Royal Ascot glory for 'So You Think'
TATTERSALLS WILL host the most select National Hunt store horse sale of the year this Thursday and Friday. It coincides with the Irish Derby which will be run next weekend.
A total of 501 horses are offered for sale over the two days with top sire, 'Presenting', having 68 young horses listed. He is followed by Flemensfirth with 50, Milan with 42 and Kings Theatre and Westerner listed with 30 horses apiece.
These five stallions account for 220 or 44% of the total horse catalogue, leaving the other 79 stallions to share the remaining 281 lots. Local stallion masters will see some of their stallions progeny on offer which include Arctic Tack Stud with 'Arcadio', 'Gold Well' and former residents 'Heron Island' and 'Great Palm'.
Garryrichard Stud has their current stallion, 'Craigsteel', and former guest 'Luso' included. With an improved economic indication coming from Goffs Landrover sale, many vendors with horses on offer will be hoping for a fair turn-out of purchasers including some British and home-based clients.
Some well-known vendors have some choice lots on offer and they include Coolamurry Stud with eight, Ballybrennan Stud having four listed, and Larch Grove Stud also sending four. Mount Eaton send ten, and Parkville Stud with five is also amongst the main ones.
It will be very interesting to see if the pointto-point world, so visible at Goffs, still has some money in its coffers to bid on these horses. Apparently the Cork-based yards found it hard to buy at Goffs such was the level of interest and money coming from Wexford-based yards, so time will tell if it's the same story here.
With 'Frankel' and 'Black Caviar' opening and closing the five-day festival with spinetingling victories, the only money-on chance to fail was Aidan O'Brien's 'Fame and Glory' who never really got into action at the business end of the Ascot Gold Cup.
O'Brien did have some success over the five days with 'So You Think' winning the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes under Joseph O'Brien who beat the Queen of England's 'Carlton House' into second place. This was the six-year-old son of 'High Chaparral's tenth Group 1 win, and even if he didn't quite live up to his 'invincible' billing with defeats in Dubai and in America he is still a very, very good racehorse.
This was the highlight of the Wednesday card but O'Brien saddled a rare Group winner for his wife Ann Marie whose 'Ishvanna', home-bred by herself, won the Group 3 Jersey Stakes. The daughter of 'Holy Roman Emperor' had the considerable assistance of Seamie Heffernan in the saddle to win at 20/1. Interestingly, this was both jockeys' first Royal Ascot winner.
Jim Bolger scored on the opening day with 'Dawn Approach' winning the Coventry Stakes under Kevin Manning in the colours of his wife, Jackie.
This son of Bolger's Derby winner, 'New Approach', took the Group 2 race at 7/2 and will now be part of Bolger's strong twoyear-old team for the remainder of the season.
REVIEW OF THE WEEK
The local racing scene is very busy with racing most near every day. Aidan O'Brien always keeps a focus on the local scene, even while competing internationally.
The Master of Ballydoyle sent out four winners last week between the evening meetings at Leopardstown on Thursday and Limerick on Friday.
Seamie Heffernan rode 'Pedro the Great', a two-year-old son of 'Henrythenavigator', to win on Thursday while also partnering 'Kingston Jamaica', a two-year-old son of 'Galileo', to win at Limerick on Friday.
This winner was the first part of a treble for Ballydoyle as later on the same card Colm O'Donoghue booted home 'Battle of Saratoga', a three-year-old son of 'Dylan Thomas', and also winning on 'Demurely', a three-year-old filly by 'Galileo'. These maiden winners could be very interesting to watch into the future.
Racing: June 27, Naas (e); June 28, Tipperary (e); June 29, Curragh (e); June 30, Curragh; July 1, Curragh; July 3, Gowran Park; July 4, Fairyhouse (e); July 5, Leopardstown (e); July 6, Bellewstown (e), Wexford (e); July 7, Bellewstown (e); July 8, Bellewstown, Limerick.