The Aidan O’Brien-trained Van Gogh (2 c ex Imagine by Sadler's Wells) produced a masterful performance to come from the back to win the Criterium International (Gr 1, 1600m) at Saint-Cloud and in the process became the second top-flight winner and 11th stakes winner for Coolmore Stud shuttler American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) and his first in Europe.
Last seen running second in the Autumn Stakes (Gr 3, 1m), the colt was slotted in at the back by Pierre-Charles Boudot, who was seemingly happy to play the waiting game. As the field entered the straight Boudot found the rail and she showed a good burst of speed to post a decisive four length victory over Normandy Bridge (Le Havre), while Jadoomi (Holy Roman Emperor) was another neck further away in third.
By Coolmore shuttler American Pharoah, the colt is out of Imagine (Sadler’s Wells), who won the Oaks (Gr 1, 1m4f) and 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m) in 2001, making the colt a half-brother to fellow Group 1 winner Horatio Nelson (Danehill), Group 2-winning pair Viscount Nelson (Giant’s Causeway), Kitty Matcham (Rock Of Gibraltar) and Grade 3 scorer Point Piper (Giant's Causeway).
Imagine herself is a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Generous (Caerleon) and Group 3 scorer Wedding Bouquet (Kings Lake), who is herself the grandam of multiple Group 1 winner Moonlit Cloud (Invincible Spirit) and Listed scorer Cedar Mountain (Galileo).
Wedding Bouquet is also the grandam of Group 2 winner Probably (Danehill Dancer) and Listed-winning trio Osumi Tycoon (Last Tycoon), Windy Triple K (Jaklin Klugman) and Strawberry Roan (Sadler’s Wells).
The colt joins Harvey's Lil Goil, who landed the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge (Gr 1, 9f) earlier this month, as American Pharoah’s other top-flight winner and he is currently covering his fourth book of mares at Coolmore’s Jerrys Plains base at a fee of $55,000 (inc GST).
G1 winning 2YO for @coolmoreamerica’s Triple Crown hero & leading young sire American Pharoah!!— Coolmore (@coolmorestud) October 24, 2020
Van Gogh is much the best as he lands the G1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud for @Ballydoyle & the Coolmore partners
Bred by @BarronstownStud #CoolmoreSires #HomeOfChampions https://t.co/0KO5ijlJXG