Darley sire Bernardini broke through at black-type level on Saturday when his first-crop filly Theyskens’ Theory won the G3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood.
Theyskens’ Theory (2f Bernardini – Heat Lightning by Summer Squall) was coming off a five length maiden win at Newmarket on July 21 and trainer Brian Meehan was confident she could bridge the gap. “She’s extremely talented and is certainly a Group 1 filly,” he said. “I’ve got a lovely bunch of two year-old fillies but she is outstanding.”
The Prestige Stakes has been the launching pad for fillies the calibre of Gossamer and Nannina and the latest winner isn’t out of her depth in that league. “She had to do all the donkey-work in front and the slow ground hampered her speed,” Meehan added. “It was a tremendous win.”
Meehan purchased Theyskens’ Theory on behalf of owner Andrew Rosen for $250,000 at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale. She is a three-quarter sister to G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Stevie Wonderboy.
Theyskens’ Theory will have just one more run this year before a winter spell. Meehan will choose between the G1 Fillies Mile at Ascot, G1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp or G2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket.
Bernardini has just arrived at Darley Kelvinside for his third season in Australia. He sired his first winner when A Z Warrior scored a front-running victory at Hollywood Park on July 15. She is trained by Bob Baffert and holds an entry for the G1 Darley Debutante Stakes at Del Mar this Saturday, September 4.
Bernardini (A P Indy) has averaged 150 mares in his two books in Australia. He will stand for a $38,500 fee this year. His Kentucky fee at Darley’s Jonabell base is US$60,000.
Bernardini (A.P. Indy) began his three year-old season with a G3 victory in the Withers Stakes. He then sailed home by five lengths in the G1 Preakness Stakes and continued to dominate the division at the Saratoga meeting with runaways in the G2 Jim Dandy Stakes and G1 Travers Stakes.
More seasoned rivals didn’t pose a serious challenge either in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont where he coasted to a six length victory.
Bernardini was gunning for seven in a row in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs but jockey Javier Castellano took off before acceptances which left him at the mercy of Sheikh Hamdan’s Argentine import Invasor.
Sheikh Mohammed retired Bernardini with an 8: 6-1-0 career card and over $3.06 million in prizemoney.