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Perfect Oaks pedigree; Oxx's daughter of Rainbow Quest has a pedigree tailormade for the Oaks.

CONVENTION says that Listed races are for horses who have run and shown a bit of merit, but convention was thrown out of the window for the Debutante Stakes at Leopardstown on August 23. Four of the seven fillies on parade were having their debut run.

One might have been inclined to pay little attention to the result, but the winner, Edabiya, created a highly favourable impression, winning with an authority which suggested she had a bright future.

After one more run, Edabiya is a Group 1 winner. Not the swiftest starter in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, she was seemingly trapped in the pack beyond halfway, but once switched to find daylight, she quickened impressively to reel in the leaders. Despite veering left with the whip and the wind, she was always in control thereafter, scoring quite emphatically.

Sure, Edabiya is nothing like the finished article; her inexperience showed again on Sunday, and she will clearly benefit from further education, with the Fillies' Mile or the Marcel Boussac representing an obvious step in that process.

Both races will probably turn out more competitive than the Moyglare, so she has a deal to prove yet, but meanwhile it is understandable that bookmakers have installed her as favourite for the 1999 Oaks. Her promotion to that status is partly about the fact that no other logical candidates have yet appeared, and partly because she owns a pedigree that seems to have been made for the job.

JOHN OXX is not one to hurry a juvenile whose background reads like a definition of `middle-distance three-year-old', but if one should come to hand unexpectedly early, he does not squander the chance.

Oxx was swift to appreciate that Edabiya might be something special and that she deserved the chance to prove the point. On Sunday, perhaps mine was not the only lively imagination to recall another impressive two-year- old chesnut filly whose background earmarked her for middle-distance glory; for me Edabiya evoked memories of Noblesse, who just happened to be her sire's great-granddam.

Rainbow Quest is the best proven sire in Britain, and if he cannot match Sadler's Wells for quantity of star performers, it cannot be denied that he has supplied his share of quality, and has done so from fewer and generally inferior chances.

Winners of the Derby (Quest for Fame), Irish Oaks (Knight's Baroness) and Arc de Triomphe (Saumarez) sprang from his first crop. Group 1 and Grade 1 winners have come along regularly since, often mature horses who relished a mile and a half or more.

Until the weekend, you could look back through his record for a two-year- old filly who won at Group 1 level and find the cupboard bare. Indeed, from his first nine crops, there were only three fillies up to winning in Group 3 company at two-Yawl, Glatisant and Bonash -and the first two of those failed to register a Pattern victory at three. Bonash moved up one notch for a Group 2 win in the Malleret.

Are we to believe that Rainbow Quest fillies who come to hand early fail to fulfil their promise?

THE sample is too small to draw conclusions, too small to qualify as a rule. Edabiya merits consideration for her own qualities, rather than as a statistic. Judge her as a filly who has done nothing wrong, as a daughter of a top-class sire and as half-sister to a winner of the Irish Oaks and the Prix Royal-Oak. Add to that the appearance of one who promises to train on and who shows no indication of unsoundness, and who can be blamed for rating her an exciting prospect?

In an owner-breeder operation on the scale of Aga Khan's, a crucial factor in maintaining quality production is knowing what to cull and when, and over the years nobody has managed that branch of the business more successfully.

Sure, he has let the odd good mare go cheaply, and kept more than a few who did not realise hopes. And he famously-and very consequentially-corrected one error by retrieving Blushing Groom, produce of a mare he had sold some years earlier. But, by and large, the culling has been conducted with remarkable perspicacity, and Edabiya's background provides a notable example.

The family arrived in the `job lot' purchase of the bankrupt Marcel Boussac's stock, and it was represented in numbers, with several branches descending from Tourzima, a mare bred on the old man's favourite Tourbillon-Asterus cross.

One of Tourzima's daughters, Albanilla, was responsible for a branch that ultimately led the Aga to Darshaan and Darara, and for a less exciting off-shoot through the unraced Evisa and modest Ezana.

Ezana bred five fillies for the Aga before he sold her. Four of her daughters were also culled, leaving just Ebaziya to represent this under-achieving branch.

In fact, Ebaziya had done a bit more achieving than her dam and her grand- dam put together, collecting three Listed wins over middle distances and placings in Pattern company at two and three. Her excellent pedigree background, both sire and dam descending from Albanilla, helped make her an intriguing broodmare.

