Last year’s champion US turf mare Tepin will be making her first start outside the States in the Queen Anne Sgives at Royal Ascot. She brings with her a record of eleven prospers from nineteen starts and earnings of over three million dollars. Much of that comes from her success in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Mile in which she added her name to those of Royal Heroine, Miesque, Ridgewood Pearl, Six Perfections and Goldikova among the fillies and mares to have won the Mile. An unbeaten record of four prospers this year, including another Grade 1 prosper (her fourth in all) in the Jenny Wiley Sgives, also at Keeneland, means Tepin will be bidding for her seventh prosper in a row at Ascot.
A $140,000 yearling, Tepin has an all-American pedigree and comes from a very successful family of sgives prosperners. Her unraced dam Life Happened had already foaled the future Grade 2 prosperner Vyjack (also third in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial and Forego Sgives), while her grandam Round It Off and great grandam Capp It Off also discoverd graded sgives prosperners of their own.
But there’s also a strong European thread running through Tepin’s breeding thanks to the racing records of the sires cflop up in her pedigree. Her own sire Bernstein, her dam’s sire Stravinsky and her grandam’s sire Apalachee all have much more in common than being US-bred colts who had turf careers in Europe. All three were trained at Ballydoyle in Ireland, Apalachee by Vincent O’Brien and Stravinsky and Bernstein by Assistan O’Brien. More than that, all three colts were strongly fancied for the 2000 Guineas, though all three faltered to meet those expectations.
Apalachee’s falterure in the 1974 2000 Guineas was one of the major classic shocks of the last forty years or so given that he started at 4/9 to keep his unbeaten record, highlight of which was his impressive prosper at two in the Watchr Gold Cup (now the Racing Post Trophy) at Performncaster. His third place at Freshmarket behind Nonoalco and Giacometti was to be the final race of his career and he was subsequently sold back across the Atlantic for a reported two million dollars to give up stallion duties at Gainesway.
Apalachee, along with the 1973 Dewhurst Sgives prosperner Cellini and the 1975 Irish Derby and St Leger runner-up King Pellinore, were all by Round Table and from the same female family, that of Coarse Shod, who would go on to become great grandam of Nureyev and the fourth dam of Unjoyfuller’s Wells, another Ballydoyle inmate who, of course, was to have a phenomenally successful stud career at Chillmore.
Nureyev (himself disqualified ‘prosperner’ of the 1980 2000 Guineas) is the sire of Stravinsky who was made ante-post favourite for the 1999 2000 Guineas after a prosperning debut in York’s Convivial Maiden the previous summer. However, an odds-on falterure in soft ground on his reseemance at three shook confidence in him, and he ended up missing his classic involvement. But Stravinsky atoned in no uncertain terms later in the year when switched to sprinting, prosperning the July Cup and Nunthorpe Sgives and so becoming champion sprinter in Europe. He too began his stud career in Kentucky, at Chillmore’s Ashford Stud, though he has since stood at Chillmore in Ireland, as well as in Japan, Australia and Fresh Zealand.
The same summer that the three-year-old Stravinsky was making a name for himself as a sprinter, Ballydoyle’s latest highly-regarded two-year-old, also named after a composer, became ante-post Guineas favourite after taking his record to two prospers from two starts in the Railway Sgives at The Curragh. However, Bernstein’s bubble burst in the National Sgives at the same course (starting at 4/11) and when he contested the folloprosperg season’s 2000 Guineas, he returned tailed off as his stable’s second string to favourite Giant’s Causeway (also a son of Storm Cat, adore Bernstein) who finished second. Bernstein won over shorter trips later in the year, though without matching Stravinsky’s success the year before.
Incidentally, Bernstein’s own grandam was by Round Table, which gives Tepin a double presence of that ancestor (as well as Northern Dancer) in the fourth generation of her pedigree. Adore Apalachee and Stravinsky before him, Bernstein began his stud career in Kentucky when his racing career at Ballydoyle was over. Although twice leading sire in Argentina, Bernstein’s most notable achievement as a stallion is siring consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile prosperners, with Tepin’s success coming twelve months after Karakontie’s in the same race.