RATED higher than their counterparts a year ago, two fillies shared the distinction of being the best juveniles of their sex. Both are unbeaten during their first season, and their progress and potential would suggest that we could be in for some great competition among the females of this year’s classic generation.

Tenebrism (Caravaggio) was one of the first juvenile winners of 2021, but she showed that lack of racecourse exposure was no hindrance when she defied a 181-day absence from the track to win the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes on just her second run. This was one of the training achievements of last season. She shares the two-year-old accolade with Inspiral (Frankel), Cheveley Park’s homebred four-time winner who crowned her season with victory in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile.

One of 24 winners in the first crop of Caravaggio (Scat Daddy), Tenebrism is the best of eight stakes performers to date for Caravaggio. Now at Ashford Stud where he will command just $35,000 this season, up from $25,000, he won the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes in an unbeaten two-year-old career, but his racing highlight was his defeat of Harry Angel and Blue Point the following year in the Group 1 Commonwealth Stakes at Royal Ascot. Caravaggio went to stud at Coolmore for €35,000 and had that fee raised to €40,000 in his third season before heading stateside.

Champion pedigree

Bred by Merriebelle Stables in partnership with Coolmore’s Orpendale/Chelston/Wynatt, Tenebrism races for Coolmore, Westerberg and Merriebelle.

She has the pedigree of a champion, being a daughter, and the best of three winners, from the champion Immortal Verse, a daughter of the leading broodmare sire Pivotal (Polar Falcon). Winner of the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois, Immortal Verse sold for 4,700,000gns to BBA Ireland in 2013, having originally traded as a yearling for €460,000.

Immortal Verse is a full-sister to Go Lovely Rose (Pivotal), the winning dam of the stakes winner and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes runner-up Roseman (Kingman), and Baradar (Muhaarar) who was a Group 1-placed juvenile.

A daughter of the stakes winner Side Of Paradise (Sadler’s Wells), Immortal Verse is a granddaughter of Mill Princess (Mill Reef) and that mare’s 11 winners were headed by Last Tycoon (Try My Best). He won eight of his 13 starts, including the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, William Hill Sprint Cup and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was later a champion sire.

Tenebrism’s fourth dam Irish Lass II (Sayajirao), a stakes winner in France, produced the Irish Derby winner Irish Ball (Baldric II) and is grandam of three classic-winning siblings, Assert (Be My Guest), Eurobird (Ela-Mana-Mou) and Bikala (Kalamoun). Other Group/Grade 1 winners descending from Irish Lass II includes French 1000 Guineas winners Tie Black (Machiavellian) and Valentine Waltz (Be My Guest), the US Matron Stakes winner Sense Of Style (Thunder Gulch), and the Group 1 winning siblings The United States, Hydrangea and Hermosa, all by Galileo (Sadler’s Wells).

Rose Goddess

With Cheveley Park Stud stallions featuring in the pedigree of Tenebrism, it is probably appropriate that she shares the juvenile filly title with one that was bred at the Newmarket nursery, and is a fourth generation product of the farm. Inspiral traces back to Rose Goddess (Sassafras) who was bred at Ferrans Stud in 1979 and sold as a yearling at Goffs for IR78,000gns. Unraced, she ended up in the breeding shed at Spendthrift Farms, where her first foals were bred.

Rose Goddess had only six offspring, her first two colts being the Group 1 winning juvenile Sanam (Golden Act) and the South African Group 2 winner and Group 1 placed Shaybani (Al Nasr). Her last two foals were bred by Cheveley Park Stud, her final produce being Mystic Goddess (Storm Bird).

She won twice, including a listed race, and chased home Sayyedati when third in the Group 3 Cherry Hinton Stakes. At stud she bred five winners, the best of which was Medicean (Machiavellian).

He won the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes and Lockinge Stakes, and today would have been a triple Group 1 winner as he also landed the then Group 2 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Medicean went to stud at Cheveley Park and sired Dutch Art who joined him in the stallion boxes there. His daughters included Cheveley Park’s Group 1 winner Nannina. Medicean’s half-sisters include Moonglow (Nayef), dam of 2020’s Group 2 winning juvenile Mondreise (Daiwa Major) in Japan.


Another of their siblings was the mile maiden winner Moon Goddess (Rainbow Quest), responsible for six winners, including the stakes winner Solar Magic (Pivotal) and juvenile winner Starscope (Selkirk). The latter was deserving of a stakes win, but it didn’t happen.

She won one of her eight starts, her sole run at two, but her placed efforts included being a well-beaten second in the Group 1 1000 Guineas, with Maybe, The Fugue and La Collina directly behind her, and runner-up to stable companion Fallen For You in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Four winners with her first four foals is a great start for Starscope and the others include the stakes-placed Celestran (Dansili).

Inspiral’s achievements place Starscope in another league now. She has progressed through the grades, winning a maiden and then the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown, adding the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster, and finally showing great class to land the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket.