ANNIKE BYE HANSEN
Horse of The Year 2022
3yo of The Year, Stayer of The Year '22
Top rated 3-year-old, Scandinavia 2022
Top earner, all horses, Sweden 2022
Won Stockholm Cup International (G3), 2400 m turf Bro Park
Won Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), 1800 m turf Øvrevoll
Won Norwegian Derby, 2400 m turf Øvrevoll
Won Swedish Derby , 2400 m dirt Jägersro
Stockholm Cup International
High class trio set to clash
12 Sep 23: Ten horses are set to go to post for the SEK 1.4 million Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park on Sunday, when Hard One To Please will try to win the race for a second time. The son of Fast Company just pipped Outbox in this event twelve months ago, and the latter will once more be in the mix, again ridden by Hollie Doyle, one of the best female riders in the world. Hollie won't be the main 'in the saddle attraction' this time, however, as Frankie Dettori jumps onto Hard One To Please's back, in an attempt at winning Scandinavia's most important horse race before he retires.
Dettori will be flying in to Stockholm fresh from having partnered the likely favourite Gregory in the St. Leger Stakes (G1) at Doncaster in England on Saturday. That is the world's oldest classic and Frankie is hungry for one more win in the stamina test for three-year-olds. It's actually quite incredible that Frankie fits a trip to Bro Park into his busy schedule. His agent contacted Annike asking if the world's most famous rider could be booked for Hard One To Please, whose win in the Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) on Derby day showed that he is back to form. And back to form he needs to be, for this is a very tough renewal of the Cup. If you think Outbox may be his main opponent once more, well, then think again.
Benny Andersson's highly talented Swedish Derby winner Ayani will also take his chance, in what will be his first run against older horses and also first start on turf. Then there is an in-form French raider called Big Call. He won the Prix de Barbeville (G3) over 3100 metres at Longchamp back in April and his most recent start resulted in a second place finish in the Prix de Reux (G3) over 2500 metres at Deauville, where he was 3 lengths behind the favourite Junko after being up with the pace throughout. That's strong form and perhaps Big Call will start favourite on Sunday. Though it is really hard to predict which one will be the public's choice in this race. Yes, Big Call will be many experts' selection, but how many will want to bet against Frankie on Hard One To Please? And, how comfortable will Swedish racing fans be if they go against Ayani, a young horse with visually impressive form, a license to improve, and high profile connections?
This is the leading trio in the Stockholm Cup, with solid runners like Espen Hill and Go On Calras also taking a shot. They both won nicely last time out and should not be underestimated. We have seen some very good Stockholm Cups over the years but this is definitely one of the most intriguing editions in the history of the race.
Takeko meets familiar foes
Takeko, also to get the services of Dettori, will be in action in another interesting ten-runner contest at Bro Park on Sunday, the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR). Drawn in stall eight, Takeko is going to be up against familiar foes in this race, which she ran third in last year. Last year's winner, Ascot Brass, is one of them, alongside Mystery Night, Silent Night and Mahalia, who makes a quick return a week after running second in the Breeders' Trophy Mile last Sunday.
Stockholm Cup day, with a plethora of stakes action on the menu, is an important fixture for Norwegian stables. As many as 24 horses trained in Norway will be running on the day, which begins with H.M. Drottningens Pris, one of two jump races on the card, at 13.50. Geir Stabell
'Frankie goes to Stockholm'
Dettori rides Hard One To Please
05 Sep 23: Frankie Dettori, the world's most famous jockey and currently closing in on the end of his career, has been booked to ride Hard One To Please in Scandinavia's most prestigious race, the Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park on September 17. Dettori is doing a bit of a farewell tour this year and so far it has gone incredibly well for the Italian, with big race wins just about at every venue he visits. He now wants to win the best race in Scandinavia, before he starts focusing on his last big day of racing in England, Champions Day at Ascot next month. After that it will be on to the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita in California and - if he can get a suitable mount in the race - the Melbourne Cup (G1) in Australia en route to the Hong Kong International day at Sha Tin in December. But first, Bro Park!
Takeko also gets Dettori
Going for the Lanwades Stud Stakes
Takeko will also travel to Bro Park for the Stockholm Cup day, to run in the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), a race she finished third in last year. Currently one of 23 entries for this important mile contest, she will also be partnered by Frankie Dettori. This will be some day, not just for those of us connected Annike's stable but for Scandinavian racing as a whole.
Marit Sveaas - a race for champions
Hard One To Please, right back on top!
