Trainer James Cummings says exciting UK import Avilius is perfectly suited stepping up 1900 metres in Saturday's $150,000 Gr3 Premier's Cup at Rosehill. The 5YO son of Pivotal made an eye-catching Australian debut at Randwick two weeks ago when storming home to win the Tony Crawford 50th Handicap (1600m) in a slick time of 1:35.66 with a brilliant final 600m sectional of 33.88. The win was hardly surprising given Avilius's French form, which includes a win in the Listed Prix de Suresnes (2000m) at Maisons-Laffitte, a placing behind the Sir Peter Vela-owned Eminent in the Gr2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (2000m) at Deauville, and best of all, a second behind the top-class Cracksman in the Gr2 Prix Niel (2400m) at Chantilly. "He works like the most relaxed horse. The best thing about it is that he's exactly the same as when he went into his first start, not showing any glimpse of wanting to overdo it," Cummings said. "He did a solid enough piece of work on Tuesday morning and I've got to be really happy with him. I don't think I've had a horse more suited to this program, going into a 1900 metre race second up." Cummings added: "Hopefully he continues to impress us as he steps up to tougher opposition."
At Newbury in the UK, Cornerstone Stud's Gr2-winning shuttler Sir Prancealot (Tamayuz-Mona Em, by Catrail) added a Group race success when 4YO Irish-bred gelding Sir Dancealot (Sir Prancealot-Majesty's Dancer, by Danehill Dancer) continued his rise through the local sprinting ranks when finished powerfully to score by 1.25 lengths in the Gr2 Hungerford Stakes (7 furlongs), defeating Dream Of Dreams & Breton Rock. Sir Dancealot improved his record to 8 wins (including the Gr2 Lennox Stakes, Gr3 Criterion Stakes & Listed Rockingham Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr2 Duke Of York Stakes & Gr3 Abernant Stakes) from 24 starts for £455,258 in earnings. Sir Dancealot's sire, Sir Prancealot, was a precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes. He then went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville, before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes at his final race start. Sir Prancealot will stand at Cornerstone Stud this season at a fee of $14,300 (inc. GST).
At Deauville in France overnight, 2YO UK-bred filly Pretty Pollyanna (Oasis Dream-Unex Mona Lisa, by Shamardal) claimed the first top-flight race of the season for juveniles in France when landing the Gr1 Prix Morny (6 furlongs), defeating Signora Cabello and True Mason. Having bolted up by 7 lengths in the Gr2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket at her previous start, was favoured to claim the Prix Morny and she didn't disappoint holding off a late challenge from Signora Cabello to prevail by 0.75 length. Trainer Michael Bell said Pretty Pollyanna should have no problem coping with a mile. "She really toughed it out in the last furlong and what pleased me for the future was her last furlong was her best furlong," Bell told Racing Post. "That bodes very well for her getting a mile, the way she kicked in the last 150 yards. I hope she'll get a mile. She's in the Moyglare and Cheveley Park so we'll talk together and decide." Pretty Pollyanna improved her record to 3 wins from 4 starts for £228,588 in earnings.
At Deauville in France, 4-time Gr1-winning NZ Windsor Park shuttler & former European Champion 2YO Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer-Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) added further highlights to his CV when brilliant 3YO Irish-bred filly Alpha Centauri (Mastercraftsman-Alpha Lupi, by Rahy) corroborated her claim to being the best in Europe with a scintillating open company Gr1 victory. Searching for her fourth consecutive Gr1 success following wins in the Gr1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Gr1 Coronation Stakes & Gr1 Falmouth Stakes, Alpha Centauri cruised to the front 500m out in the Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois and from there the result was never in doubt. The official winning margin over Recoletos and With You was 2.5-lengths. The Niarchos family-bred Alpha Centauri lacks for nothing in the pedigree department, with her dam Starlight Dreams being a grand-daughter of champion Miesque. Trainer Jessica Harrington commented post-race, "Coming here taking on colts, I thought maybe I was mad, but she's won all her races with such ease I thought we may as well try this and see how we’re going. She's a once-in-a-lifetime filly for me to train, she's just amazing."
Three-year-old Redoute's Choice gelding Danceteria continued his rise through the grades with an emphatic win at Newmarket in the UK on Saturday. Trained by David Menuisier, the French-bred Danceteria made it four wins on the trot to advance his record to 4 wins from 8 starts when posting a visually impressive 3.75 length win in the Bbag-sales.de Handicap over 2000 metres. A 90,000 guineas purchase at the 2016 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, Danceteria is out of the talented Cadeaux Genereux mare Bal de la Rose. Bal de la Rose won 4 of her 11 starts, including two stakes victories over 1600m and 2000m in France. She also ran 6th behind brilliant filly Darjina in the 2007 Gr1 Prix d'Astarte (1600m) at Deauville.
Top credentialed Godolphin import Avilius made an eye-catching Australian debut at Randwick on Saturday when storming home to win the Tony Crawford 50th Handicap over 1600m. Trained by James Cummings, the 5YO boasts some very impressive French form, including a win in the Listed Prix de Suresnes (2000m) at Maisons-Laffitte, a placing behind the Sir Peter Vela-owned Eminent in the Gr2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (2000m) at Deauville, and best of all, a second behind the top-class Cracksman in the Gr2 Prix Niel (2400m) at Chantilly. It is little wonder then that the striking son of Pivotal proved far too classy for his rivals, running the mile in a smart 1:35.66 with a brilliant final 600m sectional of 33.88. Jockey Glyn Schofield was suitably impressed. “His form in Europe says he wants further,” Schofield told Sky Racing. “But that performance was impressive. I'm sure he was getting a little bit tired towards the finish but he showed a great turn of speed.” Cummings said that Avilius was likely to have his next start in the Gr3 Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on 25 August.
