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Banner is World Sprint Star

At Royal Ascot, Australian-bred Starspangledbanner captured the Golden Jubilee (gr. I), a contest that the Racing Post suggested was “arguably the classiest sprint ever run in this country” with 12 of the 24 starters having previously won group or grade I events. In the July Cup (gr. I), Starspangledbanner lined up against another top-class speedster, Equiano, who had taken the King’s Stand Stakes (gr. I). Equiano led early, but Starspangledbanner closed late to carry the day by a neck. With his two English group I’s added to victories in the Caulfield Guineas (gr. I) and Oakleigh Plate (gr. I) in Australia, Starspangledbanner has sound claims to be regarded as the world’s leading sprinter.

Starspangledbanner (TrueNicks A++) is out of stakes-placed Gold Anthem (by Made of Gold, from the Shecky Greene/Noholme II branch of Star Kingdom). National Song, the second dam of Starspangledbanner, is half sister to the Australian Oaks (gr. I) heroine Circles of Gold (by Marscay, from the Biscay branch of the Star Kingdom line). She is another from this family to produce a Royal Ascot winner, as her Fusaichi Pegasus (TrueNicks,SRO) son Haradasun came from Australia to capture the Queen Anne Stakes (gr. I) a couple of years ago. Another of her offspring, Elvstroem (by Danehill, and therefore bred on somewhat similar lines to Starspangledbanner), won four group I events in Australia, the Dubai Duty Free (gr. I), and also placed second in the Prix d’Ispahan (gr. I) and third in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (gr. I) in 2005 (when Royal Ascot was run at York), in a European sojourn.

The meet’s other group one event saw Music Show gain compensation for good, but unrewarding, runs in the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) and Coronation Stakes (gr. I) by defeating her elders for the Falmouth Stakes (gr. I). Music Show (TrueNicks B+) is by Sussex Stakes (gr. I) winner Noverre (Rahy half, or actually three-parts-brother, to Arazi), who is now standing in India. She is out of the Mr. Prospector mare Dreamboat, a daughter of near-Champion Gorgeous, also granddam of last year’s grade I-winning Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) filly Swift Temper. Interestingly enough, Gorgeous was by Slew o’Gold, and Rahy, who did well with Slew o’Gold mares, is not only sire of Noverre, but also broodmare sire of Giant’s Causeway.

Galileo has been on a tear in both hemispheres recently, and he continued the momentum when his four-year-old son Sans Frontieres took the Princess of Wales’s Stakes (gr. II) for his first stakes win. Sans Frontieres (rated A by TrueNicks) is out of a Shirley Heights mare, and is the ninth stakes winner, and seventh group winner by the sire out of a Shirley Heights line mare (although his first by a daughter of the sire himself).

That strange tendency of the sprinting Green Desert male line to produce middle-distance horses was again exemplified in Corsica, who took the Bahrain Trophy (gr. III) at 13 furlongs. TrueNicks rated A++, he is by Cape Cross, but doesn’t really have a huge stamina pedigree on the distaff side, as the sires of the first four dams, Persian Bold, Woodman, Lear Fan, and Lyphard, were all more or less miler types.

The six-furlong Summer Stakes (gr. III) for three-year-old fillies went more to form with Rose Blossom, a daughter of sprinter Pastoral Pursuits, beating Tropical Treat, a daughter of Bahamian Bounty (sire of Pastoral Pursuits). Bahamian Bounty (by Cadeaux Genereux) is one of the last links in the continuation of the Hyperion sire line, coming from the Tudor Minstrel branch.

The juvenile events were mopped up by the Danzig line. The July Stakes (gr. II) fell to Libranno, from the first crop of Librettist (by Danzig out of Mysterial by Alleged). Rated A++ by TrueNicks, he is out of Annabelle Ja, by Singspiel. A Champion Two-Year-Old Filly in Scandinavia apart, Libranno is the first stakes winner in the first three dams here, however, the fifth dam, Adjarida, is a sister to Blushing Groom.

Blushing Groom also turns up as sire of the granddam of the Superlative Stakes (gr. II) winner King Torus, who, like Libranno, is from an Aga Khan family. King Torus is from the second crop of the Danehill horse Oratorio, who had two group winners in his first crop, including the Dewhurst Stakes (gr. I) winner Beethoven, and also has New Zealand group I winner Banchee is his first Southern Hemisphere crop. The dam is by Mujadil, a prolific juvenile sire who is by Storm Bird out of a Secretariat mare, so bred on the same cross as Storm Cat.

The Danehill line also took the Cherry Hinton Stakes (gr. II), courtesy of Memory, who had also won the Albany Stakes (gr. III) at Royal Ascot. She is by Danehill Dancer out of Nausicaa, a daughter of Diesis, and so inbred 3 x 3 to Sharpen Up (broodmare sire of Danehill Dancer, and sire of Diesis). The granddam is Blushing All Over, a French stakes winner by Blushing Groom.

In Germany, the young Zafonic stallion Trade Fair was represented by a first stakes winner when Miss Starlight won the H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Trophy (gr. III) over Shamardal (TrueNicks,SRO)’s good daughter Elle Shadow. Miss Starlight (TrueNicks A) is out of a Doyoun (by Mill Reef) mare, and a product of the successful Zafonic/Mill Reef cross. Also in Germany, Areion (by Big Shuffle, by Super Concorde, by Bold Reasoning) who has come from left field this year, added a fourth 2010 stakes winner when Earl of Fire (TrueNicks A+) won the Franz-Gunther Von Gaertner-Gedachtnisrennen (gr. III). He is out of a mare by Torgos, by Upper Case, by Round Table, and the success of this cross was actually presaged by two previous stakes winners by Super Concorde out of mares by sons of Round Table.

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