alike PRINCIPAL PERFORMERS INCLUDE: SHIVANSH winner of the The Calcutta Monsoon Derby, Gr.2, Calcutta St. Leger, Gr.3, Queen Elizabeth Cup, Gr.3, 3rd in The Indian Champion Cup, Gr.1; AGNOSTIC winner of the Bangalore Sprinters Trial Stakes, Gr.3, Calcutta Champion's Sprint Trophy, Gr.3; TOUCH OF GREY winner of The Guindy Grand Prix, Gr.3, Madras Gold Vase, Gr.3; LAST WISH, winner of DT Racing and Breeding Juvenile Million, Gr.3, 2nd in The Bangalore Derby, Gr.1; EMPEROR CRUISE winner of the Bangalore Juvenile Sprinters Million, Gr.3; 2nd in Bangalore Winter Million, Gr.3; THAILAND, 2nd in the Bangalore Fillies Trial Stakes, Gr.1, 3rd in The Indian Oaks, Gr.1; CLIFFHANGER, 2nd in The Calcutta Debry, Gr.1, 2nd in Queen Elizabeth Cup, Gr.3; INTERSTELLAR winner of Alokananda Stakes, Acorn Stakes, 2nd in Calcutta 1000 Guineas, Gr.2, 3rd in Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes, Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy; THEO 2nd in Calcutta Colts Trial Stakes, 3rd in Indian Champagne Stakes, Gr.3, Bengal Club Calcutta Juvenile Stakes, 4th in The Calcutta 2000 Guineas, Gr.2; NEVER SAY NEVER 3rd in Forbes Breeders' Juvenile Fillies' Championship, Gr.3; THAT’S MY CLASS 3rd in Godolphin Barb Million, Gr.3, Alcock Arabian Million, Gr.3; AAYAN, The Hyderabad Race Club Million on Invitation Day, 4th in the Karnataka Mile Championship Cup, Gr.2; VICTORY PARADE 2nd in Dr. MAM Ramaswamy Sprint, Gr.2, 3rd in Goloconda 2000 Guineas, Gr.2, 3rd in Godolphin Barb Million, Gr.3, 4th in Deccan Bookmakers Welfare Association Juvenile Million; THAILAND 3rd in The Forbes Breeders' Juvenile Fillies' Championship, Gr.3; TOP NOTCH 2nd in The Calcutta Million, Gr.2, 2nd in Grand Annual Mile, 4th in Indian Champagne Stakes, Gr.3; LAST WISH, winner of the Dashmesh Stud Juvenile Million, 2nd in The Breeders Produce Stakes, Gr.2; RAISINA STAR, 2nd in EBCO Livsmart Indian Champagne Stakes, Gr.2; AVELINO 2nd in The Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy, 3rd in The Indian Champagne Stakes, Gr.3; MAZE RUNNER 4th in the Christmas Cup, Gr.3; VAZRA 4th in the North India Deby, Gr.3; WAVE RIDER Villoo C Poonawalla Million on invitation day; RED RAMMBLE, Beaten the 2016 Hyderabad Derby winner King Charles, placed in a million; BULGERIAN, The Sohna Stud Million, The Northern India Cup, 2nd in The D.R.C.Managing Committee Juvenile Sprinters Cup, 3rd in Bookmakers Association Million, The Mukteshwar Stud Colts Trial Stakes, The Lala Bansidhar Gupta And Brijmohan Gupta Memorial Million; SHE'S THE BEST, winner of The Sohna Stud Million, AB Stud Fillies Trial Stakes, 2nd in The Master Million; RIVIERA, winner of The Grand Turf Racing Reality Million, 3rd in Master Million, 3rd in The Sohna Stud Million; JEWELLER, winner of the Sohna Stud Million; MASTER NOVAK, Northern India Cup, 2nd in Sohna Million, 3rd in Mukteshwar Stud Colts Trial, 4th in Master Million; HARDY, winner of The North India 2000 Guineas, 3rd in The Sohna Stud Million; PEREGRINE, 4th in North India 1000 Guineas. Other winners include Ashwa Jagira, Legend, Top Contender, Masada, Raw Gold, Top Link, Buckshee, Shes The Best, Tiberon, Blaze Of Glory, Be My Sunshine, Back To Business, Noble One, Tulip, Devotion, King Smile, Vallee Bloomer, Ristretto, King's Crown, Southern Minstrel, Golden Adara, Shania, Niche Pom, Top King, Top Line, Top Brass, Happy Returns, Trombone, Ayra's Delight, Everglow, Triple Crown, Sea Cliff, Speed Demon, Sensational Girl, Princess Elena, Top Smiles, Ximore, Top Star, Baglioni.
