In France, UK, USA and Hong Kong, 6 wins, 1600-2000m (from 15 starts, ALL in Graded and Listed races, for earnings of £682.880).
Timeform rated 126 – “very best efforts at around 1¼m”
- WON Prix Pelleas-(L) (2000m)
- 4th Gr2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano (200m)
- 4th Gr3 Prix du Prince d’Orange (2000m)
- WON Gr1 Prince Of Wales S. (2000m)
- WON Gr2 Prix du Muguet (1600m)
- WON Prix Jacques Laffitte-(L) (1800m)
- 2nd Gr1 Prix d’Ispahan (1850m)
- 3rd Gr1 Juddmonte Int. S. (2050m)
- 4th Gr2 Prix Foy (2400m)
- WON Gr2 Prix Dollar (1950m)
- WON Gr3 Prix du Chemin de Fer du Nord (1600m)
- 2nd Gr2 Prix du Muguet (1600m)
Byword Video – 2010 Royal Ascot Prince of Wales Stakes
What Timeform wrote:
Byword at 4
BYWORD 4 ch c Peintre Celebre (USA) 137 – Binche (USA) 51 (Woodman (USA) 126) [2010: 111; 9s* 8g* 9.3m2 10f* 10.4g3 12d4 Sep 12] 126
Big-race entries, including in the Prix du Jockey Club, Grand Prix de Paris, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and Champion Stakes, gave an indication of the regard in which Byword was held as a three-year-old. He made a promising start on the track at that age, albeit a belated one which meant that, if he had been going to take up any of those Group One engagements, it would have been later in the year.
However, after winning his first two outings that summer, a minor event at Maisons-Laffitte and a Listed race at Compiegne, Byword was put away for the rest of the season after managing only fourth when a short-priced favourite for the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville and the Prix du Prince d’Orange at Longchamp.
Byword was kept in training and proved that he warranted his crack at the top horses. His reappearance in a listed race at Maisons-Laffitte in April gave plenty of promise that he would go on to fulfil early expectations. He won by two and a half lengths over the track’s straight nine furlongs, after needing to be extricated from a poor position on the rail to make his run and then having to brave a smack in the face from a rival’s jockey on the way through.
Byword’s resolution was also tested on his next start when he was dropped back to a mile, for the first time since his debut, in the Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud. His rivals included both the winners of the previous season’s French Guineas, Silver Frost and Elusive Wave, each making their reappearance. But Byword’s toughest opponent proved to be the six-year-old Gris de Gris who had built up a formidable record over Saint-Cloud’s mile, where he had never finished worse than second in eight starts. That record included a win in the Muguet in 2008, but Byword’s tenacity ensured that Gris de Gris had to settle for the runner’s-up spot for the second year running. Ridden prominently, Byword had a tremendous duel with Gris de Gris over most of the last two furlongs before getting up by a short head.
Now one of the most improved four-year-olds in France, Byword got his first opportunity at Group One level in the Prix d’Isphahan at Longchamp later in May. Unfortunately for him, it was again the race chosen for Goldikova’s reappearance. The pair dominated the betting and the finish, and while Byword came off worse, he recorded a highclass effort in defeat. In truth, the half a length margin at the line flattered Byword a little, as Goldikova had been the best part of two lengths clear a furlong out and never looked likely tobe caught; there was nothing flattering, it should be added, about the ten lengths that separated the first two from the remainder at the end of a race run in course-record time.
Despite his rapid improvement in France, Byword was still something of an unknown quantity in Britain when he made the trip across the Channel for the Prince Of Wales’ Stakes at Royal Ascot. The same could be said for his rider Maxime Guyon, who had partnered Byword since his final start as a three-year-old and was having his first ride in Britain. Guyon, too, had been enjoying a fine start to the year, with wins on Byword’s stable companion Lope de Vega in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains and Prix du Jockey Club, and he went on to finish runner-up in the jockey’s championship in France behind Ioritz Mendizabal.
