BACK in the early 1980s, my late father had a mare at Swordlestown Stud named Make Plans (Go Marching) on behalf of American clients. It proved opportune that she was moved from the USA to Ireland where she foaled a filly that was never named, and was covered by Try My Best (Northern Dancer).
That June, at Royal Ascot, her son Sayf El Arab (Drone) caused an upset when he won the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes, trained in Newmarket by Bill O’Gorman. The colt was placed in the same race 12 months later.
He went to stud, initially at Woodditton Stud in Newmarket and later in Italy, where he had limited success, getting a few group winners.
His half-brother Bestplan (Try My Best), bred at Swordlestown, was a listed winner in England and later was one of the best runners in Malaysia where he won a couple of their most important races, including the Gold Cup in Selangor twice.
He was followed a few years later by another smart sibling, the sprinter Monde Bleu (Last Tycoon). He won at up to Group 2 standard and was placed in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.
At the age of 22, Make Plans had her penultimate progeny, a filly named Mer Du Sud (Bluebird). Placed in France she found her way to the southern hemisphere where she became well known, especially in Hong Kong. There her son The Duke (Danehill) won the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile, while her grandson is Sky Field (Deep Field), successful in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint.
Why this sudden bout of reminiscing? Well, Make Plans turns up as the fourth dam of the Stewards’ Cup winner Commanche Falls. The five-year-old gelding is now a nine-time winner of £300,000, all his wins coming over six furlongs, but he has no blacktype to his name.
What a pity as he is rated the equal, more or less, of his eight-year-old half-brother, Dakota Gold (Equiano), and his 14 wins include the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at York and five other listed races.
There is surely plenty of time for Commanche Falls to get his blacktype, and he could even challenge his sibling for most money won. Dakota Gold’s tally stands at some £430,000 at present. The pair are the best of the four successful progeny of Joyeaux, a daughter of Mark Of Esteem (Darshaan), and she raced an incredible 76 times, winning six and being in the frame 26 times. Her sons mentioned have, between them, faced the starter 73 times to date.
Joyeaux is one of six winners out of the unraced Divine Secret (Hernando), and the best of the rest was the Italian Group 1 winner Aoife Alainn (Dr Fong). Divine Secret was produced from a winning own-sister to Monde Bleu.
Lethal Force, a son of Dark Angel (Acclamation), stood for his first six seasons at Cheveley Park Stud, and the last of those British-conceived crops are two-year-olds. Incredibly, he has only sired two stakes winners, both born in 2017, and they are the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde and the Indian listed winner Northern Lights. Both are out of Pivotal (Polar Falcon) mares.
DUAL Group 1 winner Kyprios, classic winner Homeless Songs, US Grade 3 winner Beautiful Lover and now Group 3 Prix du Psyche winner Trevaunance are all flying the flag for Moyglare Stud, this year being six decades since its founding by Walter Haefner.
The four winners are all in the care of different handlers – Aidan O’Brien, Dermot Weld, Christophe Clement and Jessica Harrington. There is real hope that the most recent of the quartet, the Deauville heroine Trevaunance, could also become, in time, a Group 1 filly.
Connections believe that anything she does this year is only a step on the way to greater glory.
The three-year-old daughter of Muhaarar (Oasis Dream) is the eleventh stakes winner he has sired in his first three crops, that group being headed by the Group 1 winning filly Eshaada. In fact, his fillies, on balance, seem to be stronger than his sons, seven of the 11 being of the fairer sex. While we associate much of the Moyglare success with families that they have cultivated over generations, Trevaunance (whose name I suspect has much to do with the stud’s Fiona Craig!) is a first generation product of the Maynooth nursery.
She is the fourth winner from Liber Nauticus, a Ballymacoll-bred daughter of Azamour (Night Shift). Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, she won her maiden at two and the Group 3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at York at three. On just her third, and sadly final, start she was fifth in the Group 1 Oaks. With such ability, it was no surprise that she would sell for 425,000gns in 2017 when Ballymacoll held their dispersal sale in Newmarket. Fiona Craig signed for her.
Liber Nauticus is proving her worth as a broodmare. Trevaunance is her fifth foal, fourth winner and second stakes winner. In the latter category she joins Miss Celestial (Exceed And Excel), a listed winner and placed multiple times at that level. As you would expect from Moyglare, Liber Nauticus has been covered by some of the best stallions around, though she was rested this year.
She has a two-year-old colt Portreath (Kodiac), a yearling colt by Blue Point (Shamardal) and a filly foal by Sea The Stars (Cape Cross).
As one would anticipate from a Ballymacoll family, this is a female line full of quality performers. Liber Nauticus was the best of the eight winners out of the unraced Serres (Daylami), though she had two siblings that were group-placed, Thetis (Invincible Spirit) and her full-sister Serenada (Azamour).
Another of their siblings was Lucciola (Verglas) and she won 11 races in Australia, was listed-placed, and is now a promising broodmare.
There are four Group/Grade 1 winners under Liber Nauticus’ third dam, another unraced mare named Well Ahead (Sadler’s Wells). She bred Conduit (Dalakhani), the classic St Leger winner who added the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Turf to his tally of seven victories.
Well Ahead is grandam of a pair of top level winners in both codes of racing, Glass Harmonium (Verglas) being successful in the Mackinnon Stakes in Australia, while My Tent Or Yours (Desert King) won both the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
Finally, a granddaughter of Well Ahead produced the Grade 1 E P Taylor Stakes heroine Blond Me (Tamayuz).