Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday June 10

It has been some week for Juddmonte Farm’s champion Frankel.

Following an exciting debut by his 2yo daughter Argentia at Flemington last Saturday, Frankel climbed to the top of the mountain when the Godolphin pair Adayar and Hurricane Lane went 1-3 in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom.

Frankel’s son Seven Heavens broke a long run of outs with a three-length win at Sha Tin on Sunday. To keep the run going, Frankel had winners at Leicester,  Gowran Park and Salisbury, before the impressive debut of Mossfun’s daughter Sadmah at Haydock on Wednesday.

At Eagle Farm on Saturday, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Converge will be favoured to join Hungry Heart and Mirage Dancer (GB) on Frankel’s Group 1 honour role in Australia when he contests the JJ Atkins (1600m).  

Converge (image Steve Hart)

Nine of the 15 starters in the Group II BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes will line up in the final Group 1 for two-year-olds.

Tiger Of Malay (Extreme Choice), Converge and Port Louis (Maurice) completed the trifecta that day and do battle again on Saturday.

Whether by happenstance or design, Converge was allowed to race off the speed for the first time in his 5-start career.  He came with a barnstorming finish from the rear of the field to fall a half-neck short of Tiger Of Malay.

Port Louis also came from well back in the field. The son of Maurice (JPN) must rank as one of the best maidens in the land, but he has once again been luckless in the barrier draw.

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A homebred for the Tony Bott managed Evergreen Rich, Converge is the first foal of the Shamardal (USA) mare Conversely (IRE) who failed to win in five starts in Ireland.

Conversely (IRE) was purchased for just €6,000 by BBA (Ireland) as an unraced 3yo out of the Godolphin draft at the 2017 Goffs February Sale.

Coolmore Stud consigned the daughter of Shamardal (USA) to the 2018 Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale when she was carrying Converge. She left the ring unsold when she fell short of her $300,000 reserve.

In stepped Tony Bott, who purchased Conversely (IRE) for a reported $250,000. After weaning the Frankel colt, Conversely (IRE) went back through the same sale the following year in foal to Churchill (IRE). Again she was  led out of the ring unsold when bidding stopped short of her $50,000 reserve.

A half-sister to the Japanese stakes-winner Danon Go Go (Aldebaran), Conversely (IRE) is a daughter of US Grade III winner and dual Grade 1 placed Melhor Ainda (USA) (Pulpit).

Purchased as a yearling for $125,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September Sale, Melhor Ainda went through the 2007 Keeneland November breeding Stock Sale, where she was knocked down to Godolphin representative John Ferguson for $2.3million.

Converge won the Listed Fernhill Handicap at Randwick in April (image Steve Hart)

Second in the Grade 1 American Oaks Invitational and third in the Grade 1 Beverley D Stakes, Melhor Ainda is a daughter of the San Isidro G.P. Mil Guineas winner Portrinner (Potrillazo).

Though it has spread its tentacles worldwide in recent years, this family is Argentian royalty going back over a century.

Portrinner is a sister to three other Group 1 winners; Potridee the Champion 2YO Filly in Argentina in 1991-92; Potrizaris the Champion Female & Champion 3YO Filly in Argentina in 1998-99; Potrichal and a half-sister to Group 1 winner Potron Rex.

After her heroics in her homeland, Potridee joined the stable of Ron McAnally in California. She won the Grade 1 Vanity Invitational, a race McAnally won with fellow Argentine champions Bayakoa and Paseana.

Potridee is the granddam of Touareg, the Champion 2YO Colt in Argentina in 2015-16.

Conversely has a yearling colt by Churchill (IRE), which was purchased for $28,000 at the 2020 Inglis Australian Weanling Sale, and a colt foal by Invader. She was covered by Divine Prophet last spring.

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