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Vadeni shines light on sire Churchill after devastating Prix du Jockey Club success at Chantilly 2022-06-05

Sunday, 2022, June 5
Aga Khan IV
Laura Joy

Our industry expert unpicks the pedigree of Sunday's seriously impressive Prix du Jockey Club winner Vadeni.

As a dual Classic-winning son of Galileo, the first crops of champion two-year-old Churchill were highly anticipated.

Ladies Church was the first to score in stakes company with Vadeni joining her shortly after in the Listed Criterium du Fonds Europeen de l'Elevage at Deauville.

He was third to subsequent G1 winner and Sunday’s reopposing rival El Bodegon in the Group 3 Prix de Conde and put away for the winter. A disappointing seasonal debut meant Vadeni went to the Group 3 Prix de Guiche needing a win to secure his place in the Prix du Jockey Club.

A commanding win over the Jockey Club track at Chantilly gave connections the confidence to run and the rematch with El Bodegon was on. In dismissing that old foe, as well as Poule d’Essai des Poulains winner Modern Games by such a wide margin, Vadeni has put both himself and his young sire firmly in the spotlight.

Churchill was a frighteningly talented juvenile, running up an unbeaten sequence of five races between the Chesham and the Dewhurst Stakes that included the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh.

It’s understandable that a handful of Listed winners and black type earners were considered an underwhelming start for such a talented juvenile himself. He is a full-sister to Cheveley Park winner Clemmie and the pair are out of Queen Mary runner up Meow.

Despite the obvious precocity in his family, judgement was reserved as it’s well versed that progeny of Galileo come into their own in their Classic season. Churchill was no exception, stretching his unbeaten run to seven in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas.

Being a son of Galileo, though, faith may have waned slightly in Churchill it had not dissipated and Vadeni’s emphatic Classic win on Sunday has vindicated the faithful.

As sometimes can be forgotten, Churchill is just one part of the masterful puzzle that is Vadeni. His dam Vaderena was unraced but already responsible for black type earner Vadsena.

She is by 2000 Guineas winner Makfi and bred from the second of Makfi’s two French-bred crops before he was sold to Japan.

In sending Vaderena to Churchill, Makfi as well as Azamour, Footstepsinthesand and Awtaad, it's clear the Aga Khan were aiming for the Classics they rightly hold in such high regard.

Sunday’s Prix du Jockey Club was a deserved eighth win in the race and a first since homebred Darsi (Polish Precedent) in 2006.

Vaderena is out of Group 1 winner Vadawina who has bred five black type earners, two at Group level and one Listed winner. Arguably her unraced daughter Vaderena has provided the biggest boost to the page yet.

Sending Vadawina to Monsun in 2012 was a stroke of genius. Born in 2011, we can only assume that subsequent talented miler Vadamos, a homebred son of Monsun, was impressing the team at the Aga Khan Studs. Just a yearling when Vaderena was conceived, whilst patience has been required to reap the rewards, on Sunday they will have exceeded all expectation.

The decision to send Vaderena to a son of Galileo coincided with her half-brother The Pentagon’s (Galileo) promising juvenile campaign that included a Group 3 win and third behind Saxon Warrior in the Group 1 Vertum Futurity Trophy.

In the same foal crop as Vadamos, Vadawina’s half-sister Vazira by Sea The Stars was born. Vazira emulated Vadawina in winning the Prix Saint-Alary in 2014, just another reason to introduce more Urban Sea blood to the family via Churchill.

Vadeni’s obvious talent is no accident. As the Aga Khan has proven time and time again, you don’t have to use the flavour of the month stallion at six figures to compete at the highest level.

There’s no denying Churchill was an exciting stallion prospect from the outset, but an opening fee of €35,000 made him a viable option for many.

Vadeni is the result of years of intuitive and inspired mating plans coming to fruition from a breeder we could all learn a thing or two from. If you want to compete in the Classics, a Classic winning sire is a good place to start.

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