Wildenstein ‘P Family’ revisited

Pensee du Jour
Pensee du Jour

One of the very first articles at thebreedingshed was this one – P for Protectionist – and Plencia – written late in 2014 after the German colt Protectionist won the Melbourne Cup. Now at stud at Gestüt R?ttgen and the sire of this year’s Grade 3 Orchid Stakes winner Amazing Grace, Protectionist comes from the Wildenstein ‘P’ family best known for being that of 1997 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre and, further back, Pawneese, winner of the Oaks, Prix de Diane and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1976. Plencia was the dam of Pawneese and the great grandam of Peintre Celebre. Protectionist’s dam Patineuse was inbred 4×4 to Plencia as she was by Peintre Celebre and a great granddaughter of Pawneese.

Pequeño did we know at the time that another star from this family had been foaled earlier in 2014. He was by Sea The Stars out of Private Life, a granddaughter of Pawneese and a half-sister to Protectionist’s grandam Parisienne. Both Private Life and Patineuse were purchased five years apart by German breeder Dr Christoph Berglar, though having bought Private Life for 225,000 guineas in 2002, she was sold on again at the Tattersalls December Sale in 2006 for 70,000 guineas.

Her new owner was Bjorn Nielsen who took the opportunity to replicate the inbreeding in Patineuse’s pedigree by sending Private Life to Peintre Celebre so that the colt resulting from that 2010 mating, named Rembrandt Van Rijn, was also inbred 4×4 to Plencia. Rembrandt Van Rijn won a maiden and three handicaps in Nielsen’s colours and was later placed in a Group 3 in Abu Dhabi for Dubai connections.

But it was his Sea The Stars half-brother foaled three years later who would go on to make much more of a name for himself in a long and distinguished career in staying races. Stradivarius finally started his stallion career at the National Stud this spring at the age of nine, covering at a fee of ?10,000, after winning 20 races, a record 18 of them Group contests, including four Goodwood Cups and three Gold Cups.

A regular rival of Stradivarius towards the end of his career was Trueshan, much the best flat horse by Planteur who is another member of the ‘P’ clan. Planteur was runner-up in the Prix du Jockey Club, won the Prix Ganay at four and was twice third in the Dubai World Cup. He has Plencia as his fourth dam and like Peintre Celebre descends from her through her other daughter the Princess Elizabeth Stakes winner Petroleuse rather than Pawneese.

A more recent top colt to emerge from this family is Persian King who is out of Planteur’s three-parts sister Pretty Please. He made his name principally as a miler, winning the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and, at four the Prix d’Ispahan and Prix du Moulin, though like his ‘uncle’ he was second in the Prix du Jockey Club, and finished third in the Arc on his final start, both those races won by Sottsass.

The main reason for returning to the ‘P family’ now is the emergence this spring of potentially its best filly since Pawneese. The vestiges of the old Wildenstein bloodstock empire live on through Ballymore Thoroughbred Racing these days which maintains the policy of naming family members with the same letter. Pensee du Jour, a daughter of Camelot, has won all three of her starts this year, a newcomers race at Chantilly by four lengths, the listed Prix Rose de Mai at Saint-Cloud by seven lengths and the Group 3 Prix Penelope, back at Saint-Cloud earlier this month, impressively again by two and a half lengths. She looks the one to beat if taking her chance in the Prix Saint-Alary next month which would then put her on course for the Prix de Diane.

Pensee du Jour is out of Painter’s Pride, an unraced half-sister to Peintre Celebre by Dansili. Somewhat surprisingly, Painter’s Pride is also the dam of Canvassed (by Shamardal), a sprinter/miler on dirt in Dubai who won the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal in 2021 on the way to finishing third in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Coincidentally, Pensee du Jour is also quite closely related to the filly who chased her home in the Penelope, Oaks entry Sea of Roses; her unraced grandam Paz Signal is a half-sister to Peintre Celebre and Pensee du Jour’s dam. Sea of Roses’ dam Plume Rose is also the grandam of another three-year-old filly who has distinguished herself this year, Shalromy, winner of the listed Prix Montenica on the all-weather at Deauville in March over six and a half furlongs.