On day one of Glorious Goodwood in the UK, Cornerstone Stud's Gr2-winning shuttler Sir Prancealot (Tamayuz-Mona Em, by Catrail) added a Group race success when 4YO Irish-bred gelding Sir Dancealot (Sir Prancealot-Majesty's Dancer, by Danehill Dancer) landed the Gr2 Lennox Stakes (7 furlongs), defeating Suedois & Breton Rock. Sir Dancealot improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr3 Criterion Stakes & Listed Rockingham Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr2 Duke Of York Stakes & Gr3 Abernant Stakes) from 23 starts for £370,203 in earnings. Sir Dancealot's sire, Sir Prancealot, was a precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes. He then went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville, before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes at his final race start. Sir Prancealot will stand at Cornerstone Stud this season at a fee of $14,300 inc. GST.
Highly regarded filly With You (Dansili-In Clover, by Inchinor) claimed her first top-flight success when landing the Group 1 Prix Rothschild (1600m) in fetching style at Deauville in France on Sunday. Trained by Freddy Head on behalf of her US owner & breeder George Strawbridge, With You drew clear over the concluding stages to score an impressive 3 length win over the Godolphin duo of Crown Walk and Rosa Imperial in the 3YO+ fillies & mares feature. With You, a full-sister to Gr1 Prix de l'Opera & Gr1 Prix Saint Alary winner We Are, advanced her record to 3 wins and 1 placing from 5 starts for €289,250 in earnings. With You had shown a glimpse of her ability when resuming with a narrow second to French Oaks winner Laurens in the Gr1 Prix Saint Alary (2000m) in May. Head, who described With You as "just a very good filly", said she was likely to return to Deauville for the Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois in two weeks time.
Champion US filly and sprinting sensation Lady Aurelia has been retired, reports Blood Horse. Trained by Wesley Ward, Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy-D' Wildcat Speed, by Forest Wildcat) will be best remembered for her brilliant juvenile season that included a breathtaking 7-length romp in the 2016 Gr2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and a victory in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville that same year. Those wins were enough to see her crowned champion European 2YO filly of 2016, making her the first American-trained horse to win a Cartier Award. She then returned at three to confirm herself as one of the best sprinters in the world when winning last year's Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot. John Moynihan, bloodstock advisor to part-owner Stonestreet Stables, said: "She's sound and doing well. Peter [Leidel] and Barbara [Banke] just decided it was time. She's been great to everybody. She retires as one of the great ones, that's for sure." Ward said he supported the owners' decision. "She's been a tremendous filly and fantastic to me and the owners," Ward said. "Now I look forward to her next career. Hopefully, she can have a foal who is as good as she was. That's what we all hope for." Mating plans for Lady Aurelia are yet to be confirmed. She retires with 5 wins from 10 starts and US$834,945 in earnings.
At Newmarket in the UK, Cornerstone Stud's Gr2-winning shuttler Sir Prancealot (Tamayuz-Mona Em, by Catrail) added a Group race success when 4YO Irish-bred gelding Sir Dancealot (Sir Prancealot-Majesty's Dancer, by Danehill Dancer) showed a good turn of foot to score a 1 length win in the Gr3 Criterion Stakes (7 furlongs), defeating So Beloved & Larchmont Lad. Sir Dancealot improved his record to 6 wins (including the Listed Rockingham Stakes) and 5 placings (including the Gr2 Duke Of York Stakes & Gr3 Abernant Stakes) from 21 starts for £166,468 in earnings. Sir Dancealot's sire, Sir Prancealot, was a precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes. He then went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville, before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes at his final race start. Sir Prancealot will stand at Cornerstone Stud this season at a fee of $14,300 inc. GST.
The catalogue for the 2018 Arqana August Yearling Sale is now available online. Past graduates include 2016 sales topper Magif Wand, who won the Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last week, 2017 Epsom Derby winner Wings Of Eagles and Hong Kong star Pakistan Star. This year, no less than 345 yearlings will attempt to follow in their footsteps when they go under the hammer from 18th - 20th of August 18 at Deauville. The catalogue will feature yearlings by Europe's top stallions, including two by Dubawi, six by Galileo, three by Frankel, nine by Invincible Spirit and 25 by French sire sensation Siyouni. Other established sires featured are Darbirsim, Dark Angel, Exceed and Excel, Iffraaj, Le Havre, Lope de Vega, Sea The Stars and Wootton Bassett. The August Yearling Sale will be the first opportunity in Europe to secure yearlings from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Arc winner and European Horse of the Year Golden Horn, European Champion Sprinter Muhaarar, dual Classic winner Gleneagles, and Gr1 winning Australian sprinter Brazen Beau. Click here to view catalogue.
Haunui Farm in conjunction with Whitsbury Manor Stud have announced that Showcasing will no longer shuttle to the southern hemisphere, reports NZ Racing Desk. Showcasing's stallion career has continued to flourish at Whitsbury Manor Stud in the UK where he now commands a fully booked service fee of £35,000 having started his stud career in 2011 at a service fee of £5,000. The son of Oasis Dream now has 25 stakes winners after his 3YO son Dice Roll (FR) staked a claim for the French 2000 Guineas with a brilliant 5 length in the Gr3 Prix Djebel at Deauville on Tuesday. Given his European success and popularity, Whitsbury Manor Stud's offer to purchase the 50 per cent shareholding owned by the New Zealand-based shareholders of Showcasing was accepted on the condition that he no longer shuttle to the southern hemisphere. Showcasing has been represented by six stakes winners in the southern hemisphere this racing season including exciting 3YOs Be Bee and So Far Sokool and 2YO Group winners Xpression and Bit Lippy. Showcasing stood at Haunui Farm last season at $12,000 + GST and will be represented by three further racing crops in the southern hemisphere.
