Zenon and Tithonus making it an Indian summer

Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse, where Jacqueline won her record four Indian classics


Galileo is entitled to the pick of some of Europe’s best fillies but as one of the world’s best sires he has global pulling power. That much was evident when his 2013 book of mares included India’s champion filly Jacqueline.

That union resulted in a colt named Zenon, and earlier in July he added to his maiden success in a mile and a half contest at Chepstow the previous month when coming from last to first in a £31,000 handicap at Haydock over another two furlongs. As a rapidly-improving three-year-old stayer, he looks one to follow for the remainder of the season.

John Magnier and Michael Tabor have a stake in Zenon, but he’s principally owned by his Indian breeders, Messrs Shirke, Dhunjibhoy and Desai, who raced his dam with such success in her native country. Trained by Pesi Shroff, Jacqueline won eight of her eleven starts and was placed in the other three. Her wins included the Indian 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Oaks and Derby. She was retired before being able to attempt a clean sweep of the classics in the St Leger after suffering swollen joints following the narrowest of defeats in the Indian Turf Invitation Cup to the Indian Derby runner-up Becket.

Nonetheless, her classic four-timer at Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Racecourse under Richard Hughes was a unique accomplishment and she was the first filly since Highland Rule (who also landed the Oaks) thirty years earlier in  1979 to complete the Guineas double. She also broke the track record in the Derby after which her jockey revealed he’d given his newborn daughter the middle name Jacqueline!

Jacqueline’s stud career began in India with a visit to Glory of Dancer, a son of Shareef Dancer who won the Dante Stakes in 1996 before finishing fourth in the Derby. That meeting resulted in the now six-year-old gelding Primogeniture who has won three races in Ireland and Britain, the last of them a handicap at Chelmsford in June 2016 at odds of 66/1 for trainer Mary Hambro.

Jacqueline’s first visit to Galileo produced Lord Napier, a four-year-old gelding who is still a maiden after eight starts, though he has been placed at up to two miles. Zenon came along a year later after that mating was repeated, while Jacqueline’s first filly arrived in 2016, sired by Galileo’s 2014 Derby-winning son Australia. Back in India, she foaled a colt earlier this year by the Australian stallion Kingda Ka, a son of Flying Spur who was runner-up in the Rosehill Guineas.

The unlikely dam of India’s star filly was a German handicapper named Talita Kumi, a daughter of Jim Joel’s champion two-year-old of 1988, High Estate, and the Baden-Baden listed winner Temple Music. Talita Kumi won a maiden at Hamburg and then handicaps at Baden-Baden and Frankfurt at three, her first two wins over eleven furlongs and her last one at a mile and a quarter. This is the family of the dual Grosser Preis von Baden winner and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe third Tiger Hill whose grandam was a half-sister to Temple Music.

Aged ten, Talita Kumi was then sold at Goffs in November 2005 for €11,000 to Sohna Stud in foal to the Prix Maurice de Gheest winner King Charlemagne, a contemporary of Galileo’s at Ballydoyle, the pair of them retiring to Coolmore at the end of 2001.

Jacqueline is one of five winners to date out of Talita Kumi, the others including Jakeini, a dual five-furlong winner in Britain by Rossini, and a couple of winners in India by another former Ballydoyle inmate Ontario.

However, Jacqueline didn’t make the journey alone from India to Ireland for her date with Galileo. Her owners sent along another mare, she too in foal to Glory of Dancer. The resulting Irish-born colt out of Aurora Aurealis was subsequently named Tithonus. He recently gained the most valuable of seven career wins in Ireland when, six days before Zenon’s success at Haydock, he took the €59,000 first prize in the five-furlong Rockingham Handicap at The Curragh, trained by Denis Hogan. Tithonus goes for another valuable sprint handicap, the Scurry over six furlongs, at the same track on Saturday.

[image: Rudolph A. Furtado]


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