Last June I wrote about Vision D’etat after his French Derby success. He was then given a traditional Arc preparation which involved a midsummer break before returning in September when he won the Prix Niel. He lost his unbeaten record when finishing a creditable fifth, beaten only 3.5 lengths behind Zarkava in the Arc itself. This year he was third on his reappearance in the Prix d’Harcourt, before winning the Prix Ganay. Now on his third run outside of France he has claimed his third Group One in the highlight of Wednesday’s Royal Ascot meeting ,the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. You can read the original report here
Vision D’Etat kept his unbeaten record when just holding off Famous Name and 18 others at Chantilly. His pedigree is intriguing and a refreshing change from the norm. In these days of globalisation it is a pedigree with a very regional feel and includes lots of relatively unfamiliar names that trace back to Grey Sovereign via Caro. His sire Chichicastenango (the name of a town in Guatemala) stands at Haras de Victot in Calvados for €3500, a fee that clearly indicates he is not ‘a la mode’. As a two year old Chichicastenango made his debut in May but took 5 runs before opening his account. However he improved markedly in his final two runs of that campaign and signed off with a win in the group 3 Prix Thomas Byron over a mile on heavy ground. Behind him that day were two subsequent Group 1 winners in Denon and Domedriver. As a three year old it again took him a few runs to find his form but on his third run he landed the Group 1 Prix Lupin denying subsequent classic winners Anabaa Blue and Milan in a close finish. The next logical step was the Prix de Jockey Club back when it was still over 12 furlongs. He ran a fine race to beat all bar Anabaa Blue. He was obviously a tough horse as he ran again three weeks later in the Grand Prix de Paris (back when that race was over 10 furlongs) and he landed his second group one in defeating Mizzen Mast and three others in a weak field for a Group 1. He was dropped back to a mile when tried in the Jacques le Marois and ran respectably only beaten about 2 lengths behind the subsequently disqualified Proudwings. His career ended in the Prix Niel when he finished third behind Golan and Anabaa Blue. His career stats ended as 14 runs , 4 wins (a maiden,2 Group 1’s and a Group 3 as a two year old). He was competitive in Group 1 company from a mile to 12 furlongs and had in a sense written his own pedigree and truly earned his place at stud. To date he has sired 3 black type winners from only 95 foals. It will be interesting to see how the success of Vision D’Etat impacts upon his fee and upon the level of support that he receives. He is clearly capable of upgrading his mares and aside from Chichicastenango he has had group 3 winner in Chinandega and Chichi Creasy.
His grandsire Smadoun had also run 14 times but in his case it yielded a solitary listed win in Toulouse. It would be difficult to envisage him finding a berth at stud in Ireland or the UK. He currently stands for €2000 and is producing dual purpose types but still manages to find the occasional stakes performer. Smadoun is by Kaldoun who has sired some top class performers such as Occupandiste (winner of Prix Maurice de Gheest and Prix de La Foret) ,Spadoun who was a group 1 winning two year old and Kaldounevees. Smala the dam of Chichicastenango is by Antheus (by Northern Dancer) who is described as a champion older horse in Italy after winning a Gran Premio del Jockey club. To the best of my knowledge he never achieved anything of note as a sire. Chichicastenango also has another cross of Northern Dancer through Fabulous Dancer but being in the fourth and fifth generations for Vision D’Etat they are hardly significant.
The source of Vision D’Etat’s class is not easily found. His dam Uberaba is by the Mill Reef horse Garde Royale who sired Carling, winner of Prix de Diane and Prix Vermeille. Uberaba has to date had 9 foals with 3 winners. None have shown anything remotely like classic form and most ended up running over jumps including Milan de Mille who eventually finished a remote 15th in this years Grand National. His granddam Ile D’amour was unraced and managed only 2 minor winners from 11 foals. Given his modest pedigree he must have been a good looking colt to fetch nearly €39000 when Eric Libaud purchased him at the December 2006 Arqana sale. No doubt it also crossed his mind that the horse would have residual value as a jumps horse if he failed to make the grade on the flat. We can now safely rule out the possibility of gelding him and selling him to a jumps trainer:) The French revolutionaries took a dim view of royalty and instead sought to promote egalité. In equine terms Vision D’Etat comes from a plebian background but he doesn’t know that. Many of the sires in his background would not have been afforded a place at stud in Britain or Ireland where there is now a distinct lack of variety in sire lines. Maybe it’s time for another revolution…….
VISION D’ETAT (FR) 2005 c b
|Chichicastenango (FR) 1998||Smadoun(FR) 1990||Kaldoun(FR) 1975||Caro(IRE) 1967|
|Mossma(FR) 1982||TipMoss (FR) 1972|
|Smala(FR) 1993||Antheus(USA) 1982||NorthernDancer (CAN) 1961|
|SmallPartie (FR) 1988||FabulousDancer (USA) 1976|
|SummerParties (USA) 1982|
|Uberaba(FR) 1986||GardeRoyale (IRE) 1980||MillReef (USA) 1968||NeverBend (USA) 1960|
|MilanMill (USA) 1962|
|RoyalWay (FR) 1969||Sicambre(FR) 1948|
|RightAway (FR) 1963|
|IleD’amour (FR) 1974||Montevideo2nd (GB) 1963||Honeyway(GB) 1941|
|FairNicolle (GB) 1957|
|OldEngland (FR) 1958||WildRisk (FR) 1940|
|FolieDouce (USA) 1949|