Undefeated Chilean filly Mensajera De La Luz makes her Middle Eastern début Thursday in the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan (Race #5) in a matchup against Argentine Group 1 winner Ishitaki, the Brazilian Group 2 winner Opera Comica, and the Australian-bred, South African Raihana, already a winner at Meydan. A champion 2-year-old who was purchased by the familiar Saudi-based owner/trainer duo of Prince Sultan Mohd. Saud Al Kabeer and Jerry Barton after her win in the Group 1 Cl. Tanteo de Potrancas on dirt at Hipodromo Chile last year, Mensajera De La Luz is from the dazzling 2006 crop of Chilean-bred fillies that also includes Belle Watling and Casablanca Smile. The latter two have won the two most important races in Chile, the El Ensayo and El Derby over 2400 meters on turf, respectively, whereas Mensajera De La Luz is a dirt filly who’s never been farther than 1500 meters — the distance of the Tanteo de Potrancas. See the race below. She is a chestnut with a blaze who makes a late move on the outside and wins going away.
Mensajera De La Luz is by Election Day (1992), a Sadler’s Wells stakes winner who is a full brother to three stakes winners, including Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Islington. Their dam, Hellenic, is by Darshaan — the exceptional cross for Sadler’s Wells. Hellenic won the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and was second in the St. Leger. Election Day was a stakes winner at age 4 and was placed in the Group 1 Gold Cup at 5 and has plenty of stamina in his pedigree.
At stud, he was one of the first group of Sadler’s Wells stallions to take off in South America, first in Colombia and then Chile. Other sons of Sadler’s Wells who have succeeded in South America include Poliglote (1992) in Argentina; Crimson Tide (1994 and also out of a Darshaan mare) in Brazil; Water Poet (1993) in Venezuela; and Dushyantor (1993) in Chile. Note that these staying turf horses have sired very high-class runners in South America (Belle Watling, probably the best filly on turf in South America, is by Dushyantor) and in many cases their offspring have adapted to dirt racing, just as the Sadler’s Wells sire El Prado’s runners did in North America. Some examples: Water Poet is the sire of Bambera, a dirt filly; Poliglote is the sire of 2009 Argentine Oaks equivalent winner Kalath Wells; and Election Day is the sire of Mensajera De La Luz.
Prince Sultan Al Kabeer has been one of the biggest buyers of South American horses for the Middle East in recent years, and in 2009 he won the UAE 1000 Guineas with the Argentine-bred So Shiny, a winner at Meydan last Friday over the Indian sprint champ Oasis Star. Jerry Barton’s Al Kabeer Saudi invaders last year also included the filly Deem, who won the Group 3 Cape Verdi, and Big City Man, winner of the Group 1 Golden Shaheen and the Al Shindagha (also on Thursday), so he’s probably got Mensajera De La Luz tight enough for the Guineas — even though it’s her first race since last July.
A few years ago, Prince Sultan Al Kabeer purchased the colt Simpatico Bribon from the same farm (Haras Santa Olga) that he got Mensajera De La Luz. Simpatico Bribon also was by Election Day, and he’d won the colt equivalent of the Tanteo de Potrancas — the Group 1 Tanteo de Potrillos. Simpatico Bribon won the Derrinstown Stud Al Bastikiya at Nad Al Sheba.