Beautifully-named roan entire The Grey Gatsby (Mastercraftsman-Marie Vision, by Entrepreneur) has commenced his much anticipated stud career at Normandy's Haras du Petit Tellier with a dream start with confirmation that his first three covered mares have scanned in foal, reports racingpost.com. Ranked Joint Head of the 2014 World Thoroughbred Rankings of 2014 and Champion 3YO in Great Britain and Ireland in the same year, the dashing galloper was victorious in both the Gr1 Prix de Jockey Club (French Derby) and Gr1 Irish Champion Stakes. He was also runner-up at Gr1 level in the Dubai Turf, York International, Eclipse Stakes and Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot. The three mares to have tested positive so far include Daliapour mare and Listed winner producer Kikinda, a half-sister to two Listed winners in Quindiana and Dansili mare Slitana, dam of multiple stakes-winning sprinter Son Cesio. A descendant of the mighty Maxima (3rd dam), Gr1 winner of the Prix de la Salamandre and prolific black type producer, The Grey Gatsby has a host of other headline mares booked this season NH season including Gr3 winner Ma Preference and topically for Melbournites, Moonee Valley, a 2YO Gr3 winner at Deauville.
Top French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, best known as the trainer of champion mare and dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve, has announced she is retiring from the sport. Head-Maarek, whose career has spanned 40 years, will saddle up her final runners on 1 February. However, she will not be lost to the sport and plans to spend more time at her family's stud, Haras du Quesnay in Deauville. "It was a tough decision to take, because it is always tough when you decide to change. It is a big change for me. I have been training since 1977, so 41 years," she told Sky Sports. "I've been very lucky to train for some wonderful owners, like the Wertheimer brothers, Juddmonte Farms and Prince Khalid Abdullah, Maktoum Al Maktoum and obviously my dad [Alec Head]," she told Racing Post. "For 40 years I've been lucky to have fantastic horses throughout, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It was a hard decision to make, but I'm nearly 70 and it's time to stop."
A foal colt by Coolmore's Australian-bred sire Starspangledbanner was the headline act on day two of the Arqana Breeding Stock Sale at Deauville on Sunday when knocked down to Peter Morgan of Carmel Stud for €165,000, reports Racing Post. The well-related foal was purchased as a pin-hooking proposition and will be sold again next year. "We loved him from the moment we saw him. He’s the only foal we’ve bought this year and we think he’s something special. He’ll be prepped and aimed at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale," Morgan said. The colt is the fourth foal out of the stakes placed Oasis Dream mare Torentosa, a half-sister to English Derby winner Wings Of Eagles. The day's turnover of €5,708,500 was 13% higher than in 2016, while the average price climbed 4% to €28,543. The clearance rate was an excellent 82%. The sale continues on Monday and Tuesday.
New Zealand's Paul Moroney was also active on day two of the Arqana Breeding Stock Sale at Deauville on Sunday going to €82,000 to secure the 5YO mare L’Acclamation (Acclamation-Lunaska, by Ashkalani). "She’s been bought for Trelawney Stud, one of the biggest studs in New Zealand. She will join their broodmare band, and she won’t be covered in Europe," said Moroney. "She’s a three-time winner and is a good model to be a broodmare. It’s a lovely family I’ve tried to buy into before.” From the stakes-placed Lunaska, L’Acclamation is a half-sister to stakes winner Luna Royale and the stakes-placed Lustre.
At Deauville in France, Darley's champion juvenile and Gr1 Blue Diamond & Gr1 Golden Slipper Stakes-winning sire Sepoy (Elusive Quality-Watchful, by Danehill) added an overseas black-type success when 3YO UK-bred filly Indian Blessing (Sepoy-Alpen Glen, by Halling) opened her stakes account when scoring by 2 lengths in the Listed Prix Petite Etoile (1900m), defeating Vintage Folly & Garance. Indian Blessing improved her record to 2 wins and 3 placings from 9 starts for £42,215 in earnings.
The catalogue for the Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale is now available online. Featuring a half-sister to champion mare and 2008 European Horse of the Year Zarkava (Zakia, Lot 197), and the only mare in foal to Triple Crown winner and US Horse of the Year American Pharoah to be offered for sale in Europe this season (Desiree Clary, Lot 200), the Sale will take place at Deauville from 9-12 December. A total of 953 horses have been catalogued, including 455 mares, 174 fillies, 319 foals and 4 stallions. Former star graduates of the Sale include Dialafara (Anabaa), the dam of Gr1 Irish Derby and Gr1 Irish St Leger winner Capri (Galileo), and Morning Light (Literato), dam of French Derby & French 2000 Guineas hero Brametot (Rajsaman). Click here to view catalogue.
It has been four years since Kerrin McEvoy rode his last top-flight winner for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, but his next big race success in the royal blue could come as soon as Saturday when he rides Hartnell in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. McEvoy rode more than 500 winners around the world – including 29 Group Ones - for Sheikh Mohammed during a 12-year tenure with Godolphin that ended in 2014. Among his feature race wins were the 2005 Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on Dubawi, and the Gr1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot on Shamardal. "It's pretty exciting to get the call up for such a high-quality horse as Hartnell," McEvoy told Godolphin.com. Hartnell, who was allocated top weight of 58kg for the Caulfield Cup when weights were released on Tuesday, is a dominant favourite for the Makybe Diva after scoring a brilliant first-up win in the Gr2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 19 August. "He certainly showed he'd come back in the same form that he showed last spring," McEvoy said. "It was impossible to fault that win and he can only have been improved by it."
