FRENCH-BREDS filled the first three places in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle, success going to Vauban, a son of Galiway (Galileo). This was his initial win over obstacles, adding to a listed success over a mile and a half on the level in France.

Vauban is from a branch of a German female family that is more familiar with success at the highest level on the flat, its best-known son being the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner and Ballylinch Stud stallion Waldgeist (Galileo). More of that anon.

Twenty-three starts over three seasons for the Hurricane Run (Montjeu) mare Waldfest resulted in a single success at the age of four, and a host of runner-up finishes. She was owned and trained by Philippe Decouz and he is one of the breeders of Waldfest’s first foal, the new Grade 1 winner Vauban.

Following on is a three-year-old unraced colt Akavak (Zarak), and a yearling colt, Manigod (American Devil).

Waldfest was the first foal and one of three winners from the successful Gifted Icon (Peintre Celebre), and one of those winners was the stakes-placed Maki Maki (Makfi). While this remove of the family is ordinary enough, go back to the next generation and quality abounds. Gifted Icon had six winning siblings, and half of them were stakes winners. Two are deserving of special mention.

Best stayer

Gifted Icon’s half-brother Masked Marvel was rated the best stayer in Europe of his generation when he captured the 2011 Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster. At stud in France, he is the sire of the Gordon Elliott-trained Grade 2 hurdle winner Teahupoo whose only defeat in six starts was when runner-up to Jeff Kidder last year.

Masked Marvel’s other blacktype winners over jumps are Grade 3 winner La Danza and the listed winner and Grade 1 runner-up Sel Jem.

Masked Marvel was born a year before Waldlerche (Monsun), a Group 3 winner in France and now the dam of three pattern winners, Ballylinch’s Waldgeist, Group 2 winner Waldlied (New Approach) who sold for 2,200,000gns last December, and the 2021 Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes winner Waldkonig (Galileo). Another of their siblings was the minor winner Wildfeder (Galileo), and she traded last December in Arqana for €2,050,000.

Well regarded

Galiway, the sire of Vauban, was a smart, if unexceptional, racehorse, though he was obviously well regarded by his trainer André Fabre, who handled him for the Wertheimer family.

After winning on his debut at two over a mile at Saint-Cloud, Fabre made a rare excursion with him to England where he finished second in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes.

Beaten by Ectot on his second season debut in a Group 3, Galiway ran in the French 2000 Guineas and Derby, finishing unplaced, and then he ended his six-race career with a listed win over nine furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte. Well-bred, Galiway was given a chance at stud and commanded a modest fee of €3,000 for his first four seasons.

This spring will represent Galiway’s seventh year at Haras de Colleville but this time it will cost €30,000 to use him. What has caused this massive hike in his covering fee? Well, his first two relatively small crops include no less than eight stakes winners, and dual Group 1 winner Sealiway, successful in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at two and last year’s Champion Stakes, is the best. Half of the eight won at group level, and now Galiway has a pair of blacktype winners over jumps also.