Tulip Gives Pierro His First Stakes Winner In The Magic Night Stakes
Big and strong and a filly of quality, Tulip was coming off a good last start fourth to stablemate Catchy (Fastnet Rock) in the Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) which looks to be the form race of the juvenile season up to this point.
Her performance to win last Saturday had great merit as she was three wide throughout yet was still able to finish strongly to overhaul runner up Alizee (Sepoy) to score by a length and three quarters with third placed Memento (Your Song) another two and a half lengths back in third place. Tulip’s winning time of 1:12.01 and final 600 metre time of 35.69 on the soft track were both faster than the figures recorded by the colt Single Bullet (Not A Single Doubt) in the earlier Pago Pago Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m).
The last Magic Night winner to annex the Golden Slipper a week later was the brilliant Bint Marscay (Marscay) in 1993, 24 years ago, but Tulip has a good chance to achieve this rare double on Saturday.
Last Saturday Tulip showed the same brand of strength and determination as her father Pierro (Lonhro), winner of the 2012 Golden Slipper in a season in which he was unbeaten in six starts to be acclaimed as the champion juvenile of his generation after completing the Sydney Triple Crown for two-year-olds by also taking the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) and the ATC Champagne Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).
Pierro trained on at three to contest another eight races, winning five and placing in the other three. He defeated top older horses to take the ATC George Ryder Stakes (Gr 1, 1500m), beat Rebel Dane (California Dane) and Proisir (Choisir) in the Hobartville Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) and was too good for Group One winners Your Song (Fastnet Rock) and Epaulette (Commands) in the Run To The Rose (Gr 3, 1200m).
His only losses were honourable when second to Sacred Falls (O’Reilly) in the Doncaster Mile (Gr 1, 1600m), conceding the winner 4 kilograms, second to All Too Hard (Casino Prince) in the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) after being given a lot to do, and third to Ocean Park (Thorn Park) and All Too Hard in the 2012 Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m).
Correct, athletic and a fine style of horse, Pierro defied his excellent middle distance pedigree in becoming such an outstanding sprinting two-year-old, capturing the Breeders’ Plate (Listed, 1000m) at his very first start. Rather, he was bred to be best suited later over middle distances so it will be interesting to follow his stud career as it may be expected he will prove a versatile sire in terms of the optimum distances enjoyed by his progeny.
Pierro’s sire Lonhro (Octagonal) was a true champion, able to win from 1100 metres at two years through to 2000 metres but Pierro’s racing style and determination reminded me even more of his paternal grandsire Octagonal (Zabeel), another champion who rarely won by big margins.
Bred in NSW by Orpendale, Tulip was offered in Curraghmore’s draft at last year’s New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale, fetching NZ$400,000 to the joint bid of BBA Ireland and Lindsay Park Racing. She now carries the world famous navy colours of Coolmore and races for a partnership.
A half-sister to Caulfield Classic (Gr 3, 2000m) winner Sacred Eye (High Chaparral), Tulip is out of the talented sprinting mare Musidora (Rock of Gibraltar) whose best win came in the Vanity Stakes (Gr 3, 1400m) in 2008.
Musidora’s superbly related American-bred second dam Grand Luxe (Sir Ivor) has exerted considerable influence on Australian breeding over the past two decades as from her descend two champion sires, Encosta De Lago (Fairy King) and Flying Spur (Danehill).
Grand Luxe, a stakes winner and the winner of ten races in the United States, is a half-sister to L’Enjoleur (Buckpasser), La Voyageuse (Tentam), Medaille d’Or (Secretariat) and D’Accord (Secretariat) from champion Fanfreluche (Northern Dancer).
Tulip is a total outcross to four generations but has four crosses of Northern Dancer (Nearctic) in her fifth generation plus another in her sixth generation.
A brother to Tulip is listed as Lot 251 at the Australian Easter Yearling Sale on 5 April and breeders wanting to tap into this very good family will have an opportunity at the Chairman’s Sale in Sydney on April 7 when Tulip’s unraced half-sister She’s A Vamp (High Chaparral), in foal to Lonhro, sells as Lot 80.