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Angel Bleu, to join Sumbe 2024 roster

Angel Bleu will join the stallion ranks at Sumbe's Haras de Montfort et Preaux in Normandy for 2024, following Nurlan Bizakov's acquisition of a share in the the son of Dark Angel.

Trained throughout his career by Ralph Beckett for Marc Chan, Angel Bleu enjoyed a hugely productive two-year-old campaign, backing up a fine effort in the Pat Eddery Stakes at Ascot when landing the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood just three days later.

Even better was to come as he landed a Group 1 double in France in the space of three weeks, triumphing in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere over seven furlongs before a hard-fought success when stepped up to a mile in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud.

Injury curtailed his appearances at three but Angel Bleu has showed he was no one-season wonder with success in the Listed Spring Trophy at Haydock and the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood.

Beckett said: "As well as being really talented, Angel Bleu is a very tough individual, whose race record shows he took his racing very well and kept coming back for more. To do it at two, three and four years old is a rare thing nowadays."

Frankie Dettori was aboard for both Group 1 victories – Angel Bleu is the first to complete the double this century and joins an exclusive club which also boasts leading stallions Blushing Groom and Irish River – and he described Angel Bleu as "one of the toughest and most consistent two-year-olds I have ever ridden."

More Group 1 glory could be in line on Saturday as Angel Bleu has been supplemented for the Qipco-sponsored Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.

For Sumbe principal Bizakov, patience has been its own rewards when it comes to securing Angel Bleu to stand at Montfort et Preaux.

"I was impressed with his precocity and toughness as a two-year-old," said Bizakov. "I would say this is third time lucky because I tried to buy into him after he won his second Group 1 at Saint-Cloud as a two-year-old. Unfortunately we were on a slightly different level in terms of our valuation.

"Then I tried to buy into him when he had a fracture last year and again we were slightly apart. Luckily we have agreed everything with Marc Chan, he will be my partner in the horse so fingers crossed.

"He was born in France, he was the French champion two-year-old and I’m excited about having him as a stallion prospect on my farm."

Angel Bleu will join Mishriff, Golden Horde and De Treville on the Sumbe roster, which is also due to be swelled once homebred Lagardere winner Belbek finishes his racing career.

"He is exceptionally tough and maybe his three-year-old career suffered a bit with the injury, but this year he has proved he has trained on," said Bizakov.

"I had Charyn in the Celebration Mile, which Angel Bleu won, and he also won a Listed race this year. I'm sure he'll run a big race on Saturday. I spoke with Ralph and asked if we should consider Ascot and he was happy."

Bizakov is well aware that Angel Bleu has yet to register a win at Ascot but does not believe the track will be against him in the QEII.

He said: "When I looked at his Ascot races, every time I found an excuse, especially at the royal meeting this year. I think he was very unlucky in the Queen Anne."

While the sire line of Acclamation and Dark Angel speaks for itself, Angel Bleu hails from an exceptionally deep family; his dam Cercle De La Vie is a Galileo full-sister to Highland Reel and Idaho, while his second dam Hveger is a full to Elvstroem and a half-sister to Queen Anne Stakes winner Haradasun.


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