ROYAL ASCOT DAY 3 – CUP OF ST GEORGE

After a runaway win in the Irish St. Leger (gr. I) at three last year, Order of St George was given a World Racehorse Ranking that rated him among the best stayers of recent years. To justify such lofty consideration he really needed to win this year’s Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) and that he duly did, the 2½ mile trip on soft group posing no problems as he scored by three lengths.

 

Order of St George is a son of the all-conquering Galileo. His dam, the Gone West mare, Another Storm, has been a remarkably cosmopolitan producer. She’s also dam of Angel Terrace (by Ghostzapper), a graded winner in the U.S.; Sehoy (by Menifee) a stakes winner in Sweden; and Asperity (by War Chant), a group winning miler in France. Order of St George’s granddam, Storm Song (by Summer Squall), earned a championship at two in the U.S., taking the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Frizette Stakes (gr. I) and Adirondack Stakes (gr. II). She is also granddam of Better Life, a Smarty Jones son who was a champion in Singapore, and Japanese graded winner Midsummer Fair. Order of St George’s pedigree features a pattern which is very frequently seen these days as his sire is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, and his dam is a Mr. Prospector/Northern Dancer cross. For good measure, the granddam is also Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector.

 

The 12 furlong Ribblesdale Stakes (gr. II) for three-year-old fillies went to the lightly-raced Even Song, a daughter of Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer). The Leading Freshman Sire of 2013, Mastercraftsman has kept going in good style, and Even Song, from his third Northern Hemisphere crop is his thirteenth group/graded winner, the others including group one scorers Amazing Maria, The Grey Gatsby and Kingston Hill.

 

Out of the Sadler’s Wells mare, Guantanamera, Even Song is half-sister to the St. Leger (gr. I) and British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (gr. I) captress, Simple Verse (by another Danehill line horse, Duke of Marmalade). The family goes back to a half-sister to Irish Derby (gr. I) winner, Law Society. Even Song is the first stakes winner for Mastercraftsman out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells himself, but he has seven other stakes winners, including The Grey Gatsby, out of Sadler’s Wells line mares.

 

The Sadler’s Wells line also took the Tercentenary Stakes (gr.  III) for three-year-olds at ten furlongs. This was courtesy of Hawkbill, a son of Kitten’s Joy out of the graded stakes placed Giant’s Causeway mare, Trensa. A three-quarters sister to graded stakes winner Batique, Trensa is out of Fappiano’s Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) winner, Serape (this made Hawkbill the second stakes winner of the day to go back to a Fappiano mare, as he also features as sire of the third dam of Cross of St George. The third dam, Serape (by In Reality), was grade one placed stakes winner, and is half-sister to Champion Turf Horse and Leading Sire, Cozzene. Hawkbill is one of three stakes winners from 12 starters by Kitten’s Joy out of Giant’s Causeway mares, and Kitten’s Joy has done well with the Storm Cat line in general.

 

Kodiac, the Danehill three-quarters-brother to Invincible Spirit was represented by his second Royal Ascot second stakes winner of the week when Prince of Lir took the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II). Kodiac’s sole black-type placing was a second in a group three sprint, but in his case pedigree has prevailed, and from very modest initial opportunities, he has sired 25 stakes winners from his first seven crops, including Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Tiggy Wiggy.

 

Prince of Lir’s dam, Esuvia, is by Whipper (a son of Kingmambo’s brother, Miesque’s Son), and is half-sister to the group winning sprinter, Resplendent Glory. Whipper is inbred to the three-quarters brothers Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells, and Prince of Lir’s second dam is by Thatching, who is by Thatch (brother to Thong, the granddam of Nureyev, and third dam of Sadler’s Wells) and from another branch of the same family as Thong, so that influence is major here.

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