20 Aug 23: The late spring wiped turf racing out, costing Hard One To Please the chance of a prep for the Oslo Cup, a race where a crawling pace worked against him, and his trip to Goodwood - where terrible weather and also a very slow pace ruined his chances - became another disappointment. You can't keep a good guy down, however - nor a good lady for that matter - and Hard One To Please bounced right back for Annike in the valuable Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3), where he delivered a knock out performance to beat the best of the best in Scandinavia. Not just did he beat them, he outclassed the rest of the field, headed by Good Fortune. That rival looked a big danger as he came up to Hard One To Please 200 metres out but the 2022 Horse of The Year would have none of that. Finding more under Sandro De Paiva, Hard One To Please drew off again and won the race quite easily. Admiral de Vega, totally unsuited by the heavy ground, finished sixth.
So, there you have it. The champ is back - and Annike confirmed that his next task is the Stockholm Cup International (G3) - a race Hard One To Please won last year. That, girls and boys, will probably mean a clash with Ayani, the impressive winner of the Swedish Derby. Don't miss that showdown. The date is September 17. GS
Excellent runner-up efforts
I Rest My Case, Youonlyliveonce in top form
20 Aug 23: I Rest My Case ran the race of her life to finish second behind Iron Butterfly in he Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), where she beat the likes of Titannia and Ascot Brass. Takeko also ran a solid race, taking fourth in this important mile contest. Youonlyliveonce ran second in the Polar Cup (LR), like he did also last year. Let's Go Crazy was the one that proved too good this time, while another high class sprinter, Irish Action, took third place. Finally, Money Mission also deserves a mention from this Derby day, as he took third in a very competitive handicap. All but one of Annike's runners on the day thus finished in the top four, with Hard One To Please the absolute star.
Marit Sveaas Minneløp (G3) - 1800 metres turf - 20 Aug 2023
1 - Hard One To Please / Sandro de Paiva / NOK 650,000
2 - Good Fortune / Oliver Wilson / 221,000
3 - Like A King / J-E Neuroth / 106,080 Won by 3 lengths, 1/2 length
This year's edition of the Marit Sveaas assembled a top class field of seven - all with principal stakes wins in the book. Hard One To Please was much the best and he beat winners of 42 races who had combined earnings of 8.2 million kroner going into the contest. / Racing Post result
Tough luck in England
Weather played havoc at Goodwood
Racing has its ups and downs - we all know that. And, though we are not in the habit of making excuses, there's little doubt that a massive dose of bad luck helped turning the trip to Goodwood into disappointment. Virtually unprecedented amounts of summer rain made the course very testing for Hard One To Please's race, which was as a consequence run at an unsuitably slow pace. He sat too close to the early leaders and the race did not develop in a way that brings out the best in him. In addition, jockey Jim Crowley reported that he did not handle the ground. Hard One To Please, like many other unplaced challengers on the day, was eased and beaten a long way behind Hamish, the odds-on favourite. That runner, officially rated on 117, may have been impossible to follow in any case, but it's worth mentioning that Hard One To Please is rated higher than both the second and fourth placed finishers. He was pitched into a suitable contest but other circumstances were detrimental to his chances. When one felt things could not get much worse, well, they did. Even more rain on Saturday, when Takeko was set to run in the last race, meant that racing had to be cancelled. Takeko shipped all that way, only to be denied a run. Feeling lost of words? Let's just say that Takeko is due a bit of good luck after this episode. We move on! GS
'King George' winner booked
Jim Crowley set to ride Hard One To Please
30 July 23: Hard One To Please will get one of the world's best jockeys as his partner at Goodwood next Friday - when he goes for the Glorious Stakes (G3), a prestigious 12-furlong contest. Jim Crowley, who switched from jump racing to flat racing in 2009 and has worked his way up to the top echelon over the past 14 years, won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) at Ascot on Saturday, partnering Hukum to gutsy head verdict over Westover. The pair drew well clear of eight rivals, in what was the deepest 'King George' field for decades. Crowley is retained by Shadwell Estate, owned by Sheika Hissa, daughter of the late Hamdan Al Maktoum. He partnered Hukum's outstanding brother Baeed to 10 wins from 11 starts in 2021 and 2022 and he rode Mostahdaf to a stunning 4-length victory in the Prince Of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot in June. When Crowley moved across to flat racing, he was attached to his sister in law Amanda Perrett's stables in Pulborough, and thus rode a lot at the nearby Goodwood racecourse. His stats at this venue are very strong. His overall record this season is 37 wins from 195 rides, with an impressive 19% strike rate.
