GROUP 1 race action in Europe at the weekend centred on Germany, and the Preis von Europe in Koln (Cologne).

Recording her eighth and most important success was the five-year-old mare, India, and she also became the eighth Group 1 winner for her much missed sire, Adlerflug (In The Wings).

While he was a standout sire in his native Germany, Adlerflug is well-regarded across Europe, thanks to successes for such as Torquator Tasso in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Alenquer in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland, while his Group 1 German Derby-winning son In Swoop stands under the Coolmore banner.

India is just the second daughter of Adlerflug, himself winner of the 2007 Group 1 Deutsches Derby and the next year’s Deutschland-Preis, to win at the highest level, the first being the 2017 Preis der Diana (German Oaks) heroine Lacazar. This is a really good family, and a simple printout of the extended family is about four times the usual. For this column, I will try to compress it.

Until the weekend’s victory, India had only contested one Group 1 race, and that was the German Oaks two years ago. She had won four Group 3 races, one of which was the Prix Allez France at ParisLongchamp, and a couple of listed contests, and she was placed at Group 2 level in both France and Germany. Her earnings now stand north of €350,000.

One of seven runners and winners out of the Peintre Celebre (Nureyev) mare Ivory Coast, India is a half-sister to the good stayer Ivory Land (Lando). He had a similar racing profile to India, no Group 1 wins or placings but a three-time pattern winner in France, his biggest success coming in the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier. He later went to stud in Spain.

Ivory Coast was born when her dam, the stakes-placed Land Of Ivory (The Minstrel), was 18, and she never raced. A place at stud was never in doubt as her seven winning siblings were headed by Heart Of Darkness (Glint Of Gold), and in 1990 he won the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, the race being sponsored that year by Guinness Peat Aviation. Ian Balding was winning the race for the second year in a row, after Dashing Blade, and Paul Mellon’s Heart Of Darkness was ridden by Pat Shanahan.

Gold And Ivory

Paul Mellon is a clue to the family, as Land Of Ivory was a half-sister to his Gold And Ivory (Key To The Mint). The Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes winner at two went on to be a dual Group 1 winner in Germany, the Grosser Preis von Baden and the Preis von Europa, and he also captured the Group 1 Gran Premio del Jockey Club Coppa d’Oro in Italy. He was rated the best three-year-old in both Germany and Italy.

Gold And Ivory was by some way the best runner out of the Grade 3 winner and Grade 1 Spinster Stakes runner-up Ivory Wand (Sir Ivor), but a number of her daughters added further lustre to the pedigree through their offspring and descendants.

In the third remove of India’s family you will find three-time Grade 1 winner Grand Couturier (Grand Lodge), US champion juvenile Anees (Unbridled), French Group 2 winner Rossini (Miswaki), and this year’s Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup second Shouldvebeenaring (Havana Grey).

India’s fourth dam was the champion filly Natashka (Dedicate), and Vincent O’Brien played a large role in the success of this female line. He saddled Natashka’s son Gregorian (Graustark) to win the Group 1 Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes at Leopardstown, and five of the mare’s seven winners were stakes winners. Another was Arkadina (Ribot), dam of the Group 1 Irish St Leger winner Dark Lomond (Lomond), while other branches of the family have left behind innumerable Group and Grade 1 winners around the globe.