Binocular-difficult to forsee?

 Binocular is a very short priced favourite for the Champion Hurdle, especially for a horse who was beaten on his only previous visit to Prestbury Park. That aside his pedigree is interesting and serves as a reminder of some stars of yester-year who had disappeared from the public eye.  His sire Enrique ran 8 times for three wins, three seconds and two unplaced runs. At two he won his maiden, the listed Tattesalls Sommerville Stakes before being sent off as joint favourite for the Dewhurst along with Stravinsky. He seemed to be going very well with a furlong to go but found little to finish a disappointing fourth. At three he returned with a win in the Group 3 Greenham, before finishing a close second to Island Sands. It was a substandard Guineas and probably not Kieran Fallons finest hour. He gained his revenge on Island Sands in the Irish Guineas but this time he was convincingly beaten by Aidan O’Briens Saffron Walden.  Enrique was dropped back to 7 furlongs at Royal Ascot for the Jersey Stakes but unfortunately for him he was again beaten into second by outsider Lots of Magic who never before or after showed such a level of form. It was a good renewal of the Jersey as the third was Bertolini and fourth was Stravinsky with fifth going to Industrialist who subsequently did well in Hong Kong.  Back to a mile and Group one company Enriques next and final start was in the Sussex Stakes where he made no impression behind Aljabr. Whether injured or not Enrique’s next public appearance was in the August 1997 Deauville Sales where he fetched a paltry 350000 French francs. Fate is fickle, had the Guineas gone his way he would have been an attractive stallion prospect instead the length of Island Sands neck meant he retired as only a Group 3 winner. His dam Gwydion was a speed machine winning the Queen Mary finishing second in the Diadem and third in a July Cup. In hindsight it would have been interesting to see Enrique dropped back to sprint distances. There was no major demand for Enrique at stud but the fact that he now stands for €4000 at Haras de Hoguenot indicates that some success has come his way and he was certainly a shrewd purchase at 350000 Ffr. His best flat runner is Obrigado (Enrique-Banakill by Funambule by who won a Grade 2 in the States and was narrowly beaten in the Hollywood Turf Cup. He also sired Group 2 placed Baby First (Enrique-First Turn by Alleged). Binocular was useful on the flat winning his only two starts at two, before being listed place at three. However once he switched to the UK and started hurdling he really blossomed and his only defeat from 6 starts was in last years Supreme Novice Hurdle when beaten by the older Captain Cee Bee who is also owned by JP McManus. The dam of Binocular, Blue Ciel et Blanc (literally blue sky and white) is by Pistolet Blue who covered huge books when moved to Coolmores National Hunt division later in his career. He left behind the likes of Sizing Europe, Geos and Katarino with large numbers of runners still to come. Blue Ciel et Blanc bred another winner in Assassino (by Kabool) but Binocular is by far the star of the family. It was difficult to see the union of Enrique of Blue Ciel et Blanc producing a top runner but such fairytales keep the sport from becoming too predictable. The real winner in all this is the slightly unlucky racehorse Enrique who is now lucky enough to be guaranteed decent books as a dual purpose stallion.

BINOCULAR (FR) 2004 c b

(GB) 1996
(IRE) 1990
Wells (USA) 1981
Dancer (CAN) 1961
Bridge (USA) 1975
(GB) 1981
(USA) 1966
Silk (GB) 1970
(USA) 1983
A Cup (USA) 1971
A Native (USA) 1961
Sunshine (USA) 1966
(USA) 1973
(USA) 1946
2nd (USA) 1953
Ciel Et Blanc (FR) 1995
Bleu (IRE) 1988
Ville (IRE) 1976
Top (IRE) 1969
Ville (USA) 1968
Bella (FR) 1981
(IRE) 1967
(FR) 1963
De La (USA) 1990
(USA) 1984
Up (GB) 1969
(FR) 1977
(FR) 1978
(USA) 1969
And Lovely (FR) 1963

1 thought on “Binocular-difficult to forsee?

  1. Great article again – but can you use paragraphs please; without them it makes things quite hard to read, either on the web site or through a feed reader. R

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