Enable makes it classic dozen for Khalid Abdullah in Oaks

Enable’s impressive win in the Oaks was the twelfth British classic winner in the colours of Khalid Abdullah, while she also reached a significant milestone as the 200th Group or Grade 1 winner bred by her owner’s Juddmonte Farms.

The American sales were the source of Khalid Abdullah’s first two classic winners, both of them 2000 Guineas winners. KNOWN FACT (1980 2000 Guineas), a son of Florida Derby winner and Preakness Stakes runner-up In Reality was a $225,000 purchase at Keeneland. Already winner of the Middle Park Stakes at two, his owner’s first Group 1 winner, Known Fact was awarded the 2000 Guineas on the disqualification of the first past the post Nureyev and later beat top older miler Kris in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. At stud, Known Fact’s biggest contribution to Juddmonte was siring champion two-year-old and top miler Warning who also won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Although DANCING BRAVE (1986 2000 Guineas), a $200,000 yearling by Lyphard, emulated Known Fact six years later (beating Green Desert) and went on to success in the Eclipse, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it’s fair to stay that Dancing Brave is better known for the classic he lost when a strong-finishing second in the Derby. Nonetheless, he was the best horse to carry the Abdullah colours until Frankel came along 25 years later. Dancing Brave proved less of a success at stud (for Sheikh Mohammed’s Dalham Hall), though he did sire Derby winner Commander In Chief for Juddmonte along with Irish Oaks winner Wemyss Bight and the dam of Oasis Dream/grandam of Kingman, before his export to Japan.

Before Commander In Chief, however, QUEST FOR FAME (1990 Derby) provided Khalid Abdullah with his first Derby winner, from the first crop of his Arc winner Rainbow Quest. He was also Juddmonte’s first homebred classic winner, out of Aryenne, winner of the Criterium des Pouliches (Marcel Boussac) and Poule d’Essai des Pouliches. Quest For Fame didn’t win again until he was five, by which time he was with Bobby Frankel in California where he won the Hollywood Turf Handicap. He failed to make much impact at stud in the USA or Australia, though he sired the dam of Sprint Cup winner African Rose and Prix du Jockey Club runner-up Famous Name.

TOULON (1991 St Leger), by Prix du Jockey Club winner Top Ville, had finished tailed off in the Derby before becoming Juddmonte’s only winner to date of the oldest classic. He was also their first classic winner out of a mare who had carried the Abdullah colours, though his dam Green Rock won just a couple of small races at Brighton and Bath. At stud he sired top jumpers Kingscliff and Solerina.

Gone West’s son ZAFONIC (1993 2000 Guineas) had come from an exceptional crop of Juddmonte two-year-olds that also included Armiger and Tenby; Zafonic himself had won the Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre and Dewhurst Stakes. He was the best winner of the 2000 Guineas since Dancing Brave and broke the track record with his defeat of subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas winner Barathea. Zafonic ran only once more when bleeding in the Sussex Stakes and was retired to Banstead Manor at a fee of £30,000. Champion two-year-old Xaar, who also won the Salamandre and Dewhurst for Khalid Abdullah, was his best son. Zafonic died in a paddock accident in Australia aged only twelve. His brother Zamindar also had success as a stallion, notably as the sire of the Aga Khan’s unbeaten Arc winner Zarkava.

From the same crop as Zafonic, though unraced at two, COMMANDER IN CHIEF (1993 Derby) succeeded where his sire Dancing Brave failed by winning at Epsom, though he did so as his owner’s second string to odds-on favourite Tenby. A half-brother to the aformentioned Warning (and Irish Derby runner-up Deploy), Commander In Chief’s dam and grandam, Slightly Dangerous and Where You Lead, were both runners-up in the Oaks which his great grandam Noblesse won. Commander In Chief also won the Irish Derby but at stud he followed in his sire’s footsteps when sold to Japan.

It was a long wait for the first filly to win a British classic in the Abdullah colours after Slightly Dangerous and two more Oaks runners-up, Bourbon Girl (of whom more later) and All At Sea. REAMS OF VERSE (1997 Oaks), by Known Fact’s rival Nureyev and out of a half-sister to Zafonic’s dam, overcame stamina doubts to win at Epsom, though her unraced dam Modena was by Derby winner Roberto, like Slightly Dangerous, and she’d won the Musidora Stakes by eleven lengths beforehand. Reams of Verse had only one daughter, Prestige Stakes runner-up Ithaca, whose son Zacinto finished second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and is now at stud in New Zealand.

By Selkirk out of the Lyphard mare Flit, it was WINCE (1999 1000 Guineas) who completed the full set of British classics for Khalid Abdullah by winning the 1000 Guineas 19 years after Known Fact. Fifth in the Irish 1000 Guineas on on her only subsequent start, she produced the Yorkshire Oaks winner Quiff who finished second in the St Leger (Wince’s half-sister Fleeting Glimpse was the dam of Tycoon who finished third in the same St Leger!). Wince’s daughter Dream Wild and granddaughter Scallop (out of Quiff), both by Oasis Dream, represent her in the current Juddmonte broodmare band.

After a barren spell in the classics since the millennium, Juddmonte’s luck changed for the better with two classic winners in 2010, SPECIAL DUTY (2010 1000 Guineas) additionally having the remarkably good fortune to be awarded not just the 1000 Guineas, but the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches as well. She had already been the top two-year-old filly in Europe, winning the Cheveley Park Stakes. Special Duty was by the Storm Cat stallion Hennessy out of a sister to Juddmonte’s multiple US Grade 1-winning mare Sightseek. She’s still seeking a first success as a broodmare at Juddmonte’s Kentucky division.

Juddmonte bred the 2003 St Leger winner Brian Boru, though the son of Sadler’s Wells carried Sue Magnier’s colours to that classic success as part of a foal-sharing arrangement with Coolmore. However, seven years later Brian Boru’s unraced sister Soviet Moon provided Juddmonte with its third Derby winner when WORKFORCE (2010 Derby), by King’s Best, romped home at Epsom by seven lengths. He also went on to give his owner a fourth win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe after Rainbow Quest, Dancing Brave and Rail Link but finished down the field in the same race at four before becoming another export to Japan.

The first foal of the Juddmonte broodmare Kind, Bullet Train, finished last in Workforce’s Derby, and later in his career often served as pacemaker for his dam’s next foal, FRANKEL (2011 2000 Guineas). Unbeaten in 14 starts, with his 2000 Guineas one of his most spectacular victories, Frankel’s racecourse exploits hardly need expanding upon here. Its still early days in his stallion career, and with first-crop sons Cracksman and Eminent recently third and fourth in the Derby and an Oaks winner in Japan, he’s made an immediate impact as a classic sire.

However, it was Frankel’s contemporary Nathaniel who provided Juddmonte with its latest classic winner when ENABLE (2017 Oaks) won at Epsom twenty years after Reams of Verse, in the process going one better than her great grandam Bourbon Girl in 1987. Bourbon Girl proved a good broodmare, producing the Grand Prix de Chantilly winner Daring Miss and Shining Bright, the dam of Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Spanish Moon and his sister the Ribblesdale Stakes winner Spanish Sun. Two more granddaughters of Bourbon Girl are the Sadler’s Wells sisters Concentric and Dance Routine, the latter second in the Prix de Diane. While Concentric is the dam of Enable, Dance Routine produced Juddmonte’s record prize-money winner Flintshire, twice runner-up in the Arc.


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