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Biggest Classic Sale Ever at Riverside Stables
The 2018 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale will be the biggest in the company’s history with 800 horses catalogued for the first ever auction at Riverside Stables. The sale will kick off at 6pm on Saturday, 10 February and runs until Tuesday, 13 February. Top sires represented include Snitzel, I Am Invincible, Choisir, Exceed And Excel, Fastnet Rock, Written Tycoon, Hinchinbrook, Not A Single Doubt, Pierro, Savabeel, Sebring and Star Witness, as well as first season sires such as Adelaide, Brazen Beau, Deep Field, Dissident, Hallowed Crown, Olympic Glory, Rubick, Shooting To Win, Toronado and Wandjina. The catalogue boasts relations to 63 Stakes winners including Victoria Derby winner Ace High, superstar sprinter Brazen Beau, recent spring stakes winners Setsuna and In Her Time, and Group 1 winners Japonisme, Good Project and Amanpour. There are also progeny of 60 Stakes-winning mares including Platelet, Heavenly Glow, Fill The Page, Irish Darling and Hidden Kisses. The Classic Yearling Sale will begin on the night of Saturday, 10 February immediately following the Inglis Race Day at Warwick Farm, with opening night again to include the hugely popular Gold Riband session. All yearlings offered at an Inglis Yearling Sale are eligible for entry into the lucrative $6m Inglis Race Series. Click here to view catalogue.
2018 Inglis Classic Sale Schedule
- Saturday 10 February - Classic Book 1 from 6pm (Lots 1-120)
- Sunday 11 February - Classic Book 1 from 11am (Lots 121-360)
- Monday 12 February - Classic Book 1 from 11am (Lots 361-600)
- Tuesday 13 February - Classic Book 2 from 11am (Lots 601-800)
National Freshman Weanlings Under The Spotlight
Weanlings by sires that stood their freshman years in 2015 will add considerable interest to an exceptional line up of youngsters set to face the hammer at the Magic Millions National Sale which starts today on the Gold Coast. The first of many days of selling, the Weanling Sessions, followed by Broodmare, Yearling and Racehorse sessions, continues until June 8. The two days of weanling sales, with well over 500 weanlings catalogued, includes progeny by the following first crop stallions (in alphabetical order): Adelaide, Better Than Ready, Brazen Beau, Deep Field, Dissident, Hallowed Crown, Olympic Glory, Proisir, Puissance de Lune, Rubick, Shooting To Win, Sidestep, The Wow Signal, Time For War, Toronado, Verrazano, Wandjina, Whittington and Zebedee.
First crop sire Deep Field (image: Steve Hart)
Arrowfield Announce 2017 Fees
Following on from the news that Redoute’s Choice has recorded his 144th stakes winner and his first from his first European-conceived crop with 3YO filly Gold Luck – a half-sister to champion French mare Goldikova – winning the Gr3 Prix Vanteaux (9 furlongs) at Chantilly overnight, Arrowfield Stud have announced their stallion fees for the 2017 season (all fees include GST). The roster is:
- Snitzel - $176,000
- Redoute’s Choice - $137,500
- Not a Single Doubt - $88,000
- Maurice - $33,000
- Shalaa - $33,000
- Animal Kingdom - $27,500
- Dundeel - $27,500
- Smart Missile - $22,000
- Real Impact - $19,250
- Olympic Glory - $16,500
- Scissor Kick - $16,500
- Mikki Isle - $13,750
- Panzer Division - $9,900
Inglis Breeding Stock Catalogue Online
Buyers will get their first chance of 2017 to invest in weanlings and broodmares at next month's Breeding Stock sales in Sydney, headlined by the inaugural Chairman's Sale (Elite Breeding Prospects) and the time-honoured Inglis Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale. In total, 543 Lots will be offered over the three days of the Broodmare & Weanling Sale from April 10-12, for which the catalogue is now available online. All 137 weanlings will be offered on Day 1 of the sale (Monday April 10) from 1pm, while 34 race fillies and the 372 broodmares catalogued will be offered from 10am on the remaining two days. Among the many drawcards for the sale will be the first weanlings by freshman stallions including Dissident, Shooting To Win, Deep Field, Olympic Glory, Rubick, Time For War, Adelaide, Sidestep, Toronado and Verrazano. Supplementary entries for the sale will be taken until Monday April 3.
High Class Arrowfield Mares Confirmed For Shalaa
Meanwhile, following the overnight announcement that Champion 2YO Shalaa will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud from 2017, Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara said, “We’re excited to stand Europe's dominant sprinting two-year-old Shalaa at Arrowfield in association with Al Shaqab, alongside their Champion sprinter-miler Olympic Glory.” Messara observed, “Shalaa displayed the high quality, early-maturing speed that Australian breeders demand and offers a fresh take on the Danzig sire-line that is clearly working here. I have inspected him personally and he is a great physical type, ideally suited to the Australian market. Arrowfield will support him strongly with a significant number of our quality mares.” Benoit Jeffroy, Manager of the Al Shaqab breeding operation, commented, “Shalaa is a standout individual, well balanced, correct and he is a great mover. As a son of Invincible Spirit he should undoubtedly prove as popular with Australian breeders as he has been in Europe.” And Khalifa Al Attiya, Al Shaqab Racing‘s General Manager, said, “We are delighted that Shalaa will be shuttling to Arrowfield Stud in Australia. After his tremendous racing career we have all the hopes he will become a top sire, and we’ve entrusted him with some of our own top quality mares including dual [Gr1] Arc winner Treve.”
Azazel Salutes For Arrowfield & Aga Khan
Saturday's Inglis Banner winner Azazel (Snitzel-Allariza, by Linamix), raced by a group including well-known Melbourne owner Bruce Mathieson, is a notable success for the joint venture between Arrowfield and the Aga Khan Studs. His dam Allariza, an unraced daughter of champion French sire Linamix, was sent to Australia as a maiden mare in 2009. Allariza has also left Alligator (Charge Forward), placed at his only start to date, and a yearling colt by Not A Single Doubt. She has been served this Spring by Olympic Glory. Allariza and her dam Alharir are among the mares His Highness The Aga Khan acquired in 2005 from the estate of leading French businessman and breeder Jean-Luc Lagardere. Alharir, a half-sister to 2001 Arc winner & top-class international performer Sakhee, is also the dam of Listed winners Albahri & Alnamara, and grand-dam of Group 3 winner Alnadana. Azazel is the 44th lifetime stakes winner for Snitzel, his 19th juvenile stakes winner and his 8th stakes winner this season. After Saturday's racing, the son of Redoute's Choice has taken over as Australia's leading active sire with $2.3 million prize money, bettered only by the deceased Street Cry, sire of dual Cox Plate champion Winx.
