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Quick Start for Darley Kildangan Stud Sire Earthlight

Freshman sire's first three starters register top-two finishes.

Earthlight won the 2019 Middle Park Stakes

Earthlight won the 2019 Middle Park Stakes

Edward Whitaker/Racing Post

Darley's first-season sire Earthlight made his presence felt April 8 when his first three runners all finished in the top two, led by Wolverhampton scorer Lady Lightning

Leading home a 1-2 finish for the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes (both G1) winner, Lady Lightning showed plenty of her father's tenacity—not to mention his white blaze—to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Ashen Glow.

Winning rider Rossa Ryan told Sky Sports Racing: "She was busy enough going down to the start, so if I jumped I thought I'd have to let her roll away. When I got to the front she was happy, she relaxed for me and she kicked off the bend well. 

"I suppose the first day of school is all about teaching them, whatever about winning the race. To be fair to her, when I straightened her up and asked her to switch leads for me, she did and she picked up again. She did it well, took a lot of pulling up after, so I imagine there should be more to come early on this year."

The Ed Dunlop-trained filly was bred by Cashel Rock Bloodstock out of the German stakes winner Lady Liberty, a daughter of Shirocco and a half sister to Canadian grade 1 scorer Wigmore Hall and 2022 grade 1 heroine Ocean Road. The three are out of Love And Laughter, a winning daughter of Theatrical and a half sister to the listed-winning Kissing The Camera, by Galileo. 

She sold from Wood Hall Sales to Glidawn Stud for 30,000gns ($38,229) at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale before making the same amount to Highflyer and Dunlop when consigned by Glidawn Stud at Tattersalls Book 1. 

Earlier in the day, at Lingfield, Earthlight was just denied the perfect start when his 325,000gns Book 2 graduate Target Man was denied by a neck to the once-raced Kuwaitya. The Amo Racing-owned colt is a half brother to last year's Honeymoon Stakes (G3T) scorer, Selenaia, while their dam, the Declaration Of Warmare Dettoria, is a half sister to another 2023 American graded stakes winner in Star Fortress—bound for Saturday's Jenny Wiley Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland—plus Lake Forest, the winner of last season's Gimcrack Stakes (G2). 

Earthlight was bred by Godolphin and sported the famous silks to an unbeaten five-race run at 2, including in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes. A son of the operation's much-missed Shamardal, he also won a brace of black-type stakes at 3 and was narrowly denied a third top-level contest when a nose behind One Master in the Prix de la Foret (G1) at Longchamp. 

The 7-year-old retired to Darley's Kildangan Stud at an opening fee of €20,000 and stood for €15,000 ($16,350) this season. His first yearlings in 2023 sold very well, making up to 325,000gns and selling at a clearance rate of 94%.