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The olympics may be well under way but racing hasn’t stopped to watch with the Brits enjoying a Group 1 success at Deauville, while a top Irish sire prepares for an international mission on home turf.
Elusive Kate, who narrowly missed out in Newmarket’s Falmouth Stakes to Giofra a fortnight ago, capped an excellent weekend for her sire Elusive Quality when earning a second Group 1 title on Sunday. Whilst the John Gosden-trained filly may have only faced four opponents in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, between them they had won six Group 1 races and several more black-type events, with dual French Classic winner Golden Lilac heading the market again on going more to her liking following a disappointing run in the Falmouth. Her supporters missed out once again however, though by a smaller margin, as the daughter of leading European sire Galileo was unable to catch William Buick’s mount, who made all to win by a length and three quarters.
Elusive Kate is one of eight Group/Grade 1 winners for Darley’s Kentucky-based sire, who between them have earned 17 individual top-flight titles, including Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero Smarty Jones, freshman sire Raven’s Pass and top Australian sprinter Sepoy.
A day earlier at the same venue, Discernable added another black-type win to her sire’s tally after leading for much of the Listed Prix Six Perfections to score from Khadima by three-quarters of a length, a race won by Elusive Kate 12 months ago.
Family connections were also on show at Saratoga where the Grade 1 Diana Handicap, a nine furlong event for fillies and mares, was won by 7/4F Winter Memories, a daughter of 1998 winner Memories Of Silver. Though not a black-type event back in the nineties, this particular daughter of Silver Hawk was not without her own top-flight efforts, having won the Grade 1 Beverly D Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes earlier in her career for James Toner, who also saddled Saturday’s winner.
Holy Roman Emperor is continuing to enjoy a stellar season, currently lying in ninth position on the leading sires’ table and having earned a first Classic in May after his daughter Homecoming Queen’s demolition of the 1,000 Guineas field. The latter is one of six Group winners for her sire, all of whom are members of the fairer sex. The most recent runner to join the list did so on Saturday when justifying odds-on favouritism to land the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Ascot. Maureen, from the yard of reigning Champion trainer Richard Hannon, won readily by two and a quarters lengths from Sandreamer, a much bigger distance than by which she was defeated in Newmarket’s Group 2 Cherry Hinton when failing to catch Sendmylovetorose by just a quarter of a length.
Havre De Grace, the 2011 Horse of the Year in her native USA and winner of nine races, has been entered in Fasig-Tipton’s November sale. The announcement was made by her owner Rick Porter, who also said the daughter of Breeders’ Cup victor Saint Liam was doing well in retirement at Taylor Made Farm following the injury which ended her career earlier this year. Thrice scoring in Grade 1 events and only once out of the frame in her 15 starts, Havre De Grace made $380,000 on her last visit to the sales ring as a yearling, but potential owners will need much deeper pockets to secure this addition to their broodmare band the second time around.
Acclamation earned a Listed 1-2 after his son Parliament Square and daughter Boston Rocker passed the post half a length apart in Tuesday’s Tipperary Stakes. The former, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by his son Joseph, just got the better of his paternal sibling in the five furlong event, having also finished just a length and a half adrift of Hototo in Royal Ascot’s Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.
Invincible Spirit, sire of a second July Cup winner after Mayson’s five length romp in the event a fortnight ago, is to cover mares in southern hemisphere time this year from his base at the Irish National Stud. Having previously shuttled to Chatswood Farm in Victoria, Australia, the son of Green Desert will now cover mares in Ireland from September to November for a fee of €20,000, a third of what he commanded during the northern hemisphere season. Triple Group 1 scorer Yosei has boosted the sire’s profile in Australia during recent years, whilst his British-bred daughter Moonlight Cloud came agonisingly close to defeating the ‘Wonder from Down Under’, Black Caviar, when a head second in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes earlier this month.
Sad news emerged mid-week when trainer Michael Appleby announced sprinting stalwart Prime Defender had died following a heart attack on the gallops. Formerly trained by Barry Hills to win on eight occasions, including the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes, the son of Bertolini had returned to training recently following the emergence of fertility problems during his time standing at Hedgeholme Stud in County Durham. The eight-year-old had been due to run at York on Saturday before heading to Glorious Goodwood for the Stewards’ Cup.