It is the time of year when things start getting serious for Godolphin’s next crop of two-year-olds as they leave the nursery and enter the stables to discover if they are the next Microphone (Exceed And Excel) or Kiamichi (Sidestep)
By now they have made a couple of trips from Kelvinside, their home in the Hunter Valley, to the racing stables at Crown Lodge at Warwick Farm, and the first steps in the career they were bred for are being plotted.
As well as the usual strong contingents from the likes of Lonhro, Exceed And Excel and Brazen Beau, some of the more interesting candidates among the Darley-sired youngsters to make the journey include the first offspring of newer stallions such as Kermadec and Hallowed Crown along with a highly promising selection by the proven-producer Street Boss.
One of those who has created special interest is the Street Boss colt from Yavanna, the dam of the G1 winner and Darley stallion Kementari (Lonhro) and the Stakes performer Telperion (Street Cry).
Godolphin racing and bloodstock manager Jason Walsh says the colt, who will race as Valaquenta, has been met with plenty of approval.
“The stable is very pleased with him. He’s strengthened up a lot between his visits down to Warwick Farm and he’s showing a lot of promise,” Walsh said.
“He’s more in the mould of Telperion than Kementari. He’s probably not as big as they were at the same stage, but he has more substance than Kementari had at the same time.”
The yearlings make several trips to Crown Lodge where they come under the eye of Godolphin assistant trainer 'Dizzy' (Victoria) Appleby who sorts out who-is-who and what-is-what.
Among the youngsters who appeal to Appleby is the Hallowed Crown filly from Palomares, a three-quarter sister to the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake (Exceed And Excel) and the dam of the city winner and Stakes placegetter Almanzora.
“She’s been named Contamination and she’s made a really good impression each time she’s been with us,” Appleby said.
Appleby is also a fan of the Hallowed Crown filly from Dextrous the dam of the G2 winner Sidestep (Exceed And Excel), the sire of G1 Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, as well as G1 winner Skilled and G2 winner Ambidexter.
“She’s a lovely style of filly who is doing everything right,” Appleby said.
Another to impress is Raoul, a colt by Kermadec from Rosa Raisa, and Parakeet, a filly by Kermadec from the prolific producer Shouts, the dam of G1 winner and Darley stallion Holler and a half-sister to the G1 winner Yell.
While healthy debate inevitably occurs over the merits of the new, untried youngsters, Walsh and Appleby have noted three that have special appeal.
The trio, all by Street Boss, is made up of a colt to be known as Favell from the winning Exceed And Excel mare Applegate, a colt named Viscacha, from the Listed winner Chinchilla (Exceed And Excel), the dam of the good two-year-old winner Lanigera, and a filly, yet to be named, from G3 winner Montsegur (New Approach) a half-sister to the G3 winner Tessera and from a family that includes the G1 winners Merchant Navy and Bonaria.
Walsh said: “The Applegate and the Chinchilla colts both look very forward and while the Montsegur filly might not be as sharp as the colts, she is doing everything right.”
Appleby describes the Montsegur filly as “very racy” and the Chinchilla as “a big strong colt with a good attitude”. But she indicates a special liking for Applegate’s colt, Favell.
“He’s in his third preparation, he’s improved every time he’s come down to us and he’s just got something to really like about him,” she said.