SINCE his head was separated from his body just over 300 years ago, Edward Teach (or Thache), also known as Blackbeard the pirate, has served as the archetype for the bloodthirsty rogues who once roamed Caribbean and Atlantic coastal waters.

Only in the past few years have genealogists, historians and archaeologists unearthed surprising clues that reveal the man behind the legend, one that Blackbeard himself helped spawn. Now there is talk of Thache as a well-educated man of social grace, literate and capable of using complex navigational equipment.

The equine Blackbeard’s reputation is in no doubt. Winner of six of his eight starts, he added two Group 1 victories to his CV after the catalogue for this year’s Goffs Orby Sale went to press. Firstly he annexed the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, and last weekend added the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes. He has been outstanding all season, and all of his efforts contributed to his full-sister selling for €2.6 million this week at Goffs.

Glenvale Stud consigned the Newstead Breeding-bred own-sister to the sale, though it was Harry McCalmont’s Norelands Stud who sold Blackbeard as a foal for 270,000gns, signed for by Jamie McCalmont. Waiting in the wings is a full-brother to Blackbeard who was born in the spring.

Vintage race

Blackbeard is the first foal of Muirin, a daughter of Born To Sea (Invincible Spirit), the classic-placed half-brother to Galileo and Sea The Stars. A winner on her debut, Muirin’s second start saw her finish fourth in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, behind the Ballydoyle trio of Happily, Magical and September, and one place ahead of Alpha Centauri. What a race that was!

Muirin was bred by the Tsui Family’s Sunderland Holding and sold as a yearling at Tattersalls Ireland to Eddie Lynam for €41,000, and she is also a Goffs graduate as she was sold by Baroda and Colbinstown Studs to Broadhurst Agency for €210,000 at the 2018 November Breeding Stock Sale.

Muirin is one of four winners out of Group 3 winner Girouette (Pivotal), purchased as a broodmare prospect by the Tsui family for 380,000gns.

Hard to believe, but Girouette, now the grandam of a major contender for 2022 European champion two-year-old honours, was sold last December at Arqana to Zied Romdhane for €20,000, carrying a full-sibling to Muirin. Zied has since been appointed an agent for the Deauville sales company.

Pattern winner

Blackbeard is not the only pattern winner in the pedigree this year. Girouette’s half-sister Paraphernalia (Dalakhani) is the dam of the Group 3 John Porter Stakes winner Max Vega (Lope De Vega). He was also a group-winning juvenile three years ago.

This is quite a year for No Nay Never, but let us just look at the record of his two-year-olds in 2022. In addition to Blackbeard, he is the sire of Group 1 winner Little Big Bear, Group 2 winner and dual Group 1 runner-up Meditate, and Group 2 winners Trillium and Aesop’s Gables.