Alba Rose’s bred for success
By John Scanlon
The promising juvenile Alba Rose built on the promise of her debut run at Lingfield in mid-August to score impressively at Thirsk on September 4.
Dr Jim Walker’s Muhaarar filly had made a most pleasing debut at Lingfield, defying greenness to chase home the more experienced Lost In Space, and finishing a clear second of the 11 runners.
Sticking to seven furlongs next time out at Thirsk, Alba Rose faced nine rivals in a novice event. Joe Fanning took the ride, with Alba Rose drawn wide, one from the outside of the field.
Hoscar Moss, drawn widest of all, was quickly away from the stalls and led in the early stages, pursued by Alba Rose. Full of running, Alba Rose hit the front with two furlongs to race and was soon clear. She kept on well to score by three and a quarter lengths from Invincibly, who in turn was six lengths clear of the third horse, Turandot.
Perhaps the most promising aspect of Alba Rose’s win lies in her breeding, for Alba Rose is the fourth of five foals out of the Danehill Dancer mare, Reckoning. On the racecourse, Reckoning was a useful filly. After winning a fillies’ maiden over a mile at Doncaster on her only juvenile start, she was three times Listed placed at three and four, and only lost the Listed Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle by a short head.
In the paddocks, however, Reckoning has enjoyed success on a different level. Her 2016 colt foal was the Group 3 March Stakes winner and St Leger second, Sir Ron Priestley (by Australia), while her 2017 colt foal was Subjectivist (by Teofilo), who, too, won the March Stakes en route to a run in the St Leger last month.
Alba Rose, who is by the July Cup winner, Muhaarar, was her 2018 produce and she was foaled on April 1. She also has a chestnut yearling filly by Ulysses who is scheduled to be sold as part of Book 2 of this year’s Tattersalls October Yearling Sale. Recent wins by Subjectivist as well as Alba Rose have given her significant catalogue updates!
Alba Rose’s sire, Muhaarar, won four Group 1 sprints in all, and it will be fascinating to see how Alba Rose develops compared to her older half-brothers who were more stoutly bred. At the moment it seems safe to say she will improve for time and distance, and she has already upheld family honour by tasting success at this relatively early stage of her career.
After her excellent performance at Thirsk, connections decided to let Alba Rose take her chance in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on September 25.
The filly ran with great credit to finish third to the winner, Isabella Giles, in the seven-furlong event.
Last year’s Rockfel third, Cloak of Spirits, finished second in the 1,000 Guineas next time out; here’s hoping Alba Rose can show similar improvement! Dr Jim Walker clearly has an exciting prospect on his hands and it will be fun to see how her career progresses in the months to come.
Picture: Alba Rose under Ollie Stammers