A rather sedate pace to the 2 1/2 mile Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) ensured that several of the field were in with a shot close home, but in the end Trip to Paris prevailed to secure his first stakes victory, accounting for Galileo’s son, Kingfisher, and the previously undefeated Forgotten Rules (by Nayef).
Trip to Paris had won three straight this year, then earned his way into the Gold Cup field with a second in the Henry II Stakes (gr. II) on his stakes debut. Trip to Paris is by Champs Elysees, a brother to Dansili (who has appeared in the pedigree of several of this week’s Royal Ascot winners). A group three winner in France, Champs Elysees did better in North America, winning the Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. I), Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (gr. I) and Canadian International Stakes (gr. I). Trip to Paris is one of six stakes winners from his first crop, the others including group winner Xcellence, who also placed third in the French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) and Oaks (gr. I). Champs Elysees’ second crop already includes the group winning and group one placed Jack Naylor.
Trip to Paris is out of the Fantastic Light (by Rahy mare), La Grande Zoa. The second dam, the unraced Majestic Sister (by Last Tycoon) is a sister to European Champion Ezzoud and stakes winner Get Away With It, and half-sister to the multiple group one winning miler Distant Relative. The fifth dam is Natasha, winner of Alabama Stakes and Broodmare of the Year in the U.S., and ancestress of such as Lomond, Elusive Quality, Questing, Gold and Ivory, Margarula, Milleverof and Grand Marshall. Trip to Paris follows Jack Naylor as the second stakes winner for Champs Elysees out of a Blushing Groom line mare.
The Tercentenary Stakes (gr. III) over ten furlongs for three-year-olds was won in impressive style by Time Test, who was making his stakes debut, but who shaped like a horse who could go to the top of the tree. He is another credit for his sire, Dubawi, who is now firmly established as one of the world’s leading sires. The dam, Passage of Time – a daughter of Dansili – won the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Gr. I) and Musidora Stakes (gr. III), and she was also three-times group/grade one placed, including when third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. I). Passage of Time is a sister to Father Time, who won the King Edward VII Stakes (gr. II) at the Royal meet, and stakes winner Continuum, and half-sister to Timepiece, winner of the Falmouth Stakes (gr. I). The second dam, Clepsydra, is a Sadler’s Wells half-sister to Double Crossed, a stakes winner who subsequently produced Champion European Older Horse, Twice Over. Clepsydra is out of the stakes winning Blushing Groom mare, Quandry, going back to a half-sister to the great U.S. runner, Damascus, via a branch that also produced Champion U.S. Three-Year-Old Filly, Banshee Breeze, and group and grade one winners All At Sea and Hilda’s Passion.
The Dubawi/Danehill cross hasn’t been a prolific one, but has produced three other stakes winners, including the group one scorer Akeed Mofeed.
The Ribblesdale Stakes (gr. II) over 1 1/2 miles for three-year-old fillies saw the improving Curvy scorer her fourth successive win by fighting off the Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) captress Pleascach. Curvy was one of five runners for Galileo in the ten horse field, with two others being by his sons.
There will have been few better bred fillies on display at Ascot this week, as Curvy is half-sister to the Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) victor, Power, who was also successful in the Coventry Stakes (gr. II) at Royal Ascot, to another Ribblesdale winner in Thakafaat, and to the dam of stakes winner Amnesia. The dam, Frappe, is half-sister to three more stakes winners, two of them group one, headed by another Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) captor, Footstepsinthesand. The second and third dams, Glatisant (Rainbow Quest) and Dancing Rocks (Green Dancer) are both group winners, and the fourth dam, Croda Rossa, took the Premio Lydia Tesio in the days prior to the pattern system. The family goes back to a half-sister to the Aga Khan’s Epsom Derby winner, Blenheim II, through Royal Stud foundation mare, Open Warfare.
Curvy’s dam, Frappe, is by Inchinor (by Ahonoora), which means that Curvy is bred on what is one of the strongest crosses for Galileo, that with Ahonoora line mares. It’s produced six stakes winners from just 22 starters, also including classic winners New Approach and Nightime.
On the two-year-old front, the five furlong Norfolk Stakes (gr. II) fell to Waterloo Bridge, who followed Washington DC as the second stakes winner of the meeting from the first crop of Zoffany (by Dansili). Waterloo Bridge is half-sister to the Lawman filly, Forces of Darkness, a French group winner who also took third in the Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I). The dam, Miss Childrey, is a stakes winning daughter of Dr. Fong (by Kris S.). The third dam, Salvationist, is by Mill Reef out of a half-sister to Lorenzaccio, conqueror of Nijinsky II in the Champion Stakes, but a disappointing sire, who none the less sired an influential son in Ahonoora.