I PONDERED recently about the possibility of Make A Challenge stepping up successfully to Group 1 class and providing the Irish National Stud’s Invincible Spirit (Green Desert) with his 20th individual Group or Grade 1 winner. Well, he has been beaten to it because last weekend, in the USA, Digital Age captured the Grade 1 Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill Down, thus crediting his sire with this landmark victory.

Bred by Craig Bennett’s Merry Fox Stud, and from a mating recommended by Irishman Gary Hadden, Digital Age is the second top level winner in his family bred by the group. Indeed, Merry Fox Stud can lay claim to having produced four Group or Grade 1 winners, in the USA, Ireland, England and Germany, from just over 40 runners in the last six years. One in every 10 runners has been a top-level winner.