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Royal Ascot Day 5: Triumph and Tragedy

The final day of what had otherwise been a wonderful Royal Ascot was marred by the death of Thomas Chippendale, who collapsed and died—apparently of a heart attack—shortly after winning the 1 1/2-mile Hardwicke Stakes (Eng-II). Successful last year in the King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-II) over course and distance, Thomas Chippendale was a son of Dansili, who had a Royal Ascot stakes double earlier in the week through Riposte and Remote.

Thomas Chippendale's dam, All My Loving, was third in both the Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks (both gr. I). By Sadler's Wells out of the Darshaan mare Jude, All My Loving is a sister to Yesterday, who won the Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and placed in several major events including the Oaks (Eng-I), Prix Vermeille (Fr-I), and Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT); and to Quarter Moon, who took the Moyglare Stud Stakes (Ire-I) and ran second in the Irish One Thousand Guineas, Epsom Oaks, and Irish Oaks. The third dam, Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace), was a very successful producer, with four stakes winners to her name, including group winners Last Second and Alleluia, and she's ancestress of a string of other major winners including Alborada, who took two runnings of the Champion Stakes (Eng-I), and European champion staying mare Allegretto. This a branch of the Mumtaz Mahal family (Mah Iran) that has trended somewhat from speed to stamina, and is also known through Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, Fr-I) winner Nishapour and his half brother Nassipour, a very successful sire in New Zealand and Australia. Thomas Chippendale (TrueNicks A+) is one of 10 stakes winners from 57 starters by Dansili out of Sadler's Wells mares, six group winners, and two group I.

The highlight of the last day, the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) was won decisively by Lethal Force, who was taking his first group I. Lethal Force is also the first group I winner for the promising young sire Dark Angel. The best of his generation over six furlongs at 2, when he won the Mill Reef Stakes (Eng-II) and Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I), Dark Angel retired to stud at 3. He already has six stakes winners from his first two crops, three of them group winners. Dark Angel is by the good sprinter and speed sire Acclamation, who is by the Middle Park Stakes and Haydock Park Sprint Stakes (both Eng-I) winner Royal Applause, a son of the miler Waajib, who in turn is by El Gran Senor's brother Try My Best.

Lethal Force's dam, Land Army, is by the Green Desert horse Desert Style, and is a sister to Ascot Family, a French listed winner who produced the very quick 2011 French 2-year-old Family One. This is a very live family, as Land Army's half sister, the stakes-winning and group-placed sprinter Flanders, produced Louvain (Miesque Stakes, gr. IIIT), in turn the dam of Flotilla, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) and this year's French One Thousand Guineas (Fr-I). The family goes back to the 1921 Coaching Club American Oaks heroine Prudish, herself a sister to Prudery, another high-class runner, and also the dam of the 1927 Kentucky Derby captor Whiskery. From another branch of the Prudish family stems champion 2-year-old filly Heavenly Cause and Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Opening Verse. Lethal Force is TrueNicks B+ on the basis of the Acclamation/Green Desert cross, and Royal Applause/Danzig has done well, Danzig appearing in at least 14 stakes winners by Royal Applause line stallions. There is an unusual parallel pattern here too, as Royal Applause and Family At War, the granddam of Lethal Force, are both Nearctic/Bold Bidder crosses.

The Chesham Stakes, over seven furlongs for 2-year-olds sired by stallions that won over at least 10 furlongs went to Berkshire. He is from the second crop of Mount Nelson (by Rock of Gibraltar, by Danehill), who set a course record when winning the Criterium International (Fr-I) at 2, and took the Eclipse Stakes (Eng-) at 4. He has three stakes winners from his 2010 crop, including group winner Purr Along.

Berkshire's dam, Kinnaird, took the Prix de l'Opera (Fr-I), which made her one of the best by her sire, the generally disappointing Epsom Derby (Eng-I) winner Dr Devious, and she is a half sister to the Chester Vase (Eng-III) winner Mickdaam. The second dam, Ribot's Guest, is a half sister to Italian black-type scorer Raysiza (dam of Ryan, a champion older stayer in Italy, and a standout in Slovakia), and to Razana, the dam of the excellent Hong Kong runner Helene Mascot (Salford Mill). This is an Aga Khan family, and the sixth dam, Rose Ness, is notably ancestress of the half brothers Daylami and Dalakhani. Prior to the win, Berkshire was B+ on TrueNicks on the basis of the Danehill/Dr Devious cross. We can note plenty of success for Danehill with Dr Devious's sire, Ahonoora, and the dam of Dr Devious is a reverse Ribot/Northern Dancer cross to Danehill.

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