Royal Ascot Day 3: Fit for a Queen

U.S. trainer Wesley Ward, who nearly took yesterday's Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II) with Sweet Emma Rose, by City Zip (TrueNicks,SRO), gained compensation with the Scat Daddy (TrueNicks) colt No Nay Never in the Norfolk Stakes (Eng-II). Ward's 2-year-olds usually break like greased lightning, but No Nay Never dwelt leaving the stalls. He was was soon in front, however, and stayed on well to score by a length from favored Coach House (by Oasis Dream). For someone who is old enough to remember Amber Rama being the first horse to break a minute for Ascot's uphill five furlongs (in 1970), it was pretty incredible to see juvenile No Nay Never clock :58.80 (and it was subsequently posted as a 2-year-old course record).

No Nay Never is a member of the third crop of leading freshman sire Scat Daddy, who is also sire of U.S. graded scorers Lady of Shamrock (gr. IT), Handsome Mike, Daddy Nose Best, Finale, Shared Property, Scatman, and Dice Flavor, as well as Daddy Long Legs, a group winner in England and Dubai. No Nay Never is out of the Elusive Quality (TrueNicks) mare Cat's Eye Witness, a half sister to graded stakes winning sprinter/miler Cat's Career. The second dam, Comical Cat, was by the stayer Exceller, but was herself very speedy. She's from a John C. Mabee family, and a half sister to Half a Year, who took the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot, and to the dam of Event of the Year.

Rated TrueNicks A+ before his win, No Nay Never is one of four stakes winners from only 21 starters by Scat Daddy from Gone West line mares, the others including Scatman and El Bromista, a Chilean juvenile who clocked 1:33 and change while taking a group I event over a mile last weekend. Scat Daddy is out of a mare by Mr. Prospector, and No Nay Never is one of seven stakes winners from 67 starters by Scat Daddy out of mares by sons or grandsons of Mr. Prospector. We can note that Scat Daddy is a Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross, and his dam is a reverse of that cross, as is No Nay Never's broodmare sire, Elusive Quality.

The Ribblesdale Stakes (Eng-II) over 1 1/2 miles for 3-year-old fillies supplied a bittersweet winner in Riposte. Trained by Lady Cecil, the widow of the late Sir Henry Cecil, and running in the colors of Juddmonte, Riposte is a three-quarters sister to the dam of the mighty Frankel, who of course was a Juddmonte horse trained by Henry Cecil, who saddled him to win the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) and Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) at consecutive Royal Ascot meets.

Riposte, who was running for only the third time, having won a maiden last time out, is by the Danehill stallion Dansili, long established as one of Europe's top sires through such as Harbinger, Rail Link, Proviso, Fallen For You, Foreteller, Passage of Time, and Zambezi Sun just to name a few. Riposte is a half sister to Tattersalls Gold Cup (Ire-I) and Arlington Million (gr. IT) winner Powerscourt, and three-quarters related to Last Train (by Rail Link), a group winner and group-placed runner in France, and Kind, a sprint stakes winner by Danehill and the dam of Frankel. Riposte is the fifth stakes winner from only 41 starters sired by Dansili out of Rainbow Quest mares. This is a pattern that doubles Rainbow Quest's sire, Blushing Groom, who is also responsible for the dam of Dansili's broodmare sire, Kahyasi (by Nijinsky II, a strain that does so well with Blushing Groom).

The highlight of the five-day meet, the Ascot Gold Cup (Eng-I) over 2 1/4 miles, saw an historic outcome, with Estimate, carrying the colors of The Queen, credit her owner with the first Ascot Gold Cup victory for the reigning monarch. A daughter of the great German sire Monsun (from the only live branch that descends from the 1935 English Triple Crown winner Bahram), who also has French group I winners Silasol and Maxios this year, Estimate is out of Ebaziya, a mare whom The Aga Khan gave the use of for a year to The Queen as a gift.

A daughter of Darshaan, Ebaziya has also produced the Irish Oaks (Ire-I) victress Ebadiyla, Ascot Gold Cup victor Enzeli, and Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) winner Edabiya. Herself a listed winner, Ebaziya is out of a daughter of the Dan Cupid daughter Evisa, who also figures as ancestress of the Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) scorer Parish Hall. Ebaziya's third dam (Estimate's fourth dam) is the good Boussac mare Albanilla, winner of the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte and ancestress of a string of good horses including Estimate's broodmare sire, Darshaan, and group/grade I winners Darara, Dar Re Mi, Rewilding, Darazari, Daliapour, and Hunter's Light. Ebaziya not only has Albanilla 5x3, but Albanilla, a member of the Frizette family, is out of Tourzima, a three-quarters relative to Djeddah (4x3 to a daughter of Frizette), the broodmare sire of Never Bend, who is in Ebaziya's male line. Estimate is rated A by TrueNicks and is basically the reverse of a formula—Shirley Heights/Mill Reef over German strains—that has produced a lot of good horses, including Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Slip Anchor.

The Tercentenary Stakes (formerly Hampton Court Stakes, Eng-III) over 10 furlongs for 3-year-olds saw a second win on the day for the Dansili/Juddmonte connection with Remote, who has now won the last three of his four starts.

Remote is an extremely well-bred horse as his dam won the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French One Thousand Guineas, Fr-I), and is a half sister to champion European 2-year-old and sprinter Oasis Dream, now an outstanding sire. The grandam, Dancing Brave's daughter Hope, is a sister to Irish Oaks (Ire-I) heroine Wemyss Bight, whose own offspring include four-time group/grade I winner Beat Hollow. TrueNicks rated A prior to his win, Remote is stakes winner number four by Dansili out of a Gone West line mare, with Remote being out of a mare by Zamindar, and the other three, including group I winner Zambezi Sun, being from daughters of that horse's brother, Zafonic. We can note that this gives linebreeding to the three-quarter brothers Nijinsky II and The Minstrel (broodmare sire of Zafonic and Zamindar).

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