Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday July 26

With Ascot King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes coming up this weekend it seems an appropriate time to highlight the pedigree of a filly that runs at Rosehill on Saturday who comes from the family of Ballymacoll Stud’s homebred Conduit who won the race a decade ago.

Brian Chegwidden was in the right place at the right time when the 3yo Verglas (IRE) filly Lucciola (IRE) was led in to the ring at the Tattersalls July Sale in 2012.

He needed to shell out 22,000 guineas for the grey filly who had not won in four starts and was a tailed off last at her most recent start at the Curragh.

While it may have not have overly raised her profile in Europe, the fact that Lucciola (IRE) was a three-quarter sister to Glass Harmonium (IRE) who won the Group 1 VRC LKS Mackinnon Stakes some ten months earlier made her particularly appealing to Australians.

A little over a month after her sale, Lucciola (IRE) landed in Australia. She was put back in to training and a year after her arrival opened her winning account in a 1400 metre maiden at Pinjarra.

Her form tapered off after that but a change of stables to Justin Warwick saw a remarkable transformation. She reeled of nine wins in eleven starts including seven in a row, the last six at Belmont.

When her form tapered off again Lucciola (IRE) was sent to David and Coral Feek where she earned some valuable black-type when placed in the Listed Warrnambool Cup.

Lucciola (IRE) retired with a record of 11 wins, 1 second and 3 third from 36 starts with earnings of $304,996.

Her first date was with I Am Invincible and the resultant filly was consigned by Middlebrook Valley Lodge at the 2018 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale, where Anton Koolman Bloodstock had the final say at $190,000.

Named Lucicello (pictured as a yearling ) and sent to Chris Waller, she carries the colours of Debbie Kepitis's Woppitt Bloodstock while Arthur and Charlotte Inglis and Brian Chegwidden also feature in the ownership.

Lucicello contests Saturday’s opener at Rosehill Gardens where her stablemate True Detective (Shamus Award) has opened up a short-priced favourite.

Yet another Waller runner, Iskander, like Lucicello a daughter of I Am Invincible, is also expected to run well. She went through the ring shortly before Lucicello with Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm making the final bid of $500,000.

Lucicello has made three starts, finishing out of a place when favourite on debut in the Group III Widden Stakes in February before letting punters down again when third on the Kensington track at Randwick on June 10.

A fortnight later she broke her maiden on the same track with a convincing win over the talented Roman Wolf.

When Lucciola (IRE) was sold at Tattersalls, her unraced dam Serres did not have a winner to her name but how that has changed in the past few years.

Her daughter Liber Nauticus (Azamour) won the Group III Musidora Stakes at York and was sold to Moyglare Stud for 425,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December sale in 2017 while another half-sister Thetis (Invincible Spirit) finished second in the Group II Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket and was sold as part of the Ballymacoll Stud dispersal in January last year for 550,000 guineas.

A daughter of Daylami, Serres is a three-quarter sister to Conduit who carried the light blue Ballymacoll silks to victory in the 2009 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes in addition to consecutive runnings of the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Serres’s dam, Well Head (Sadler’s Wells) also produced the Group II winner Hard Top and the stakes-placed Octagonal colt Spray Gun as well as Spring Symphony the dam of Glass Harmonium.

Well Head is herself a half-sister to triple Group 1 winner Spectrum (Rainbow Quest), who spent some time at Yarraman.

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