Arrowfield Announces 2016 Service Fees
Arrowfield Stud has today announced the service fees for the 12 stallions on its 2016 roster. Champion Sire Redoute’s Choice and his sons Snitzel and Not A Single Doubt head the roster in the wake of their outstanding racetrack and sales results this season. Redoute’s Choice, sire of his 28th Gr1 winner last month and two seven-figure colts at last week’s Inglis Easter Sale where he had 20 yearlings average $573,250, stands at an unchanged fee of $110,000 inc. GST (Live Foal). Snitzel joins his famous sire at the same fee of $110,000 inc. GST (Live Foal) after supplying five million-dollar yearlings in 2016 and the sale-toppers at all three major Australian auctions. Already responsible for seven Gr1 winners, he has added five new stakes winners to his record since 1 January. Australia’s current leading active sire Not A Single Doubt has posted 10 stakes winners this season, including three Gr1 winners, and demand for his yearlings has driven their prices up to the $850,000 paid for the Colorado Claire colt at Inglis Easter. His 2016 fee has been set at $71,500 inc. GST (Live Foal). Three new stallions join the Arrowfield roster in 2016. Top-class sprinter-miler Real Impact, a Gr1 winner in Australia & Japan, is the first son of the great Deep Impact to stand in this part of the world. His first season fee is $19,250 inc. GST. Two exceptionally handsome sons of Redoute’s Choice join their sire. Scissor Kick earned a world ranking as a 3YO with Group victories in the Gr3 ATC Up and Coming Stakes, Gr3 ATC Eskimo Prince Stakes, a Listed win, the unluckiest of Gr1 seconds in the ATC Golden Rose Stakes and defeats of Delectation, Srikandi, Terravista and Rubick. Closely related to Champion Sire Dansili, Scissor Kick will stand his first season at $16,500 inc. GST. Panzer Division also made his mark at three, defeating Shooting To Win to claim the Gr3 ATC Ming Dynasty Handicap and, at only his fourth career start, achieving a Timeform rating of 120 when fifth in the weight-for-age Gr1 ATC George Main Stakes. Panzer Division’s first season fee is $9,900 inc. GST. Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom, whose first yearlings have sold up to $310,000 this year, will stand at $27,500 inc. GST, the same fee as six-time Gr1 winner & New Zealand Horse of the Year Dundeel, whose first yearlings will sell in 2017. Smart Missile, already sire of stakes-winning Kiwi 2YO Sassy ‘N’ Smart and Group-placed Smart Amelia from his first crop, has averaged more than six times his fee at Magic Millions and Inglis Easter. One of Australia’s most popular young sires, he is again available at $22,000 inc. GST. Al Shaqab Racing’s multiple Gr1-winning European sprinter-miler Olympic Glory was very well-supported in 2015 and will serve his second book of mares at an unchanged fee of $19,250 inc. GST. Manhattan Rain has proved his versatility this season as the sire of brilliant Gr2 juvenile winner Scarlet Rain, 3YOs Man of Choice & Promise To Reign (Group 1 & Group 2-placed respectively at 2000 metres) and stakes-winning sprinter Wild Rain. His Inglis Easter Session 1 & Magic Millions Book 1 yearlings have averaged nine times his 2016 fee of $16,500 inc. GST. Proven Gr1 sire Charge Forward’s top-priced yearling in 2016 made $210,000 and his Magic Millions Book 1 average is 14 times his new fee of $11,000 inc. GST. Arrowfield Stud Chairman John Messara said: “These 12 stallions represent the best lines of Danehill and the best outcross options we can source for Australian & New Zealand breeders. Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt continue to write a spectacular father-and-sons story on the track and in the ring." Mr Messara added: "We believe our three new stallions are priced very attractively. Real Impact offers breeders their first opportunity to use a world-class son of Deep Impact for less than $20,000, while Scissor Kick and Panzer Division are great prospects to repeat the success of Not A Single Doubt and Beneteau who began their careers at similar fees.” The service fees for Redoute’s Choice, Snitzel & Not A Single Doubt are all now payable upon a Live Foal. Animal Kingdom, Charge Forward, Dundeel, Manhattan Rain, Olympic Glory, Panzer Division, Real Impact, Scissor Kick & Smart Missile stand on a Free Return basis, subject to conditions including the full payment of fees by 31 May 2017. The Arrowfield stallions and their 2016 fees (inc. GST) are:
- ANIMAL KINGDOM (Leroidesanimaux) - $27,500
- CHARGE FORWARD (Red Ransom) - $11,000
- DUNDEEL (High Chaparral) - $27,500
- MANHATTAN RAIN (Encosta De Lago) - $16,500
- NOT A SINGLE DOUBT (Redoute’s Choice) - $71,500
- OLYMPIC GLORY (Choisir) - $19,250
- PANZER DIVISION (Redoute’s Choice) - $9,900
- REAL IMPACT (Deep Impact) - $19,250
- REDOUTE’S CHOICE (Danehill) - $110,000
- SCISSOR KICK (Redoute’s Choice) - $16,500
- SMART MISSILE (Fastnet Rock) - $22,000
- SNITZEL (Redoute’s Choice) - $110,000
Arrowfield Welcome First Dundeel Foals
Meanwhile, Arrowfield's Manager Paul Messara has welcomed the Stud's first two foals by Australian champion Dundeel. Messara said: "We're delighted with both these foals, they're full of quality and athletic, and offer early evidence that Dundeel is going to be well-suited to the mares we've selected for him." First to arrive was the bay filly from Choice Blend (by Redoute's Choice) a half-sister to multiple Gr1 winner Bentley Biscuit, from the prolific family of champion sire Thorn Park and Group winners Light Up The World, World Peace & Chivalry. Choice Blend has an unraced 3YO son and a yearling daughter by Charge Forward, and a 2YO colt by Gio Ponti. Less than 24 hours later, dual Group winner Sharnee Rose (by Nadeem) safely delivered her first foal, also a bay filly. Sharnee Rose was trained by Kris Lees to win the Gr3 ATC Golden Pendant, beating Red Tracer, and the Gr3 ATC Angst Stakes, while her dozen placings included a third behind Atlantic Jewel and Mosheen in the Gr1 MRC Thousand Guineas. Her pedigree is very familiar to Arrowfield, because her third dam is Easy Date, also the ancestress of leading sires Not A Single Doubt & Snippets, Golden Slipper winner Forensics and Gr1 winners Rewaaya & Ertijaal. Arrowfield and partners have 21 mares foaling to the six-time Group 1 winner this Spring, fifteen of them, including champion Miss Finland, by Danehill sons or grandsons. Standing his second season at a fee of $27,500 inc. GST, Dundeel will parade alongside champion sire Redoute's Choice and freshman Olympic Glory at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House, 20-23 August.
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Dundeel x Sharneee Rose foal
Exciting Start For Toronado
Al Shaqab Racing has supported its Swettenham Stud shuttler Toronado (High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam) with a strong book of mares at the English National Stud this year. Toronado was a Gr1 winner of the Sussex Stakes and Queen Anne Stakes and Al Shaqab manager Benoit Jeffroy said they were blessed with two of the most exciting new stallions this year in Toronado and Olympic Glory. "Both of their books were filled quickly before the season even started," Jeffroy said. "It was only natural we supported our promising first-season stallions with our best-bred mares." Some of the high quality mares covered by the son of High Chaparral included:
- ZAGORA (Green Tune-Zaneton by Mtoto) – 10 wins in France and USA including G1 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita and G1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga. Purchased by the Qatari organisation for $2.5 million at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November Sale.