It sounds like the ode to a looming battle and looks likely to eventuate with trainer Martyn Meade confirming his exciting Frankel colt Eminent will likely return from a Gr2 victory last start in Deauville to take on Ballydoyle's boom colt Churchill in Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. According to skysports.com, having shown serious ability at the top level with a sixth in the 2000 Guineas [to Churchill], fourth in the Epsom Derby and fifth in the Coral-Eclipe, Eminent will be partnered by Champion hoop Frankie Dettori in his Irish mission which will likely be his season swansong. Meade commented on the task ahead, "I'm happy to take on Churchill, but there's Winter there as well, so we'll see. We're seriously considering it. The horse is in very good form and Frankie Dettori is booked to ride. I think the win in France did the horse a lot of good." 14 remain in the field at this point including Winter, the 1000 Guineas winning stablemate of Churchill. The Aiden O'Brien stable is also arming itself with Cliffs Of Moher, Lancaster Bomber, Taj Mahal and Hydrangea.
A total of 140 horses have been nominated for the $6 million Gr1 Melbourne Cup, with 33 of those emanating from the Northern Hemisphere, reports racing.com. Among the international entries were Ebor Handicap winner Nakeeta, Grand Prix de Deauville winner Tiberian, Belmont Gold Cup winner Red Cardinal, Prix de Kergolay winner Marmelo, Order Of St George and Curragh Cup winner Rekindling – the latter two both owned by Lloyd Williams. Irish master Willie Mullins has once again entered Wicklow Brave and last year’s Cup runner-up Max Dynamite. Melbourne Cup nominations are up 16 from 124 last year. First declarations are due by midday on 10 October. Click here to view the full list of Melbourne Cup nominations.
Meanwhile, the Alain Couetil-trained Tiberian confirmed plans for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup after scoring a strong win in the Grand Prix de Deauville in France overnight. The 5YO, who is part-owned by Darren Dance’s Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, will depart for Australia on 13 September in top form after he outstayed his rivals in the 2500m feature. “One of his qualities is his ability to be ridden forward or at the rear of the field. The plane tickets for Australia have been booked for a long time,” ANZ Bloodstock News reports Couetil as saying. Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock principal Dance commented: “He’s a horse the team identified back in November as a potential horse for the Melbourne Cup this year.” He added: “Initially we thought we would target the 2018 edition, but he’s come on so well, he’s just improved and just keeps winning so he became a project for 2017. He’s had a great prep, four wins from five starts, it’s just outstanding really.” It was the fourth stakes victory and the sixth win overall for Tiberian, whose biggest previous successes were in the Gr3 Prix d’Hedouville (2400m) and Prix de Reux (2500m).
Prohibitive odds are sure to accompany outstanding Scat Daddy 3YO filly Lady Aureila when she lines up in tonight's Gr1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York, reports bloodhorse.com. With an enviable record of five wins from her first six starts, where only September's Gr1 Cheveley Park Stakes has denied her, Lady Aurelia already has a brace of Gr1 wins with the Darley Prix Morny at Deauville and Royal Ascot's Kings' Stand Stakes in her locker. Her main danger in the Nunthorpe looms as Dark Angel gelding Battash, out to make it four on the trot and in peak form after saluting easily in the Gr2 Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood. Lady Aurelia is from a Gr2-winning Forest Wildcat mare, features a double cross of Storm Cat and is owned by powerful triumvirate including Stonestreet Stables. The icing on the cake for Lady Aurelia, should she win the Nunthorpe, is a fees-paid entry into the lucrative Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar in early November.
A seven-figure son of Darley's top stallion Dubawi dominated the second day of trade at Deauville's Arqana August Yearling Sale, the final of the catalogue's Part I before Part II. The vagaries of alphabetical order had resulted in the catalogue proving stronger on the opening session as opposed to a year ago, thus making for contrasted daily comparisons – the average price was up 38% on Day 1 and down 11% on Day 2. The cumulative figures over the first two nights offer a more accurate analysis. With a slightly more condensed catalogue, 122 yearlings sold out of the 160 offered through Part I, achieving an overall 76% clearance rate (80% in 2016). The average price reached a strong €240,008, up 12% from last year, while the overall aggregate slipped 2.9% at €29,486,000, with 17 less horses sold.
At the annual Arqana August Yearling Sale held in France's seaside port of Deauville, a triumvirate comprising Markus Jooste's Mayfair Speculators, Peter & Ross Doyle & Coolmore's MV Magnier was stretched to €950,000 to land the first session's sale-topping filly by world champion stallion Galileo. Consigned by Ecurie des Monceaux, who bred her with Skymarc Farm, Lot 51 is the sixth foal of her stakes-winning dam Prudenzia (by Dansili). From the family of Gr1 English Oaks heroine Alexandrova, herself a Gr1 class producer, Prudenzia's 2010 foal (by Montjeu) is Chiquita, winner of the Gr1 Irish Oaks and placed in Chantilly's Gr1 Prix de Diane & Ascot's Gr1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes. Prudenzia's 2016 foal is also a filly by Galileo. Meanwhile, on Day-1 of the two day Arqana August Yearling Sale in France, strong demand was evident with 67 of the 82 yearlings catalogued changing hands at 81%, while the average price closed at €258,239, up significantly on 2016.
The win of Eminent in France on Tuesday has drawn attention to the future stud prospects of the beautifully bred Frankel colt, which could obviously include standing in New Zealand, reports NZ Racing Desk. Carrying owner Sir Peter Vela's famous Pencarrow Stud colours, Eminent appreciated a huge drop in class to post a dominant 3 length win in the Gr2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (10 furlongs) at Deauville. It was Eminent's second stakes victory after landing the Gr3 Craven Stakes on his 3YO debut, and follows creditable performances against the best of Britain's classic generation in the English 2,000 Guineas (sixth), English Derby (fifth), and Coral Eclipse Stakes (fourth). "It's in the back of Sir Peter's mind," said Pencarrow manager Leon Casey, referring to Eminent's future stallion career. "It's a fantastic result and Sir Peter has been a massive fan of Frankel right from the get go. He sent a couple of mares to him in the first season and one of his mare's Assume, a daughter of Fastnet Rock, is due to foal to him this year." Casey continued: "The horse has pretty much made a strong stallion case even now in either the Southern or Northern Hemisphere. His pedigree is outstanding." Eminent would undoubtedly prove highly popular with breeders in both hemispheres being out of the Gr1-placed You'll Be Mine (Kingmambo), herself a daughter of Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Quarter Moon who was also multiple Gr1-placed in the Irish 1000 Guineas, English Oaks and Irish Oaks.