Byword was sent off 5/2 favourite in a field of twelve, punters no doubt influenced by trainer André Fabre’s record in Britain as well as by Goldikova’s success in the Queen Anne Stakes just twenty-four hours earlier. Byword was joined from France by the filly Shalanaya, while Godolphin’s Cavalryman had been with Fabre as as a three-year-old. Guyon had ridden both these horses to Group One victories in 2009 in the Prix de l’Opera and Grand Prix de Paris respectively. Khalid Abdullah’s other runner, Twice Over, had the best chance of keeping the prize in Britain according to the betting and the finish duly concerned the two Juddmonte representatives. It was a closely run thing, though, and not altogether conclusive which of the pair was the better horse on the day. Byword enjoyed more of the run of the race than Twice Over. The gallop was only a modest one and those held up, Twice Over included, turned out to be at a disadvantage. Guyon always had Byword in a good position behind the leaders, and when Byword hit the front inside the final furlong he had at least a two-length advantage over Twice Over who had been briefly short of room after having to start his effort from further back. With Twice Over gaining hand over fist at at the finish, Byword held on by half a length. The first eight home were covered by under five lengths, with the 40/1 outsiders Tazeez (who had made most of the running) and Stimulation completing the frame. Shalanaya was only eighth and Cavalryman last.
There are no Group One opportunities in France for mile and a quarter performers in the second half of the year, and plans for Byword’s season were undecided for while.
After a return to a mile had initially looked on the cards, Byword actually made his next appearance in Britain over ten furlongs or so, both he and Twice Over representing their owner in the Juddmonte International at York. Despite the muddling nature of the Royal Ascot race, and Twice Over’s subsequent win in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown, Byword again started the shorter-priced of the pair to give his owner a first win in the race Juddmonte Farms has backed since 1989. It looked like happening for much of the final two furlongs as Byword and Twice Over fought it out, but after Byword was the first of the Abdullah pair to crack, the favourite Rip Van Winkle cut both down close home. Byword was beaten a length and a quarter into third but ran right up to his best. Like the 2007 Price Of Wales’ Stakes winner Manduro (who had been dropped back to a mile after Royal Ascot to win the Jacques Marois).
Byword now had the Arc as his main objective in the autumn, though, as with Manduro at the same stage of the season three years earlier, Byword was still untested at a mile and a half. The Prix Foy over the Arc course and distance, therefore, was a little more significant for Byword than for his five rvals who were already proven at the trip. Byword ran below form in fourth behind the winner Duncan (subsequent Arc runner-up Nakayama Forest was second), but, staying on to be beaten around two lengths, he gave the impression that it wasn’t the longer trip that beat him, especially as the Foy turned into much the slowest of three Arc trials on the day. Unlike the trio that finished in front of him, Byword did not earn a place in the Arc line-up and the Foy turned out to be his last race of the year.
Byword’s season was highly successful, as was that of his year-older half sister Proviso (by Dansili), who enjoyed a tremendous year of her own across the Atlantic. She too was better than ever, developing into one of the best mares on turf in the States and recording four consecutive Grade One wins at a mile to nine furlongs, a sequence ended only when she finished seventh behind Goldikova in the Breeder’s Cup Mile. Zenyatta’s jockey Mike Smith, also Proviso’s regular rider in the latest season went as as far as to call her his ‘turf Zenyatta’, though it was a compliment that had more to do with Proviso’s style of racing and turn of foot than any comparison in terms of ability. Even so, Proviso had alsways shown above average merit earlier in her career with Andre Fabre, finishing second in the Fillies Mile on her only start in Britain, before a three-year-old campaign spent in the shadow of contemporaries Zarkava and Goldikova.
Binche, the dam of Byword and Proviso, wouldn’t have been an obvious candidate to produce two such good horses – at least based on her own racing record, such as it was. She made just two appearances in maidens late in her three-year-old season, finishing a remote fourth over seven furlongs at Yarmouth when looking very green, and then finishing sixth on the polytrack at Lingfield, barely showing better than poor form. With that record she might have been expected to be surplus to the requirements in such a highclass stud as Juddmonte, but the decision to retain her as a broodmare has paid off in no uncertain terms.
