The Phoenix Ladies owned Crseven (C-R-Seven) is one of two American Pharoah juveniles slated to make their debuts at Meydan on Thursday.
Named in honour of world-famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo, the dark chestnut colt is in the care of trainer Salem bin Ghadayer and will take make his debut in a 1600m colt’s and gelding’s maiden, scheduled as Race 3.
Piloted by Xavier Ziani, the two-year-old has already been the subject of media attention due to his name, but it’s not the first time the team at Phoenix have turned to the world of sport for inspiration.
“It was the boss’ (Amer Abdulaziz) idea and our ladies loved it.” Explained Phoenix Ladies Principal Pamela Cordina. “He enjoys watching top-class sport and has a lot of admiration for the athletes involved so likes to pay tribute to them. Most people will be aware of Gronkowski, but Phoenix Thoroughbreds also have Lebron J in the States. Racing might be the only place you get to have a top-class NFL player, training alongside a leading soccer player while one of the best Basketball players also represents the same team!
“Of course, naming horses this way is an excellent way to publicise both the Ladies Syndicate and Phoenix Thoroughbreds while we’ve seen from Gronkowski’s exploits in the last two years that it also attracts interest from fans of other sports which can only be good for racing as a whole.
“Being by American Pharoah he is probably the Ladies Syndicate’s best-bred racehorse, so it’s only appropriate he’s named in honour of one of the world’s greatest sportsmen.”
Crseven’s breeze at the OBS March Sale 2019 (above).
Naturally being named in such a high profile way, there will be an element of expectation on the colt to achieve. Add to that a blueblood pedigree, that sees him out of a full-sister to Quality Road, a top-five stallion in North America then those expectation levels can only increase. However, despite all this, connections are being level-headed about the future.
“Salem says he is working well and has progressed nicely,” continued Cordina. “With luck, he has inherited some of his father’s talent and although he’s from the same family as multiple Grade One winner Quality Road, we’re trying not to get carried away. We’ll see where we are after he makes his debut and take it from there. Let’s hope he can win a fraction of the honours his human counterpart has won.”
An impressive 25 of American Pharoah’s runners have been victorious, with four stakes winners and 11 stakes horses from 68 runners. He also sired G2 winner Sweet Melania in America (third in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf), G3 winner Maven in France and G1-placed Monarch of Egypt in Ireland. Minor stakes winner Another Miracle went on to be third behind Four Wheel Drive in the aforementioned Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.