Lack of pace the toughest rival
Hard One To Please third in Oslo Cup
25 June 23: Hard One To Please met five others as he made his 4yo debut in the Oslo Cup (LR) - and he went off at short odds to beat them. There was a sixth rival in the mix, however; an absolute lack of pace. And Hard One To Please does need a strong pace to be fully effective. Outsider Captain Chorus, masterfully ridden by Sandro de Paiva, nicked the race from the front - beating White Heart by 1 3/4 length, while the late rallying Hard One To Please was just a nose off the runner-up. The winning time was 2.36.7 - almost 2 seconds slower than Sea Lodge's time in the Erik O Steen Memorial. Two seconds equals about ten lengths. So is Sea Lodge ten lengths better than the Oslo Cup winner? Not at all. What the clock tells us is that the big race turned into a sprint. Hard One To Please was in trouble as soon as the horses turned for home and he did well to get as close as he did.
Stabell talk 2023
Hard One To Please – Horse of the Year
Last year's undisputed star in Scandinavia, Hard One To Please, was voted 2022 Horse of The Year in Norway, a title that was never in much doubt. What was, however, was his prospects of landing the odds in the Stockholm Cup International (G3), a race where he looked a certain loser turning for home – only to produce a tremendous finish and get up to beat the English challenger Outbox in a thrilling photo finish. That must have been one of the most exciting races of the season. Hard One To Please showed us a new dimension that day, as he proved that not only did he have the talent to get himself out of trouble, but also that he was well equipped for a street fight.
Landing a punch is one thing, and he had seen him doing that to some effect, but being able to take a punch is quite different. Some highly talented runners have been lacking in that department, many because they had become too accustomed to winning with ease. Not Hard One To Please. He knuckled down gamely as he was chasing the leaders coming down the home straight at Bro Park, and he found another gear in the closing stages. It was as easy as his two classic wins, in the Swedish Derby and the Norwegian Derby, both won comfortably. Actually, that's not quite right. His winning run at Jägersro, where he proved himself on dirt, did ask a lot more of him than his stroll back on turf in Norway, and perhaps it was a valuable learning experience. He came from off the pace to win the Swedish Derby by 2 measured lengths from Steinar, with the rest a long way further back. Steinar went on to win big himself next time out and it was rather obvious what horse they all had to beat when we came to the Norwegian Derby in late August. Derby Trial winner Pas de Faux had his supporters and was backed as as if he would have a serious chance, but looking at the formbook one might say “really?” The answer out of the course was an emphatic “not at all”. Hard One To Please, who had been ridden by Oliver Wilson in the Swedish Derby but now had Jacob Johansen on board, absolutely trounced his rivals to win by 14 lengths. Pas de Faux was outstayed by the fily Sea Lodge for second as the two Neuroth trainees filled out the trippel. The runner-up went on to win the Danish Oaks two weeks later. That result made the Norwegian Derby form a bit easier to assess, it was undoubtedly the best seen amongst the three-year-olds in Scandinavia.
The next test would be a lot more informative. Hard One To Please was being pointed at the Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park in September, when he would be facing older horses. The Cup, often billed as Scandinavia's 'Arc', drew a solid field of 15 runners. Amongst them was the German trained Virginia Storm, who had run third to Prix de l'Arc winner Torquator Tasso and second to German Derby runner-up Alter Adler at home. Virginia Storm's best form made him one to fear. Then we had Outbox, flying the English flag for a second time at Bro Park, having run such a good second in the 2021 edition of the Stockholm Cup, Oslo Cup (G3) winner Quebello and local hero Espen Hill. Ulf Zeider, one of the best judges of form in Sweden, gave this prediction in his racecard preview; Hard One To Please first, Outbox second, Virginia Storm third. He wasn't far wrong. Virginia Storm ran no sort of a race and finished second last, running as if something was amiss, while Hard One To Please pipped Outbox to win by a nose. Master Bloom, like Outbox another horse to have been placed in a previous edition of the event, ran third, while Quebello took fourth.
