Caturra, the G2 Flying Childers winner by Mehmas, has been retired to stud and has been purchased in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock to join fellow Flying Childers hero Ardad on the Overbury Stud roster. He is available to view in Newmarket, from Sunday-Wednesday at Crockfords, opposite the rear entrance of Tattersalls.
Richard Brown, of Blandford, said, ‘Caturra is the fastest son of Mehmas, and he won the same big race as Ardad. Those are two of the biggest names in the commercial market, and Caturra – who’s a particularly good-looking horse – has every chance of joining them. He’s just like Ardad.’
Racing in the yellow and black silks of Saeed bin Mohammed al Qassimi, the Clive Cox trainee got off the mark in May as a two-year-old, like his sire. After running well in the Coventry and then winning the six furlong Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury, Caturra was returned to the minimum distance for his biggest win, in Europe’s end-of-season juvenile sprinting crown, the G2 Flying Childers. It’s a race which is having a significant influence on the speed stallions and commercial market of the day: of the top 20 first-season sires of all time – all of them this century – six ran in the Flying Childers, among them Dark Angel and Havana Grey. Meanwhile, an astonishing four of the 10 most profitable stallions at the 2022 yearling sales also competed in the Flying Childers, led by Ardad.
At Doncaster, under a supremely confident Adam Kirby, Caturra made a daring run up the rail, coming from last to win the race in a faster time than his new stud mate Ardad. His jockey was especially complimentary: ‘He’s got such speed, and he’s such a genuine horse, he just wants to get out in front of the rest. But he’s a quick learner, too, a great horse to have anything to do with. That turn of foot in the Flying Childers was something else. They weren’t stopping: he was just flying.’ Kirby, whose big winners also include Harry Angel and Mehmas’s Middle Park winner Supremacy, added, ‘ I haven’t ridden a more talented two-year-old.’ Caturra trained on to put up even higher-rated performances as a three-year-old, notably when third in the G2 King George Stakes at Goodwood against older horses, finishing in a time fast enough to have beaten the three previous winners of the race, Suesa, Battaash and Take Cover.
Clive Cox, who has trained six G1-winning sprinters, admired Caturra from the start. ‘He’s got everything a top juvenile needs: great physical maturity – and he’s an outstanding model – but also a wonderful mind. From the moment he stepped in the yard, he was a natural for Royal Ascot. The Flying Childers win was very special. To be able to accelerate off fast sprinting pace like he did – that really takes some doing. I loved the way he’d really get his head down to gallop. And so straightforward: I’ve never had a sprinter with such a sober attitude. Caturra had a lie down at the races when he arrived at Doncaster. That’s rare! He saves all his energy for when he needs it, and he’s a lovely, kind horse to work with. I am very confident he’d have been competitive at the highest level again at four.’
Caturra is from the second crop of fellow G2-winning two-year-old Mehmas, who set a new world record of 56 first-crop juvenile winners. Like Mehmas, Caturra has a pedigree which is Danzig free, and – also like Mehmas – he’s the fastest and most precocious horse in a stout Classic family: his third dam is a half-sister European Champions Classic Cliche and My Emma, and it’s also the family of 2022 G1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes winner, Al Riffa. He was bred by Tally-Ho Stud, as was Ardad, and sourced at auction for 110,000gns by Richard Brown, who had also bought Ardad. He describes Caturra as, ‘Power and quality. A very athletic mover, with a great head and eye, and temperament. All in all, a very commercial look. Caturra was an easy horse to pick out, but a hard one to buy – everyone else loved him, too.’
Caturra will start his stud career at a fee of £6,500 Oct 1, SLF, with some Breeding Rights also available. Simon Sweeting, manager of Overbury Stud, said, ‘We are keeping things simple: these are the same terms Ardad started at, and if ever there was a second Ardad, this is this horse. A fast and notably precocious Flying Childers winner by a top commercial stallion, just like Ardad. And, if anything, Caturra is even better looking, with a most lovely head and bags of strength and quality. We’re really looking forward to showing him to breeders during the December Sales.’