MORE than four months ago, I penned the following, what have proven to be prophetic, words.
“Sonia Rogers and her son Anthony enjoyed an eye-catching success at the weekend when their four-year-old homebred Kingman (Invincible Spirit) filly, Mrs Fitzherbert, capitalised on her recent good form and won the Listed Conqueror Stakes over a mile at Goodwood.
“Three of the previous five winners of the race have gone on to group or graded race success, Blond Me at Grade 1 level in Canada, Nyaleti at Group 2 level when capturing the German 1000 Guineas, and Laugh Aloud in a Group 3. Winning trainer Hughie Morrison hopes to do likewise with Mrs Fitzherbert, and anything she does from now will be icing on the cake when it comes to taking her back to Airlie Stud for breeding.”
Well, after a subsequent group-placing at Sandown, at the weekend Mrs Fitzherbert duly graduated to a well-deserved pattern success, when she won the Group 3 Prix Bertrand de Tarragon at Chantilly. Can she even go a class or two better?
This most recent success will do no harm to the prospects of Lot 242 in the Goffs Orby Sale this week. Airlie will, for a second time, offer this daughter of Magna Grecia (Invincible Spirit).
Retained at the foal sale in Goffs last November, this filly is bred on very similar lines to Sunday’s group winner, both being granddaughters of the Irish National Stud’s Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) and out of Stupendous Miss.
Incredibly, Mrs Fitzherbert failed to sell when she was offered for sale as a yearling by Airlie Stud. Now look at what a bid or two beyond €140,000 would have bought. Just a couple of weeks after the disappointment of not selling, Mrs Fitzherbert’s full-sister Moll Davis (Kingman), a dual winner, was placed in a listed race in France. She too was unsold, that member of the first crop of Kingman going back to Airlie after bidding reached 70,000gns.
Moll Davis produced her first foal this year, a colt by Sea The Stars (Cape Cross). She and Mrs Fitzherbert also have a fascinating winning half-sister Solomona (Medaglia D’Oro). Sold as a foal at Keeneland, she made her way to Russia where she won. Now, her two-year-old daughter Smolly Agro (Osman Bey) has won twice there this year at the age of two.
A daughter of Dynaformer (Roberto) and a winner at two and three in France before she went to the USA, Stupendous Miss was bought at the Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training Sale for 50,000gns as a three-year-old by McKeever St Lawrence. After she won a graded stakes in the USA, one of three successes stateside, she was covered by Distorted Humor (Forty Niner).
Sent to the Keeneland November Sale at five, her sale value soared to $1.3 million. Stupendous Miss sold twice more at Keeneland, for only $85,000 in 2012 and a year later Mrs Rogers gave $400,000 for her, carrying a colt by Summer Bird (Birdstone), Mr Winter, who went on to win four times.
Mrs Fitzherbert is now one of three stakes winners from Stupendous Miss, joining Do It All (Distorted Humor), a $900,000 yearling and a Group 2 winner in Meydan, and his full-brother Tales Of Grimm (Distorted Humor), a dual listed winner in Australia and beaten a short head in a Group 3 in England.
Retained by Airlie is a juvenile half-sister to Mrs Fitzherbert, named Final Check (Expert Eye).
With six winners to date, four stakes performers, Stupendous Miss has done very well, but consider the record of her own dam, Subeen (Caerleon). She won and placed in all her four starts, running third in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes. At stud Subeen had a dozen foals, all but one of whom ran and won.
In his first five crops, Kingman has sired four Group/Grade 1 winners and 10 who have been successful at Group 2 level. Can Mrs Fitzherbert join that elite group?