His win at Bro Park, where he was partnered by Pat Cosgrave, gave Hard One To Please a unique treble; the Swedish Derby on dirt, the Norwegian Derby over the undulating and testing course at Øvrevoll, and the Stockholm Cup at Bro Park, a flat, more US-style oval. Will this treble ever be repeated? It may, but it's probably long odds-on that he won't happen anytime soon. Väsby Häst AB's top performer is an unusually versatile performer, and a well deserving Horse of The Year. His 2023 campaign could be really exciting, though there will be no more cruising runs against his own age group only. The gloves will come off more than once in 2023, as he takes aim at the top races in Scandinavia. Those with similar aspirations have one thing in common; they all know that they will be up against a true champion. GS 290123
Top Ten, 3-year-olds Scandinavia 2022
2022 season - facts and figures
Top earners, top strike rate,
best average earnings
21 Nov 22: Annike Bye Hansen finished second in the trainers' standings, with 16 winners, 18 runners-up and 8 third place finishers from 75 starters. The stable generated total domestic earnings of NOK. 2,775,249. As many as 56% of all starters saddled by Annike finished in the first three and the stable's win strike rate was an impressive 21.3%, better than any other trainer with more than ten starters during the season. Average earnings per start, NOK 37,003, was also markedly the best return of all trainers with more than ten starters.
The stable's total Scandinavian earnings were close to 5.6 million.
I Rest My Case became the highest earning horse in Norway in 2022, with NOK 775,849 from eight runs. She just edged out her stable companion Hard One To Please on this list, as his domestic earnings were NOK 725,000 from four runs. Hard One To Please would probably get most votes if we decided to crown a Scandinavian Horse of The Year though, and perhaps it's about time to get those Scandinavian stats back up and running? With two easy Derby wins and a gutsy success in the Stockholm Cup International (G3), he earned NOK 2,812,764 all told – and he also became the highest earner in Sweden this year. His fellow Väsby Häst flag bearer Youonlyliveonce sits in tenth place on the list of top earners in Norway this year, with NOK. 322,600 from 11 starts that yielded 2 wins and six other top three efforts. GS
Top earners - Norway 2022
Incredible finish to the Stockholm Cup
Hard One To Please wins big - again!
18 Sep 22: He looked beaten approaching the home bend, when he lost some ground, then got back into a rhythm that seemed positive enough to bring him back up to get some prize money. Turning for home he definitely looked like he was facing an impossible task - and that was the case also with just 200 metres to run. After such a troubled trip, Hard One To Please had too much ground to make up. Or so we all thought - until he found the right gaps and kicked in with a serious finish close home that brought him up for a narrow, well deserved and impressive win. The Stockholm Cup International (G3) became Hard One To Please's third top class success. The Swedish Derby, Norwegian Derby and Stockholm Cup treble is truly unique and this horse is special - no doubt about that.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave after the race; "We had a smooth start, but found trouble in running, we got stopped turning for home, and the horse got me out of trouble - if he had been beaten it would have been my fault. With a clean run he would have won by two or three lengths. He is a very good horse - I hope I can come back and ride him again next year."
This result confirms that Hard One To Please is a high class performer. Runner-up Outbox was second in this race also last year, when he went on to win the Amir Trophy (LR) in Doha, and he was now coming off a good third in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes (G3) at Newbury, behind Zechariah - a very good stayer who had been beaten just a nose by this year's St. Leger (G1) winner Elgar Eldarov in the Queen's Vase (G2) at Royal Ascot. Geir Stabell
Stockholm Cup International winner!
Photos: Elina Björklund
Hard One To Please simply the best - at home and abroad
1 Hard One To Please
2 Sea Lodge 3 Pas de Faux
Stockholm Cup International
1 Hard One To Please
2 Outbox 3 Master Bloom
Hard One To Please gets big test
Cosgrave booked for Stockholm Cup ride
12 Sep 22: The Stockholm Cup International (G3), with a full field of 15 runners, will be some test for dual Derby winner Hard One To Please. "Scandinavia's Arc" - the highlight of an excellent card at Bro Park on Sunday - means a first run against older horses for Hard One To Please, and it will also be his third big race over a third course. Dirt racing in Malmoe, turf racing over the undulating Øvrevoll course and at the flat oval at Bro Park, well, those are three very different tasks. It's rare that a horse produces his best form over all three of these courses. Then again, Hard One To Please appears to be a rare horse, and perhaps he is up to it.
