Back in May 1978, an imported mare named Lady Upstage (GB) made an inauspicious debut over 1200 metres at Randwick beating just two of her seven opponents home.
However, the daughter of High Line continued to improve throughout the year capturing three races highlighted by the Listed STC Christmas Cup.
Foaled when her dam was 23-years old, Lady Upstage (GB) was a half-sister to Khalekan (GB) (Alycidon) who created a great deal more interest when he was imported to Australia as a three-year-old on the advice of top jockey Des Lake.
At two, Khalekan (GB) had placed in the Dewhurst Stakes and Observer Gold Cup. At three he won the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and was runner-up in the Irish St Leger.
It took some time for Khalekan (GB) to find his feet in his adopted homeland but at his fourth start he ran the champion WFA performer Winfreux to a length in the Tattersalls Cup at Eagle Farm.
The following season Khalekan (GB) had his moment in the sun in the STC Tancred Cup but he broke down on the eve of the Sydney Cup when he was heavily favoured.
Khalekan (GB) received only moderate support at stud however his half-sister Lady Upstage was destined to leave one of the greats of the Australian Turf, Shaftesbury Avenue.
A son of the Widden stallion Salieri, Shaftesbury Avenue was remarkably versatile winning Group 1 races from 1,000 to 2,000 metres, and in one of his greatest performances placed in the Japan Cup over 2,400 metres.
Trained by Bart Cummings, Shaftesbury Avenue’s wins at the highest level included the Honda Stakes, George Main Stakes, Lightning Stakes, Newmarket Handicap, All-Aged Stakes and Caulfield Stakes.
Shaftesbury Avenue was the second stakes winner for Lady Upstage. The first was Australia Day Cup winner Stage High, however, the line was to prosper through the Vain mare Elated Lady.
A 3-time winner in Sydney, Elated Lady became pivotal to the success of Emirates Park Stud.
She left four stakes winners, the Group II winners Mutawaajid (Redoute’s Choice), Fatoon (Snaadee) and Adeewin (Snaadee) and the Listed winner Javago (Snaadee).
Fatoon is the dam of the Group 1 Epsom Handicap winner Fat Al (Al Maher).
Another daughter of Elated Lady to succeed on the track was Ghaliah, a daughter of Secret Savings.
Ghaliah has five winners from six foals to race including Japan based Fastnet Rock mare Melegrana a 5-time winner who was highly enough regarded to take her place last year in the Group 1 Sprinters Stakes and Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen while her best result came when fourth in the Group II Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes.
The current two-year-old out of Ghaliah is the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained colt Santos who looked a stakes winner in waiting with an explosive win in the Lonhro Plate at Randwick at his most recent start
A $180,000 Inglis Classic graduate, the son of I Am Invincible get his chance to achieve that in Saturday’s Group II STC Skyline Stakes at Randwick and book a spot for the Group 1 Golden Slipper.
Santos (photo above by Steve Hart and right as a yearling ) is the penultimate foal of Ghaliah who died in October last year shortly after foaling a filly by Smart Missile.