Sometimes you see a pedigree and the sire makes you stop and say ‘Who?’ A sire like Rajj, for example…
You’d do well to find a better-bred field of maidens than the dozen who lined up for the Leopardstown ‘Club 30’ Maiden over a mile and a quarter at Leopardstown on April 5th. Favourite in the Sue Magnier colours was Auckland, by Galileo out of Cheveley Park Stakes winner Airwave, making him a close relative of current 2000 Guineas favourite Churchill.
Aidan O’Brien was also represented by Venice Beach, a Galileo half-brother to Germany’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Danedream. Dermot Weld and the Aga Khan also had a pair of regally-bred colts in Haripour and Safaruk, one a Shamardal half-brother to last year’s Derby and Irish Derby winner Harzand and the other a Sea The Stars half-brother to the Prix de Diane winner and Arc third Sarafina. Godolphin’s runner Chronicles was by Street Cry out of a half-sister to Blue Grass Stakes winner Bandini.
Venice Beach, Chronicles, Haripour and Safaruk finished in that order, third to sixth, while the well-backed Auckland beat only two home. The winner, defeating all these blue-bloods, was the Ger Lyons-trained Insayshable, the product of an unraced sire, Rajj, and an unraced dam.
Insayshable is quite well-related himself, being a half-brother to the filly Ainippe (by Captain Rio) who gained a couple of Group 3 wins in Ireland in the Ballyogan Stakes and Brownstown Stakes in 2015. But what about his sire?
Rajj owed his chance at stud to a good pedigree, being a son of Danehill out of a Sadler’s Wells mare. His dam Makarova was also unraced, though ironically was bred by the Coolmore partners under their Orpendale banner. Makarova was a daughter of the good German filly Filia Ardross (winner of both fillies’ classics in Germany) whose notable daughters included the Coolmore-owned pair Sunspangled and French Ballerina. Sunspangled (by Caerleon) won the Fillies’ Mile and finished second in the Irish Oaks, while French Ballerina, a full sister to Makarova, was a multiple listed winner on the flat but also successful in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before suffering a fatal injury leaving the stalls in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
Insayshable was not Rajj’s first winner. That honour went to the filly I’m So Fancy who won a two-year-old maiden at Navan last October for Jessica Harrington. Rajj was also responsible for All On Blue, a five-year-old who won an Irish point-to-point in February.
Rajj, standing at Lisheen Stud in County Kildare, had a reported crop of just six foals in 2016, including a sister to Insayshable. If Insayshable makes more of a name for himself, and beating such a well-bred field of maidens on just his second start suggests he may well do just that, Rajj seems sure to become better known too.