- SHOTGUN GULCH (Thunder Gulch-Rosieville by Boston Harbor) – Gr1 winner of the Madison Stakes at Keeneland and subsequently bought for $1.6 million at the 2012 Keeneland November Sale. She has a colt at foot by Frankel.
- CANDICANS (Dansili-Imbabala by Zafonic) – Juddmonte homebred who won the Prix Des Roseaux (2000m) at her fourth and final start. Sister to Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris winner Zambezi Sun and she made 200,000gns at the 2012 Tattersalls November Sale.
- PLUMBA (Anabaa-Featherquest by Rainbow Quest) - Winning sister to G1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud winner Plumania for Alain and Gerard Wertheimer. Added to the Al Shaqab broodmare band for 600,000 euros at the 2013 Arqana December Sale. She has a Frankel filly at foot.
Toronado will stand his first southern season at Swettenham Stud for a service fee of $22,000 (inc gst).
Kingsbarns To Stand In South Africa
Gr1 winner winner Kingsbarns (Galileo-Beltisaal, by Belmez) has been sold to Drakenstein Stud in South Africa to stand alongside fellow former Coolmore sire Duke Of Marmalade, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. "It's extremely exciting for us and the South African breeding industry to be standing the first Group 1-winning son of Galileo," said Drakenstein Stud's Kevin Sommerville. Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Kingsbarns won 2 of his 8 career starts, including the Gr1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, and was also placed behind Olympic Glory in the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot.
First Look At Olympic Glory At Arrowfield Stallion Open House
Four-time Group 1-winning European sprinter Olympic Glory will make his first public appearance in Australia at the 2015 Arrowfield Stallion Open House, to be held at the Stud from Thursday 20 to Sunday 23 August as part of the Hunter Valley Stallion Showcase Week. Olympic Gory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) is the newest member of the formidable ten-stallion Arrowfield roster, headed by three-time Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice and his spectacular son Snitzel. All ten stallions will be available for inspection over the four days where visitors will be hosted by the Arrowfield team in a relaxed, informal setting with plenty of great coffee to lubricate discussions about 2015 bookings. Full roster parades are scheduled for 9:00 am on Friday 21 & Saturday 22 August. The Arrowfield parade & inspection schedule is: Full roster parades are scheduled for 9:00 am on Friday 21 & Saturday 22 August. The Arrowfield parade & inspection schedule is:
Thursday 20 August
Friday 21 August
Saturday 22 August
- 9.00am-12 noon including a full parade at 9.30am
Sunday 23 August
- 9.00am-12 noon including a full parade at 9.30am
Arrowfield Stud Announces 2015 Sire Fees
Just over a week after topping the Inglis Easter Sale as leading vendor (by aggregate), Arrowfield Stud has announced its 2015 stallion fees. Arrowfield Chairman John Messara says, "We are delighted the past year has produced some superlative racing and sales results for our stallions. We have set our service fees to reflect both their achievements and their genuine commercial appeal in the marketplace. However, we are also very mindful of the pressures and risks experienced by breeders and so I trust our fees will afford every opportunity to breed profitably. In particular, I believe our new addition Olympic Glory is very competitively priced for a horse of his calibre." Messara concludes, "Nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing our clients achieve their breeding, selling and racing ambitions and our entire team looks forward to helping them make the best decisions for their mares in 2015." The full list of 2015 Arrowfield Stud service fees (all GST inclusive) is:
- All American - $11,000
- Animal Kingdom - $33,000
- Charge Forward - $16,500
- Dundeel - $27,500
- Manhattan Rain - $16,500
- Not A Single Doubt - $33,000
- Olympic Glory - $19,250
- Redoute's Choice - $110,000
- Smart Missile - $22,000
- Snitzel - $88,000
Olympic Glory To Stand At Arrowfield
Arrowfield Stud has announced that four-time European Group 1 winner Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) will join the Stud's roster in 2015. The decision to shuttle the high-class sprinting son of Choisir is the first move by H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani's successful Qatari racing organisation Al Shaqab into Australian thoroughbred breeding. Olympic Glory is currently standing his first season at Al Shaqab's Haras de Bouquetot in France. Arrowfield Chairman John Messara said: "Olympic Glory is a first class stallion prospect and as such is a major asset for Australian breeders and also a significant first step in Australia's relationship with H.E. Sheikh Joaan. We look forward to launching Olympic Glory's southern hemisphere career with a strong book of mares." John Warren, an advisor to Al Shaqab, said: "H.E. Sheikh Joaan is delighted that Olympic Glory will be standing at Arrowfield. John Messara's team have a wealth of experience standing top class stallions and are committed to making Al Shaqab's first venture into the Australian thoroughbred industry a success." Trained by Richard Hannon, Olympic Glory won 8 of his 15 starts for over £1.4 million prize money, with his biggest victories being from 1200m-1600m in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, and Gr1 Prix de la Foret. Olympic Glory will stand the 2015 season at Arrowfield at a fee of $19,250 inc. GST and will make his first public appearance in Australia at the Stud's Stallion Open House in August. Watch Olympic Glory's Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere victory below.
Mares Scanned In Foal For Olympic Glory
Four-time Gr1 winner Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) has had his first ten mares scanned in foal at Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. The son of Australian-bred sire Choisir, who is owned by Al Shaqab Racing, retired after winning the Gr1 Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October. The mares who returned positive tests include Sloaan, a Silver Frost half-sister to Gr1 winner Morandi, and Scarlet Strike, a Grade 1-placed Smart Strike half-sister to King's Bishop Stakes hero Visionaire bought by Al Shaqab Racing for $1.3 million. Al Shaqab Racing is giving Olympic Glory strong support in his first season at stud and among the mares they are sending him are dual Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Mizdirection, who was bought by the operation for US$2.7m at Fasig-Tipton in 2013. Al Shaqab is also sending him Spin, a Galileo sister to 1,000 Guineas third Moth bought for €850,000; Seeharn, a Listed-winning Pivotal half-sister to Yellow Rosebud bought for 950,000gns; the Gr3-placed pair Bea Remembered and Footsteppy; Daidahana, a Shamardal half-sister to Carry On Katie, and Orayda, a daughter of New Approach and Gr2-placed Wadaat. Trained by Richard Hannon, Olympic Glory won 8 of his 15 starts for over £1.4 million prize money, with his biggest victories being in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, and Gr1 Prix de la Foret. He is fully booked for his first season and is standing at an introductory fee of €15,000.
