ROYAL ASCOT – DAYS 4/5 – THE NEED FOR SPEED

Run for only the second time the six furlong Commonwealth Stakes (gr. I) for three-year-old sprinters fell to Quiet Reflection, who was winning for the sixth time in seven starts, all but one of those victories coming in black type company. Quiet Reflection is from the second crop of the distinctly upwardly-mobile Showcasing, a group two winning sprinting two-year-old by Oasis Dream, who now has eight stakes winners, six group in his first two crops. He’s also done well with New Zealand-sired shuttle crops, with five stakes winners from his first two crops sired in that country. Quiet Reflection is out of a mare by Haafhd (by the Unfuwain stallion, Alhaarth). The second dam, Clare Hills, was a two-year-ols sprint stakes winner by Orpen. Eventually, the family goes back to Bel Sheba (sixth dam), the dam of Alysheba.

 

Over the same trip, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (gr. I) following day for older horses was won by Twilight Son, by the good speed sire, Kyllachy (by Pivotal), and winner of last year’s Haydock Sprint Cup (gr. I). A half-brother to group winning sprinter, Music Master, who was twice fourth in this race, Twilight Son is out of Twilight Mistress, by Bin Ajwaad, a rare fast son of Rainbow Quest. The family has been fairly light in recent times, but goes back to juvenile group three winner Hayloft (third dam), and thence to New Moon, the third dam of New Zealand stallion standout, Star Way, and ultimately to Selene, dam of the sire line founding Hyperion, Pharamond II and Sickle.

 

The other race at the highest level in the last two days was the Coronation Stakes (gr. I) captured by Qemah, a French-trained daughter of Danehill Dancer, who had been third in that country’s 1,000 Guineas (gr. I). She is the only named foal of her dam, Kartica, who is a group placed daughter of Rainbow Quest and the high-weighted British older middle-distance mare, Cayman Sunset (by Night Shift). Danehill Dancer’s sire, Danehill, combines Northern Dancer and His Majesty, and Cayman Sunset combines Northern Dancer and His Majesty’s brother, Graustark.

 

The Royal meet hailed a Royal winner when the progressive Dartmouth, carrying the colours of The Queen, survived an objection after narrowly defeating Highland Reel for the 12 furlong Hardwicke Stakes (gr. II). Dartmouth is another credit for his sire, Dubawi, who is firmly ensconced as one of the world’s great sires.

 

Dartmouth is out of Galileo’s group winning daughter, Galatee, also dam of the Grand Prix de Chantilly (gr. II) and Prix du Conseil de Paris (gr. II) scorer Mawatee, and out listed winner Gaterie. The Dubawi/Galileo cross has previously produced the 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner, Night of Thunder, and the broader cross of Dubawi with Sadler’s Wells line mares has added another 15 stakes winners, four of them group one. The granddam, a half-sister to upset Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) scorer Arcangues, is out the outstanding Wildenstein foundation mare, Albertine, also the ancestress of classic winners Aquarelliste and Cape Verdi, and group one winners Angara and Artiste Royal.

 

Over the same 1½ miles as the Hardwicke, the three-year-olds contested the “Ascot Derby” the King Edward VII Stakes (gr. II). This went to Across The Stars, a son of Sea The Stars, who had run disappointingly behind his paternal half-brother, Harzand, in the Epsom Derby (gr. I). Harzand and Across The Stars are two of six stakes winners, five group, from the current three-year-old crop – his third – by Sea The Stars, who of course had classic winners Taghrooda and Sea The Moon, and group one scorer Vazira in his first.

 

Out of the stakes placed Mark of Esteem mare, Victoria Cross, Across The Stars is half-brother to the Lemon Drop Kid group/graded winners Bronze Cannon – who took the Hardwicke Stakes (gr. II) at the Royal meet – and Valiant Girl. Victoria Cross is half-sister to Roberts Pride, the dam of Alpride, Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in Italy, and subsequently a multiple group one winner in the U.S.

Sea The Star’s half-brother, Galileo, had a trio of black-type winners in the last two days via Queen’s Vase scorer, Sword Fighter, and Sir Isaac Newton, who gained a first black-type win in the Wolferton Hand, and the Chesham Stakes winning juvenile, Churchill.

 

Sword Fighter is out of the Grand Lodge mare, Tarbela, and is half-brother to Big Audio, who won the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. The second dam, Tarwiya (Dominion) was a group winner and also took third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I), and is also granddam of sprint Champion Gilt Edge Girl. A brother to Espom Oaks (gr. I) second, Secret Gesture, Sir Isaac Newton was an unlucky loser in the Jersey Stakes (gr. III) last year. Stakes winner 38 from 176 starters by Galileo out of Danehill mares, Sir Isaac Newton is out of black-type placed Shastye, a half-sister to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) hero Sagamix, to Criterium de Saint-Cloud (gr. I) scorer Sagacity, and to the dam of Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I) scorer Sagawara.

 

Churchill, who was making his second start, and who scored his first victory here, is out of Meow, a fast and precocious daughter of Storm Cat, who was a five furlong listed winner and was second in the Queen Mary Stakes (gr. II) at Royal Ascot. Churchill is three-quarters brother to the group and listed winners Aloof and Orator, both by Galileo out of Meow’s dam, Champion Two-Year-Old Filly and Three-Year-Old Sprint Filly, Airwave (by Air Express, a grandson of Topsider, a horse similarly-bred to Galileo’s sire, Sadler’s Wells. Airwave is half-sister to Nunthorpe Stakes (gr. I) heroine, Jwala, so this is a very speedy family.  

 

Finally, the six furlong Albany Stakes (gr. III) went to Brave Anna, who dug in under a fierce ride to narrowly defeat the Makfi filly, Bletchley. to Brave Anna, a daughter of War Front, out of Liscanna, by Sadler’s Wells. Yet another European credit for her sire, whose other runners in that region also include last year’s European Champion Two-Year-Old Air Force Blue and Declaration of War, Brave Anna is a sister to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. I) scorer, Hit It A Bomb (who was also trained in Europe). Liscanna was a relatively rare group winner at six furlongs for her sire, and is out of Lahinch, a listed winning daughter of Danehill Dancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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