The Aidan O’Brien trained Athens led a first-crop double for Dylan Thomas on Tuesday when impressively winning a Listowel maiden.
Despite not seemingly enjoying the soft ground and being left in front, Athens took the competitive mile maiden by over a length. “I was hoping something would come to him as he wasn’t doing a stroke in front,” winning rider Joseph O’Brien said. “He wouldn’t like that ground but he did it well.”
Athens (2c Dylan Thomas – Rafina by Mr Prospector) was racing for the third time in less than a month after weighing in at Leopardstown and York
Bred by Quay Bloodstock and the Niarchos Family, he is a half-brother to the winners Lucifer Sam (Storm Cat), Canberra (Sadler’s Wells) and Gallo´s Wells (Sadler’s Wells). Their dam is a sister to Street Cry’s sire Machiavellian.
Meanwhile at Yarmouth on Tuesday, the William Haggas-trained Pickled Pelican built on his Warwick maiden win last month when running away with a nursery by seven lengths.
Pickled Pelican (2c Dylan Thomas – Starship by Galileo) is part-owned by the trainer’s father-in-law Lester Piggott.
The winner’s dam Starship is a half-sister to Piggott’s top-class filly Superstar Leo (College Chapel). She helped put Haggas on the map a decade ago with juvenile victories in the G3 Norfolk Stakes and G2 Flying Childers.
Dylan Thomas has sired 9 first-crop winners in Europe so far this year. The son of Danehill retired to Coolmore Stud as a six-time Group 1 winner including the coveted Arc de Triomphe.
The top priced yearling in his first southern bred crop was the colt from Giant’s Causeway mare Unspoken Choice that made $370,000 at the Inglis Easter yearling sale. He was bought by Paul Moroney and is from a half-sister to Redoute’s Choice.
Dylan Thomas stands at Coolmore Australia for a fee of $19,800 (inc gst).