Hogan Happy With Byron
Irish trainer Tom Hogan says Gr1 George Ryder Stakes winner Gordon Lord Byron (Byron-Boa Estrela, by Intikhab) is in good shape ahead of his trip to Hong Kong next week for the Gr1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on 14 December, reports ANZ Bloodstock News. The three-time Gr1 winner will have his final piece of work at Dundalk in Ireland this week before departing for Hong Kong on 5 December. "He's always travelled well up to now so hopefully it will be the same again," Hogan said. "We have decided to take a chance with the sprint this time because he's beaten most of the likely contenders from outside Hong Kong, so he'd have to have a chance but obviously a lot depends on the draw and that sort of thing." Gordon Lord Byron goes into the Hong Kong Sprint in excellent form, having finished runner-up to Olympic Glory in the Gr1 Prix de la Foret (1400m) at Longchamp, before landing the Gr2 British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot at his most recent start on 18 October.
Olympic Glory Wins Gr1 Prix de la Foret
At Longchamp in France, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO entire Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by 2-lengths for trainer Richard Hannon in the Gr1 Prix de la Foret (7 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 6YO gelding Gordon Lord Byron (Byron-Boa Estrela, by Intikhab) & 3YO colt Noozhoh Canarias (Caradak-Noozhah, by Singspiel). The Al Shaqab Racing-owned Olympic Glory took his record to 8 wins (including the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes, Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere & Gr2 Vintage Stakes) & 4 placings (including the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois & Gr1 Prix du Moulin) from 15 starts.
Olympic Glory To Stand At Haras de Bouquetot
Triple Gr1 winner Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) will join the Al Shaqab stallion roster at Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy after his career swansong in either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes or Prix de la Foret, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. The son of Australian-bred sire Choisir has won seven of his 14 starts for nearly £1.3 million in prize-money. The Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory has been Choisir's headline horse in the northern hemisphere with Gr1 victories at two, three and four, namely in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Locking Stakes respectively. Hannon said: "Olympic Glory is the most amazingly consistent horse who we have enjoyed campaigning at the highest level for the past three years. He has a wonderful temperament, and physically you could not wish to see a more imposing individual." Olympic Glory hails from an in-form sire line, as Choisir is the father of first-season sire sensation Starspangledbanner, who has supplied Al Shaqab barn-mate and fellow Gr1 winner The Wow Signal, as well as Gr2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Anthem Alexander from limited opportunities due to fertility issues. A fee will be announced at a later stage.
Shuttling Days Over For Choisir
Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) will not be returning to Coolmore's base in Ireland after the decision was made to leave the 17YO stallion in Australia, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. Coolmore Australia general manager Michael Kirwan said: "He's been a wonderful asset to Coolmore's stallion roster since he retired in 2003 and beginning his shuttle career a year later." Kirwan added, "He's now a 17-year-old horse and still very fertile. But his popularity in Australia has never been better, as evidenced by the fact eight of his yearlings sold from $460,000 to $210,000, with his Inglis Easter average $423,636." Choisir has sired seven individual Gr1 winners and has achieved top-flight success in both hemispheres. The Richard Hannon-trained Olympic Glory has been Choisir's headline horse in the northern hemisphere with Gr1 victories at two, three and four, while his exciting sire son Starspangledbanner is a dual hemisphere Gr1 winner.
Kingman Wins France Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois
Outstanding colt Kingman (Invincible Spirit-Zenda, by Zamindar) overcame concerns about the testing ground to record his fourth consecutive top-flight victory in the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois (8 furlongs) at Deauville in France on Sunday. John Gosden's star, whose participation was only confirmed the morning of the race following a dry night in Deauville, added to his wins in the Sussex Stakes, St James's Palace Stakes and Irish 2,000 Guineas when scoring by 2.5-lengths over 4YO entire Anodin (Anabaa-Born Gold, by Blushing Groom) - a brother to former champion French mare Goldikova - and 4YO entire Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao). Despite registering the slowest winning time in the Gr1 showpiece since Dubai Millennium in 1999, the Khalid Abduallah-owned colt confirmed his position as the premier miler in Europe and will bid for fifth Gr1 title in the QEII Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot. "It was Prince Khalid's decision to run which made it pretty easy for me," Gosden told racingpost.com. "I thought he quickened well because it's very difficult to get out of this ground. He wasn't in love with the ground but his class showed." Kingman took his record to 6 wins from 7 starts for £957,016 earnings.
Olympic Glory Set For Kingman Clash
Sheikh Joaan Al Thani will once again try to topple Kingman with Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) set to line up against Europe's premier miler in Sunday's Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois in France, reports racingpost.com. The sheikh's Toronado proved no match for John Gosden's star 3YO in the Gr1 Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, but Al Shaqab Racing will be hoping the son of Choisir can put up a better showing at Deaville. Olympic Glory finished second to Moonlight Cloud in last year's edition of the Prix Jacques le Marois, when going down by a short head. A rematch between Kingman and Toronado is still possible however, with Toronado also under consideration for Sunday's race. But with heavy rain falling throughout Europe at the moment, it is likely that Olympic Glory will be trainer Richard Hannon's sole representative. Harry Herbert, racing manager to Al Shaqab, said: "Both horses are in great form, but with the ground as it is at the moment, it's very likely Olympic Glory will run. We're unlikely to run both horses, but that will ultimately be the sheikh's decision. This has been the plan for Olympic Glory for some time."
Circles Of Gold Family Strikes At Goodwood
Highland Reel, by champion stallion Galileo from the beautifully bred Australian mare Hveger (Danehill-Circles Of Gold, by Marscay), looked a very exciting prospect when scoring an easy 2.25-length win in the Gr2 Vintage Stakes (7 furlongs) at Glorious Goodwood overnight. The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt, who was coming off an eye-catching 12-length victory at Gowran in Ireland earlier this month, was cut to as short as 8-1 for next year's Epsom Derby. The Vintage Stakes has historically produced some smart types, with past winners including Olympic Glory and Toronado. "He was a very impressive winner of his maiden and Joseph said he has a lot of speed and we have others to get out so this race fell right for him. He has a lot of natural energy and he is a very high cruiser," said O'Brien. "He could go to the Futurity or National Stakes next. All those type of races are open to him." Placed in the Gr1 Australasian Oaks, Hveger is a full-sister to multiple Gr1 winner Elvstroem & a half-sister to fellow multiple Gr1 scorer Haradasun, out of Australian Oaks heroine Circles Of Gold. It is also the family of Australian-bred Champion Older European Sprinter Starspangledbanner. Hveger is also the dam of Valdemoro, runner-up in both the Gr1 Vinery Stud Stakes & Gr1 Crown Oaks. Highland Reel was purchased by John Warren Bloodstock for 460,000 guineas at last year's Tattersalls October Sale.
