Mare of the Month by Martin Stevens
THE GOLD CHEONGSAM (IRE)
Ceiling Kitty holds such a special position in Chasemore Stud’s history. Andrew and Jane’s homebred filly won the Queen Mary Stakes in a stellar juvenile season before retiring to the farm and becoming an accomplished producer, only to pass away in tragic circumstances when giving birth to the Camelot colt Arthur Kitt, who poignantly would go on to emulate his dam’s success at the Royal Meeting.
So it is no surprise that Andrew formed a strong attachment to Ceiling Kitty’s sire Red Clubs and resolved to gather up as many well-credentialed daughters of the stallion to breed from as he could.
The only problem with that plan was that Red Clubs sired only two crops at Tally-Ho Stud before his early death, so chances to buy appealing broodmare prospects by him were severely limited.
Furthermore, the most alluring Red Clubs mare of all, the four-time Group 1 winner Sky Lantern, was out of reach as she was never going to be sold by her proud owners, the Keswick family. That wonderful mare is now the dam of a Group 1 winner as Snow Lantern, her daughter by Frankel, won the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket in recent weeks.
Nevertheless, Andrew managed to buy three more daughters of Red Clubs to join Ceiling Kitty in the Chasemore Farm paddocks: Firth of Clyde Stakes winner Roger Sez, Albany Stakes third Illaunglass and the Listed-placed The Gold Cheongsam, who is our latest mare of the month.
The Gold Cheongsam was bred by Tally-Ho Stud out of the Listed-placed Desert Sun mare Fuerta Ventura, a half-sister to two siblings who excelled at either end of the distance spectrum in Ripon Champion Two-Year-Old Trophy winner Sir Xaar and high-class hurdler Mamlook.
She was trained by Jeremy Noseda for Arashan Ali and was rather unusual in that many of her best performances were not the ones that gave her that supposedly all-important black type.
She won three races at two, including a valuable Newmarket nursery and a Weatherbys sales race at Doncaster, and also ran fifth in the Albany Stakes and filled the same position in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf that year.
In the following season she beat the top-class sprinter Music Master to score in a Newbury conditions race and ran third in the Listed Boadicea Fillies’ Stakes, while at four she finished second to Bragging in a competitive Newmarket handicap – conceding no less than 18lbs to the future Dahlia Stakes winner!
The Gold Cheongsam’s early years at Chasemore Farm have not been entirely trouble-free. She was barren to Oasis Dream in her debut season, while her first foal, the Kingman filly Sassy Dresser, did not make it to the track, and she then slipped a foal by Gleneagles in her third year.
However, she has her broodmare career firmly on track now as she is the dam of Chasemore Farm’s highly exciting two-year-old filly Qipao. The daughter of Muhaarar has been sent out by Mark Johnston to win her first two starts, at Hamilton and Chelmsford, in deeply impressive fashion.
Qipao – another word for a cheongsam, a type of Chinese dress, in case you were wondering – is in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and at this stage looks well worthy of the Group 1 entry.
The emergence of Qipao has come at just the right time, as The Gold Cheongsam has a filly from the first crop of superstar Australian shuttler Zoustar headed to the Tattersalls October Yearling Sales. The mare, now 11 years old, also has a Showcasing filly foal at foot and is back in foal to Bated Breath.
It was a good job Andrew collected those Red Clubs mares. Ceiling Kitty may no longer be at Chasemore Farm but her influence is still felt here in so many different ways.