In the Groove (horse)

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In the Groove
SireNight Shift
GrandsireNorthern Dancer
DamPine Ridge
DamsireHigh Top
SexMare
Foaled25 February 1987
CountryUnited Kingdom
ColourBay
BreederCapt John Macdonald Buchanan
TrainerDavid Elsworth
Record21:7-4-4
Earnings£820,336
Major wins
Musidora Stakes (1990)
Irish 1000 Guineas (1990)
International Stakes (1990)
Champion Stakes (1990)
Sandown Mile (1991)
Coronation Cup (1991)

In the Groove (foaled 25 February 1987) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse. In a racing career which lasted from June 1989 until November 1991 she ran in twenty-one races and won seven times, including four at Group One level. After winning once from four starts at two, she developed into a top-class filly at three, winning the Musidora Stakes and the Irish 1000 Guineas against her own age and sex before defeating colts and older horses in the International Stakes and the Champion Stakes. As a four-year-old she won the Sandown Mile and Coronation Cup.

Background[edit]

In the Groove was sired by the American-bred stallion Night Shift, a son of Northern Dancer. Night Shift sired many other good racehorses in a long stud career,[1] including the multiple Group One winning Azamour and the leading steeplechaser Well Chief, as well as Lochangel (Nunthorpe Stakes), Barons Pit (Diadem Stakes) and Nicolotte (Queen Anne Stakes).[2] In the Groove's dam Pine Ridge, was descended from the broodmare Lady Grand, whose other descendants included the Irish Derby winner Your Highness and the Oaks Stakes winner Lupe.[3]

The filly was trained by David Elsworth (best known for handling the outstanding steeplechaser Desert Orchid) at Whitsbury near Fordingbridge in Hampshire. She was ridden in most of her major races by the American jockey Steve Cauthen.

Racing career[edit]

1989: two-year-old season[edit]

In June 1989, In the Groove finished second in a maiden race at Newbury Racecourse and then finished second again when odds-on favourite for a similar event at Windsor three weeks later. In August she was sent to York for the Moorestyle Convivial Maiden Stakes over six furlongs. She took the lead a quarter of a mile from the finish and drew clear of her opponents to win easily by six lengths.[4] In the Groove was moved up in class for her final appearance as a two-year-old, when she was sent to Ireland to contest the Group Three Park Stakes at Phoenix Park Racecourse in October. She started favourite, but finished third behind the Vincent O'Brien-trained Wedding Bouquet.

1990: three-year-old season[edit]

In the Groove began her three-year-old season at Newmarket Racecourse when she was beaten a short head by Heart of Joy in the seven furlong Nell Gwyn Stakes, a trial race for the 1000 Guineas. Sixteen days later in the 1000 Guineas over Newmarket's Rowley Mile the filly started at odds of 11/1 and finished eighth of the ten runners, twenty-two lengths behind the winner Salsabil. After her poor performance at Newmarket, In the Groove was moved up in distance for the Musidora Stakes over ten and a half furlongs at York. Ridden by Ray Cochrane, she was last of the five runners entering the straight but moved up smoothly to take the lead approaching the final furlong and won by one and a half lengths from the odds-on favourite Sardegna.[5] On 26 May, the filly was brought back in distance for the Irish 1000 Guineas over one mile at the Curragh. Cauthen held the filly up at the back of the field before switching to the outside in the straight. In the Groove took the lead inside the final furlong and accelerated clear of the field to win by three lengths.[6]

On 9 June, In the Groove was one of eight fillies to contest the 212th running of the Oaks Stakes over one and a half miles at Epsom Downs Racecourse. Ridden by Cash Asmussen, she started second favourite and finished fourth behind Salsabil, Game Plan and Knight's Baroness. After a break of more than two months, In the Groove was sent to York, where she was matched against colts and older horses in the Juddmonte International Stakes. Cauthen restrained the filly in the early stage before moving her up to take the lead in the final quarter mile. She won by one and a half lengths from the Eclipse Stakes winner Elmaamul, with the favourite Batshoof beating Terimon for third.[7]

