Sunday, 6 February 2011

Brocklesby Stakes Stars

For many the Lincoln is the emphasis of Doncaster's prestigious meeting. However, High Class Equine (HCE) takes pride in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. For us it heralds the start of the two-year-old race Flat season. Our top-ranked blog is dedicated to pinpointing the best juveniles in racing and why our race analysis for this year's Brocklesby Conditions Stakes on 28th March, 1:25 Doncaster, is one of the most popular blog posts we publish.   

The Greatest Brocklesby Winner?
Hearts Of Fire

Trainer: Pat Eddery

Owner: Pat Eddery Racing

Sire: Firebreak (7.5f) Dam: Alexander Ballet Dam's sire: Mind Games (6.4f)

A 6,000gns F, £13,000 Y, 550,000gns Nkt Oct 2010; 2nd living foal; dam 5f winner (stayed 6f), half-sister to useful 5f/6f winner Day By Day out of 6f winning half-sister to US Grade 1 1m2f winner Spanish Fern, family of Al Bahathri (dam of Haafhd).

On the 28th March 2009 Hearts Of Fire won the Brocklesby Stakes by over two lengths at odds of 12/1. This was a rare two-year-old debutante winner for Pat Eddery, ridden by his brother, Paul.

This 6000gns foal was next seen in a Conditions Stakes at Newmarket: a well backed second favourite, this son of Firebreak disappointed, finishing 4th. However, more promise was shown when runner-up on his next start at Beverley, once again over the minimum trip. On the 16th June Hearts Of Fire competed at Royal Ascot in the Windsor Castle Stakes Listed race over 5f, running on well to take 5th.

Eddery clearly had high expectations of his rising star when second at Newbury in a Listed event in soft ground over 6f. From here, the stable would attempt a bold autumn campaign racing at Deauville, Baden-baden & San siro.

On the 16th August Hearts On Fire won the Prix Francios Boutin (Listed race) at Deauville, France, by more than five lengths. This was his first run over 7f.

In September, the Zukunfts-Rennen (Group 3) in Baden-baden, Germany, saw Eddery’s juveniles start at odds on, finishing strongly to win with authority, ridden by Olivier Peslier. Crowning a truly amazing two-year-old season, Pat Eddery Racing [owners] struck gold - winning the Gran Criterium (Group 1) by a neck over one mile in testing conditions. In three races connections won almost a quarter of a million pounds.

As a three-year-old, Hearts Of Fire was raced over a mile at the highest level. Making his return in the 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) at Newmarket, a 40/1 shot, this Classic race proved a disappointment, weakening 2f out.

In June, connections returned to Royal Ascot to compete in the St James’ Palace Stakes (Group 1), finishing a creditable 3rd, and a shade unlucky finding trouble in running.

Chantilly, France, was the next port of call in July contesting the Prix Jean Prat (Group 1). Fancied at 5/1, Olivier Peslier played a waiting game finishing 4th behind easy winner Dick Turpin.

His penultimate race was back in the UK, dropping in class for the Sovereign Stakes (Group 3). Starting favourite, to finish 5th may have been a disappointment, but beaten by less than two lengths was probably his mark.

Hearts Of Fire ran his final three-year-old race at Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Group 1),finishing unplaced.

In a sparkling career consisting of 13 races, he won four times and was placed on a further three occasions winning more than £300,000 in total prize money. At best this colt held an official rating of 118 and is probably the most successful winner of the Brocklesby Stakes to date. Without doubt he was a very classy two-year-old, a highlight winning the Gran Criterium (Group 1)

The icing on the cake came when Hearts Of Fire was sold at the 2010 Newmarket October sales for 550,000gns.