50-1 Fastnet Rock Filly Throws A Curve Ball At Gr1 Oaks At Epsom

50-1 Fastnet Rock Filly Throws A Curve Ball At Gr1 Oaks At Epsom

The mighty Curved Ball pictured at Bush Hill Stud. His first yearlings are on sale this year.

Qualify caused a huge upset in the Oaks on Friday when staying on from the rear to nail favourite Legatissimo in the shadow of the post and become a first European Group 1 winner for her sire Fastnet Rock, whose son Curved Ball is the first to go stud in South Africa, specifically KZN’s Bush Hill Stud.

Curved Ball has his first yearlings on sale this year, including the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale taking place 2 and 3 July 2015. A winner of the Gr2 Dingaans and Sea Cottage Listed, he won three races from seven starts.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly needed every yard of the mile and a half trip at Epsom and it is no surprise when you delve into her pedigree.

Although Fastnet Rock was a Group 1-winning sprinter in Australia, a number of his leading European lights have excelled over a mile or further, possibly because a number of European breeders sent their stoutly-bred mares to the son of Danehill hoping he would inject a bit of speed into their pedigrees.

Qualify is a case in point. She was bred by O’Brien and his wife Annemarie out of the ten-year-old Galileo mare Perihelion, who won a 1m4½f maiden as a three-year-old before finishing second to Allegretto in the Park Hill Stakes.

Other talented middle-distance runners in Europe by Fastnet Rock include Dermot Weld’s triple Group 3 winner Fascinating Rock, who was a close second to Al Kazeem in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on his last start.

Perihelion is one of six winners out of Medicosma, a daughter of late Derby winner The Minstrel who carried the colours of Khalid Abdullah to a pair of victories at up to 2m for Barry Hills.

Her half-sister Luna Fleur won seven races over jumps for Noel Meade before producing smart dual-purpose performer Ballyadam Brook, a son of Alderbrook who won five times over jumps as well as winning a pair of competitive Flat races for Terence O’Brien.

Qualify descends from one of Abdullah’s most celebrated families. Her great-granddam – Oaks runner-up Media Luna – produced six winners, the list headed by the Alleged mare Eva Luna, who established herself as an integral cog in Abdullah’s breeding operation after winning four races for the late Sir Henry Cecil, including the Park Hill Stakes.

She supplied four stakes winners, including Brian Boru, who was trained by O’Brien to win the St Leger and Racing Post Trophy, and high-class middle-distance runner Sea Moon. She is also responsible for the unraced Sadler’s Wells mare Soviet Moon, dam of 2010 Derby hero Workforce, and Group 2 winner Moon Search, who produced Cheltenham Festival scorer Cinders And Ashes.

So although Qualify was a 50-1 shot on form, her pedigree entitled her to outrun her odds.

Curved Ball has eight yearlings up for grabs from the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale. Lot 103 is a filly out of a half-sister to Gr2 Emerald Cup winner The Mousketeer, whilst Lot 177, a colt named Platinum Wave is the first foal from a half-sister to Princess Victoria and Princess Royal.

Contact Warwick 082 872 7799 or Karin 082 896 4809

Email: bushhillstud@futurenet.co.za
Website: www.bushhillstud.co.za
Facebook: Bush Hill Stud

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