Pat Cosgrave, who has won the race twice in the past, has been booked to ride. A top jockey is obviously an advantage and stall 11 looks a good position to start from. The likely favourite, Germany's Virginia Storm, will break from stall 12, while Oslo Cup (LR) winner Quebello was handed stall 14 at the draw. One lane further out, in the widest stall, we find the English raider Outbox, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle - one of the world's best female riders. She partnered Outbox to a good second in this event last year. Miss Doyle is enjoying an incredible season, with wins in the Prix de Diane / French Oaks (G1) and Nassau Stakes (G1) on Nashwa as the high points - in a campaign that has brought her 136 wins so far in England.
Pat Cosgrave will also ride Takeko and Youonlyliveonce. The latter meets nine rivals in the Bro Park Sprint Championship (LR), while Takeko goes for the Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR), a race she finished fourth in last year. She will be renewing rivalry with Ascot Brass, who beat her when they ran first and second for Norway in the Bloomers' Vase (LR) at Bro Park in June. GS
Wins second Derby with ease
Hard One To Please - he's different class!
I Rest My Case, Admiral de Vega complete Derby day treble
Takeko, Youonlyliveonece game stakes runners-up
21 Aug 22: Hard One To Please outclassed his rivals for a comfortable win in the Norwegian Derby, proving to be just as good - perhaps even better - on turf than he was on dirt in the Swedish Derby. Ridden by Jacob Johansen, he beat Wido Neuroth's duo Sea Lodge and Pas de Faux. I Rest My Case and Admiral de Vega were also winners on the big day, while Takeko and Youonlyliveonce added to the 'Bye Hansen show' by running second in stakes races.
How good is this horse?
Hard One To Please. How good is this horse? One thing's for sure - he is the best three-year-old seen in Scandinavia since Square de Luynes won the Norwegian Derby in 2018. Is Hard One To Please as good as that champion? Could he be better? It's impossible to say at this stage but Hard One To Please seems to be a more complete racehorse. Whereas Square de Luynes could manage only sixth place when racing on dirt in the Swedish Derby, Hard One To Please won that classic with ease. Not many horses manage to produce their best form on turf and dirt. Hard One To Please certainly looks more like a turf horse and one can argue that his 14-length romp at Øvrevoll was better form than his comfortable 2-length win over Steinar in Sweden last month. And it probably was. Then again, let's not forget that Steinar went on to win the Hurricanelöpning by 11 1/2 lengths on his next outing.
Still, the Norwegian Derby form is what makes Hard One To Please look like a bit of a freak. He was so much the best, simply humiliating Sea Lodge, a well bred filly who proved her worth on turf, and Pas de Faux, who was coming off a 3-length win in the Derby Trial, where he beat I Rest My Case. I Rest My Case was also in action on Derby day. She won the inaugural running of Drømmemilen. All right, she was long odds-on to do so, but when she cruised home by over 15 lengths many punters pointed to one horse for the upcoming Derby; Pas de Faux. His form had just been given some boost. He's good, though nowhere near as good as Hard One To Please - who went by him with ease and quickened right away to leave the placed horses in a different county. It was his third win from four starts and his bankroll now stands at 1.936.884 kroner. His next task may be Stockholm Cup International (G3) at Bro Park next month. If he goes for that race, it will be an attempt at winning big over a third (once more quite different) course and, more importantly, a first clash with the best older horses. When that happens we can hope to get the answer to our question; how good is this horse?
Annike talks Derby with Birger Christensen
From outsider to leading contender
17 Aug 22: Øvrevoll Galopp's senior writer Birger Christensen's feature on Annike, where she reflects on her life in racing, how she feels that 'the horses should always get most of the attention' and looks forward to Derby day, when her contender Hard One To Please - who won the Swedish Derby as a massive longshot - will be one of the favourites.
Super Sunday for Annike's team
Hard One To Please wins the Derby, Takeko takes the Wettermark
Hard One To Please won Sweden's premier classic geared down by 2 lengths, after being given a patient ride by Oliver Wilson, undoubtedly one of the finest riders in Scandinavia these days. The winning margin could have been bigger and it's worth noting that the third placed horse, Downtown Leo, was outclassed to the tune of 9 lengths, with another 3 1/2 lengths back to the local favourite, Tin Win. This was a high class performance. Click photos above to enlarge in pop-ups.
