02/04/2011 12:10PM

Europe has some unsung 3-year-olds of note


As precocity is not valued nearly as much in Europe as it is in America, many European trainers are content to give a promising 2-year-old a single juvenile run. If successful, the winner will be put away for the winter in the hope he might develop into a classic performer. Some of these under-the-radar types are the subject of this week’s column.

Prominent among them in England is Peter Martins. Named for the artistic director of New York City Ballet by owner Earle Mack, himself a former City Ballet board member, Peter Martins is a Johannesburg colt who was purchased by trainer Jeremy Noseda at Keeneland for $145,000. In his July 30 Newmarket debut in a seven-furlong allowance race, he cruised to a five-length win. Penciled in for the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September, an unspecified setback ended his juvenile campaign. He is currently back in training with Newmarket’s one-mile Group 3 Craven Stakes on April 14 slated as his prep for the 2000 Guineas, for which he is as low as 16-1 with William Hill.

The Godolphin-owned Farhh, the six-length winner of a seven-furlong Newmarket maiden in his July 24 debut, is currently with Saeed bin Suroor at Al Quoz in Dubai. A Pivotal colt, he is the first foal from Gonbarda, the winner at 3 of two German Group 1’s at 1 1/2 miles against older males, Farhh suffered a blip when he was scratched at the gate at Doncaster on Sept. 10 in a seven-furlong allowance won by 13 lengths by Frankel, the winter-book favorite for both the 2000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby. Farhh should prove adept between a mile and at least 1 1/4 miles.

DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL: Past performances, race analysis, and results

In Zaminast, Juddmonte has a nice prospect with Dermot Weld. A Zamindar half sister to Famous Name, a five-time Group 3 winner between eight and nine furlongs and a head second in the 1 5/16-mile French Derby, Zaminast made a winning July 27 debut at Galway in a seven-furlong, 16-runner maiden, charging home from far out of it for a half-length score. Out of A Quest For Fame mare, she should improve as the distances get longer.

George Strawbridge has high hopes for his homebred filly Morning Charm. Trained by John Gosden, she is by Epsom Derby winner North Light and is a half-sister to St. Leger winner Lucarno. On Aug. 7 at Newmarket she came late to win a seven-furlong maiden off a painfully slow pace and is a valid English Oaks prospect.

A French filly with two races under her belt will be closely watched this spring. That is Galikova, a Galileo half-sister to three-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldikova. Trained, like Goldikova, by Freddie Head for the Wertheimer brothers, Galikova took a one-mile newcomers event at Longchamp on Sept. 18. Stepped up to the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc Day, she missed the break and trailed for much of the way before making up late ground to finish fifth behind the highly regarded Misty For Me, running as if a mile was already too short for her.

Blu Constellation is not really under the radar, as he was 4 for 4 at two. By Orpen out of a Celtic Swing mare, he is that rare Italian-bred who has won a stakes outside of Italy. That came in a runaway six-length score in the six-furlong, Group 2 Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte. Trainer Vittorio Caruso has no illusions about Blu Constellation’s classic prospects, however, and will keep him sprinting with a June date at Royal Ascot in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Jersey Stakes his main spring target.

Andre Fabre has a couple of nice prospects in Golden Lilac and Margravine. A Galileo-Danehill cross, Golden Lilac debuted on Sept. 8 with a neck score in a one-mile newcomers race at Saint-Cloud. She returned to the same track for a two-length allowance win at the same distance and looks like a French Oaks prospect. Sheikh Mohammed’s Margravine, a King’s Best three-quarter-sister to Meydan Group 3 turf winner Alexandros, took a 15-runner, one-mile maiden in her only outing at Saint-Cloud on Oct. 7 and should stay at least 10 furlongs.

Solemia, trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias for the Wertheimers, looks like a hot middle-distance prospect. On Nov. 1 in her second start she took a 1 1/8-mile conditions race at Saint-Cloud by six lengths. By Poliglote out of the Shirley Heights mare Brooklyn’s Dance, she is a half-sister to Prospect Park, a Group 3 winner at 1 1/2 miles, and to Prospect Wells, the winner of the 1 1/4-mile, Group 2 Prix Greffulhe.

A little further under the radar are the Stephane Wattel-trained Sallen, an Oratorio filly who was the six-length winner of a 1 1/4-mile Saint-Cloud allowance in her Nov. 18 debut, and the Green Tune colt Veter, trained by Nicolas Clement to a six-length maiden score going a mile at the same track on Nov. 13. Both of those wins came on heavy ground, so stamina should not be a problem for either of them.