Toronado Confirmed For Sussex
Trainer Richard Hannon senior has confirmed that Toronado (High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam) will run in the Gr1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, setting up an epic clash with outstanding colt Kingman, reports racinguk.com. The Queen Anne Stakes winner claimed his first Gr1 when defeating his old adversary Dawn Approach in last season's Sussex, and will be up against yet another star 3YO in Kingman on 30 July. "Toronado will run in the Sussex, all being well. He's had his problems with his wind, but he's as good a horse as we've ever had here. He's definitely on a par with (2010 winner) Canford Cliffs," said Richard Hannon snr, who is overseeing work duties while his son is away in France preparing Olympic Glory for the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois. Kingman reversed the 2,000 Guineas placings with Hannon's Night Of Thunder when a brilliant winner of the St James's Palace Stakes and John Gosden's colt is currently the odds-on favourite for the Sussex. Hannon snr said: "I'm not sure (Kingman) will like the track. But if he goes there right and everything's well, he'll take a lot of beating." He added, "I'd like Toronado to stay in training next year, but the boss (owner Sheikh Joaan) has his stud in France and he might want him to go off there. It hasn't been discussed."
Thunder To Revert To A Mile
2,000 Guineas hero Night of Thunder (Dubawi-Forest Storm, by Galileo) will drop back to a mile after trainer Richard Hannon concluded the 3YO ran out of stamina in Saturday's Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, reports dailymail.co.uk. While Mukhadram, winner of the 10-furlong Gr1 contest, is set to step up in trip in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on 26 July, Night Of Thunder will be rested before returning in the Prix du Moulin at Longchamp in September. Hannon said: "Before the race I was confident he would get the trip and we rode him to stay. But he didn't really finish his race off. I think from now on it is back to a mile." The plan could mean a clash with stable-mate Olympic Glory, who also has the Moulin on his agenda after first contesting the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.
Toronado On Course For Queen Anne
Richard Hannon's star miler Toronado has been confirmed for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot next week, reports racinguk.com. Hannon also has Olympic Glory and Sky Lantern entered for the Gr1 mile contest, although they are unlikely to run. "Tuesday is our strongest day, what with Toronado going for the Queen Anne and Night of Thunder the St James's Palace Stakes, and both worked well on the grass at Everleigh on Sunday morning," Hannon said on his website richardhannonracing.co.uk. "Olympic Glory is having a break and Sky Lantern will wait for the Duke of Cambridge, so Toronado is very much our first trump card to play, though we are taking nothing for granted with Aidan O'Brien's Verrazano heading a small but select number of likely opponents." He added, "However, we are looking forward to Toronado returning to the track - he last raced at York's Ebor meeting last August - as we are Night of Thunder, whose re-match with Kingman should be one of the races of the week. Kingman clearly improved from Newmarket to The Curragh, but our fellow has not stood still either." Apart from former US galloper Verrazano, who made an encouraging European debut in the Locking Stakes last month, Toronado will also face stiff competition from the Mike de Kock-trained Soft Falling Rain, who was last seen finishing second to Variety Club in the Gr2 Godolphin Mile in March.
Olympic Glory Beaten By Trip
Richard Hannon believes the longer trip was to blame for Olympic Glory's (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) sub-par performance in Sunday's Gr1 Prix d'Ispahan at Longchamp, reports attheraces.com. The 4YO son of Choisir was shooting for his second Gr1 victory in little over a week following his impressive Lockinge Stakes success, but he finished a well-beaten fourth behind French star Cirrus Des Aigles. Commenting on richardhannonracing.co.uk, Hannon said: "Obviously, it was disappointing that Olympic Glory could not follow up his Lockinge win in France, but I don't go along with the theory that the race came too quick, nor that he does not like Longchamp." He added: "Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but maybe we were being too optimistic in thinking that he wanted more than a mile, because he did not finish his race, which is not like him. We'll freshen him up, and he could still go to Royal Ascot, but we will see how he bounces back at home."
Cirrus Des Aigles Wins France Gr1 Prix d'Ispahan
Star French galloper Cirrus Des Aigles (Even Top-Taille De Guepe, by Septieme Ciel) continued his tremendous recent form by easily defeating Olympic Glory in Sunday's €250,000 Gr1 Prix d'Ispahan (9 furlongs) at Longchamp. The race was billed as a two-horse affair between last-start Lockinge Stakes winner Olympic Glory and the evergreen Cirrus Des Aigles, who was coming off a victory against Treve in last month's Gr1 Prix Ganay. Olympic Glory's connections were bullish about their prospects of overturning Cirrus Des Aigles on his home turf but it was not to be, with the Corine Barande-Barbe-trained 8YO gelding proving far too strong. Cirrus Des Aigles scored by 1.5-lengths over 4YO entire Anodin (Anabaa-Born Gold, by Blushing Groom) with 5YO mare Pollyanna (Whipper-Shamah, by Unfuwain) taking third. Olympic Glory, who was being tested beyond a mile for the first time in his career, seemingly failed to stay, tiring noticeably to finish a distant fourth. Barande-Barbe was in awe of Cirrus Des Aigles' remarkable consistency at the elite level despite his advancing years. "I keep expecting to wake up and find out it isn't true," she said. "But it isn't a dream. There aren't many horses like him. He adores races like that; it was like an exercise gallop for him." Cirrus Des Aigles took his record to 20 wins (including the Gr1 Prix Ganay – twice, Gr1 Dubai Sheema Classic & Gr1 Champion Stakes) and 27 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Cup, Gr1 Champion Stakes & Gr1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) from 57 starts for €5,620,206 earnings.
Olympic Glory Wins UK Gr1 Lockinge Stakes
At Newbury in the UK, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO entire Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by 2.25-lengths for trainer Richard Hannon in the £214,000 Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (8 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 6YO entire Tullius (Le Vie Dei Colori-Whipped Queen, by Kingmambo) and fellow 4YO entire Verrazano (More Than Ready-Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway). Olympic Glory took his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere & Gr2 Vintage Stakes) & 3 placings (including the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois & Gr1 Prix du Moulin) from 12 starts for £1,211,713 earnings. The son of Choisir made a one-act affair of the Lockinge in what was his first outing since landing the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on 19 October. "That was as easy as riding work. He's a jockey's dream to ride," said Frankie Dettori, number one rider for owner Al Shaqab Racing. "I felt a bit of pressure today, but to see him travel and win like that is hugely encouraging," said trainer Richard Hannon. "These good horses get us all going, they don't come along very often." he added, "He doesn't need soft ground, he's able to act on this and goes on pretty much any ground. He's in the Queen Anne and the Prince Of Wales at Royal Ascot, but we'll have to wait and see."
Verrazano Entered For Lockinge
Former top-class US colt Verrazano (More Than Ready-Enchanted Rock, by Giant's Causeway) could make his European debut in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (8 furlongs) at Newbury on Saturday, reports thoroughbreddailynews.com. Verrazano, one of North America's leading 3YOs last year winning the Gr1 Wood Memorial Stakes and Gr1 Haskell Invitational, was purchased outright by Coolmore partners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier ostensibly to win a feature race in Europe and boost his appeal as a dual hemisphere stallion. Transferred to trainer Aidan O'Brien after a third-place finish in the Gr1 Cigar Mile in late November, Verrazano could face the formidable Al Shaqab Racing duo of Toronado (High Chaparral) and Olympic Glory (Choisir), although the former is an unlikely runner according to trainer Richard Hannon. O'Brien is keen to get Verrazano started, but stressed that the ground is key to his Lockinge prospects. "He's a good looking horse and I'd like to run him at Newbury because we are still learning about him," O'Brien told attheraces.com. "However, we won't run if the ground is worse than good."
