Strengthening Our French Connections
Friday, July 22, 2016
Runnymede has long been known for its innovative international breeding and racing programs, and the farm currently is strengthening its ties with French racing and our French partners.

Young horses always provide hope for the future, and Runnymede has two promising juvenile fillies in training at Chantilly: Lady Katanga, a filly by Poet's Voice purchased at Tattersalls with partners who is with trainer Pia Brandt, and a King's Best daughter of our mare Lady of Akita who is with Nicolas Clement.

Runnymede General Manager Romain Malhouitre recently visited the fillies in France, and also checked in on Sacre Caroline, the two-year-old filly bred, raised and sold by the farm who is a half sister to undefeated Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner Lady Eli and to our own multiple graded stakes winner Bizzy Caroline.

Lady Katanga "has done very well since she has been (with Brandt); she was very keen from the beginning," said Malhouitre, who is a native of France. "She is beautiful and looks very racy and athletic. We should have some fun with her."Lady Katanga

The filly's sire, Poet's Voice, is by one of the world's best stallions, Dubawi, and he ranks among Europe's leading first-year sires this season with four winners to date. Lady Katanga's dam, the Soviet Star mare Lunda, has produced multiple group stakes winner Blue Monday, Group 1-placed Lundy's Lane and stakes-placed Rugged Cross, and she is a half sister to German champions and Group 1 winners Luso and Warrsan.

Bred by Rabbah, which is affiliated with Sheikh Mohammed, who bred and raced Poet's Voice through Darley and Godolphin, Lady Katanga was purchased at last year's Tattersalls October yearling sale for $200,403.

The King's Best filly, who is waiting for name approval, is from one of Runnymede's most sterling families, being out of English winner Lady of Akita, a daughter of Fantastic Light and a half sister to $8 million earner and champion Agnes Digital, who has gone on to be a successful sire in Japan.

"She is doing well and I was very pleased with the way she has matured, the way she acts and the way she moves on the track," Malhouitre said after watching the filly gallop with Clement's string at Chantilly. King's Best filly out of Lady of Akita

"She is well balanced and has strength. She looks very forward and very honest. She has an easy forward reach with a good push from behind. Overall, she is using herself quite well and seems light enough on her feet. All is good so far."

 Lady of Akita, after being based in France during the beginning of her broodmare career, is back at Runnymede and has a yearling colt by international superstar So You Think and a colt at her side by champion Street Sense.

 One of the highlights of Malhouitre's visit to France was the chance to Sacre Caroline, by Blame and out of our Sacre Coeur, who was purchased by Pegasus Farm and Herve Barjot at last year's Keeneland September sale for $360,000. That price now looks very reasonable for the buyers as her half sister Lady Eli has developed into a filly who appears to be very special for Sheep Pond Partners and trainer Chad Brown.Sacre Caroline

"She is gorgeous and moves very, very well. She is doing things effortlessly," Malhouitre said. "Their plan is probably to have a start in the fall and then focus on next year."