Sunday’s Prix Maurice de Gheest produced a fine result not only for Britain’s trainers but its breeders as Brando claimed his first Group 1 success.
Third in both the Darley July Cup and last year’s QIPCO British Champions Sprint, the five-year-old led home a British-trained one-two-three-four.
Brando travelled powerfully in the hands of Tom Eaves throughout and was produced to challenge for the lead in the final furlong. He saw out the six and a half furlongs well to hold off the late charge of fellow British challenger Aclaim, trained by Martyn Meade. Richard Hannon’s Tupi was a clear third with the Charlie Hills-trained Magical Memory in fourth.
Trained by Kevin Ryan and owned by Angie Bailey, Brando is a product of Nicholas and Jane Forman Hardy’s Car Colston Hall Stud, which they have developed at their home in Nottinghamshire.
The son of Cheveley Park Stud’s Pivotal out of Argent Du Bois was first sold for 52,000gns at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2013 and again for 115,000gns at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up the following year.
Car Colston Hall has already been punching above its weight and this was its fifth top-level winner following the exploits of Soldier Hollow, Ticker Tape, Crowded House and Reckless Abandon.
Sant Elena, the half-sister of Brando, was the dam of fellow Deauville Group 1 scorer Reckless Abandon.
Car Colston Hall stud manager Jonathon Smithers said: “The whole family has done very well and the mare has got a Cape Cross yearling colt going to Tattersalls this year.”
Now the dust has settled on a fabulous week at Royal Ascot, we are able to reflect on two Group 1 victories for British-bred horses.
The first of these came on Thursday when Big Orange landed the Gold Cup, a race that will be remembered for a truly thrilling climax as well as the horse’s guts and sheer will to win.
The Michael Bell-trained six-year-old is well-known for his front-running style, and he made virtually every inch of the two and half mile trip under James Doyle. He bravely fought off the final furlong challenge of reigning champion Order Of St George to land his first Group 1 by a short-head.
“He’s just an absolute superstar,” said Bell. “I can’t praise his attitude enough; he wants to race and he’s a colossal racehorse. On fast ground in the middle of the summer, he’s a monster.”
Big Orange, who was bred at owner-breeders Bill and Tim Gredley’s Stetchworth & Middle Park Studs in Newmarket, has become a firm people’s favourite in recent years due to his big-hearted, warrior-like approach to his racing, as well as his globe-trotting. His victory in the Gold Cup delighted the Ascot crowds and his career earnings now stand at over £1m.
Big Orange has proved over and over again that he has a big heart to go with his big frame, but this time it was something special.
The second British-bred Group 1 victory of the week came on the final day when The Tin Man landed the spoils in the Diamond Jubilee.
Gaining his second success at the highest level, the the five-year-old son of Equiano showed an impressive turn of foot around two furlongs from the finish in order thread a passage and take the lead before prevailing from the fast-finishing Tasleet (also British-bred and hailing from Whitsbury Manor Stud) at the winning line.
Jockey Tom Queally was very complimentary of the horse: “He’s a pretty great horse and exceptional in this division. He stamped his authority on them there.
Bred by Elizabeth Grundy, The Tin Man was sold for 80,000gns at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2013. He was sold by Newsells Park Stud, who stand sire Equiano, to Anthony Stroud Bloodstock.
Next on the horse’s agenda appears to be the July Cup at Newmarket where the prospect of a first clash with the three-year-old division could set up an exciting race.
Jack Hobbs is one of 17 horses confirmed at the five day stage to run in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes on the Wednesday of Royal Ascot, June 21st.
The Godolphin-owned five-year-old was most recently seen when winning the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March. He put up a visually impressive performance that day, travelling powerfully throughout and ultimately finishing two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Group 1 winners Seventh Heaven and Postponed in second and third respectively.
Godolphin bought into the colt after his second to Golden Horn in the 2015 Dante Stakes, a trial for the Epsom Derby, and he went on to finish in the same position behind his stablemate at Epsom, before winning the Irish version. He was restricted to only a couple of starts last season but was third behind Almanzor in the QIPCO British Champion Stakes.
Jack Hobbs was bred by Minster Stud in Gloucestershire, England which belongs to five-time champion and multiple Classic-winning jockey Willie Carson. Sired by the late Halling, he is out of Swain’s Gold, and a half-brother to multiple winner Niceofyoutotellme. His half-sister Mrs Greeley also had a successful track career.
Jack Hobbs was sold at Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2013 for 60,000 guineas, bought by Blandford Bloodstock and originally owned by a group which included trainer John Gosden’s wife Rachel Hood.
He looks set to put up a big performance on Wednesday.
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