Top-class French galloper Almanzor (Wootton Bassett-Darkova, by Maria's Mon) disappointed when finishing unplaced behind First Sitting on his long awaited comeback in the Gr3 Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club (10 furlongs) at Deauville overnight. Crowned champion European colt last year, the three-time Gr1 winner had not raced since winning last October’s Gr1 Champion Stakes at Ascot due to a virus that swept through trainer Jean-Claude Rouget's yard in April. Trainer Jeane-Claude Rouget hinted retirement could be on the cards for Almanzor. "It is very difficult for Almanzor. It is so hard to bring a horse to a race like this after being stopped for ten months, it’s impossible,” he told Racing Post. “He rose to such heights at three it is difficult to get that back. You have to remember the best of times with him and they were really very good. The race at Leopardstown was the best field I have ever seen and he beat them all so well, you have to remember that when you think of his future as a stallion.” Rouget added: "No decision has been made and we’ll have to talk with all the partners, but he seems to have come back to the stables fine.”
Eminent showed why he is so highly thought of at home when strolling to an impressive win in the Gr2 Prix Guillaume d'Ornano (10 furlongs) at Deauville in France overnight. Carrying the Pencarrow Stud colours of owner Sir Peter Vela, Eminent appreciated the significant drop in class of Tuesday’s assignment having finishing sixth in the English 2,000 Guineas, fifth in the English Derby, and fourth in the Eclipse Stakes at his past three outings. With champion jockey Ryan Moore riding for the first time, the son of Frankel was sent straight to the lead where he remained throughout scoring by 3 lengths over Salouen & Avilius in the €400,000 feature. "He had a clear run and showed how good he is. I'm absolutely thrilled,” trainer Martyn Meade told Sky Sports. “I'm so thrilled for the horse. He's come through some difficult times and been thrown in the deep end, by me I have to say. He did it in great style. Beating a dual Classic winner in France is quite exciting stuff.” Meade added that Eminent may now be considered for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. “We can all dream, can't we?” he said. “I do think he'd like that distance. I know him so well now, so it just depends how he is at home. If it's a possibility then I'd love to bring him back.” The beautifully related Eminent is out of the Gr1-placed You'll Be Mine (Kingmambo), herself a daughter of Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Quarter Moon who was also multiple Gr1-placed in the Irish 1000 Guineas, English Oaks and Irish Oaks. He improved his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 Craven Stakes) from 6 starts.
Champion European colt Almanzor (Wootton Bassett-Darkova, by Maria's Mon) will make his long awaited return to the racetrack in the Gr3 Prix Gontaut-Biron Hong Kong Jockey Club (10 furlongs) at Deauville tonight, reports Racing Post. A three-time Gr1 winner, Almanzor has not been sighted since winning last October’s Gr1 Champion Stakes at Ascot due to a virus that swept through trainer Jean-Claude Rouget's yard in April. Almanzor, who is currently second favourite for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe behind Enable, will be joined at Deauville by stable-mate and fellow French Derby winner Brametot. "It's a good opportunity because Almanzor is getting weight from most of his rivals," said Rouget. "He's taken his work well having galloped with Brametot last week. He's moving better and has got rid of the excess weight. Having missed the first half of the season I hope he can make up for it in the second part.”
Almost one year to the day since claiming his maiden top-flight victory, 4YO entire Beach Patrol (Lemon Drop Kid-Bashful Bertie, by Quiet American) broke through again when landing the US$1 million Gr1 Arlington Million (10 furlongs) at Arlington Park in the US on Saturday. Defeating favourite Deauville and long-shot Fanciful Angel, Beach Patrol advanced his record to 4 wins (including the Gr1 Secretariat Stakes) and 8 placings from 15 starts.
At Deauville racecourse in France, Emirates Park & Aquis Farm’s 5-time Gr1-winning shuttler Dream Ahead (Diktat-Land Of Dreams, by Cadeaux Genereux) sired his first Group One winner when 3YO Irish-bred colt Al Wukair (Dream Ahead-Macheera, by Machiavellian) scored by a thrilling short head for trainer Andre Fabre in the €700,000 Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois (8 furlongs) for 3YOs, defeating Godolphin duo Inns Of Court (Invincible Spirit) & Thunder Snow (Helmet). Owned by Al Shaqab Racing, Al Wukair improved his record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Prix Djebel) and 2 placings (including the Gr1 English 2,000 Guineas) from 6 starts. Fabre said more Gr1 targets await the winner. "I think the QEII at Ascot will be next for him,” Fabre told Racing Post. “We've the option to go a bit further, but let's see what the owner says. He's in the Champion Stakes too, but I think the Irish Champion Stakes could comes a bit soon."
At Deauville in France overnight, 5YO UK-bred gelding Brando (Pivotal-Argent Du Bois, by Silver Hawk) broke through for an overdue maiden top-flight success when scoring by 0.5 length in the €380,000 Gr1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (6.5 furlongs) for 3YO+, defeating Aclaim (Acclamation) & Tupi (Tamayuz). Brando improved his record to 7 wins and 8 placings (including the Gr1 July Cup & Gr1 British Champion Sprint Stakes) from 20 starts. "It's a great day. We're delighted with the horse," trainer Kevin Ryan told Sky Sports. "He ran a good race in the July Cup and he'd tightened up since. He got a great ride and he was exceptional today. We'll look at Haydock (Gr1 Sprint Cup on 9 September) next." Trainer Aidan O’Brien felt the race may have come too soon for the disappointing favourite Caravaggio who laboured into sixth. "Maybe I ran too close after Newmarket,” he said.