Coolmore Stud considered Top Class an outstanding racing prospect. After all, their agent Demi O’Byrne paid US $1.6 million for him at Keeneland sales in 2005. Not only was he the son of the incomparable Storm Cat, but out of the Gone West mare Simadartha, who is a 3/4 sister to French Champion 2-year-old Way Of Light.
Top Class’s third dam, champion race mare and producer Coup De Folie, was the granddaughter of Natalma (dam of the incomparable Northern Dancer) who produced no less than five group stakes winners, including leading sire Machiavellian and Champion filly Coup De Genie.
Justifying his credentials, the A.P.O. Brien trained colt won his first outing by an impressive 8 lengths over 7 furlongs on turf. Ridden by champion jockey J A Heffernan in the colors of the infamous Michael Tabor for Coolmore Stud, Top Class brushed aside the other two horses in the betting Raffishing look (by Kingmambo) and Bravely (by Rock of Gibraltar) with ease.
Top Class had the same connections (owner, trainer and jockey) as Halfway to Heaven (Thousand Guineas and Multiple Gr.1 winning filly), Septimus (Irish St. Leger, Gr.1), Again (Moyglare Stud Stakes, Gr.1), Frozen Fire (Irish Derby, Gr.1), Solider Of Fortune (Irish Derby, Gr.1), Mount Nelson (Criterium International, Gr.1), Imagine (Irish Thousand Guineas, Gr.1), Beckett (Agha Khan National Stakes, Gr.1). This list of horses just goes to show the faith the trio had in “Top Class”.
In his second start Top Class was sent to Curragh to try his luck in graded company. The bookies considered him to be the only horse that could challenge the firm favorite Creachadoir in the Aussie Rules European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes, Gr.3. Top Class ran a decent race, but the race going did not suit him one bit. Creachadoir won the race and Top Class ran a mere 5 lengths behind him but only 2 lengths behind the horse that came in 2nd, Mr Napper Tandy. Creachadoir went on to win the Judmonte Lockinge Stakes, Gr.1, multiple Gr.3 races and he placed 2nd in the Hong Kong Mile, Gr.1 (to Good Ba Ba by a short head), Irish Two Thousand Guineas, Gr.1, Poule D’Essai des Poulains, Gr.1, etc. Mr. Napper Tandy went on to win the San Francisco Mile, Gr.2, placed in multiple black type races and ran within 2 lengths of the winner Gio Ponti in the Frank E Kilroe Mile, Gr.1.
Eyshal, the horse that ran 3rd in the same race was yet another excellent racehorse. Top Class ran a mere three quarter of a length behind him in the same race. Eyshal went on to win the Jebsen Centenary Vase, Gr.3, ran 3rd in Laing O’Rourke National Stakes, Gr.1 (behind Teofilo and Holy Roman Emperor) and in The Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, Gr.1.
Alexander Tango, the Champion Gr.1 winning and Irish Thousand guineas placed filly (unfortunately died as 3-year-old) was also a part of this field of runners. Top Class ran only half-length behind this wonder filly and a a neck behind the multiple Gr.3 winning, Confuchias.
In his third start Top Class finished 1 3/4 lengths away behind the winner Hard Rock City over 7 furlongs. Hard Rock City won 8 races and placed second in The Emirates Airline Minstrel Stakes, Gr.3 and multiple other black type races. The horse that placed second in the same race, Duff, went on to win the DFS Park Stakes, Gr.2, Coolmore Stud Champions Concorde Stakes, Gr.3, Ballycorus Stakes, Gr.3 and other listed races. Duff also ran placed in numerous Gr.2 and Gr.3 events as well as placing 4th in The Laing O’Rourke National Stakes, Gr.1 (behind George Washington, Golden Arrow and Heatseeker. Top Class finished only a mere length behind Duff over the distance. However, Top Class beat the favourite Lord Admiral in the race. Lord Admiral was a champion racehorse that won the Jebel Hatta- Nayef, Gr.2, Al Rashidiya Stakes, Gr.3, Ballycorus Stakes, Gr.3, Knockaire Stakes, L, Glencairn Stakes, L and placed multiple times in graded races including a 3rd in Tattersalls Gold Cup, Gr.1 and also a fourth place finish in The Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, Gr.1.
The company Top Class raced is testament to the fact that he was not just some ordinary racehorse. Unfortunately, Top Class’s racing career was to be cut short to just 5 starts as a 3-year-old as he sustained a racing injury. His owners tried their level best to get him right, but it was not to be.
Physically, Top Class is an eye-catcher, as any $1.6 million yearling is sure to be. Standing at 16 hands, this coal-black stallion looks and moves just like his sire. As you can see from the photo, he stands over a lot of ground, just like like Storm Cat, and carries that same athletic physique as well. It is a well-accepted fact in the U.S. that Storm Cat's best sons at stud are those horses that most closely resemble him in conformation. It would be difficult to find two horses more physically than Top Class and Storm Cat.