Dettori Excited About Olympic Glory
Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori is looking forward to partnering Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes (8 furlongs) at Newbury on Saturday, report attheraces.com. Last year's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner, who ended his season with an unplaced effort in the Breeders' Cup Mile, is one of three horses from the Richard Hannon stable entered for the race. Hannon has also left in Al Shaqab Racing-owned stable-mate Toronado, as well as Montiridge, but it seems likely that the 4YO son of Australian sire Choisir will be his sole representative. Olympic Glory will be ridden by Dettori in his role as number one jockey to Sheikh Joaan Al Thani. "It is a big week, now is when it all starts. I rode Olympic Glory this morning [Monday] at Kempton and he went well. He is an older horse and sometimes a change of scenery does them good," Dettori said. "It is a good race for him to start and let's hope he can have another good season." Toronado has not run since finishing last of six behind Declaration Of War in the Juddmonte International at York, having previously won the Gr1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Hannon said: "We've left all three of ours in, but the plan at this stage is to run Olympic Glory and possibly Montiridge. Olympic Glory is really well, the ground is perfect for him and he's ready to roll. In fact, he won't mind if there's more rain about." He added, "As for Montiridge, he's probably 50-50 at the moment but is also in good form and could well take his chance."
Lockinge Main Target For Olympic Glory & Toronado
Richard Hannon reports that top-class gallopers Olympic Glory and Toronado are in training preparing for the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on 17 May, reports racinguk.com. Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao), who was disappointing on his final start in the Breeders' Cup Mile, remains in training along with Toronado (High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam), who took the Sussex Stakes but has been absent since weakening to last in the Juddmonte International. "They're both being trained for the Lockinge at Newbury," Hannon said. "The idea is that if it's quick, Toronado would go there, and if it's looking softer then it will be Olympic Glory. They won't both run but they will have to meet at some stage, whether it's the Sussex, the Jacques le Marois or whatever." He added, "I have entered Olympic Glory in the Prince of Wales's at Royal Ascot, as Frankie [Dettori] is sure he'll stay a mile and a quarter."
Coolmore & Sheikh In Surprise Deal
One of the most significant shifts in European racing and breeding circles occurred when Qatari interests purchased 50 per cent of the Coolmore-controlled Derby winner Ruler Of The World (Galileo-Love Me True, by Kingmambo), which will carry the colours of his new part-owners in Saturday's Dubai World Cup, reports telegraph.co.uk. News that Al Shaqab Racing, backed by Sheikh Joaan Al Thani, who owns Treve, Toronado and Olympic Glory, had negotiated a deal with the Coolmore triumvirate of Magnier, Tabor & Smith on Wednesday came as a surprise to many, as the Irish-based group have not been noted traders in that part of the racing world. Harry Herbert, racing manager for Al Shaqab, said on Wednesday: "The deal was done quickly and we are very excited about it. Sheikh Joaan had been looking for a suitable horse to run in the World Cup. Joseph O'Brien will keep the ride, which was a condition of the sale. He knows the horse very well." Frankie Dettori, retained rider for Sheikh Joaan, will partner Ruler Of The World when O'Brien is not available. Herbert said Ruler Of The World looked like a suitable candidate for the King George VI at Ascot in July. Al Shaqab have registered new racing colours of 'Grey, gold braid, maroon velvet cap, with a gold fringe.'
World Cup Nominations Released
Nominations have been released for the G1 Dubai World Cup to be run at Meydan racecourse on 29 March, with 341 horses paid up for the world's richest race, reports thoroughbreddailynews.com. Heading the nominations for the US$10 million contest are Mucho Macho Man, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Classic; the Aidan O'Brien trio of Magician (Breeders' Cup Turf and Irish 2,000 Guineas), Ruler Of The World (English Derby) & Kingsbarns (Gr1 Racing Post Trophy); rising Hong Kong star Akeed Mofeed (G1 Hong Kong Cup); South African Horse Of The Year Variety Club & fellow SAf galloper Heavy Metal (G1 Durban July); and Melbourne Cup and Hong Kong Vase winner Dunaden, who is also nominated for the Sheema Classic. Among the other top-class racehorses nominated are outstanding UK mare The Fugue (Yorkshire Oaks & Irish Champion Stakes), Olympic Glory (Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes), and US warhorse Game On Dude (Gr1 Hollywood Gold Cup & Pacific Classic). Certify heads the home team nominations for Godolphin which also includes Artigiano, Maputo and Steeler.
Moonlight Cloud Retired
Trainer Freddy Head has paid tribute to outstanding French mare Moonlight Cloud (Invincible Spirit-Ventura, by Spectrum), who on Wednesday left his yard in Chantilly to begin her career as a broodmare for owner George Strawbridge, reports racingpost.com. The six-time Gr1-winning daughter of Invincible Spirit will visit champion stallion Galileo after connections confirmed their original decision to retire her from racing following a disappointing sixth in the Hong Kong Mile last December. Head said: "Monsieur Strawbridge thought that would be it in Hong Kong but he took some time to reflect back in America. He always favoured sending her to stud at this stage and I think he was a little worried that, as she was already six, she might not be able to perform quite so brilliantly in the future." Moonlight Cloud won 12 of her 20 lifetime starts, including a record-equalling three straight editions of the Gr1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m) at Deauville. She also proved her versatility by scoring at the highest level over a mile, winning the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois defeating Olympic Glory and Intello. Head added: "She's a great mare with a lot of class and is also very gentle and kind. She is really a sweetheart of a horse." Head refused to say whether Moonlight Cloud was better, in his opinion, than his other champion mare, Goldikova. "When you've also trained Goldikova it is difficult to say that she [Moonlight Cloud] was definitely the best," Head told 1.skysports.com. "She had a lot of class, maybe not quite the same amount of stamina as Goldikova, but she had a very smart turn of foot. It is very difficult to compare them, they were both exceptional."
Dubai Beckons For Star UK Colts
Toronado & Olympic Glory have already provided Qatar's Sheikh Joaan Al Thani with big-race wins this year, and the powerful owner is aiming to have international success with one of the duo at Meydan next year, reports racingpost.com. With both Gr1-winning 3YOs set to remain in work with champion UK trainer Richard Hannon, Choisir colt Olympic Glory and High Chaparral colt Toronado are under consideration for Dubai World Cup night next March. Speaking on his website, Hannon said: "Sheikh Joaan (Al Thani) is very much up for the challenge of these big races, and he is all for sending one or the other to Dubai." Also staying in training is 4-time Gr1-winning 3YO filly Sky Lantern (Red Clubs-Shawanni, by Shareef Dancer) who is scheduled to run in the Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin in December.
