MERCHANT Navy was unbeaten in three juvenile starts in Australia, including a minor stakes. He ran five times in his second season and crowned it with a victory in the aptly named Group 1 Coolmore Stud Ascot Vale Stakes. He also ran third in the Group 1 Lexus Newmarket Handicap and amassed some Aus$940,000 in the process.

He transferred to Aidan O’Brien with the obvious intention of building a reputation in Europe ahead of an international stud career. He made his debut here on Sunday in the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes and gave weight and a beating to his rivals, setting himself up for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.