FRIDAY’S Breeders’ Cup day is marginally my favourite of the meeting, showcasing young talent and future stars.

Two highlights were the Grade 1 double for European-trained runners, Mick Appleby’s Big Evs (Blue Point) and Aidan O’Brien’s Unquestionable (Wootton Bassett), and a Grade 1 double for Coolmore’s Ashford Stud-based Justify (Scat Daddy).

Now successful on four of his six starts, Big Evs announced the arrival of Blue Point (Shamardal) as a sire to watch when he gave his sire a first stakes victory in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. Apart from finishing down the field in the Nunthorpe Stakes, he has won all his subsequent stars, the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes, Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes, and now the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

With more than 40 individual winners in his first crop, and a second winner at the highest level in racing, it is no wonder that the Kildangan-based Blue Point has seen his fee for 2024 jump from €35,000 to €60,000. He sired his first Group 1 winner when Rosallion landed the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day, now has nine stakes horses, five of them stakes winners, while his daughter Dazzling Star was placed in the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes in Canada.

Two of Blue Point’s stakes winners are out of mares by Oasis Dream (Green Desert), Big Evs and the German listed winner Waldfrieda, and this is already looking like a potent cross, as others with the same profile are the 91-rated Elmondjen, unbeaten in two starts for Shadwell and William Haggas, while the Aga Khan’s Keran, winner on his most recent start in France, looks a nice prospect.

Micky Cleere secured Big Evs for 50,000gns as a yearling from his breeder, Rabbah Bloodstock, and sold him on privately. The colt is the fourth winner out of Hana Lina who placed twice, and she is a daughter of the European champion and Group 1 winner Queen’s Logic (Grand Lodge). Hana Lina had 10 winning siblings, notably Lady Of The Desert (Rahy) who won the Group 2 Diadem Stakes and Lowther Stakes, and was runner-up in both the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup and Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.


What a way to gain your first stakes victory, landing the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

While he may have originally been the Ballydoyle second-string, the forced scratching of River Tiber saw Ryan Moore switch to Unquestionable, and they proceeded to lead home an Aidan O’Brien 1-2, beating stablemate Mountain Bear by a length and a half.

Unquestionable had shown plenty of ability, finishing runner-up to Rosallion in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, and he is the ninth Group/Grade 1 winner for Wootton Bassett (Iffraaj). Three of those have emerged in 2023, and the others are fellow juvenile Bucanero Fuerte and the Champion Stakes winner King Of Steel.

Wootton Bassett’s juvenile crop also includes Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner River Tiber, Group 3 winners Zabiari and Grey Man, as well as the stakes winners Balsam and Germiniano, while his son Islandsinthestream was runner-up to Los Angeles in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud.


Unquestionable was bred by the quartet of Guillaume, Camille, Axelle and Valentine Vitesse, and sold for €340,000 at Arqana through their Normandie Breeding to Mandore International, acting for Al Shaqab Racing and M.V. Magnier. He is the second produce of the Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) mare Strawberry Lace who was purchased by Camille in 2019 as a twice-raced mare in foal to Night Of Thunder (Dubawi) for 52,000gns from Oghill House Stud.

Normandie Breeding failed to sell the resulting filly, Enjoy The Show, and she was recently placed for the second time in just four starts for them. A win would now be a very important target for the three-year-old. Strawberry Lace’s yearling colt by Almanzor (Wootton Bassett) sold to Robson Aguiar for €185,000 this year, and the mare had a colt by the same sire again this spring.

Sea The Stars is enjoying a purple patch as a broodmare sire, Unquestionable joining the likes of Big Rock, Eldar Eldarov, Al Husn and Onesto as Group 1-winning sons and daughters of mares by the Gilltown stallion.