Centre Of Attention!

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Unbeaten 2018 Gr1 World Sports Betting Cape Fillies Guineas winner Front And Centre ranks as an exceptional future prospect – not only on the racetrack but also in the paddocks.

Team Crawford with Front And Centre at the Guineas lead in (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

A second Cape Fillies Guineas winner in the last three years sired by top local sire Dynasty – the latter’s champion daughter Just Sensual won the Fillies Guineas in 2016 – Front And Centre is a half-sister to Gr1 Premier’s Champion Stakes winner Potala Palace (Singspiel), whose first 3yo’s include the promising performers Palace Chapel and Senatla.

Potala Palace wins the Joburg Spring Challenge

Potala Palace in action

Sarah Whitelaw writes that tellingly perhaps, both Front And Centre and Potala Palace were sired by a Sadler’s Wells line stallion, with Sadler’s Wells hailing from the same family as the aforementioned Gr1 winning half-siblings.

Front And Centre, also a half-sister to recent November Stakes winner Streak Of Silver, is out of Gr3 Prestige Stakes runner up Alignment. The latter, who retired to stud winless, is also dam of the successful broodmare Line Ahead (by Sadler’s Wells) –the dam of graded stakes winners Excellent Result (Gr2 Dubai City Of Gold) and Midnight Crossing (Gr3 Robert J.Frankel Stakes).

Front And Centre strides clear in the hands of Anton Marcus to beat Silvano’s Pride (Richard Fourie) in the Fillies Guineas (Pic – Chase Liebenberg Photography)

Alignment’s half-sister Highland Gift (by Generous) also proved a top class broodmare sire with her offspring including the high-class Spectrum sired pair of Golan (2000 Guineas) and Tartan Bearer (2nd Epsom Derby).

Perhaps the forgotten hero in Front And Centre’s pedigree is her broodmare sire Alzao, who has strong claims to being the very best stallion son of champion sire Lyphard.

Alzao (Lyphard-Lady Rebecca)

Best son of Lyphard – Alzao

The latter, a multiple Gr1 winner in France, was one of the best stallion sons of Northern Dancer, leaving behind 115 stakes winners from 838 foals – or siring 14% stakes winners to foals. Lyphard was champion sire in both USA and France (he topped the French Sires List in 1978 and 1979) and he was also champion broodmare sire in France in 1985 and 1986.

His lengthy list of champions include Dancing Brave, Manila, Three Troikas and Monteverdi, with Lyphard’s other notable performers the classic winners Ensconse, Dancing Maid, Jolypha, and Pearl Bracelet.

Elliodor (Lyphard-Ellida)

Elliodor (Lyphard-Ellida)

He also was responsible for the former successful South African sire and broodmare sire Elliodor-the sire of South Africa’s first equine millionaire and subsequent successful sire Model Man.

Lyphard did not prove a notable sire of sires, with the likes of Dancing Brave, Manila and Monteverdi all failing to live up to expectations, and his potentially high class sire son Lypheor dying at the age of 11 – although his son Pharly did enjoy some success, while his son Bellypha ranks as grandsire of champion French sire Linamix.

Also sire of champion Brazilian sire Ghadeer, Lyphard did enjoy some success as a sire of sires, with Alzao perhaps holding claims to being his sire’s best sire son – despite retiring to stud with just four wins to his name, with Alzao’s biggest victory coming in the somewhat unheralded Gr3 Premio Ellington.


Alzao, who began his stud career at the Rathbarry Stud before moving to Coolmore, sired at least 100 black type winners, with his daughters in particularly proving highly successful.

Among his stars were the Oaks winners Shahtoush (Epsom), Winona (Irish) and Timi (Italian), the remarkable full-sisters Alborada (dam of sires Alado and Albion) and Albanova, high class 2yo’s Pass The Peace and Capricciosa, and Prix Royal-Oak (French St Leger) winner Alcazar.

Alzao also enjoyed success in South Africa  where his handful of representatives included Gr2 Greyville 1900 winning sire Zelator, Easter Handicap winner The Predecessor, and the high class racemare Mosszao, whose wins included the Gr1 Gold Bowl.

1995 Listed SAA Voyager Stakes

Mosszao wins the Listed SAA Voyager Stakes

While a prolific sire of black type winners, Alzao failed to leave a top class sire son behind and it appears that his most lasting legacy will be as a broodmare sire. Like his sire Lyphard, Alzao has become an outstanding broodmare sire and his daughters have already been responsible for over 160 black type winners.

One of the high class winners produced by an Alzao mare is the Japanese champion and Triple Crown winner Deep Impact. The latter, a son of Sunday Silence and the Alzao sired Gr1 Aral-Pokal winner Wind In Her Hair, has been champion sire in Japan on six occasions, and has made his mark on the international stage as the sire of such notable Gr1 winners as Saxon Warrior (2000 Guineas), Beauty Parlour (French 1000 Guineas), Study Of Man (French Derby), Real Steel (Dubai Turf), Vivlos (Dubai Turf), A Shin Hikari (Hong Kong Cup), and dual Japan Cup winner Gentildonna – whose other notable wins included the Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

Turning Tide

Deep Impact’s full-brother Black Tide also made his mark at stud – with his son Kitasan Black a multiple champion in Japan who won the 2016 Japan Cup.

Deep Impact

Deep Impact (Sunday Silence – Wind In Her Hair)

Other notable performers produced by Alzao mares include the four time Gr1 winner Olympic Glory (Choisir) – who is currently the third leading First Crop Sire in France for 2018. Olympic Glory, whose dam is the Alzao daughter Acidanthera, has already had a stakes winner, with the former Gr1 Prix de la Foret winner’s early runners including the French Listed winner Watch Me.

The former French 2000 Guineas winner Aussie Rules (whose dam is the high class Alzao daughter Last Second) would not rank as one of the best sire sons of Danehill but he did produce a high class performer in the form of Fiesolana – whose victories included the Gr1 Matron Stakes.

Other Gr1 winners out of Alzao mares include Amorama (Del Mar Oaks), Relaxed Gesture (Canadian International), Bollin Eric (St Leger) and Embassy (Cheveley Park Stakes).

– Sporting Post

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