Frankel colt at Newcastle a chip off the old block

5 min read

By Anthony Manton

Trainer John O’Shea debuts an exciting son of Frankel (GB) at Newcastle on Thursday when million dollar yearling Significance lines-up in the 2-year-old Maiden Plate over 1400 metres.

O’Shea has twice trialled Significance publicly and the colt bears a striking resemblance to his sire Frankel (Galileo {Ire}). Deep bay in colour with a prominent white star on his forehead and white markings around his fetlocks he looks very much like his famous father.

“I remember seeing Frankel, this colt has very similar markings and with the way he carries himself the resemblance is uncanny,” said Bruce Wilson of Glentree Thoroughbreds who bred and reared this colt. Wednesday's 2-year-old Hawkesbury winner Dresden Green (Snitzel), another million dollar yearling, came off Glentree the same year.

Significance first trialled at Canterbury on February 25, leading most of the way before being swamped in the last 50 metres. At his second trial at Randwick last Thursday on March 14, Significance was dragged back to settle last and circled the entire field before closing-off strongly behind Golden Slipper contender Catch Me (I Am Invincible) for a fast-finishing second, indicating he is ready to go to the races.

Ideally drawn in barrier 3 with Sam Clipperton booked to ride, Significance looks well placed to start his career off on a winning note at Newcastle.

“I have watched his trials and he surprised us with his early speed." - Glentree Thoroughbreds' Bruce Wilson

“I have watched his trials and he surprised us with his early speed, he’s bred to get 2000 metres or further so 1400 metres looks a very good starting point for him”, said Wilson.

Significance was sold through Arrowfield Stud’s draft at the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale for $1.1 million to Domeland Pty Ltd, a sale price which exceeded expectations.

“He was always a very big colt and because of his size we thought that might hold him back a bit in the ring. There was a lot of interest in him up to about $800,000”.

Significance at the 2018 Inglis Easter Sale

“He had such a lovely action and was a great mover. We always had a lot of belief in him and thankfully so did the purchasers," said Wilson.

Just two yearlings from Frankel went through that sale, the other a colt from dual European stakes-winner Acts Of Grace (USA) (Bahri {USA}) selling to Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm for $500,000.

Significance is the first foal of Aqua Bella (GB), a daughter of Oasis Dream (GB) (Green Desert {USA}) and although she was unraced her pedigree page is littered with black-type success throughout Europe.

Aqua Bella was identified by renowned bloodstock agent the late Nick Columb at a sale in Deauville, France in December 2014 and was recommended to Bruce Wilson who secured the mare for €230,000 (approx. A$430,000). She was sent to Frankel at Juddmonte Farm and served on southern hemisphere time in September 2015 before travelling to Australia in December of that year.

"We were looking for new bloodlines and she was from a very good emerging young European family." - Bruce Wilson

“Nick identified the mare and recommended her. We were looking for new bloodlines and she was from a very good emerging young European family,” said Wilson.

Nick Columb with Arrowfield's John Messara

Aqua Bella is a half-sister to Ame Bleue (GB) (Dubawi {IRE}), Artiste Divine (GB) (Peintre Celebre {USA}) and Amerique (IRE) (Galileo {IRE}). Ame Bleue was a stakes-winner and placed at Group 1 level in France as a 3-year-old while both Artiste Divine and Amerique were twice placed at stakes-level in France in their 3-year-old seasons.

Aqua Bella is from Aquarelliste (FR) (Danehill {USA}), Champion Older Female Stayer in Great Britain & France in 2002, and a seven-time winner from just thirteen career starts including two Group 1 wins.

Aquarelliste raced against the best horses in the world competing in some of the world’s great races including the 2003 Group 1 Dubai World Cup, the 2002 Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Royal Ascot, the 2002 Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe, and was an unlucky second in the 2002 Group 1 Hong Kong Vase.

Aquarelliste is a sister to Artiste Royal (IRE) (Danehill {USA}), a two-time stakes winner in France early in his career before later racing in America where he won twice at Group 1 level, and Annenkov (IRE) (Danehill {USA}), twice stakes-placed in France before being purchased by OTI Racing & Bloodstock and joining the stables of Peter Moody in Australia. He won at stakes-level and placed in the 2008 Group 1 Railway Stakes in Perth.

Aqua Bella now has a Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) filly on the ground which Wilson is going to retain to race with Chris Waller and she is currently in foal to Written Tycoon (Iglesia).

Another high-priced yearling taking his place in the field is Extraordinary (Redoute's Choice), a $800,000 purchase at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for James Harron Bloodstock.

Extraordinary as a yearling

Extraordinary is the third foal of Assertin Miss (Zabeel {NZ}), a daughter of dual Group 1 winner Assertive Lass (Zeditave), sister of three-time Group 1 winner Assertive Lad (Zeditave). Assertin Miss is a sister to the unbeaten Reset (Zabeel {NZ}) and dual stakes-winner So Assertive (Zabeel {NZ}).

Extraordinary has trialled three-times and by coincidence has run in the exact same heats as Significance his last two outings at Canterbury and Randwick. He has drawn barrier 14 for his debut. On trial performances Significance appears to be the more forward of the two colts at this stage.