THERE will be few more significant results from Royal Ascot than the outcome of the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes on Wednesday, the first race run at the meeting with a prize fund of £1 million.
What an achievement it was for State Of Rest (Starspangledbanner) to notch his fourth Group/Grade 1 victory in his last five starts in this feature, and in four different countries.
Starting with success in the Grade 1 Saratoga Derby, he travelled to Australia and was victorious in the Group 1 WS Cox Plate. The Group 1 Prix Ganay at ParisLongchamp sealed his European stallion appeal, and now he has won one of the most prestigious 10-furlong races in this part of the world.
Dermot and Meta Cantillon have enjoyed each step of the four-year-old’s ascent to the top of the racing’s hierarchy, and perhaps there is more to come. Hopefully we will see him in Ireland in our Champion Stakes before he retires to the Cashman’s Rathbarry Stud. There were plenty of breeders who have already committed to the bay cheering this latest win.
A half-brother to Group 3 winner Tranquil Lady (Australia), State Of Rest is out of the unraced Repose (Quiet American), the sole yearling in 2013 that Dermot and Meta couldn’t sell. That option presented itself recently and Repose is now part of the broodmare band at Juddmonte. This is a branch of a wonderful female family descending from A Wind Is Rising (Francis S), and that juvenile winner in the USA produced the champion It’s In The Air (Mr Prospector), State Of Rest’s third dam.
Safe to say that few new stallions for 2023 will be welcomed with more enthusiasm than this great hearted, sound and attractive son of champion European and Australian sprinter Starspangledbanner (Choisir).
Dubawi’s landmark success in the Vase
IT was odds-on to happen at Royal Ascot, and we didn’t have to wait long. The second race on day two was the 14-furlong Group 2 Queen’s Vase, and what a finish it provided, with two body parts, a nose and a neck, separating the first three home.
Victory went to arguably the best-bred colt in the race, the three-year-old Eldar Eldarov, and he is by Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) out of the multiple stakes winner All At Sea, a daughter of Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) and the triple Group 1 winner Albanova (Alzao). This win was a landmark for Dubawi, as the colt became the Dalham Hall resident’s 150th individual group or graded stakes winner.
Eldar Eldarov was bred by Kirsten Rausing at her Lanwades Stud and consigned to the Orby Sale at Goffs, attracting little interest to the disappointment of his breeder. Not one to leave any stone unturned in her efforts to sell, Kirsten talked Norman Williamson into buying the bay, despite only seeing him as he was being offered for sale.
Williamson’s decision to buy for just short of €130,000 was well-rewarded when Oliver St Lawrence had to splash out more than three times that amount to acquire him at the Arqana Breeze Up Sale at Doncaster. The investment looks like paying further dividends, as Eldar Eldarov is now undefeated in three starts.
This is a family that Kirsten Rausing has almost singlehandedly developed into one of the best in the stud book, and all in the last four decades.
The Group 1 winners in the immediate family are Alpinista (Frankel), Alborada (Alzao), Aussie Rules (Danehill), Coronet (Dubawi), Galileo Chrome (Australia), Allegretto (Galileo), Yesterday (Sadler’s Wells), Quarter Moon (Sadler’s Wells) and Diamondsandrubies (Fastnet Rock).
Dramatised shows she is a Queen
JOE Foley purchased the third-placed Maria Branwell in the opening Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, and as pleased as he will have been with that fine effort, he was thrilled to be associated with the winner, Dramatised.
This daughter of Showcasing is one of her sire’s 13 Group 2 winners – he has three Group 1 scorers – and that stallion is Showcasing (Oasis Dream), the sire of Mohaather, Advertise, Quiet Reflection, Alkumait, Soldier’s Call and Tasleet.
Foley bought the dam of Dramatised, Katie’s Diamond (Turtle Bowl), for 190,000gns after she had won a listed juvenile contest at Newmarket and been group-placed in France.
The mare’s second foal won recently and her third is the best two-year-old filly in Europe for now. Karl Burke trains Dramatised, and he also performed the same task with Katie’s Diamond. He doesn’t hide the admiration he has for the newest star in his stable.
Showcasing stands at Ed Harper’s Whitsbury Manor Stud and that is also the base for Havana Grey (Havana Gold), and the latter’s daughter Maylandsea was runner-up to Dramatised.
Saffron confirms her star status
ALREADY the flagbearer for her Ballylinch Stud stallion New Bay (Dubawi), her five wins to date including the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes, Saffron Beach confirmed her high-rank status with an imperious triumph in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
What a buy she was for Liam Norris and William Huntingdon as a foal for 55,000gns.
Four of her five wins now are at group level, and she was also runner-up last year in the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, the scene of her biggest win.
She was giving five pounds to all of her rivals this week, and now an ambitious programme, including visits to France and the USA, on the agenda.
Bred by the China Horse Club (CHC), Saffron Beach is the sole winner for her dam Falling Petals (Raven’s Pass), and she cost the CHC €235,000 at Goffs six years ago. Her current two-year-old Providenciales (Australia) cost connections 450,000gns last year, and so she has repaid her investment. Falling Petals has a yearling colt and filly foal, both by New Bay.
Three juvenile stakes winners in pivotal year
THE current juveniles by No Nay Never (Scat Daddy) are from the crop conceived when his fee was quadrupled to €100,000 in 2019 (it went to €175,000 the following season). That group is already responsible for nine juvenile winners, and three have won at stakes level.
Royal Ascot provided one for the former champion French juvenile, and Aiden O’Brien gained his first win of the week when Little Big Bear won a hard-fought battle to land the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes, won in recent years by young sires Soldier’s Call and Ardad. No Nay Never is also sire of Blackbeard, successful in the Listed First Flier Stakes at the Curragh, and Meditate, another Ballydoyle inmate, winner of the Group 3 EBF Naas Juvenile Sprint Stakes.
Little Big Bear was bred by the Hyde’s Camas Park Stud and Summerhill, and sold for €320,000 at Arqana. He is the fifth winner, the first at stakes level, from Adventure Seeker. That daughter of Bering (Arctic Tern) was a listed winner in France, and her grandam was the outstanding All Along (Targowice), and she was a great globetrotter in the early eighties.
A champion in Europe and the USA, All Along won the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Prix Vermeille in France, and the Grade 1 Turf Classic and Washington DC International in the USA.
No handicap to victory
THE hugely competitive Royal Hunt Cup saw the fancied Dark Shift prevail in a close finish, and this was by some way his most important victory, a tally that now comes to six.
Bred by the Niarchos family, the son of Dark Angel (Acclamation) was sold for 50,000gns as a yearling to Highflyer Bloodstock, and he is the first winner for the unraced Mosuo (Oasis Dream), a half-sister to the champion and now successful young sire Ulysses (Galileo). Their dam is the Group 1 Oaks heroine Light Shift (Kingmambo).
The second day’s racing concluded with the one-mile Kensington Palace Stakes, a handicap for fillies and mares, and Rising Star (Fast Company) posted her fifth win. She will surely chase some blacktype now as she comes from a good female line. She is one of three winners from the unraced Ile Flottante (Duke Of Marmalade), and she is a daughter of Aqaarid (Nashwan), winner of the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile.