"The acorn doesn't fall far from the tree," says the proverb, and this appears to be true for the Irish colt Loch Garman. Bred, owned, and trained by Jim Bolger, who also bred and trained the colt's sire Teofilo and his dam Irish Question, Loch Garman continued Bolger's reputation as a top developer of juvenile talent by surging ahead in the final strides to capture the Criterium International de Saint-Cloud (Fr-I) on November 1.
Loch Garman is the second group I-winning juvenile sired by Teofilo, following 2011 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) winner Parish Hall. A better 2-year-old than either of his sons, Teofilo was named European champion juvenile male in 2006 after remaining unbeaten in five starts in England and Ireland. His biggest scores were in the Laing O'Rourke National Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh and the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket, both at the expense of Holy Roman Emperor. No mere foil for Teofilo, the latter was a high-class colt who had won the Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) at the Curragh prior to the National Stakes and captured the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere—Grand Criterium (Fr-I) at Longchamp in between his tilts with the champion.
With Loch Garman's tally in the books, Teofilo now has 10 stakes winners, six of them successful at the group level, from his first two crops of racing age and is currently fourth among European second-crop sires. His early success appears promising for his sire Galileo as a sire of sires, especially since the similarly sired New Approach is leading the European freshman sire list with Sixties Icon, another Galileo son, eighth. And Galileo's best son to date, the spectacular Frankel—bred on the same Galileo/Danehill cross as Teofilo—is now off to stud and is sure to be accorded the best of opportunities.
Teofilo does not owe all his genetic excellence to Galileo, of course. His great-granddam Victorian Queen, a multiple Canadian champion, proved a first-rate broodmare with three grade I winners to her credit in Judge Angelucci (by Honest Pleasure), War (by Majestic Light), and Peace (by Naskra). She also produced the winning Storm Bird mare Extraterrestral, a multiple stakes producer.
Saviour, a full sister to War, was also a winner and has two stakes winners to her credit. One is the Royal Academy gelding Graduated; the other is Speirbhean, dam of Teofilo and like him bred and trained by Bolger. Winner of the 2001 Derrinstown Stud One Thousand Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown (a listed race over one mile), Speirbhean was prominent in the early running of the Entenmanns Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) two weeks later but weakened badly to finish well up the course and was retired soon afterwards. Her only other produce to win from six foals of racing age are two full sisters to Teofilo, Senora Galilei and Teo's Sister.
Irish Question, the dam of Loch Garman, scored her only success in nine tries while going a mile at Leopardstown as a 3-year-old. Loch Garman is her fourth foal and second winner. She is a daughter of two-time leading sire Giant's Causeway, who—as might be expected for a top sire who has gotten a great many daughters from high-quality mares—is beginning to make some noise as a broodmare sire. Currently 33rd on The Blood-Horse's broodmare sire list, he has 21 stakes winners to his daughters' credit so far. His leading performer as a maternal grandsire is 2010 Prix du Jockey Club (Fr-I) runner-up and 2011 Prix Ganay-Prix Air Mauritius (Fr-I) winner Planteur, an earner of more than $2.3 million.
Irish Question is out of Key to Coolcullen, an unraced daughter of the 1990 Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner and good international sire Royal Academy. As Royal Academy (Nijinsky II—Crimson Saint) is closely related to Giant's Causeway's sire Storm Cat (Storm Bird—Terlingua, by Secretariat—Crimson Saint), Irish Question is inbred 4x3 to the very speedy Crimson Saint. Her dam Key to Coolcullen is even more closely inbred, but with stamina in mind. A half sister to Eva Luna (by Double Schwartz), who was rated the top juvenile filly in Ireland in 1994 after taking that year's Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I), Key to Coolcullen is 2x3 to the great Nijinsky II, who sired both Royal Academy and Stradavinsky, sire of her dam Guess Again.
Loch Garman's pedigree illustrates the continued spread of Northern Dancer's influence, particularly in European pedigrees, with crosses 4x5x5x5x6; for good measure, he also carries an extra cross of the Dancer's dam Natalma (great-granddam of Teofilo's broodmare sire Danehill) at the sixth remove. How this will affect his future stud career is a bit difficult to assess, as is his racing merit. While he is now a group I winner, he has scored both his wins in boglike going, leaving his ability to act on better ground as an open question. His defeated rivals are also a rather questionable bunch, with group III winners Pearl Flute (group I-placed in Italy) and Us Law having the best records going into the Criterium International. Still, Loch Garman got the job done when it counted and will be one to keep an eye on for next year's European classics—particularly if it is a rainy spring.