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Black Caviar kept her unbeaten record in the Diamond Jubilee

Bloodstock Bites

Mon, 25 June 2012

Last week’s Royal Ascot has been hailed as one of the most exhilarating in recent years. From Frankel’s Day One demolition to Black Caviar’s nerve-wracking run, the meeting was replete with memorable moments.

  • New Approach, winner of the 2008 Epsom Derby, enjoyed sensational results from the Royal meeting in his new role at stud. A 100% strike rate from three runners earned him the leading sire title, beating the likes of reigning Champion sire Galileo (Frankel/Gatewood) and Dansili (Thomas Chippendale/Fallen For You).

Dawn Approach, winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, not only maintained his unbeaten record in doing so, but also earned his sire another notable first. Back in March, the Jim Bolger-trained colt became New Approach’s first winner; earlier this month he provided the Dalham Hall resident with a first black-type win after claiming the Listed Alfred Nobel Rochestown Stakes, and on Royal Ascot’s opening day became the first of his progeny to win at Group level. The latest addition to an outstanding race record so far saw the colt jump to favouritism in the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas, a race in which his sire was beaten just a nose by Henrythenavigator.

The American-bred Newfangled turned out on just her second appearance to win the Group 3 Albany Stakes, doubling New Approach’s Group tally. Owned by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Of Jordan, the filly was one of three winners for the in-form team of John Gosden and William Buick on Day Four of the Royal Meeting.

Tha’ir ensured his sire finished the week unbeaten when posting an impressive performance to win the Listed Chesham Stakes under Frankie Dettori. The race was a 1-2-3 for freshman sires, with runner-up Cruck Realta by the regally-bred Sixties Icon, and third-placed Lovely Pass a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass. The former, currently standing at Norman Court Stud, was also responsible for the fifth and sixth-placed Chilworth Icon and The Sixties, as well as back marker Effie B.

  • Marju joined Galileo and Dansili in earning two Royal Ascot titles last week, but just one horse, Simenon, was responsible for both. After a dazzling display in Tuesday’s 2m4f Ascot Stakes, the Willie Mullins-trained gelding returned for the meeting’s final race, the Queen Alexandra Stakes, to win by an outstanding seven lengths over the 2m6f trip.
  • Little Bridge became his sire Faltaat’s sixth individual Group 1 winner when just getting the better of Bated Breath in the King’s Stand Stakes. The win was a first Northern hemisphere Group 1 result for the stallion however, whose other top-flight performers have all raced in their native New Zealand. Late last year Little Bridge posted a career-best performance at Sha Tin to land the Group 2 Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Sprint.
  • Thirty-five minutes later Most Improved provided Lawman with a first Group 1 win after claiming the St James’s Palace Stakes. From the Prix du Jockey Club winner’s first crop, Most Improved certainly lived up to his name following a disappointing run in this year’s renewal of the French Classic, recording a first win since breaking his maiden last August.
  • Hototo won back his purchase price and more when staying on strongly to win the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes. Sold for 4,500gns at Tattersalls’ December Sale he was bought the following year for £22,000 by Stephen Hillen Bloodstock. By Tweenhill’s Sleeping Indian, he is a direct descendent of French Champion Juvenile Hippodamia, winner of the Group 1 Criterium des Pouliches.
  • I’ll Have Another, winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, has been sold to stand in Japan. The son of Flower Alley was denied a chance to claim America’s Triple Crown when injury prevented a run in New York’s Belmont Stakes, but with three Grade 1 wins to his name, looks an exciting prospect for Shigeyuki Okada'sShigeyuki Okada'sShigeyuki Okada’s Big Red Farm. Their newest recruit will stand alongside Stay Gold, whose Japanese Triple Crown winner Orfevre got back to winning ways in Sunday’s Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin following two defeats.
  • Big Brown, who also claimed the Kentucky Derby/Preakness double, gained a first win from his first runner last week. Ruby Brown, a filly by the Three Chimneys Farm resident who sold for $15,000 at Keeneland’s 2011 September Yearling Sale, won her maiden by five lengths at Kazan in Russia. The sire looks set to have his first domestic runners in the coming weeks.
  • Russia was also the nation in which two-time American Horse of the Year Curlin gained his first winners, both on the same day but at different courses. The aptly named Lucky First, out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, is also a Keeneland graduate, selling for $11,000 at the same sale as Ruby Brown. Curlin’s second winner that day, Zimniy Dvorets, got up in Summer Prize Stakes, a Group 2 event in the country. Also sold at Keeneland’s September sale, the colt is out of the multiple-winning mare Stolen Prayer (Songandaprayer).