Best On Breeding
Mark Smith - Thursday October 11

Born in 1993, Cheveley Park’s Pivotal maybe in his twilight years however it’s doubtful that his influence has ever been higher.

On the day that his son Avilius (GB) gained a free ticket to the Melbourne Cup with his win in the Group III Bart Cummings Stakes at Flemington, Pivotal’s son Alignment won the Group II Prix Dollar at Longchamp, Laraaib captured the Group III Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot and Red Starlight was runner-up in the Listed October Stakes at Ascot.

The following day Nikkei won a Group III in Germany.

Back on August 1, Pivotal’s son Lightning Spear won the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

As good as Pivotal’s season has been as a sire, it pales in comparison to his feats as a broodmare sire.

Since Cracksman won the Group 1 Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp on April 29, Pivotal’s daughters have been responsible for the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Rhododendron, the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen winner Mikki Rocket, the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes winner Advertise, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes winner Glorious Empire and the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Fairyland.

On a magnificent Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe day at Longchamp last Sunday, Pivotal’s daughters produced the Group 1 Prix de l'Abbaye De Longchamp winner Mabs Cross and the Group 1 Prix de la Foret winner One Master who is a daughter of the Coolmore champion Fastnet Rock.

The win of the wonderful Enable in the day's feature saw Saddler’s Wells edge pass Pivotal (pictured ) in the race for Europe’s leading broodmare sire of the season.


While Avilius’s quartet of Group III wins in Australia has seen renewed interest in Pivotal south of the equator, Blair House (IRE) has the chance to ramp it up a notch in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).

Australian punters are notoriously harsh on visiting trainers and jockeys, but they seem to have embraced Blair House’s trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey James Doyle who earned a legion of followers in Sydney when standing in for the suspended James McDonald.

Blair House defeated fellow Godolphin colour-bearer Benbatl (GB) in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta at Meydan on March 10 but was soundly beaten by that son of Dubawi three weeks later in the Group 1 Dubai Turf.

While Blair House has had just one start since then, a fine fourth in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes won by Homesman (USA), Benbatl (GB) has had three starts.

Never a factor in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot, Benbatl (GB) won a Group 1 in Germany before a creditable fifth behind Roaring Lion in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York.

While Blair House (IRE) is yet to win beyond 1800 metres, Benbatl (GB) is two for two at 2000 metres.

The dam of Blair House (IRE), Patroness, is a sister to the recently deceased Poet’s Voice (Dubawi).

The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner shuttled to Australia from 2012-16.

Patroness did not have her brother’s ability on the track, retiring a maiden after five starts the last of which was a runner-up effort over 1800 metres at Maisons-Laffitte.