Dream Ahead, winner of the Group 1 Shadwell Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket yesterday (Oct. 1), is a US-bred colt, but only by convenience. His close-up pedigree is decidedly foreign and speedy: His sire is the Warning champion European sprinter Diktat, who stood in Spain in 2010 after spending 2009 in Japan; and his dam, Land of Dreams, is an English Group 2 winner by Cadeaux Genereux, a son of Young Generation. Dream Ahead was foaled in Kentucky because his dam was sent from Europe to Kentucky carrying him, to be bred to Derby winner Street Sense.
Darley owned the mare, owns Street Sense, and stood Diktat—who won two Group 1 sprints for Godolphin at age 4—at its farms in England, France, and Japan, before the horse was dispatched to Spain to stand at Felipe Hinojosa’s Dehesa De Milagro in Navarra, near Pamplona, this year.
Diktat is out of a half-sister to Darley’s Cape Cross, a sprinter by Green Desert and the sire of Sea the Stars, among others. Land of Dreams, by the way, is out of a Green Desert mare, so this mating recombined elements of Cape Cross within Dream Ahead’s sprint-constructed pedigree that also includes close-up speed influence Cadeaux Genereux as broodmare sire and Sharpen Up as his broodmare sire. The sire of Green Desert, also a top-class sprinter, is Danzig. Diktat’s sire,Warning, and Known Fact, his sire, were milers. In Reality is the sire of Known Fact.
Land of Dreams foaled Dream Ahead in 2008 and was bred back to Street Sense (resulting in a 2009 foal) but the Diktat foal was deemed expendable and was consigned to the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale through Meg Levy’s Bluewater Sales LLC, as agent. With a failed and unfamiliar stallion as his sire and a foreign family without recognition here, the colt was catalogued at the back of the sale and sold in the penultimate 13th session to Federico Barberini, agent, for only $11,000. Click here to see his catalog page from the sale.
Sent back to Europe, the colt was sold at the DBS Breeze Up (Doncaster) sale in April of this year for £36,000. Click here to see the catalog page. The buyer was Blandford Bloodstock.
Dream Ahead now races for Khalifa Dasmal, is trained by David Simcock, and is ridden by the red-hot William Buick.
Dream Ahead made his debut in a minor 6-furlong Nottingham maiden in July that he won by 9 lengths, and off that win he was ambitiously sent to France in August for the Group 1 Prix Morny over 1200 meters. He won that race by a length and a half at Deauville. Yesterday he won the Group 1 Middle Park over 6 furlongs by 9 lengths from the Richard Hannon Group 2 winner Strong Suit, over soft ground, his preferred surface. Buick was quoted in the press after the race as saying the colt gives him stuff he’s never felt before, which is strong praise from a jockey who’s won a number of top-level races lately.
No doubt the soft ground resulted in the spread-out distances, but Dream Ahead confirmed the Morny form in the Middle Park and is an exciting prospect to challenge Frankel in the Guineas next year, provided he can get the trip now that he’s won on the course. He drifted significantly to the left in the Middle Park, though, which he hadn’t done at Deauville, and he has a round action and hits the ground hard—one reason why he’d need to carry his ground with him.
Take a look at his two Group 1 races below: