Putra had to revert to prestige events; choosing one in which he could enhance his reputation was the poser. The timing of the Prix Guillaume d'Ornano was right, as were its conditions, which specified three-year-olds only and dictated that any previous Group 2 winner would have to concede him 2kg. The concern was whether he would be able to stay 1m2f, a full quarter of a mile farther than he had ever been before.

The SriPutra who had run too freely to see out the 1m of the Racing Post Trophy last October would not be good enough, but on that occasion he had not been helped by a low draw which meant that he was never able to get cover. At Deauville there would no doubt be a smaller field and no great gallop; he would probably be able to tuck in behind, and, with a little bit of luck, stay handy enough to make his change of pace tell when it mattered.

The race unfolded precisely according to plan. He may not have been the best horse in the race - Debussy was very close under his penalty - and it was debatable whether his performance quite matched that Ascot handicap run, but the Group 2 honours had been duly acquired, and his stamina for 1m2f had been established. It was clear that there were now more options available to him.

The stamina doubts had naturally centred on his sire, Oasis Dream, whose talents on the racecourse marked him down as a faithful scion of the Danzig tribe - asprinter through and through, and one of proven top class. His Middle Park triumph had ensured that he headed the European juvenile rankings in 2002, and his July Cup and Nunthorpe victories in the following season had resulted in his being declared champion of Europe's three-year-old sprint division. He had found immediate favour with prominent breeders who felt confident that he would transmit his speed, and it was widely assumed that, if he was going to make his mark at stud, it would be as a sire of notable sprinters.

But, as I pointed out here very recently, Oasis Dream's pedigree was not all about the Danzig line. Yes, what he expressed as an athlete was very much in that familiar mould, but his dam was by Dancing Brave and sister to Irish Oaks heroine Wemyss Bight. Grand-dam Bahamian was a daughter of Mill Reef who had finished first in the Gr2 Prix de l'Esperance over 1m7f, and she was out of the luckless Sorbus, a Busted mare who had been controversially disqualified after beating Fair Salinia in the Irish Oaks and later ran second in the Irish St Leger. There was stamina a-plenty on the distaff side of that leading sprinter's pedigree.

Oasis Dream's results to date have reflected a breeding background that was anything but one-dimensional. Sure, he has got his share of speedy and precocious types, a point well illustrated by his record tally of 38 individual two-year-old winners in 2008, and he is going great guns with his juveniles again this term, including a pair who starred at Newmarket's July meeting in Arcano and Misheer, respectively winners of the July Stakes and Cherry Hinton Stakes.

But Midday failed by only a whisker in the Oaks and has since won the Group 1 Nassau, and no sooner had we taken note of Sri Putra's Group 2 win over 1m2f than along came Monitor Closely, all-the-way winner of the 1m4f Great Voltigeur at the same level and now under consideration for a supplementary entry in the St Leger.

If Oasis Dream had been a sire of sheer speed and nothing else, he would not now find himself riding as high as seventh in the sires' list. He is emulating another pure sprinter in Pivotal (currently fourth in the table) by essentially transmitting class rather than one distinct aptitude relating to distance.

These are early days in Oasis Dream's stud career, but it is already evident that he ranks among the best in Britain. He has huge crops in the pipeline, and there can be no doubt that his influence will become more marked in the coming years.

Bred by Glebe House Stud and Partners in England. 65,000gns Tattersalls December foal.
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PEDIGREE ASSESSMENT

SIRE: OASIS DREAM

Bred by Juddmonte Farms in England. Won 4 (5f-6f) of 9 races, viz. 2 (inc. Middle Park S.-Gr1) out of 4 at 2 years, 2 (July Cup-Gr1, Nunthorpe S.-Gr1) out of 5 at 3 years. Also 2nd in Haydock Park Sprint Cup, 3rd in King's Stand S. RPR 121 at 2, 131 at 3. Earned £433,737.

Smallish (15.3hh), strong, attractive individual. Top class sprinter, best of his age in Europe both seasons in training. Below form only effort over 1m at Breeders' Cup. Best suited by fast ground.

Very well bred. Probably the best son of his sire, a high-class sprinter, now successful as a sire of sires (Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit, Desert Style, Kheleyf, etc). Half-brother to Poule d'Essai des Pouliches winner Zenda (by Zamindar). Dam once-raced sister to Irish Oaks winner Wemyss Bight, herself dam of Beat Hollow. Grand-dam daughter of Sorbus (placed 2nd in 3 Classics). Same family as Weaver's Hall (Irish Derby) and Sixpence (champion 2-y-o filly in Ireland).

Stands at Banstead Manor Stud, Cheveley, Newmarket at a fee of £30,000. Sire of 3 crops of racing age, inc. notable winners: Aqlaam (Gr2), Captain Gerrard (Gr3), Main Aim (Gr3), Starlit Sands (Gr3), Visit (Gr3), Young Pretender (Gr3), Midday (Nassau S.-Gr1), Monitor Closely (Gr2), Naaqoos (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere-Gr1), Sri Putra (Gr2), Arcano (Gr2), Misheer (Gr2).

DAM: WENDYLINA

Bred by Kilfrush Stud Ltd in Ireland. Unraced.

Well bred. By a top-class middle distance performer and successful sire. Half-sister to 9 other winners, inc. Caerlina (by Caerleon; won Prixde Diane, dam of Gr1-placed winner La Nuit Rose, grand-dam of Gr2 winner Tam Lin), Swalina (by Sadler's Wells; Listed), Leeonila (by Caerleon; Gr2-placed), Maniana (by Try My Best; Listed-placed) and Saderlina (by Sadler's Wells; Listed-placed, dam of Listed winner Sereth).

Dam 2-y-o winner, half-sister to 7 other winners, inc. Karadar (Gr3), Karamita (Gr3; dam of Gr1 winner Kartajana), Kalidar (Listed), Khalida (Listed), and Kamiya (grand-dam of Gr1 winner Turtle Bowl, Gr2 winner Turtle Bow, and Gr3 winner Age of Aquarius).

To stud at 3 and dam of: Duty (2003 g by Rainbow Quest; winner), Salve Evita (2004 f by Monsun; unplaced), Lykaria (2005 f by Fantastic Light; unraced), Sri Putra (2006 c by Oasis Dream; Gr2 winner). She was barren to Cadeaux Genereux in 2007, but has a yearling colt by Oasis Dream (lot 172 at Tattersalls October Sale, Part 1), a filly-foal by Dubai Destination, and is again in foal to Oasis Dream.

CONCLUSIONS

Successfully met the challenges of higher grade and longer distance at Deauville. There may still be better to come from a colt who represents another fine advertisement for his outstanding young sire.

 

 

 

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