19 May 2017

Days after siring his first Classic winner, Tamayuz’s fine run continued as daughter BLOND ME (IRE) rallied to win the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York on Thursday. A Group 2 winner at Veliefendi last year, the Andrew Balding-trained mare was reunited with Oisin Murphy on the second day of the Dante meeting and raced keenly for much of the mile trip, moving well on ground described as good. Coming under pressure with two furlongs to go, she stayed on dourly on the stands’ side, battling her way to the front and stayed on well to win by a length and a quarter.  The Black Princess, a Group 3 winner on her racecourse return last month, took second, while Smart Call, a three-time Group 1 winner in her native South Africa, finished third.

Owned by Barbara Keller and bred by Mark and Elaine Clarke at Wardstown Stud in County Meath, BLOND ME (IRE) is the fourth foal out of Holda (IRE), a winner of her sole start for owner/breeders Ballymacoll Stud. By Docksider, she is a half-sister to Mackinnon Stakes victor Glass Harmonium (IRE) and dual Group 3 winner Arab Spring (IRE). Further down the page, this Ballymacoll family includes champion stayer Conduit (IRE), Voltigeur Stakes winner Hard Top (IRE) and Prix Morny runner-up River Dancer. BLOND ME (IRE) is one of just 26 foals from the restricted 2012 crop of Tamayuz, who commanded a fee of €8,000 at Derrinstown Stud this season.

PERMIAN (IRE) looks another type to be improving with age as the colt, an impressive Listed winner 12 days ago, posted a career-best performance to win the day’s feature Group 2 Dante Stakes under Franny Norton. Three times a winner and once Listed-place at two, he looked to appreciate Thursday’s trip of a mile and two and a half furlongs. Racing in the silver colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, PERMIAN (IRE) was bred by Darley and is one of three black-type performers out of the dual Listed winner Tessa Reef (IRE). A half-sister to the dam of Group winners Silkwood and Silent Honor (IRE), she comes from the family of champion filly Miesque, super sire Kingmambo, dual Classic winner East Of The Moon and top-class filly Six Perfections.

Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy completed a double later on the card with the Fitri Hay-owned HERE COMES WHEN (IRE), who beat a field of 16 rivals to win the Listed Hambleton Handicap over a mile. Having his first start last November, the now seven-year-old tracked the leaders until the two pole, from which he made good headway to lead over a furlong from home. Staying on strongly, he denied favourite Chelsea Lad (IRE) by two and a quarter lengths, with Victory Bond beaten a further neck to finish third.

The Royal Hunt Cup is now the aim for dual Group winner HERE COMES WHEN (IRE), whose admirable efforts in defeat include a fourth to Solow in the 2015 Sussex Stakes and a fine performance in the Lockinge that same year, beaten less than three lengths. Bred by Old Carhue & Graeng Bloodstock, the son of Danehill Dancer (IRE) sold from Grove Stud to Hugo Merry for €170,000 at the Goffs Orby Sale as a yearling. He is out of the Group 3 winner Quad’s Melody (IRE), herself a half-sister to three Stakes winners, including Grade 1 performer Bonapartiste.

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