History was against her.
WA Oaks winner Balmont Girl, a most impressive first-up third to Fuchsia Bandana in the G3 Northerly Stakes, had a solid but unspectacular second-up record and faced a strong field in Saturday’s G3 Asian Beau Stakes at Ascot.
She had finished a half-length second to Foxalicious at the second run in her initial campaign and she was sixth to Miss Rose De Lago in the LR Burgess Queen Stakes at the corresponding start in her next preparation.
Then, when last in training, she was fourth to My Sister Lil in the LR Ascot 1000 Guineas at her second start.
But past performances often count for nothing in the heat of battle. And Balmont Girl finished hard along the inside to win by three-quarters of a length and strengthen her prospects for the Group 1 Railway Stakes and a later tilt at Eastern States riches.
Balmont Girl’s continued success is largely due to a well-researched breeding selection by Michael Adams, racing manager for owner Cooni Chua.
Her sire Balmont was a high-class English sprinter winning the G2 Gimcrack Stakes and G1 Middle Park Stakes as a two year-old in 2003. He trained on for thirds in the G1 July Cup and G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes.
Balmont’s half-brother Eskendereya won the G1 Wood Memorial Stakes by 9 lengths and the G2 Fountain Of Youth Stakes by 8 lengths and was a hot favourite for the 2010 Kentucky Derby before sustaining a career-ending leg injury on race eve.
Balmont Girl’s dam, Pocket Aces, was unraced but is from the Zabeel mare Stashed, a three-quarter sister to Foreign Bank, the dam of Guineas, and a half-sister to Ancient City and Lichen Lady, the dam of Mossman and Moss Rocket.
Now while that looked all so impressive on paper, Adams found there was more to the Balmont – Pocket Aces mating. Much, much more.
For the cross provided intense in-breeding to some of the most influential names in world racing.
Balmont Girl is in-bred to Nureyev (3×5), Northern Dancer (4x4x5x6), Raise A Native (5×6), Klairon (5×5), Native Dancer (6x6x6x6), Nasrullah (6×6) and Round Table (6×6).
This provides an electric mix of speed, a decent dose of stamina and plenty of resoluteness and toughness.
In many cases breeding research, unfortunately, does not justify the effort. But, as Jonathan Rottenberg wrote in The Depths: Theories without data are daydreams.