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Banimpire Proves a Throwback

If the modern horse is not supposed to be as tough and durable as the stars of bygone eras, it’s clear that Banimpire (TrueNicks A++) and her connections didn’t get the message. The daughter of Holy Roman Emperor was making her seventh start of the season (six of them in not much more than three months) when gamely defeating the Galileo filly Field of Miracles for the 1½-mile Ribblesdale Stakes (gr. II, video below). Third in a group III on her 3-year-old debut, Banimpire has won five of those seven starts, and only four days before the Ribblesdale, she had taken the 1½-mile Noblesse Stakes (gr. III) at Cork in Ireland. Her only unplaced run in the sequence was a good fifth when cutting back to a mile for the Irish 1,000 Guineas (gr. I).

Banimpire is from the first crop of her sire, a son of Danehill, who only ran at 2, when he captured three group events, including the Phoenix Stakes (gr. I) and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (gr. I). Holy Roman Emperor was expected to get a lot of precocious horses, and he did have plenty of 2-year-old winners last year, but only one, High Award, took a black type event. However, he’s added three group winners this year – Banimpire, Sandslash, and Imperial Rome – and has nine other stakes placed horses, five in group events. Incidentally, Holy Roman Emperor is out of a daughter of Fanfreluche, and is therefore a three-parts-brother to the very successful Australian sire Flying Spur (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO). Banimpire is out of the Kris S. mare My Renee, who was a high-weighted older mare in Ireland in the 11-14f. category. The granddam, Mayenne, is by Nureyev out of Detroit (Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I)), and is a half sister to four stakes winners, three of them group, including Mayenne’s very close relative Carnegie (by Nureyev’s three-parts-brother Sadler’s Wells), winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) and Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (gr. I). We’ll also note that Holy Roman Emperor’s broodmare mare sire, Secretariat, is a Nasrullah/Princequillo cross, and Kris S., the broodmare sire of Banimpire, is a Royal Charger (three-parts-brother to Nasrullah)/Princequillo cross. This also the family of the 2011 Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner Roderic O’Connor, who goes back to Detroit’s group I-winning half sister Durtal.

The big race on Day Three of Ascot was the 2½-mile Gold Cup (gr. I, video below) which saw the long-distance debut of Fame and Glory (TrueNicks B+). He duly accomplished the stretch out, and extended his record of winning a group I every season to 4, having won the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (gr. I) at 2; the Irish Derby (gr. I) at 3; and the Tattersalls Gold Cup (gr. I) and Coronation Cup (gr. I) at 4. He was also second in the Epsom Derby (gr. I) and Irish Champion Stakes (gr. I) to Sea the Stars. It’s worth noting that Fame and Glory's Tattersalls Gold Cup win came at 10½ furlongs, little more than half the distance of the Gold Cup, so in terms of versatility, Fame and Glory, like Banimpire, is something of a throwback to an earlier time. Fame and Glory is by Montjeu out of the Shirley Heights mare Gryada, so this is a similar cross to recent Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Pour Moi, who is by Montjeu out of a mare by Shirley Height’s son Darshaan. The granddam, Grimpola (by Windwurf), was a group II winner in Germany at 3. Grimpola never produced a black type winner, but she is granddam of several other notable performers, including Gonbarda, a filly who took the Deutschland-Preis (gr. I) and Pries Von Europa (gr. I), and group winner Gonlargo (both out of a three-parts-sister to Gryada); the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (gr. III) winner Gonfilia; and group winner Global Dream. She is third dam of group winner Goathemala, who is by Black Sam Bellamy, another son of Sadler’s Wells.

Another variation on a successful theme involving Sadler’s Wells is seen in the pedigree of Pisco Sour (TrueNicks A++) who took the 10-furlong Tercentenary Stakes (gr. III). He is by Lemon Drop Kid (TrueNicks,SRO) (by Kingmambo) out of a mare by Horse Chestnut (a son of the Sadler’s Wells sire Fort Wood, an exceptional sire in South Africa). Interestingly enough, this version of the Kingmambo/Sadler’s Wells cross has already produced a previously group winner in Saluki (by Dubai Destination out of a Fort Wood mare). Pisco Sour’s dam, Lynnwood Chase, is a half sister to another good Sadler’s Wells line horse, Lord Admiral, an El Prado son who won three group races in the UAE and Ireland. The granddam, Lady Ilsley, is a sister to the dam of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Action This Day (TrueNicks,SRO), and half sister to stakes-placed Quiet Down, dam of El Prado’s stakes-winning and graded-placed daughter Quiet Meadow. The fourth dam, Bitty Girl, a member of the first crop of Habitat, won the Queen Mary Stakes (gr. II) at the Royal Meeting.

The 2-year-old group race of the day, the Norfolk Stakes (gr. II, video below) over five furlongs, went to Bapak Chinta, a grey son of Speightstown (TrueNicks,SRO) out of the Maria’s Mon mare Suena Cay (TrueNicks B). There is no mystery to the thinking behind this mating, as Suena Cay is a half sister to the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) heroine Celtic Melody, who was by Mr. Greeley, like Speightstown a son of Gone West. Appropriately, this is a speedy and precocious family, and Bapak Chinta’s granddam, Ballynaugh, is a half sister to Delicate Vine, winner of three graded stakes at 2, among them the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (gr. I). Delicate Vine subsequently produced two stakes winners, including Altazarr, successful in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. II), and is granddam of multiple grade II winner House of Fortune, and third dam of Del Mar Derby (gr. II) winner Rendezvous. Another stakes-winning half sister to Ballynaugh is third dam of the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I) winner Georgie Boy.

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