In September In the Groove ran in the Prix Vermeille over 2,400 metres at Longchamp Racecourse in which she finished strongly to take third place, beaten a neck and half a length by Salsabil and Miss Alleged. Over the same course and distance a month later, In the Groove contested Europe's most prestigious all-aged race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She finished ninth of the twenty-one runners, nine lengths behind the winner Saumarez. Two weeks after her run at Longchamp, In the Groove started 9/2 second favourite for the Dubai Champion Stakes at Newmarket. Cauthen restrained the filly as usual in the early stages before moving forward in the final quarter mile. She overtook the Poule d'Essai des Poulains winner Linamix approaching the final furlong and won by one and a half lengths.[8]

1991: four-year-old season[edit]

On her first appearance of 1991, In the Groove was brought back in distance for THF Mile at Sandown Park Racecourse. Last of the five runners entering the straight, the filly took the lead in the final furlong and won by a length from Zoman,[9] a horse who went on to win the Washington, D.C. International. She then started 1/2 favourite for the Lockinge Stakes, but was outpaced in the closing stages and beaten two lengths by the French-trained Polar Falcon.

A year after her defeat in the Oaks, In the Groove returned to contest the Coronation Cup over the same course and distance. Cauthen sent her into the lead approaching the final furlong and she won the race from Terimon, Rock Hopper and the 1990 Epsom Derby winner Quest for Fame.[10] In the following month she started second favourite for the Eclipse Stakes, but finished fourth of the seven runners behind the 28/1 outsider Environment Friend.

In the Groove failed to win in her remaining four races. She finished third when odds-on favourite for the Select Stakes at Goodwood and then finished sixth to Suave Dancer in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She started favourite to repeat her 1990 victory in the Champion Stakes but after being hampered in the straight she finished a close third behind Tel Quel and Cruachan.[11] In November she was sent to the United States for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in which she finished seventh of the thirteen runners behind Miss Alleged.

Stud record[edit]

In the Groove was retired from racing to become a broodmare, but had little success as a dam of winners. Her daughter Incarvillea, sired by Mr Prospector, won races at Newmarket and Pontefract as a two-year-old in 1995.[12]

Pedigree[edit]

Pedigree of In the Groove (GB), bay mare, 1987[13]
Sire
Night Shift (USA)
1980
Northern Dancer (CAN)
1961
Nearctic Nearco
Lady Angela
Natalma Native Dancer
Almahmoud
Ciboulette (CAN)
1961 
Chip Chop Flares
Sceptical
Windy Answer Windfields
Reply
Dam
Pine Ridge (GB)
1980
High Top (IRE)
1969 
Derring-Do Darius
Sipsey Bridge
Camenae Vimy
Madrilene
Wounded Knee (GB)
1973
Busted Crepello
Sans le Sou
La Lidia Matador
Lady Grand (Family: 1-k)[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sun sets on Night Shift's career". Thoroughbredinternet.com. 2008-11-17. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  2. ^ "Night Shift Stud Record". Bloodstock.racingpost.com. Retrieved 2011-09-18.
  3. ^ a b "Thoroughbred Bloodlines - Rouge Rose - Family 1-k". Bloodlines.net. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  4. ^ "Moorestyle Convivial Maiden Stakes result". Racing Post. 24 August 1989. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  5. ^ "Musidora Stakes result". Racing Post. 15 May 1990. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  6. ^ "Irish 1000 Guineas result". Racing Post. 26 May 1990. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  7. ^ "International Stakes result". Racing Post. 21 August 1990. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  8. ^ "Champion Stakes result". Racing Post. 20 October 1990. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  9. ^ "Sandown Mile result". Racing Post. 26 April 1991. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  10. ^ "Coronation Stakes result". Racing Post. 6 June 1991. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  11. ^ "Champion Stakes result". Racing Post. 19 October 1991. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  12. ^ "Incarvillea Race Record". Racing Post. 2011-06-02. Retrieved 2013-06-20.
  13. ^ "In the Groove pedigree". equineline.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-06-19.