First Group winner for Darley shuttler Librettist

Libranno became the first Group winner for Darley shuttler Librettist when he scored a comprehensive victory in the G2 July Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday.  Bookmakers immediately quoted the colt as a 20-1 chance for the 2011 English 2000 Guineas.

Libranno (2c Librettist — Annabelle Ja by Singspiel) is trained by Richard Hannon for owner-breeder Ollie McDowell who retained the colt after failing to find a buyer at the 2009 Tattersalls October yearling sale.  He was passed-in for 26,000 guineas.

He led from go to whoa to defeat Godolphin colt Neebras (Oasis Dream) by three quarters of a length.  Odds-on favourite Elzaam (Redoute’s Choice) failed to make the frame for Sheikh Hamdan.  “My idea was to go to Royal Ascot,” Hannon said.  “But Ollie wanted to come here.”

Hannon, who has an embarrassment of riches in the juvenile division, sent Libranno to Newmarket for an impressive debut victory at Newmarket on May 29.  “I ran him half-cooked first time out and obviously there was a bit more in the tank,” Hannon added.  “We will have to take him somewhere special now.”

Librettist stood his first southern hemisphere season at Darley Kelvinside in 2008 and was transferred to stand at Westbury Stud in NZ last year.  He is a Danzig half-brother to Dubai Destination and shuttles from Darley’s French base at Haras du Logis.

Librettist was a top-class two-year-old winning two of his three starts.  He was sidelined at three but returned the following year for brilliant front-running victories in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois and the Prix du Moulin over a mile.

His initial northern hemisphere winner arrived when Little Libretto scored at Nottingham in April.

Librettist stands at Westbury for $12,500 (+ gst) service fee.  Gerry Harvey owns Westbury and the Papakura property’s 2010 roster will also include Swiss Ace (Secret Savings), Captain Rio (Pivotal), Cecconi (Encosta de Lago), Faltaat (Mr Prospector), Red Giant (Giant’s Causeway) and Postponed (Summer Squall).