Alyssa (center) beats Fireglow (right) and Platitude (left) in the Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes

Alyssa (center) beats Fireglow (right) and Platitude (left) in the Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes

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Rausing's 'A' Train Steams for Generations

Lanwades Stud's success with foundation mare

On the last day of September, Kirsten Rausing's homebred 3-year-old filly Alyssa carried Rausing's white and green-hooped silks across the wire in a whisker of a finish to win the Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot. The daughter of Sir Percy's victory paired with the Sept. 17 score of Rausing's 3-year-old Archipenko colt Algometer in the group III Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury has made September a month to remember for the owner of Newmarket-based Lanwades Stud. 

Earlier in the spring, Algometer won the E.B.F. Stallions Cocked Hat Stakes while yet another Lanwades runner, the 5-year-old mare Altesse (by the late Hernando) took the Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Noblesse Stakes at Leopardstown.

Adding even more sugar to an already sweet year is that all of these winners are products of stallions that stand or stood at Lanwades, and all are from branches of the giant oak of a Lanwades foundation mare Alruccaba. Alyssa is a fifth-generation homebred descendant while Algometer and Altesse are third and fourth, respectively.

Rausing partnered with Airlie Stud's Sonia Rogers to buy the winning 2-year-old grey Crystal Palace filly Alrucccaba at the 1985 December sales for 19,000 guineas. Neither could have known for at the time of the success that lay ahead, but certainly the past held its hints. The family had been nurtured in the rich environs of the Aga Khan's breeding program since 1922 when he purchased a grey filly by The Tetrarch out of Lady Josephine for 9,100 guineas from Lady Sykes' Sledmere Stud.

Known as the "Flying Filly," she established quite a reputation on the racecourses of England but made an even heavier mark in the paddocks after becoming a broodmare. She and her daughters and granddaughters were responsible for such high-class stock that a Hall of Fame could be established just for her generational descendants: Nasrullah, Royal Charger, Mahmoud, and Migoli are among the many that littered black type over the five generations leading to Alruccaba.

Fortunately for Rausing and Rogers, Alruccaba wasted no time in channeling the spirit of her sixth-generation ancestress. She was a filly-producing mare: 11 of her 13 foals were females, among them four stakes winners and a cluster of stakes-producing mares. 

One of those stakes winners was the grey Darshaan mare Alouette, who became part of the Lanwades broodmares. Her three black-type winners included the full group I-winning Alzao sisters Alborada and Albanova (the dam of Algometer).

When Rausing bred Alborada to her house stallion Selkirk (by Sharpen Up), she threw black-type winner Alvarita, Alyssa's third dam and the dam of fellow 2016 stakes winner Altesse. Her other stakes-winning offspring to date is Algonquin, by Lanwades' Kingmambo son Archipenko.

Alvarita produced group III winner Alla Speranza by Alyssa's sire Sir Percy (Mark of Esteem), which doubled up Darshaan in the pedigree. Alvarita's Galileo daughter Almiranta is the dam of Alyssa and of Alea Iacta, a homebred daughter of Invincible Spirit, who won the group III Prix Thomas Bryon at Saint Cloud. 

Rausing's "A" train certainly hasn't made many whistle-stops as it steams resolutely from generation to generation.