Promising Van Gogh Newest Winner for Pharoah
Already a multiple group placed runner for his sire, Van Gogh (2c American Pharoah x Imagine, by Sadler’s Wells) became American Pharoah’s newest winner on Sunday at the Curragh.
Racing over seven furlongs, Van Gogh handled the yielding going with ease, racing straight to the lead and galloped along with his ears pricked. Jockey Seamie Heffernan asked the colt to pick up the pace inside the final two furlongs and he did all that was needed to win by half a length with the third placed horse 3¼ lengths behind the winner.
“He’s a gorgeous big horse and I’d say there could be a lot of improvement in him,” Heffernan told Irishracing.com “He’s been running well and because he’s big I get the impression there could be a lot of improvement with time.”
Earning a Group III second in his second start, Van Gogh’s latest run before his maiden breaker saw him finish second in the Group II KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes for three top two finishes in five starts.
Van Gogh is a half-brother to Group I winner Horatio Nelson and graded stakes winners Kitty Matcham, Viscount Nelson, and Point Piper with Van Gogh one of six stakes horses from Imagine’s 10 winners. Imagine herself was a successful racemare as a dual classic winner, including the 2001 Epsom Oaks with three group wins to her name.
The mare is also a half-sister to Group I Epsom Derby and Irish Derby winner Generous and the Group III winning granddam of six-time Group I winner Moonlight Cloud with seven Group I winners under Van Gogh’s first two dams.
Imagine also has a yearling full sister to Van Gogh in the wings.
Last year’s Champion Freshman Sire, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has seen his second crop come out running as well.
That group includes 10 winners in five different countries led by group placed Van Gogh and Thinking Of You with American Monarch finishing fourth in the recent Grade I Summer Stakes.