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Alan on Ascot: Day Two

While Day One at Royal Ascot was dominated by Mr. Prospector-line horses, Day Two was a Danzig day, that line capturing four of the five stakes events on offer.

First off the mark was Aqlaam (Oasis Dream - Bourbonella, by Rainbow Quest), who was making only the third start of his career when capturing the seven-furlong Jersey Stakes (Eng-III). Aqlaam is from the first crop of his sire, a son of Green Desert, who was a top-class 2-year-old and sprinter, winning the Middle Park Stakes, July Cup, and Nunthorpe Stakes, all group I events. Oasis Dream is off to a bright start to his stud career, as Aqlaam is the seventh stakes winner from his first crop and follows Captain Gerrard, Starlit Sands, Visit, and Young Pretender as his fifth group winner.

Aqlaam is a representative of a cross that has generally proved to be rather disappointing, despite ample opportunity, that of Green Desert and his sons over Rainbow Quest mares. There are reasons for hoping that Oasis Dream might be an exception, however. Firstly his dam is by Dancing Brave, sire of the English and Irish Derby winner Commander in Chief, out of a half-sister to the dam of Rainbow Quest, and secondly, his second dam is by Mill Reef, who is from the immediate family of Rainbow Quest's sire, Blushing Groom.

The second Green Desert-line stakes winner of the day was Sabana Perdida (Cape Cross - Capriola, by Mr. Prospector), who took the Windsor Forest Stakes (Eng-II). Cape Cross was a later-developing miler who took the Lockinge Stakes (Eng-I) at 4, and the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-II) - at Royal Ascot - and Celebration Mile (Eng-II) at 5. He made a sensational start to his stud career, with a first crop that included Ouija Board. He's also had a number of very good runners from shuttle crops in in New Zealand, including the outstanding filly Seachange.

The 5-year-old Sabana Perdida had already plundered the Chartwell Filllies' Stakes (Eng-II) on an earlier visit to England in May. Sabana Perdida is the fourth stakes winner for Cape Cross out of a Mr. Prospector-line mare. She is the first black type winner to appear in the first three generatios of the female line; however, her dam, Capriola, is bred on very similar lines to the English group I winner Hello Gorgeous, who was by Capriola's sire, Mr. Prospector, out of Capriola's third dam, Bonny Jet.

Another version of the Danzig/Mr. Prospector cross is responsible for Duke of Marmalade, who was winning his third consecutive group I of the season when decisively taking the Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I). Rated A+ by TrueNicks, Duke of Marmalade, a son of Danehill, comes from an outstanding female line. His dam, Love Me True, a daughter of Kingmambo, gained black type with thirds in the Killavullan Stakes (Eng-III) and Garnet Stakes. Love Me True is a sister to the U.S. stakes-placed Black Mambo, but more significantly, is three-parts-sister to U.S. champion older horse Lemon Drop Kid (who like, Love Me True, is by Kingmambo out of a daughter of the mare Lassie Dear). Love Me True is also half-sister to American graded winner Bite the Bullet and to English listed winner Shuailaan. The granddam, Lassie's Lady, is a stakes-placed daughter of Alydar. She is half-sister to several black type winners, including English sprint champion Wolfhound and Weekend Surprise, a three-time graded winner in the U.S. and subsequently dam of U.S. Horse of the Year A.P. Indy and Preakness Stakes (gr, I) victor Summer Squall.

The third Green Desert-line stakes winner of the day was Festivale (Invincible Spirit - Cephalonie, by Kris S.) who took the Sandringham Handicap. Rated B by TrueNicks, she is by Invincible Spirit, who achieved his most important victory when taking the Haydock Sprint Cup (Eng-I) as a 5-year-old. A record-breaking leading freshman sire in 2006, Invincible Spirit has 12 stakes winners in his first two crops, including the French Derby (Fr-I) winner Lawman; Fleeting Spirit, winner of the Flying Childers Stakes and Temple Stakes (both Eng-II) and a good third in Monday's King's Stand Stakes (Eng-I); and other group winners Captain Marvelous, Conquest, Campfire Glow, and Age of Chivalry. Festivale is out of Cephalonie, a half-sister to Japanese graded stakes winner Fifty Oner. The granddam, Heraklia, by Irish River, is a half-sister to group I winner Exit to Nowhere and is out of Hydro Calido, a group-winning and classic-placed Nureyev half-sister to Machiavellian.

The Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) was won by 25-1 shot Lang's Lash (Noverre - Temple Street, by Machiavellian). The sire, a son of Rahy (TrueNicks, SRO), won the Champagne Stakes (Eng-I) at 2 and the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) at 3, and was champion 3-year-old in England. Noverre has sired two previous crops, getting six stakes winners including group winners Miss Lucifer, Summit Surge, and Nijoom Dubai. Lang's Lass is a member of his third crop. Rated A on the basis of the Rahy/Mr. Prospector cross, Lang's Lash is inbred to Halo and Northern Dancer.

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