Most breeders would have reckoned that a daughter of Darshaan from an Ela-Mana-Mou mare who lacked pace needed `pepping up' with some speedy influences. The Aga Khan, past master at producing first-rate middle-distance performers without recourse to routine commercial policy, has sent her to horses who shared her aptitude, but exhibited higher class.

Her first mate was Sadler's Wells and the outcome Ebadiyla, victress of an Oaks at The Curragh and a St Leger at Longchamp. She then went to Kahyasi and delivered Enzeli, third in Tuesday's Listed Oyster Stakes at Galway. Edabiya, by the best stallion son of Blushing Groom, is her third foal, and she has two younger sons, a yearling by Suave Dancer and a full brother to Ebadiyla born this year. Another Sadler's Wells product is due next spring.

PEDIGREE ASSESSMENT: Edabiya

SIRE: RAINBOW QUEST

Bred by Alan Clore. $950,000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling. Won 6 (7-12f) of 14 starts, viz. 2 out of 3 at two, 1 (Great Voltigeur Stakes-Gr2) out of 6 at 3, 3 (incl Coronation Cup-Gr1, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-Gr1) out of 5 at 4 years. Also 2nd in Dewhurst Stakes, Irish Derby, Eclipse Stakes, 3rd in Prix du Jockey-Club, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, 4th in 2,000 Guineas. Timeform 130 at 2, 131 at 3,, 134 at 4. Earned pounds 482,812.

Medium-sized (16.0hh), attractive, good mover, somewhat light and leggy in training. Top-class performer in each of 3 seasons, effective on all but heavy ground.

Among the best sons of his sire (also got Nashwan, Arazi, Blushing John, etc), a brilliant miler, also 3rd in the Derby, responsible for good winners over a variety of distances. Dam a Gr3 winner at 12f, half-sister to Slightly Dangerous (Gr3 winner, 2nd in Oaks, dam of Warning, Commander in Chief, Dushyantor, Yashmak, etc).

Grand-dam Gr3 winner, 2nd in Oaks, daughter of exceptional Oaks winner Noblesse.

Stands at Banstead Manor Stud, Cheveley, Newmarket, at a fee of pounds 40,000. Sire of 10 crops of racing age, inc. Gr1 winners: Knight's Baroness (Irish Oaks), Quest for Fame (Derby, Hollywood Turf Handicap), Saumarez (Grand Prix de Paris, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe), Sought Out (Prix du Cadran), Armiger (Racing Post Trophy), Bright Generation (Oaks d'Italia), Raintrap (Prix Royal Oak, Canadian International Championship, San Juan Capistrano Handicap), Urgent Request (Santa Anita Handicap), Rainbow Dancer (Hollywood Turf Handicap, Del Mar Handicap, Oak Tree Turf), Sakura Laurel (Spring Tenno Sho, Arima Kinen), Sunshack (Critirium de Saint-Cloud, Coronation Cup, Prix Royal Oak), Spectrum (Irish 2000 Guineas, Champion Stakes), Fiji (Gamely Handicap), Croco Rouge (Prix Lupin), Special Quest (Critirium de Saint-Cloud), Edabiya (Moyglare).

DAM: EBAZIYA

Bred by H H Aga Khan. Won 4 (7-12f) of 9 races, viz. 1 (7f Fairyhouse maiden) out of 3 at 2 years, 3 (all Listed, 10-12f) out of 6 at 3 years. Also 2nd in Killavullan S.-Gr3, 3rd (best form) in Blandford S.-Gr2. Earned pounds 39,976. Timeform 97 at 2, 111 at 3.

Robust-looking, deep-girthed, smart performer. Well suited by 12f, and needed softish conditions.

By a top-class runner, very good sire and outstanding broodmare sire. Dam minor middle-distance winner in France, half-sister to Gr3 winner Demia, from a noted (formerly Boussac) family.

To stud at 4 and dam of: Ebadiyla (1994 f by Sadler's Wells; dual Gr1 winner), Enzeli (1995 c by Kahyasi; Listed-placed winner), Edabiya (1996 f by Rainbow Quest; Gr1 winner). Her yearling is a colt by Suave Dancer, her foal is a colt by Sadler's Wells, and she is in foal to Sadler's Wells.

CONCLUSION

A first-class pedigree. Shows unexpected speed and precocity (bred to excel over middle distances at 3), and seems a legitimate Oaks prospect if she trains on.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Morris, Tony
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 10, 1998
Words:1470
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