Binche may not have had much of record on the track, but she comes from a family that has produced numerous winners for the Juddmonte operation, one which traces to her great grandam
Peace, acquired with the British-based stock of American owner-breeder John Hay Whitney in the ‘eighties and subsequently dam of Coronation Cup winner Quiet Fling. Binche’s dam Binary, a daughter of Quiet Fling’s smart sister Balabina, was runner-up in the Prix de Psyche and won three races in France and the States, including a listed event over ten furlongs, and was responsible for four winners, notably smart colts Hawksbill and Binary File. The latter, trained like Binche by John Gosden, was runner-up in the Prix Dollar not long before Binche made her debut, and went on to show a similar level of ability in Scandinavia.
Binary File was by Nureyev, which was probably a factor in Binche being sent to Nureyev’s son Peintre Celebre, the mating that resulted in Byword.
Binary was just one of several at least useful winners out of Balabina, who passed on her own tail-flashing trait to some of her offspring, along with plenty of ability. They included Binary’s smart brother Bequeath, a listed winner at a mile and a half. Other notable winners from the wider family include Wandesta, another Juddmonte filly transferred to the States with great success (champion turf mare there in 1996), Grand Prix de Paris winner Zambesi Sun and the July Cup/Prix de l’Abbeye winner Continent.
To complete Binche’s stud record, her first foal Louviere (by Alhaarth) was a fairly useful maiden who probably stayed a mile and three quarters, while her Beat Hollow three-year-old filly Askew suffered a fatal injury on just her second start in Ireland during the summer. She also has the unraced two-year-old filly Epinois and a yearling colt, both by Dansili.
The well-made Byword, a colt of medium size, stays in training and will presumably again be aimed at some of the top races at around a mile and a quarter. His effectiveness on firm ground (as well as soft) and his style of racing suggest he would do well in America given the chance, all the more so considering Proviso’s success there. A Fabre, France
2010 TIMEFORM ‘Top Hundred’
- 140 Harbinger
- 133 Goldikova, So You Think
- 132 Nakayama Festa
- 131 Quality Road
- 130 Fame And Glory
- 129 Blame, Rip Van Winkle, Zenyatta
- 128 Black Caviar, Starspangled Banner, Twice Over
- 127 Cityscape, Equiano, Gio Ponti, Manifest, Paco Boy
- 126 Age Of Aquarius, Allybar, Americain, BYWORD, J J The Jet Plane, Kinsale King, Lizard’s Desire, Midday, Rocket Man
Byword at 5
BYWORD 5 ch h Peintre Celebre (USA) 137 – Binche (USA) 51 (Woodman (USA) 126) [2011: 126; 8g2 9.3g5 8g* 9.8g* 8g 10m6 Dec 11] 126
Medium-sized well-made horse; highclass performer.
Won Prix de Chemin de Fer du Nord at Chantilly (landed odds comfortably by ¾ length fom Vagabond Shoes) in June and Prix Dollar at Longchamp (beat Cirrus des Aigles, who gave 4lg, by short neck, leading well inside final 1f) in October; ran just respectably otherwise when length second to Rajsaman (who rec. 7lb) in Prix du Muguet at Saint-Cloud on reappearance and sixth to California Memory in Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin final start; very best efforts at around 1¼ m; acts on firm and soft ground. A Fabre, France.
2011 TIMEFORM ‘Top Hundred’
- 135 Black Caviar
- 133 Canford Cliffs, Cirrus des Aigles
- 132 Rewilding
- 131 So You Think
- 130 Deacon Blues, Rocket Man, Workforce
- 129 Americain, Goldikova
- 128 Cape Blanco, Hoof It, Snow Fairy, Twice Over
- 127 Dick Turpin, St Nicholas Abbey
- 126 await The Dawn, BYWORD, Cityscape, Drosselmeyer, Havre de Grace, J J The Jet Plane, Victoire Pisa