Guest Column: Stuff Of Dreams



Guest Column: Stuff Of Dreams

08 October, 2012
– Lisa Barrett

Solemia, winning the Arc on Saturday. Image: theaustralian.com.au

The 2012 running of the Prix de la Arc de Triomphe will be remembered not only for the high profile withdrawals, but the scintillating win by the 33-1 longshot filly Solemia, not fancied and not expected to do much against the super star boys. Clearly, no-one bothered to tell her that, and she caused one of the biggest upsets on a soggy Arc day.

The Aidan ‘O Brien trained Ernest Hemmingway was the pace leader for much of the race, but with about 400 metres to go, the Japanese entry Orfevre looked like having the race in the bag, however a slight collision with the rail, knocked him off his track, and this gave Solemia under Olivier Peslier the chance, and she surged for the line and victory.

Bred by the Wertheimer family out of the 1991 Prix Cleopatre heroine Brooklyn Dance, Solemia is the final foal of the great mare who has produced five other stakes winners, and a half-sister to Funsie, the dam of Derby hero Authorized, now a successful sire.

Solemia’s sire is the brilliant Poliglote, son of the great Sadler’s Wells, famous for his Group One win in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Gr1) 2000m at two, and a second at three in the French Derby (Gr.1) over 2400m, following that up with further 3 Group Two and one Group One races, before being retired to stud.

Currently based at Haras de Etreham in Bayeux, he is considered to be one of the leading flat turf sires, and has 16 Stakes and 6 Group One winners to his credit.

Solemia is no flash in the pan, though she has taken a while to hit her stride. With two Listed wins (the Prix Joubert & Prix Lord Seymour) under her belt, as well an impressive win in the Prix Corrida (Gr.2), and seconds in two further Group races, the Prix du Conseil de Paris (Gr.2) and the Prix d Hedouville (Gr.3), she has battled to find form, and the race was considered too tough a test for her.

So an unheralded filly has rewritten the racing record books, and proved that the ladies can more than hold their own against the men in one of the world’s greatest turf races. No wonder her connections were dancing all the way to the parade ring in pure ecstasy when she crossed the line. We can only hope that she does her great pedigree proud and that a new middle distance star has risen in the racing constellation.

Lisa Barrett
– Guest Writer

“Lisa Barrett”, her psuedonym, currently works at a stud farm in the KZN Midlands. She is absolutely and totally crazy about horses and every aspect of them. She is fascinated by every aspect of the racehorse business, especially pedigrees and would like to one day write a book on her favourite sire!


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