At Deauville in France overnight, Darley’s unbeaten European Champion juvenile & dual Gr1-winning shuttler Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean, by Danehill) added a Group success when 2YO filly Tantheem (Teofilo-Riqa, by Dubawi) led throughout for a convincing win in the Gr3 Prix de Cabourg (6 furlongs) for 2YOs, defeating Darkanna (Dark Angel) & Mister Picnic (Penny’s Picnic). Prepared by master French trainer Freddy Head on behalf of Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Stud, Tantheem improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 3 starts.
At Deauville in France overnight, 3YO US-bred filly Roly Poly (War Front-Misty For Me, by Galileo) posted her second consecutive top-flight victory when scoring a determined short neck win for trainer Aidan O’Brien in the €300,000 Gr1 Prix Rothschild (8 furlongs) for 3YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Via Ravenna (Raven’s Pass) & Siyoushake (Siyouni). Dual Gr1-winning filly and race favourite Qemah finished fourth. Owned by the Coolmore triumvirate of Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor, Roly Poly improved her record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 Falmouth Stakes & Gr2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes) and 4 placings (including the Gr1 Coronation Stakes, Gr1 Irish 1,000 Guineas & Gr1 Cheveley Park Stakes) from 14 starts. "All through this season she has continued to progress and she put in her best ever performance today,” jockey Ryan Moore told Racing Post. “She tries so hard and she is a high-class filly who seems to thrive on her racing." Moore added: "I don’t know what’s next, but I imagine we will look at races like the Matron [Gr1] and the Sun Chariot [Gr1] back at Newmarket. I’ll leave that to the team." From the brilliant 4-time Gr1-winning filly Misty For Me (Galileo), Roly Poly is a half-sister to Gr3 wining US-bred mare Cover Song (Fastnet Rock).
Highly talented filly Madam Dancealot (Sir Prancealot-Sisal, by Danehill) added a valuable black-type success when winning the Gr2 San Clemente Handicap (8 furlongs) at Del Mar in the US on Sunday, reports Thoroughbred Daily News. After trailing in last position with significant work to do turning for home, the 3YO stormed down the centre of the track to score an impressive 1.75 length win over fellow fillies Lull (War Front) & Sircat Sally (Surf Cat) in the US$200,000 feature. "The way she was finishing the last two races on the grass down the hill at Santa Anita, I thought she could get a mile," said trainer Richard Baltas. "She's settled now, she's relaxed and when she was last down the backside, I was like 'Wow.' I know she can run and when a good horse gets settled like that they're going to run at the end, and she did." The Irish-bred Madam Dancealot improved her record to 4 wins (including the Gr3 Dick Poole Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Listed Special Goddess Stakes) from 12 starts for 169,497 in earnings. Madam Dancelot is by Europe's Champion Freshman Sire Sir Prancealot, who will shuttle from Tally Ho Stud in Ireland to Cornerstone Stud in South Australia this year. A precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes, Sir Prancealot (Tamayuz) went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes on his final outing. He will stand at Cornerstone Stud at a fee of $16,500 (inc. GST).
Caravaggio, who surrendered his unbeaten record when fourth to Harry Angel in Saturday’s Gr1 July Cup, could make his next appearance at the top level in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (1200m) at Deauville on 6 August, reports Sky Sports. Trainer Aidan O’Brien is also not ruling out a trip to Australia for the inaugural $10 million The Everest at Royal Randwick on 14 October. "The lads will obviously decide what's next, but John (Magnier) was just saying that we might have a look at the Maurice de Gheest,” O’Brien said. "He was just saying that to me this morning, but we'll see how he is after a week or 10 days. I think the Everest (in Australia) is still on the table. If he went to France that could be very much so still.” O’Brien added: "After France the lads would have to make a decision what they want to do. Whether they want to go to Australia. I imagine if he was going there he would have to have a little break.” Caravaggio (Scat Daddy-Mekko Hokte, by Holy Bull), described by O’Brien as the fastest horse ever to pass through the famous Ballydoyle yard, has won 6 of his 7 starts, including Gr1 wins in the Commonwealth Cup and Phoenix Stakes.
Three weeks after running the closest of seconds in the Gr1 French Oaks (2100m) at Chantilly, 3YO Myboycharlie filly Sistercharlie has virtually replicated the performance in the US Gr1 Belmont Oaks (2000m) across the Atlantic. Ridden at the rear of the field after jumping from the outside gate, Sistercharlie produced a sustained finish that saw her make-up a dozen lengths on the leaders to fail by just a neck. A winner of the Gr3 Prix Penelope in April, the gifted daughter of Myboycharlie is now a Gr1 Oaks runner-up in the current European and North American 3YO Classic seasons. Sistercharlie is now expected to do the remainder of her racing in the US, but not until after a deserved northern hemisphere summer break. A €12,000 purchase at the Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale in 2015, Sistercharlie earned US$185,000 for her Belmont Oaks second to advance her record to 3 wins and 2 placings from just 6 starts for over €465,000 (approx. A$700,000) in earnings. Myboycharlie will stand alongside fellow Bowness Stud stallions Bon Hoffa, Bullet Train (GB) and Walking or Dancing (NZ) this coming season at a fee of $8,800.
At Chantilly in France overnight, Arrowfield Stud's multiple Champion Australian Sire Redoute's Choice (Danehill-Shantha's Choice, by Canny Lad) added a Group success when 3YO French-bred filly Ibiza (Redoute’s Choice-Olga Prekrasa, by Kingmambo) opened her stakes account with a decisive 0.75 length win for trainer Nicolas Clement in the Gr3 Prix Chloe (9 furlongs) for 3YO fillies, defeating Monroe Bay (Makfi) & Dallas Affair (Soldier Hollow). Ibiza, who was a €100,000 purchase at the 2015 Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale, improved her record to 2 wins and 2 placings (including the Listed Prix Melisande) from 4 starts. From the US-bred Kingmambo mare Olga Prekrasa, Ibiza is a half-sister to brilliant 2016 Gr1 Prix Jean Prat winner Zelzal (Sea The Stars). Ibiza is also a direct descendant of outstanding UK race mare and producer Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace, winner of the Gr1 Falmouth Stakes and Gr1 Nassau Stakes, produced three stakes winners at stud including six-time Gr1-winning stallion Royal Palace, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, English Derby and the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, among others.
