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Coronation for Immortal Verse

Withdrawn from the English 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) after misbehaving in the stalls, and unplaced in the French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I), Immortal Verse turned a corner with a win in the Prix de Sandringham (gr. II). In the one mile Coronation Stakes (gr. I, video below), she delivered a very impressive performance sweeping from last-to-first to win by 2¼ lengths.

Immortal Verse is a daughter of Pivotal, long established as a top-class sire, out of the Sadler’s Wells mare, Side of Paradise. As Pivotal is a grandson of Nureyev, one might have thought that he would have crossed well over his three-parts-brother Sadler’s Wells, but Immortal Verse is only the second stakes winner from 23 starters on cross. The dam is a stakes winner in France, and is a half sister to three group winners, including Last Tycoon (champion sprinter in Europe and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I)), as well as stakes-placed Save Me The Waltz (dam of French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner Valentine Waltz and grade I winner Sense of Style). She is also three-parts-sister to the Barathea mare Tender Is Thenight (dam of French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner Tie Black).

A one-time Epsom Derby (gr. I) prospect, Nathaniel (TrueNicks A++) skipped that race and went straight to the “Ascot Derby,” the King Edward VII Stakes (gr. II, video below), and duly tallied by five lengths. A son of Galileo, Nathaniel is out of the great mare Magnificent Style (by Silver Hawk). Herself winner of the Musidora Stakes (gr. III), Magnificent Style is dam of seven stakes winners, five group winners, including Nathaniel’s three-parts-sister Playful Act, a 2-year-old group I winner and runner-up in the Irish Oaks (gr. I), and three-parts-brother Percussionist, a group II winner who ran fourth in the Epsom Derby (gr. I), both by Sadler’s Wells. Galileo now has eight stakes winners out of Roberto line mares, two out of daughters of Silver Hawk. We’ll also note that Nathaniel has quite an interesting pattern as Sadler’s Wells is a Northern Dancer/Hail to Reason cross, and Magnificent Style is a Hail to Reason/Icecapade (three-quarters relative to Northern Dancer) cross.

The following day, Galileo took his total of stakes winners for the week to three, when the filly Maybe (TrueNicks A+) took the Chesham Stakes (video below), a 2-year-old race for the offspring of stallions that have won at 10 furlongs or beyond. Out of the Danehill mare Sumora, Maybe is bred on the cross of the moment, being the tenth stakes winner from 63 starters by the sire out of the broodmare sire, the others including classic winners Golden Lilac, Frankel, Roderic O’Connor, and Cima De Triomphe, and champion 2-year-old Teofilo (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO). This is also a family of the moment, as Sumora, a 2-year-old sprint stakes winner, is three-parts-sister to this year’s Epsom Oaks (gr. I) winer, Dancing Rain.

Cape Cross – a dedicated miler as a racehorse – has proved able to get middle-distance runners like Sea The Stars and Ouija Board when bred to mares with stamina in their background, but that trait was expressed to the extreme when his 3-year-old Namibian took the two-mile Queen’s Vase (video below). Credit for the stamina here must go to the broodmare sire, Sadler’s Wells, as the granddam, Divine Danse (by Kris) was a four-time group-winning sprinter, and half sister to another very good speedster in Pursuit of Love.

Rock of Gibraltar is a horse who we’ve noted before as a stallion who has become somewhat underrated as a sire. He may not be the dominant force he was as a racehorse, but he is a very effective stallion, and he proved that point with two Royal Ascot winners. His 4-year-old colt Society Rock (TrueNicks A+) took the Golden Jubilee (gr. I, video below), a race in which he was second last year. Society Rock’s dam, High Society (a listed-winning sprinter in Ireland and the U.S.), is by Key of Luck, a Chief’s Crown three-parts-brother to Anabaa. This means that Society Rock is a Danzig/Danzig cross, and this formula has produced four stakes winners for Rock of Gibraltar (the other three out of Green Desert line mares).

Rock of Gibraltar’s other Royal Ascot stakes winner was the 2-year-old filly, Samitar (TrueNicks A++), who was making only her second start when producing a smooth display to take the six-furlong Albany Stakes (gr. III, video below). Samitar is a half sister to Nijoom Dubai, who won this same race back in 2007. She is out of the Rainbow Quest mare Aileen’s Gift (Rock of Gibraltar now has three stakes winners from 10 starters on that direct cross), a half sister to the dam of 2-year-old group winner Shaweel (by another Danehill son, Dansili). The granddam, by Green Desert, is a half sister to Golden Opinion, who won the Coronation Stakes (gr. I) at Royal Ascot. There are now seven stakes winners by Rock of Gibraltar with inbreeding to Danzig, with Society Rock and Mount Nelson scoring at group I level. There are also 22 stakes winners with Danzig through Danehill in the sire, and Green Desert in the dam, six by Rock of Gibraltar.

Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO), who preceeded Rock of Gibraltar by a couple of years as an “Iron Horse” for Ballydoyle, also had a Royal Ascot group scorer in Await the Dawn (TrueNicks A++). who took the Hardwicke Stakes (gr. II, video below). The lightly-raced colt is now a winner of five of his six starts, his only defeat coming with an unplaced effort in the 2009 renewal of the Champagne Stakes (gr. II). He obviously has serious upside potential, and it wouldn't be a shock to see him in the Breeders' Cup. Out of the stakes-placed Dixieland Band mare Valentine Band, he’s bred on the same cross as First Samurai (TrueNicks,SRO). The second dam, the stakes-placed Shirley Heights mare Shirley Valentine, is dam of group winners Multiplex and Memorise, and is a sister to Irish Derby (gr. I) second Deploy, and half sister to English and Irish Derby (both gr. I) winner Commander In Chief, to crack miler Warning, and to group I winner Yashmak. The third dam is Oaks (gr. I) runner-up Slightly Dangerous, a half sister to I Will Follow, the dam of Rainbow Quest.

Finally, the Wolferton Handicap (video below) over 10 furlongs was won by Beachfire, from the second crop of the Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner Indian Haven (by Indian Ridge), a half brother to the Gran Criterium (gr. I) winner Count Dubois, now a successful sire in South Africa. From a daughter of Woodman, he’s only the second stakes winner from 155 starters by Indian Ridge and his sons out of Mr. Prospector line mares. The dam has also bred the three-time group-winning miler Major Cadeaux, and is out of the Selima Stakes (gr. I) winner Capades. Since Indian Haven is a half brother to a Mr. Prospector line group I winner, one wonders if there is something in his dam’s genetic makeup that allowed him to be more compatible with a Mr. Prospector line mare than Indian Ridge and his sons have been in general.

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