CAN Galway lay claim now to be the starting point for champions on the flat? Kyprios won there on his debut, and in the race won two years earlier by the Group 1 Irish Derby winner Sovereign.

The racing careers of both colts took very different orbits if you measure them by success, the Moyglare Stud-bred and part-owned Kyprios (Galileo) is now the winner of all but two of his 10 starts, and his unbeaten Group 1 sequence now comprises the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup, Irish St Leger and the Prix du Cadran. One must wonder how close he would have gone in the Arc – but that will be forever a mystery.

With more than a million pounds bankrolled, six stakes wins, an outstanding pedigree and more, Kyprios has all the credentials for stud, but I imagine that could be a couple of years away yet.

What he shares with fellow weekend star Alpinista is an impeccable race record, being a descendant of Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer), and both possess female lines that are hard to fault.

Where Kyprios cannot be faulted in any way is in the achievement of his dam, the great Polished Gem (Danehill). She has a 100% record when it comes to her foals, all 10 of them having won. An amazing eight of them are stakes winners, six are group winners, and three are Group 1 winners. In the latter category Kyprios is joined by his full-sister Search For A Song (Galileo) and the Royal Ascot winner, and now sire, Free Eagle (High Chaparral).

This is a story that has its roots in a purchase made by Walter Haefner in 1978. A then seven-year-old daughter of Speak John (Prince John), Talking Picture was the champion filly at two in the USA when she won the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes, while at three she added the Grade 1 Matron Stakes. Haefner sent the mare in 1980 to the Triple Crown winner and dual Horse of the Year Affirmed (Exclusive Native) in the champion’s first year at stud.


The result was a filly, Easy To Copy, who went into training with Dermot Weld. Then aged 12, Talking Picture was entered in the 1983 Keeneland Breeding Stock Sales, but when Easy To Copy broke her maiden in Ireland plans changed. A man of principle, Haefner did not withdraw the mare from the sale, but instead bought her back and paid full commission to Keeneland and the sales agent.

Easy To Copy went on to win a Group 2 in Italy, produced three stakes winners, and her descendants include the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Gallante (Montjeu).

Later came another Affirmed filly, the listed winner and group-placed Epicure’s Garden. Her best runner was the multiple Group/Grade 2 winner Lisieux Rose (Generous), and she grandam of the leading stayer Forgotten Rules (Nayef).

Talking Picture’s third Affirmed filly was Trusted Partner, one of the best of her sex at three when she won the Group 1 Goffs Irish 1000 Guineas. Six visits by Talking Picture to Affirmed resulted in five foals, all fillies, and with one exception and due to injury, all had talent. Talking Picture had 16 foals, 13 runners, 11 winners, five blacktype winners and one of her non-winners was stakes-placed.

She is the ancestress of nine winners at Group 1 level, while three other descendants have won at Grade 1 level under National Hunt rules, including Unaccompanied (Danehill Dancer).

Headline maker

The line from Trusted Partner is the current headline maker. Two of her unraced daughters, both sold from Moyglare, have produced Group 1 winning juveniles, the first being the 2014 Criterium International winner Vert De Grece (Verglas). The second is the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes winner Thunder Moon (Zoffany).

Trusted Partner’s sixth foal turned out to be her best. By Danehill (Danzig), she was Dress To Thrill. At two her first win was at listed level in the Flame Of Tara Tyros Stakes, and she finished runner-up to Quarter Moon in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.

At three she won the Group 3 Matron Stakes and Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes, both now Group 1 races, before beating Banks Hill and others in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes.

Waiting in the wings was Dress To Thrill’s own-sister Polished Gem (Danehill). She won at two, nearly got blacktype, but she was a revelation at stud. In addition to her three Group 1 winners, she is dam of Group 2 winners Sapphire (Medicean) and Custom Cut (Notnowcato), Group 3 winner Valac (Dark Angel) and listed winners Falcon Eight (Galileo) and Amma Grace (Galileo).