Inaugural Sheikh Joaan Roster Taking Shape
The first stallion roster for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani's Al Shaqab Racing will comprise Gr1 winners Planteur and Style Vendome, who will begin their careers at Haras de Bouquetot in Normandy next year, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. Bouquetot is formerly the base of British trainer Jennifer Bidgood which was purchased by Sheikh Joaan last year to be the headquarters of his burgeoning breeding empire. Both 6YO Planteur (Danehill Dancer-Plante Rare, by Giant's Causeway), winner of the Gr1 Prix Ganay, & 3YO Style Vendome (Anabaa-Place Vendome, by Dr Fong), winner of the Gr1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains, were purchased in their racing careers by the big-spending sheikh, who tasted Gr1 glory this year with Olympic Glory, Toronado and the remarkable Arc-winning mare Treve. Sheikh Joaan also broke the record price for a yearling filly at auction when paying 5 million guineas for the Galileo full-sister to Gr1 English Oaks heroine Was at last month's Tattersalls October Book 1 Sale.
Hannon Hopeful Glory Will Handle BC Track
UK jockey Richard Hughes took Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) for a light exercise gallop around Santa Anita Park on Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Mile with team Hannon hopeful he will handle the tight track, reports racingpost.com. The 3YO son of Australian-bred stallion Choisir did not handle the turns at Longchamp this year and Richard Hannon Jnr is banking on blinkers to help remedy any steering issues. "Hughesie commented he felt very fresh this morning. The blinkers seemed to work the oracle with him and hopefully he will be able to travel better round here. He has obviously got to turn better than he did in Paris," explained Hannon Jnr. "It was lack of concentration. He was drawn out very wide in the French Guineas and he wasn't moving right going into the bend. He should be fine. He has got the blinkers on, he will concentrate more and he's got a chifney bridle on." Olympic Glory, along with French mare Romantica, is one of the few European gallopers competing at this year's Breeders' Cup meet not running on Lasix. "He's never bled before so I don't see any reason to use it. It can have a detrimental effect first time so I didn't want to run the risk," Hannon Jnr said. Olympic Glory will be shooting for his second consecutive Gr1 victory after winning the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on British Champions Day.
Nine Previous Winners Underscores Breeders' Cup Depth
Demonstrating the outstanding quality of equine talent that will be on display at this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park from November 1st to 2nd, is the fact that nine winner's from last year's Breeders' Cup meeting will be returning this year. The best racehorses from the United States and Europe will descend on the California track to compete in 14 events for a share of the huge US$25 million prize-money on offer. Bloodhorse.com reports that last year's victors Fort Larned (Breeders' Cup Classic), Royal Delta (Distaff), Wise Dan (Mile), Little Mike (Turf), Groupie Doll (Filly & Mare Sprint), Beholder (Juvenile Fillies), Mizdirection (Geico Turf Sprint), Flotilla (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Trinniberg (Xpressbet Sprint) are back in 2013 to defend their titles. In addition, nine others who placed in last year's Breeders' Cup will be heading back for their shot at redemption, namely Mucho Macho Man, Flat Out, Point of Entry, Marketing Mix, The Fugue, Obviously, Capo Bastone, The Lumber Guy, and Reneesgotzip. When you also consider that the likes of Princess Of Sylmar, North America's best filly, Belmont Stakes hero Palace Malice, Travers winner Will Take Charge, Game On Dude, Declaration Of War, Olympic Glory & possibly the latter's stable mate, Toronado, will also be competing, then it's easy to see why the Breeders' Cup meet deserves to be ascribed its 'World Championships' moniker.
Dawn Approach Retires To Kildangan Stud
Meanwhile, top UK colt Dawn Approach (New Approach-Hymn of the Dawn, by Phone Trick) has also been retired and will stand at Darley's Kildangan Stud in County Kildare next year, reports bloodstock.racingpost.com. The decision was made to lower the curtain on the 4-time Gr1 winner's career following his fourth-placed effort behind Olympic Glory in last Saturday's Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot. Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "The ground worked against him, which blunted his turn of foot. But he's won four of the best races in the calendar so his record has been fantastic." Crisford continued, "He is now retiring to stud at Kildangan and we are very much looking forward to his progeny in the future. Godolphin are so proud of him." Dawn Approach, who was crowned champion 2YO last season, retires the winner of 8 of 12 starts for earnings of £922,494. His Gr1 victories were the National Stakes at The Curragh, the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, the 2,000 Guineas & the St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot in June where he defeated fellow crack 3YO Toronado.
Olympic Glory Wins UK Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
At Ascot in the UK, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Gr1 success when 3YO colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by 3.25-lengths for trainer Richard Hannon in the £1million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (8 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 3YO gelding Top Notch Tonto (Thousand Words-Elite Hope, by Moment of Hope) & fellow 3YO colt Kingsbarns (Galileo-Beltisaal, by Belmez). Olympic Glory took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere & Gr2 Vintage Stakes) & 3 placings (including the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois & Gr1 Prix du Moulin) from 10 starts for £1,090,354 earnings.
Ascot Unlikely For Hannon Star Duo If Rain Arrives
Star UK gallopers Sky Lantern and Toronado are unlikely to run on Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday if the ground is soft, reports 1.skysports.com. If that is the case, then that would leave Choisir colt Olympic Glory as Richard Hannon's only runner in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (8 furlongs). All three horses hold entries in the £1 million Gr1 feature, while Sky Lantern has two possible alternatives – the Gr1 Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) or a trip to Hong Kong. Hannon has confirmed Olympic Glory as a certain runner, but Toronado could be rerouted to the Breeders' Cup if the forecast rain eventuates. "The filly (Sky Lantern) likes fastish ground and so does Toronado, but Olympic Glory could be the one for there (Ascot)," explained Hannon. "Ascot drains very quick but I think there's more rain forecast, so we'll have to play it by ear." Hannon continued, "I would imagine, as it stands with the ground soft, Olympic Glory will go there, Toronado will go to the Breeders' Cup and the filly would probably go nowhere - or she might to Hong Kong." Hannon added that Olympic Glory, runner-up to Maxios in the Gr1 Prix du Moulin last start, would wear blinkers after reacting positively to them in track work during the week.
Bolger Happy With Dawn Approach
Irish trainer Jim Bolger reports Dawn Approach to be in good health ahead of the £1 million Gr1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (8 furlongs) at Ascot this Saturday. According to sportinglife.com, the 4-time Gr1-winning colt has recovered from an illness which sidelined him following his disappointing performance in the Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville in August. On that occasion Dawn Approach was beaten comprehensively by Moonlight Cloud & Olympic Glory, with the latter likely to oppose him again on Saturday. "Dawn Approach is very well and we are very happy with him," Bolger said on Tuesday morning. "I am hopeful that he will be able to cope with the softer ground but we won't be sure until after the race." The Queen Elizabeth II, Europe's richest mile race, has attracted a high-class field of gallopers in what is shaping as one of the highlights of the English flat season. The field of 17 runners includes Gr1 winners Soft Falling Rain, Declaration Of War, Sky Lantern, Toronado, Elusive Kate, Farhh, Maxios, Kingsbarns, Magician & Gordon Lord Byron.
