DURING my visit last week to the UAE I had an opportunity to visit Fazza Stables, where Salem din Ghadayer holds court.
What a charming and welcoming host he was, and so agreeable and easy to speak with. He is surely a champion trainer in waiting, and he was full of praise for his principal owner, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.
While I was visiting the stables it was clear that the yard’s favourite was the Knocktoran Stud-bred Lope De Vega (Shamardal) five-year-old Hypothetical, as the photographic evidence will show on this page.
Two days later and I watched as Hypothetical scorched to a Group 1 victory in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 at Meydan, and credited Salem bin Ghadayer with his fourth win at the highest level. His training career is still in its relative infancy, starting I believe in the 2014/15 season. A look at his big race wins and guess what? All of his Group 1 wins have come in the same race, and with different horses.
Long River was successful in 2017, two years before Capezzano beat Thunder Snow by almost 10 lengths on his first start for the stable. Twelve months later and Salem did it again with Matterhorn, the Barronstown Stud-bred who was formerly trained by Mark Johnston. Sadly that horse was fatally injured in a race which was his prep for the 2021 running of the Group 1 feature on Super Saturday.
Last year Hypothetical was second in the race, and now he had added his name to the list of distinguished former winners. This is yet another Group 1 winner bred by Brendan and Anne Marie Hayes, and breeding winners of this calibre is no accident. The couple carefully cultivate families, and Hypothetical comes from a female line that has previously delivered for them on many occasions.
Catalogued for sale as a foal, but failing to meet with that appointment, Hypothetical made his first public appearance in the Ballyphilip Stud draft in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Sale four years ago, and was knocked down for 550,000gns to Stroud Coleman Bloodstock. Trained by John Gosden, he won on his debut at Chelmsford just a fortnight before turning three, but he failed to show any improvement and was unplaced on all his three subsequent runs.
Now Hypothetical has started eight times from Fazza Stables, won four and been in the first four on all but one of his runs. He has amassed the considerable sum of £830,000 since moving to the UAE and he already had a pattern win under his belt, warming up for Saturday’s victory with a win in the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes.
Hypothetical is the second foal from Peut Etre (Whipper), twice a winner in France where she was Group 3 placed. Her first foal, Shelter (Le Havre) is already at stud and has a yearling filly by Belardo (Lope De Vega), and that filly now looks quite a bargain having been snapped up for €11,000 last year.
Excitingly, Hypothetical’s half-sister, the three-year-old filly Pourquoi Pas (Dark Angel), made a winning debut on Tuesday at Chantilly for trainer Fabrice Chappet. The trainer owns a quarter share in the filly who races in the silks of Anne Marie Hayes. Pourquoi Pas has some juicy entries, including in the Group 1 Prix de Diane-French Oaks.
Now comes news that Peut Etre is safely in foal to Darley’s first-season sire Space Blues (Dubawi).
What are the odds of a second Hayes/Chappet classic success from the same family? In 2017 they combined to win the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches-French 1000 Guineas with Precieuse (Tamayuz), and she is a half-sister to Hypothetical’s dam. This is a family that Brendan Hayes, in various guises, has been associated with for some six generations or so. When Precieuse won the French classic he told me about that connection.
Brendan’s association goes back to the days of the Group 1 Prix Ganay winner Infra Green (Laser Light), and she was born exactly half a century ago. Infra Green was also a Group 1 winner in Italy and went on to produce a number of group winners, one of whom, Infrasonic (Dancing Brave), won the Group 3 Queen’s Vase and was Group 1-placed. Infra Green’s daughter Green Rock (Mill Reef) is dam of the Group 1 St Leger winner Toulon (Top Ville).
One of Infra Green’s half-sisters was North Forland (Northfields) and she was runner-up in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. She enjoyed great success as a broodmare and three of her winners were at group level. Fortune’s Wheel (Law Society) won the Group 2 Prix d’Harcourt and was placed at Group/Grade 1 level in France, USA and Germany. His half-sister Libertine (Hello Gorgeous) had a similar record on the racecourse, being a Group 2 winner in Italy and she was third in the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches-French 1000 Guineas.
The third stakes winner was Harmless Albatross (Pas De Seul), and she was Group 1 placed in the Prix Marcel Boussac. At stud she left five stakes winners, the best being the Grade 2 winner Volochine (Soviet Star) who was placed at the highest level in France and Canada.
One daughter of North Forland who failed to win or place was Gourgandine (Auction Ring). She had just two foals before she was sent to India, and there she enjoyed great success where her offspring included two winners of the Calcutta Gold Cup, Avalanche Star (Cadeaux Genereux) and Allied Forces (Razeen), and the Golconda St Leger winner Perceived Value (Razeen).
One of the pair of foals left in Europe was a filly named Belle De Cadix (Law Society). She was sold from Knocktoran Stud as a foal and ended up in training with John Oxx. He got her to win an apprentice maiden at Wexford before she was reacquired by Knocktoran.
All but one of the 11 foals out of Belle De Cadix ran and eight of them won. The best of them were a pair of fillies, Dolled Up (Whipper) and Zeiting (Zieten). Dolled Up won the Group 3 Prix du Bois at two, was placed in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin, and was beaten less than a length behind Arcano, Special Duty and Canford Cliffs when fourth in the Group 1 Prix Morny.
Zeiting was retained by Brendan and Anne Marie Hayes who generally keep three fillies each year from their families to race. She was victorious in the Listed Prix Zeddaan in France before adding three stakes wins in the USA. She has been a revelation at stud and her 10 winners to date include six stakes performers. Combat Zone (Refuse To Bend) was a Group 2 winner in Germany, while the full-brothers Royal Empire (Teofilo) and Scottish gained their most important successes in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes and the Listed Doonside Cup respectively.
In addition to these three stakes winners, Zeiting is also dam of the stakes-placed fillies Bikini Babe (Montjeu), Zut Alors (Pivotal) and Sante (Dream Ahead). Bikini Babe was multiple group-placed and is now a successful young broodmare, being the dam of Group 3 winning juvenile La Barrosa (Lope De Vega).
Zut Alors was placed at group and listed level in France and Germany but she has made a bigger splash at stud, producing six successful runners to date, including Precieuse and three stakes-placed winners.
Oh, if that was not enough class in the family, Zeiting’s winning half-sister Madany (Acclamation) is the dam of three group winners, notably the stallions Eqtidaar (Invincible Spirit) who won the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup, and Massaat (Teofilo) who was runner-up in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes and 2000 Guineas.
Finally, what about Lope De Vega? One of the best stallions at stud in Europe, based all his stud life at Ballylinch Stud, he is now responsible for 14 Group/Grade 1 winners, and his ninth crop of racing age are soon to hit the track. With 73 blacktype winners, and 125 of his runners earning some blacktype, he is the go-to stallion for quality.