17 July 22: Hard One To Please, masterfully ridden by Oliver Wilson, came from well off a strong pace to win the Swedish Derby - Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby - beating his rivals with ridiculous ease. Wrapped up approaching the winning post, he was an easy winner from Steinar, while Downtown Leo had to settle for third place. The victory propelled Hard One To Please right up to the top echelon of thoroughbreds in Scandinavia, and his bankroll increased by a handsome 1.2 million kronor. Read more on Svensk Galopp
Jockeyklubben Svenskt Derby 2022
HARD ONE TO PLEASE / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson
3 ch g Fast Company - Alyssum / New Approach
Owned by Väsby Häst AB / Bred by Lodge Park Stud
Results & Replays
An excellent day for Väsby Häst AB
02 June 22: Väsby Häst AB, great supporters of Annike's operation - and of Scandinavian racing in general - enjoyed an incredible half-hour on this Thursday evening fixture, as three of their horses made it to the winners' circle after the first two races on the card. Well, 'only two' won of course - but it was a fine gesture to invite General de Vega's gallant runner-up, Youonlyliveonce, to the enclosure as well.
Early-June silk fashion is green and white!
Stable companions General de Vega - who was prepping for a bigger task at Bro Park in ten days' time - and Youonlyliveonce ran 1-2 in the first race on the night, a high class sprint over 1170 metres on turf. While General de Vega - last year's champion sprinter, was held up at the back - Younlyliveonce went to the front and set a good pace. He kept on really well up front but General de Vega cruised up to him, took over 200 metres from the winning post, and was pushed out for a tidy win. The two stable companions had the race between them throughout the finish. General de Vega landed de odds easily by half a length and there was a 4 1/4-length gap between Youonlyliveonce and the third placed horses, Backcountry, a winner of 22 races. Half an hour later the exciting
three-year-old Hard One To Please (right pic) followed up by winning a good maiden heat over 1600 metres. Making only his second start, the son of Fast Company raced too freely going down the back straight but settled better when negotiating the turn. Front-running Holiday had opened up a massive lead at this point and looked strong - though Hard One To Please reeled him in with a smooth run coming up the homes straight. He passed the leader just below the distance and held on gamely to beat the staying-on Sugar Crust. Holiday and Sugar Crust ran second and third behind Game Changer - albeit on dirt - four weeks ago.
We Got The Boss also signaled a return to form with a fine runner-up effort, beaten just half a length behind Valence, later on the card. Please check back for more on Monday. GS
Stabell talk 2022
Hard One To Please - a classic hope
One of the new horses in the stable for 2022, the Fast Company son Hard One To Please - bought by Walter Buick on behalf of Väsby Häst AB at the Tattersalls Sales in Newmarket - is an unraced colt from one of Aga Khan's best known families. Unraced, Hard One To Please is out of Alyssum, a filly trained by Jim Bolger in Ireland. Alyssum ran just four times and her runner-up effort in a Naas maiden on her debut was her best placing. She is a daughter of top class performer New Approach and Alasha (Barathea). Alasha was trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who handled her to win the Dick Hern Stakes (LR) over a mile at Bath, and run second in the E P Taylor Stakes (G1) over 10 furlongs at Woodbine in Canada. Her best piece of form, however, was when she finished third, beaten just half a length behind Kazzia, in the 1,000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket. Alasha became the dam of Alanza, a smart 7-furlong performer by Dubai Destination. Alanza won the Ballycorus Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown and the Sceptre Stakes (G3) at Doncaster. Hard One To Please's dam has a juvenile daughter by Dandy Man currently in training with Ralph Beckett in England. That filly was sold for £45,000 at Tattersalls last autumn, and she is a candidate for the valuable Tattersalls October Auction Stakes.
The third dam, Alanasa (Darshaan), was a half-sister to Aliysa, Champion 3yo filly in England and at the centre of the 'doping' scandal that robbed her connections of a win in the Epsom Oaks (G1) back in 1989. Alanasa was not in the same league but she was a useful filly, trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre in France. She won twice, scoring over 1,600 metres at Dieppe and over 1,800 metres at Saint-Cloud, and she stretched her stamina to finish third over 2,100 metres at Longchamp. She produced a Listed winner called Alaiyma and became the granddam of the G2 placed Listed winner Shared Ambition, a winner of 7 races in Australia.
Hard One To Please's sire, Fast Company (Danehill Dancer), was a highly talented juvenile but unfortunately he raced just three times. He won the 7-furlong Acomb Stakes (G3) at York, easily outpointing Lucifer Sam by 3 ½ lengths, and went on to run second in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1) over the same distance at Newmarket, checking in half a length behind Hard One To Please's broodmare sire New Approach. Whether Hard One To Please will appreciate a test of stamina is impossible to say at this stage - but there is some staying power in his family and he holds an entry for the Norwegian Derby in August. GS 220413