Maxios Wins France Gr1 Prix Du Moulin De Longchamp
At Longchamp in France, 5YO entire Maxios (Monsun-Moonlight's Box, by Nureyev) scored by a crushing 5-lengths for trainer J.Pease in the €450,000 Gr1 Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (1600m) for 3YOs+, over 3YO colts Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) & Anodin (Anabaa-Born Gold, by Blushing Groom). Owned by the Niarchos family, Maxios took his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Prix d'Harcourt over 2000m in April 2013, Gr3 La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte over 2000m in Sept 2012 & Gr3 Prix Thomas Bryon over 1600m in Oct 2010 as a 2YO) & 2 placings (including a last start 2nd in the Gr1 Prix Ganay) from 17 starts.
It's On: Al Kazeem vs Toronado
Outstanding colt Toronado has been confirmed as a definite starter in tonight's Juddmonte International (10 furlongs) at York setting up an intriguing clash with fellow Gr1 galloper Al Kazeem, reports theguardian.com. Toronado (High Chaparral-Wana Doo, by Grand Slam), last-start conqueror of Dawn Approach in the Gr1 Sussex Stakes over a mile, will have his stamina tested against a top class rival already proven over the journey. "If he doesn't stay the mile and a quarter, that's fine, we won't know until we try," commented assistant trainer Richard Hannon Jnr. "But he'll have two months to get over it before the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and there's not a lot for him in between." Hannon Jnr pointed out that the Qatari Sheikh Joaan, who owns Toronado, also owns Choisir colt Olympic Glory and that the pair may clash if kept to a mile. "Olympic Glory looks a definite miler," Hannon Jnr continued, "whereas this fella might get more, so we'll have a go." Three-time Gr1 winner Al Kazeem (Dubawi-Kazeem, by Darshaan) is bidding to make history as the first horse to win the Prince Of Wales, the Eclipse and the International in the same season.
Moonlight Cloud Wins France Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois
At Deauville in France, former European Champion 1st Season Sire & Chatswood Stud shuttler Invincible Spirit (Green Desert-Rafha, by Kris) added a group success when 5YO mare Moonlight Cloud (Invincible Spirit-Ventura, by Spectrum) scored by a short head for trainer Freddie Head in the €600,000 Gr1 Prix Jacques Le Marois (8 furlongs) for 3YOs+, over 3YO colts Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) & Intello (Galileo-Impressionnante, by Danehill). This was Moonlight Cloud's fifth Gr1 success overall and took her record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Prix du Moulin & Prix Maurice de Gheest - thrice) & 2 placings (including runner-up in the Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes to Black Caviar) from 18 starts.
Choisir Adds UK Gr3
Also at Newbury in the UK, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a group success when the colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by 1-length for trainer Richard Hannon in the £60,000 Gr3 Greenham Stakes (7 furlongs) for 3YO males, over fellow colts Sir Patrick Moore (Astronomer Royal-America Nova, by Verglas) & Moohaajim (Cape Cross-Thiella, by Kingmambo). One of the best juveniles in training last year, Olympic Glory took his record to 5 wins (also including Longchamp's Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, Gr2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood & Gr2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket) & a runner-up (in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot) from 6 starts.
Twin Options For Van Der Neer
In UK racing news, trainer Richard Hannon told racingpost.com that last start Listed-winning 3YO colt Van Der Neer (Dutch Art-Lalectra, by King Charlemagne) will now head to either the English or Irish Guineas. Hannon is in the enviable position of trying to juggle the needs of his 3YOs which is why he elected to run Van Der Neer in the Listed Lingfield Stakes rather than trial him against some of his other young stars. Hannon, who also has crack 3YOs Olympic Glory & Toronado observed, "We have so many balls to juggle and we don't want our Guineas contenders taking each other on in the trials, so the Lingfield race suited Van Der Neer nicely. We also used it as a stepping-stone for Dubawi Gold, who went on to finish second to Frankel in the Guineas, and Van der Neer will have learned a lot from that and looked as if the mile suited him well. They cannot all run in the Craven and Greenham Stakes, but Van der Neer has confirmed our opinion that he is a Guineas horse, though whether it will be Newmarket or The Curragh has not yet been decided."
Olympic Glory Wins France Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
At Longchamp, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Gr1 success when juvenile colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by 1.25-lengths for trainer Richard Hannon in the €350,000 Gr1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (1400m) for 2YO colts and geldings, over the filly What a Name (Mr Greeley-Bonnie Byerly, by Dayjur) & fellow colt Indian Jade (Sleeping Indian-Flora Burn, by Jade Robbery). Olympic Glory took his record to 4 wins (including the Gr2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood & Gr2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket) and 1 placing (2nd in the Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot) from 5 starts.
Choisir Adds UK Gr2
Also at Goodwood overnight, multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a juvenile group success when his colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored a 0.5-length victory for trainer Richard Hannon over fellow colts Artigiano (Distorted Humor-Angel Craft, by AP Indy) & Luhaif (Cape Cross-Hot And Spicy, by Grand Lodge). Now a dual Gr2 winner, Olympic Glory took his record to 3 wins & a runner-up from 4 starts.
Choisir Adds UK Gr2
Multiple Gr1-winning Coolmore shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a UK juvenile group success when Irish-bred colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) scored by a head in the £60,000 (A$90,000) Gr2 Superlative Stakes (7 furlongs) for 2YOs at Newmarket. Olympic Glory (ridden by Richard Hughes for trainer Richard Hannon) defeated fellow Irish-bred colts Birdman (Danehill Dancer-Gilded Vanity, by Indian Ridge) & Maxentius (Holy Roman Emperor-Guantanamera, by Sadler's Wells). Olympic Glory was a £65,000 (A$98,000) yearling at the 2011 Doncaster Bloodstock August Sale. Overall he now has 2 wins & a runner-up (in June's Gr2 Coventry Stakes over 6 furlongs at Royal Ascot) from 3 starts for £55,536 (A$83,000) earnings.
UK Gr2 Winner For Freshman Shuttler New Approach
Also at Royal Ascot overnight, 5-time Gr1-winning freshman shuttler & former European Champion 2YO & 3YO New Approach (Galileo-Park Express, by Ahonoora) added a UK juvenile group success when unbeaten Irish-bred colt Dawn Approach (New Approach-Hymn Of The Dawn, by Phone Trick) maintained his perfect record with a 0.75-lengths victory in the £85,000 (A$136,000) Gr2 Coventry Stakes (6 furlongs) for 2YOs. Dawn Approach ( ridden by Kevin Manning for trainer Jim Bolger) defeated fellow Irish-bred colt Olympic Glory (Choisir-Acidanthera, by Alzao) & US-bred colt Cristoforo Colombo. Dawn Approach took his record to 4 wins (also including last start's Irish Listed Rochestown Stakes over 6 furlongs at Naas on June 4) from 4 starts for £99,391 (A$159,000) earnings.