Lagrion and the Lowther winners

YORK PADDOCK

Who could have guessed from her own modest record on the track that Lagrion would become, firstly, a hugely successful broodmare in her own right, and perhaps also something of a dynasty founder?

The Irish-trained daughter of Diesis didn’t see the track until May of her three-year-old season when she finished sixth at The Curragh. Later that season, she managed three placings – third in a maiden at Killarney over 11 furlongs, second when blinkered for the first time in a fillies’ handicap over nearly 13f at Wexford, and third back in a maiden over 10f at Gowran. Winless after nine starts at three but clearly not devoid of ability, connections perservered with her as a four-year-old but she failed to win in another five starts, her best placing that season being a fourth in a handicap back at Killarney on her reappearance.

Lagrion was therefore a very different type to her full brother Pure Genius, a 260,000 guinea yearling who had three races over six furlongs at two, creating a good enough impression in winning the first two of them (the second by eight lengths) to start odds-on favourite for the Middle Park Stakes in which he was beaten by Mon Tresor. He failed to train on at three, finishing seventh to Nashwan in the 2000 Guineas on his reappearance.

Wrap It Up, the dam of Lagrion and Pure Genius, was an unraced half-sister to the Lingfield Oaks Trial winner Gift Wrapped who produced the Royal Lodge Stakes winner Reach and the frustrating maiden Wrapping (beaten a head in the Oaks d’Italia and third in the Lancashire Oaks), both of those by Diesis’ brother Kris. Wrapping’s daughter Papering had better luck in Italy, winning the Premio Lydia Tesio there, and was also runner-up in the Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille and twice placed in the Nassau Stakes. Lagrion traces back eventually to Belle Travers, winner of the 1938 Queen Mary Stakes, which is of more than passing interest, as we will see.

With no Northern Dancer in her pedigree, Lagrion at least had plenty of mating options even if she wasn’t going to visit the top stallions. Her first four foals were all colts and included minor winners by Priolo and Lahib but her first filly, somewhat out of the blue, proved a champion. By Grand Lodge, Queen’s Logic was unbeaten in four starts at two and the best filly of her age in Europe, winning the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Lowther Stakes at York and the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. The same filly, the far more regally-bred Sophisticat (a $3.4m yearling daughter of Storm Cat and US champion Serena’s Song) chased her home in all three races but at progressively wider intervals, getting to within half a length of Queen’s Logic at Ascot but thrashed by seven at Newmarket.

While Sophisticat went on to win the Coronation Stakes at three, Queen’s Logic was retired after just one outing, keeping her unbeaten record in the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury but then going lame the day before she should have lined up as favourite for the 1000 Guineas. At stud, Queen’s Logic was entitled to a better class of stallions than her own dam, and in Lady of The Desert (by Rahy) she produced a filly almost as good as she was herself.

More than that, Lady of The Desert contested the same three big two-year-old fillies’ races that Queen’s Logic had won. Lady of The Desert finished sixth in the Queen Mary and third in the Cheveley Park, but in between she emulated her dam by winning the Lowther at York (having won the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot beforehand). A smart filly at two without being a champion, it was as a three-year-old that she reached a level of form much closer to her dam’s. Starting out like Queen’ Logic in the Fred Darling, she finished third at Newbury before a couple of unsuccessful tries at a mile in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and Coronation Stakes.

It was only when put back to sprinting in the autumn that Lady of The Desert showed her true worth, winning the Diadem Stakes at Ascot in between second places in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp.

Three generations of Lagrion's descendents have carried the Jaber Abdullah colours; Queen's Logic trained by Mick Channon, Lady of The Desert trained by Brian Meehan and Queen Kindly trained by Richard Fahey
Three generations of Lagrion’s descendents have carried the Jaber Abdullah colours; Queen’s Logic trained by Mick Channon, Lady of The Desert trained by Brian Meehan and Queen Kindly trained by Richard Fahey

Both Queen’s Logic and Lady of The Desert featured among the high-class book of mares received by Frankel in his first season at stud. While Queen’s Logic produced a colt (now named King’s Advice), Lady of The Desert delivered a filly, Queen Kindly. Would the filly come to hand early enough – and would she then be good enough – to follow the same path at two trodden by her dam and grandam?

As it happened, Queen Kindly was the very first Frankel filly to reach the racecourse, winning a maiden at Catterick in early June, and while she didn’t contest the five-furlong Queen Mary, she did make it to Royal Ascot where she finished third in the Albany Stakes over six furlongs to become the first offspring of Frankel to earn black type. After another win at Catterick, Queen Kindly lined up for last week’s Lowther Stakes in which another daughter of Frankel, Fair Eva (she too out of a good sprinter, the Sprint Cup winner African Rose) started the hot favourite. But Queen Kindly followed in the footsteps of Queen’s Logic and Lady of The Desert to make it three successive generations of Lowther winners emanating from Lagrion. She’ll surely now try to emulate her grandam by winning the Cheveley Park.

Meanwhile, Queen’s Logic’s success completely changed the fortunes of her dam at stud. Lagrion was now worthy of the best stallions around and somewhere along the way she became part of the Coolmore empire. Sent to Danehill in 2003, she produced her next star, Dylan Thomas. The winner of ten of his eighteen starts, those victories included the Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes at three and, in a brilliant four-year-old season, the Prix Ganay, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Irish Champion Stakes again and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. He was the first horse to win the Irish Champion twice and only the sixth to win the King George and the Arc in the same season.

Dylan Thomas had just a head to spare in the Arc and then had to survive a lengthy stewards’ inquiry – ironically, runner-up Youmzain (also second behind him in the King George, and runner-up in the next two Arcs as well) carried the colours of Queen’s Logic’s owner Jaber Abdullah.

Lagrion went on to produce a third Group 1 winner when her daughter Homecoming Queen, by Danehill’s son Holy Roman Emperor, ran away with the 2012 1000 Guineas on soft ground by nine lengths. Homecoming Queen has already got off to a promising start as a broodmare as her first foal, two-year-old filly First of Spring (by Galileo), made it two out of two at Deauville when winning a six-furlong conditions race on the same day that Queen Kindly won the Lowther.

Lagrion has two other daughters of note, one of whom is already adding to Lagrion’s growing dynasty. Neither Love To Dance nor Remember When managed to win a race but both earned black type. Sadler’s Wells filly Love To Dance finished third in the Group 2 Blandford Stakes at The Curragh and subsequently changed hands for $1,050,000 (in foal to Sea The Stars) as a five-year-old at Fasig-Tipton in November 2010. Remember When (by Danehill Dancer) ran only six times, finishing a close fourth in a blanket finish to the Irish 1000 Guineas on just her third start and then being promoted to second in Snow Fairy’s Oaks.

Remember When’s daughter by Galileo Wedding Vow won the 2015 Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh before finishing second in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, while that filly’s year-younger brother Beacon Rock won the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes, also at The Curragh, in May and was runner-up in the following month’s King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

[Jaber Abdullah silks: JockeyColours]

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