BC Internationals: Mile/F&M Turf contender Spectre
Spectre has been a remarkably consistent standard-bearer for former soccer star-turned-trainer Markus Münch, who bred and also races the filly in the name of his MM Racing.
By the Aga Khan stallion Siyouni and out of a half-sister to German classic winner and high-class Hong Kong galloper Irian, Spectre broke her maiden at Strasbourg in a low-key juvenile campaign. Few could have forecast she’d end up being a multiple Group 1 performer, and Breeders’ Cup hopeful, at three.
Spectre served notice by upsetting the April 7 Prix Imprudence (G3), a French Guineas trial, at odds of 22-1. The heavy going at Maisons-Laffitte suited her to a tee.
Only beaten a couple of lengths by the perfect La Cressonniere when fifth in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (G1), Spectre wasn’t far off third-placer Qemah, and a subpar Alice Springs was further back in seventh. Qemah subsequently advertised the form when winning both the Coronation (G1) at Royal Ascot and the Prix Rotshchild (G1) back at Deauville.
Spectre upheld the form herself with a trio of solid Group 1 efforts versus males, all on good ground. Facing fellow sophomores in the Prix Jean Prat (G1), she checked in third as an 18-1 chance to Jean-Claude Rouget’s Zelzal in a fast time. Notice that the fourth-placer is none other Nemoralia, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) third who was also a hard-luck runner-up to Qemah in the Coronation.
Spectre ran her typical race versus an even deeper cast in the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) and finished a creditable fourth as a 40-1 longshot. The winner, Godolphin’s progressive colt Ribchester, went on to place second to Aidan O’Brien’s seven-time Group 1 star Minding in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) on Champions Day. The runner-up was classy older male Vadamos (see below), and Spectre was just denied third in a photo with accomplished older filly Ervedya. Up the track was the off-form 2000 Guineas (G1) and St James’s Palace (G1) winner Galileo Gold.
Spectre met Vadamos again in the Prix du Moulin (G1) at Chantilly. Although she succumbed to him once more, she was second best at 20-1, and turned the tables on her Jean Prat conqueror, Zelzal.
Vadamos was most recently fourth in the Cox Plate (G1) to the other-worldly Winx, giving Spectre a far-flung form connection.
Since Spectre has been competing at a mile, her first preference is the Mile (G1). She was cross-entered to the Filly & Mare Turf (G1), which would be terra incognita over 10 furlongs. The maternal half of her pedigree gives cause for optimism, with her broodmare sire being Dai Jin and her second dam by Rainbow Quest.
As a frequent placegetter who routinely outperforms her double-digit odds, and brings some terrific formlines to bear, Spectre has logical place claims at Santa Anita. Yet it’s questionable if she’ll hit new heights on ground as firm as she’ll encounter. Münch has previously said how Spectre enjoys a bit of give in the ground. That said, she’ll be a massive price, and tempting to include on the bottom rungs of the exotics.
Photo courtesy Aga Khan Studs via Twitter