The Saturday meeting at Haydock had its peak in the Lancashire Oaks, a Gr.2 race for three-year-old plus fillies & mares. The race was won by the four-year-old bay filly The Black Princess, bred by Petra Bloodstock Agency, by 1/2 length. After her April triumph in the Gr.3 Allez France The John Gosden-trained filly took another group victory, this time with the Gr.2 status. The victory is not only her biggest achievement so far, but also the biggest achievement of a horse inbred to Ahonoora’s daughter Park Appeal.
When the Sheikh Mohammed bought Park Appeal in 1984, the then filly had already won the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Cheveley Park Stakes. From the perspective of her future racing career, the purchase of the two-year-old champion may have seen a failure (in her new silks Park Appeal won just a single stakes race in the Hollywood Park, United States, where she raced as a four-year-old). From the perspective of her achievements at stud and her current influence on racing, however, she is one of the best Sheikh’s investments in the thoroughbred world.
You may be taken by a surprise by the number but the number of black-type winners in whose pedigrees her name is in the first four generations, have recently passed three hundred. Most of them have been provided by the classiest of Park Appeal’s progeny, one of her nine winners, the winner of the Lockinge Stakes (Gr.1) and Prix Jacques le Marois (Gr.1) Cape Cross. An excellent miler by an equally excellent sire of sires Green Desert, gave to its progeny more stamina than his career and his sire would have suggested, as has been proved by the pedigree of The Derby winners from 2014 to 2016: Australia, Golden Horn and Harzand have all Cape Cross in their pedigrees as a damsire, sire and grandsire. Cape Cross, sire not just of Golden Horn but also the 2009 Derby winner and champion Sea The Stars, is the sire of 111 black-type winners and damsire of next 40; thanks to Sea The Stars, himself the sire of 39 black-type winners, the number of black-type winners with his influence is likely to grow.
Park Appeal has produced a total of four stakes winners including a single black-type winning filly Vincennes. The latter has not made a success at stud but her half-sisters Pastorale and Arvola have. The first has produced the Park Stakes (Gr.2) winner and the runner-up in the July Cup (Gr.1) Iffraaj, the latter the champion sprinter Diktat. Diktat, pensioned two years ago, a successful produced of two-year-old horses, produced a total of 26 black-type winners; Iffraaj, who also made a profile mainly as a sire of precocious and fast horses, is now at sixteen the sire of 49 black-type winners and thanks to his position of a shuttle stallion at New Zealand he has shown that his talent was much more versatile. His sons Gingernuts and Jon Snow took the first and third places in the New Zealand derby, Jon Snow then won the AJC Australian Derby. That he too could be a successful sire of sires is proved by his son Wootton Bassett, whose very first crop included the best rated horse of the last season in Europe Almanzor.
It is the combination of these three sires that is behind the pedigrees of three black-type winners inbred to Park Appeal. Iffraaj produced with a daughter of Cape Cross, besides the already mentioned The Black Princess, also the winner of the Gr.3 Bavarian Classic and the runner up in the Gr.1 Premio Persidente Della Republicca Magic Artist, the listed Burke’s Rock is the product of Cape Cross with the daughter of Diktat.
The much frequently used cross Iffraaj x Cape Cross, which is behind the listed placed Fashion Princess, is today the most frequent way to increase the influence of Park Appeal, but soon, thanks to stallions such as Sea The Stars or Harzand, the inbreeding to this excellent mare is to appear in other combinations. How successful these are and how these are used by breeders, time will show but there is no doubt that the number of stakes winners with Park Appeal’s blood in their veins is likely to grow.