Last June I wrote about Vision D’etat after his French Derby success. He was then given a traditional Arc preparation which involved a midsummer break before returning in September when he won the Prix Niel. He lost his unbeaten record when finishing a creditable fifth, beaten only 3.5 lengths behind Zarkava in the Arc itself. This year he was third on his reappearance in the Prix d’Harcourt, before winning the Prix Ganay. Now on his third run outside of France he has claimed his third Group One in the highlight of Wednesday’s Royal Ascot meeting ,the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. You can read the original report here
1.Coolmore/Ballydoyle. It couldn’t have gone any better for Ballydoyle/Coolmore. 6 Winners, 4 Group 1 winners, all colts, all eligible for a place on the stallion roster. Another 5 winners were by Coolmore stallions.The only surprise was their lack of two year old firepower . Maybe this a reflection of a tweaking of the training regime by Aidan O’Brien or maybe this years crop just aren’t precocious.
2. Jim Bolger.
After Royal Ascot he trains arguably the best three year old filly miler in Europe in Lush Lashes and the best two year filly in Cuis Gaire. Both are daughters of Galileo the stallion he made (see earlier article), which added jam to Coolmores bread. For good measure he trained Finsceal Beo to be third in the Queen Anne and Intense Focus to finish second in the Coventry. And these were his only 4 runners at the Royal Meeting. He may not be well liked but he sure can train horses.
3. Lucky Story. A very impressive Royal Ascot winner in the shape of Art Connoisseur (tipped in my earlier article about Lucky Story) is great exposure for any new sire. The fact that his brother Dr Fong sired the first (Free Agent) and third (Markyg)in the Chesham stakes is an added bonus.
4. Exceed and Excel. Flashmans Papers won the Windsor Castle stakes and Spin Cycle was a close second in the Norfolk Stakes. These results justify some of the big prices paid for his offspring and might have provided some cheer to the Darley boys.
1. Godolphin. One winner from thirteen winners is very disappointing for an operation that often dominated the Royal meeting. The fact that there were such celebrations about Campanologists Group 2 win is in itself indicative of the trough they are now experiencing.
Gone but not forgotten
Danehill. Sire of arguably the best winner of the week in Duke of Marmalade. Multidimensional returned to form by running second in the Hardwicke, Sugar Ray won one of the big handicaps The Duke of Edinburgh stakes and as if to remind us of his sires versatility, old stager Distinction finished second in the marathon Queen Alexandra.
Gone and soon to be forgotten?
Storm Cat? With the fast ground at Royal Ascot you would have expected the Storm Cat line to thrive but only Colony, a son of Statue of Liberty made the winners enclosure and that was after a handicap. Giant’s Causeway was the sire of Intense Focus runner up in the Coventry. However you would have expected a much greater showing from the Storm Cat sireline.