Royal Ascot winner Rajasinghe could run in the Gr2 July Stakes at Newmarket en route to a shot at Group One glory in France, reports Sky Sports. The 2YO Irish-bred son of star Australian sprinter Choisir, who created quite an impression when landing the Gr2 Coventry Stakes on the opening day of the Royal meeting, may use the July Stakes as a prep run for the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August. "We'll see how the week progresses, but he's potentially going to run in the July Stakes,” trainer Richard Spencer said. "Nothing is set in stone. He'll get an entry on Friday and we'll see how he is over the next 10 days or so.” He added: “If he does go to Newmarket next week that still gives us a bit of time before possibly going to Deauville for the Group One."
The Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August has emerged as a possible target for Royal Ascot winner Rajasinghe, reports Sky Sports. The 2YO Irish-bred son of star Australian sprinter Choisir created quite an impression when finishing strongly to win the Gr2 Coventry Stakes on the opening day of the Royal meeting last week. "The plans are up in the air. We're going to see how he is this week regarding his cantering at home," trainer Richard Spencer said. "We've got the July meeting at Newmarket on our radar. There's obviously Goodwood and we've been talking of going to Deauville for the Prix on August 20.” Spencer said Rajasinghe had thrived since his Royal Ascot triumph. "There's not many will do what he's done. Since he came back, he's ate, slept and put on weight. He's phenomenal. He's come out of the race fantastic," he said.
On day two of the famous Royal Ascot carnival in the UK, former Coolmore shuttler Danehill Dancer (Danehill-Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO Irish-bred mare Qemah (Danehill Dancer-Kartica, by Rainbow Quest) quickened stylishly under jockey Gregory Benoist to score by 0.75 length for trainer Jean-Claude Rouget in the £200,000 Gr2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes (1600m) 4YO+ fillies & mares, defeating Aljazzi (Shamardal) & Usherette (Shamardal). The Al Shaqab Racing-owned Qemah advanced her record to 5 wins (including Gr1 Prix Rothschild, Gr1 Coronation Stakes & Gr3 Prix de la Grotte) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Matron Stakes, Gr1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches & Gr1 Prix Marcel Boussac) from 10 starts for £638,745 in earnings. "We were very happy before the race and I hope she'll run good races for the rest of the season,” trainer Jean-Claude Rouget told Racing Post. “She'll go to Deauville for the Rothschild [Gr1] next."
On day one of the famous Royal Ascot carnival in the UK, Haunui Farm shuttler Iffraaj (Zafonic-Pastorale, by Nureyev) celebrated an elite race success when 4YO entire Ribchester (Iffraaj-Mujarah, by Marju) set a new track record when scoring a comfortable 1.25 length win for trainer Richard Fahey in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes (1600m) for 3YO+, defeating Mutakayyef (Sea The Stars) & Deauville (Galileo). The Godolphin-owned Ribchester improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes, Gr1 Prix Jacques le Marois, Gr3 Jersey Stakes & Gr2 Mill Reef Stakes) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 Sussex Stakes & Gr1 English 2,000 Guineas) from 12 starts for £1,970,592 in earnings. "This is Royal Ascot, you win here and we're very happy," said Sheikh Mohammed, who was celebrating the 40th anniversary since his first winner in Britain. Jockey William Buick said: "He's a pretty awesome horse, he travels so well and sees it out so well. I believe he broke the track record, but I believe he has more to give.” Trainer Richard Fahey said the Gr1 Sussex Stakes was likely to be Ribchester’s next target. “The Sussex has got to be under consideration," he told Ra cing Post. "The race he won in France [Prix Jacques Le Marois] is ten days after, so it's one or the other, but I like the sound of the Sussex."
Displaying a racing style that leaves little margin for error, outstanding Irish-bred colt Brametot (Rajsaman-Morning Light, by Law Society) teased his supporters until the dying strides of France's €1,500,000 Gr1 Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) for 3YOs at Chantilly (see below). Sent out the $2.70 favourite for the French equivalent of the Derby off the back of a hat-trick that included May's Gr1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Deauville, the Al Shaqab-owned colt ranged up to join a wall of horses 200m from home before inching ahead in the shadows of the post. Beaten a short-head was Waldgeist (Galileo), with another length to Recoletos (Whipper). Post-race, trainer Jean-Claude Rouget intimated that he'd held concerns over the winner's ability to stay the distance as until then he'd never been beyond a mile. From the immediate family of Monsun, whose progeny are well known to Australian turf aficionados, Brametot has now won 6 of his first 7 starts, with his other run producing a runner-up in Listed company, to bank €1,326,340 for connections. He was a €26,000 weanling purchase at Arqana's 2014 December Breeding Stock Sale.
Trainer Charlie Appleby has declared that exciting Godolphin filly Sobetsu (Dubawi-Lake Toya, by Darshaan) will take her place in tonight's English Oaks at Epsom, reports Sky Sports. Godolphin had originally intended bypassing the English classic in favour of the French equivalent after Sobetsu's brilliant first-up win in the Gr1 Prix Saint-Alary (2000m) at Deauville, but predicted rain forced a rethink. "She's been declared and all the indications are that on Friday it could be perfectly good ground," Appleby said. "We know she appreciates a bit of cut and she doesn't want it too quick, but we wouldn't want it too testing on her first start over a mile and a half either." He added: "Good ground over a mile and a half should be fine for her and who's to say in two weeks' time for the French Oaks it won't be quick ground?" Appleby said Sobetsu may even tackle both classics. "I wouldn't rule out doing the two. With the races over two weeks apart that wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility," he said. Sobetsu is rated an 8-1 chance for the Oaks with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Rhododendron the odds-on favourite.
At The Curragh in Ireland, former Coolmore shuttler and triple Gr1-winning champion European sire Galileo (Sadler's Wells-Urban Sea, by Miswaki) celebrated an elite race success when 5YO entire Decorated Knight (Galileo-Pearling, by Storm Cat) collected his second top-flight victory in the Gr1 Tattersalls Gold Cup (10.5 furlongs), defeating Somehow & Deauville. Decorated Knight improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Jebel Hatta Stakes) and 4 placings from 14 starts for £527,575 earnings. Trainer Roger Charlton said Decorated Knight was likely to head next to the Gr1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. "This horse has improved, he's very tough and sound. He picked up again when Somehow came to him, which was pleasing because she's a good filly,” Charlton told Racing Post. "He's got a very classy pedigree, he's closely related to Gleneagles and his dam is a half-sister to Giant's Causeway, so he will have a stallion career."
At Deauville in France, 3YO Irish-bred filly Precieuse (Tamayuz-Zut Alors, by Pivotal) provided her trainer Fabrice Chappet with her first Gr1 winner when scoring a decisive 1.75 length victory in the Poule D’Essai Pouliches (8 furlongs) for 3YO fillies, defeating Sea of Grace & Heuristique. Precieuse improved her record to 2 wins and 4 placings from 6 starts. Chappet said there were plenty of options coming up for Precieuse over the summer. "The owners were a little timid and didn’t want to enter her at Ascot so will have a think about it," said Chappet. "There is also coming back to Deauville for the Prix Rothschild, and it's a nice question to have to ask yourself."
At Deauville in France, 3YO Irish-bred colt Brametot (Rajsaman-Morning Light, by Law Society) overcame a slow start before flashing late to score by a short head in the €600,000 Gr1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (8 furlongs) for 3YO colts, defeating Le Brivido & Rivet. Brametot, who was recently purchased by Al Shaqab Racing, advanced his imposing record to 5 wins and 1 placing from 6 starts. Trainer Jean-Claude Rouget indicated the colt would now head to the French Derby. "It has been very hard with the virus in the yard but this horse was not in the problem barn, or else he wouldn't be running,” said Rouget. "He has an outstanding pedigree and I think he is a right horse for the Jockey Club."
At Albury in NSW on Friday, 5YO US-bred gelding Green Sweet (Smart Strike-Only Green, by Green Desert) claimed his first stakes victory since arriving in Australia when scoring by 0.5 length for trainer Jean Dubois in the $180,000 Listed Albury Gold Cup (2000m) for 3YO+, over 4YO gelding Cool Chap (High Chaparral-Cherishing, by Johannesburg) & 5YO gelding Overdue (Clangalang-Overture, by Northern Drake). Green Sweet, who began his career in France and was last year purchased for €55,000 at the Arqana Deauville Summer Mixed Sale, improved his record to 3 wins (including the Listed Prix Omnium II at Saint-Cloud) and 4 placings (including the Listed Prix Lyphard) from 12 starts for $229,954 earnings.
Al Shaqab’s Champion 2YO Shalaa (Invincible Spirit-Ghurra by War Chant) will shuttle to Arrowfield Stud in Australia from 2017. The Irish-bred stallion was a prolific top flight juvenile performer in the 2015 European season with five consecutive 1200-metre victories, including Europe’s premier 2YO sprinting tests, France’s Deauville Gr1 Prix Morny and the UK’s Newmarket Gr1 Middle Park Stakes. Those performances ultimately cemented Shalaa’s status as Champion 2YO Colt in both Great Britain and France, with Jockey Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden both describing him as the best 2YO they’ve been associated with. Timeform rated Shalaa at 123+ in July 2015, declaring him the best two-year-old in the world at that time. Shalaa is now about to start serving his first mares in France at owner Al Shaqab's Haras de Bouquetot, among them World Champion and dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve. Shalaa is a son of the remarkable success story Invincible Spirit, who now commands a €120,000 fee at The Irish National Stud. His 98 stakes-winners include European Horse of the Year Kingman, Champion European Sprinter Moonlight Cloud and successful young Australian stallion I Am Invincible, sire of recent mgaic Millions 2YO Classic heroine Houtzen. Shalaa will stand his first Australian season in 2017 at a fee of $33,000 inc. GST.
Sir Prancealot, Europe’s Champion Freshman Sire, will shuttle from Tally Ho Stud in Ireland to Cornerstone Stud in South Australia from 2017. With 32 individual winners Sir Prancealot was Champion First Season Sire by both winners and prize money finishing ahead of Helmet and Frankel. Included in the long list of winners were Gr3 winner Madam Dancealot and Listed winner Sir Dancealot. Sir Prancealot will travel from Tally Ho with Zebedee (Invincible Spirit) who has shuttled to Cornerstone Stud for the past two seasons. "The O'Callaghans have been a pleasure to deal with and with the ongoing assistance of Johnny and Susie McKeever we are delighted to be standing another leading sire for Tally Ho Stud," explained Cornerstone's Sam Hayes. "It takes something special to beat the likes of Frankel in a sire’s premiership. Sir Prancealot and Zebedee are upgrading mares with exceptional consistency and that is one of the benefits of breeding to proven stallions." A precocious 2YO who won his first two starts including the Listed National Stakes, Sir Prancealot went on to run fourth in Gr2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot behind Dawn Approach and fourth in the Gr1 Prix Morny at Deauville before winning the G2 Doncaster Flying Childers Stakes at his last start. His fee will announced in March.