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Avilius shows champion credentials at Randwick

AVILIUS (GB) (PIVOTAL (GB)) registered his first win of the Spring on Saturday when running out a comfortable winner of the Group 1 George Main Stakes at Randwick for James Cummings.

Avilius adopted his customary position at the rear of the field under Kerrin McEvoy, before circling his rivals around the home bend and clearing away to score by over two lengths.

This victory pushes the Godolphin gelding’s tally to five Group wins in 2019, including three Group 1 races over different trips – 8f, 10f and 12f.

Looking ahead Cummings said: “whether we run in the Turnbull Stakes next or the Caulfield Stakes in three weeks is a decision that we have to make, but for now, the Cox Plate is well and truly high up on our radar.”

Pivotal is enjoying another remarkable season as both a sire and broodmare sire. As well as Avilius’s three Group 1 successes, Pivotal is also responsible for siring the very talented filly SIYARAFINA, who captured the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary. Pivotal also looks on course for another Champion Broodmare Sire title; so far in 2019 his daughters have provided seven individual winners of ten Group 1 races.

Source: Cheveley Park Stud.

Star Catcher shines in Prix Vermeille

British owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer on Sunday enjoyed another memorable afternoon in the Parisian sunshine after STAR CATCHER (GB) won the Qatar Prix Vermeille at Paris-Longchamp.

Oppenheimer, who will forever be synonymous with GOLDEN HORN (GB) and CRACKSMAN (GB), bred the John Gosden-trained daughter of SEA THE STARS at his Hascombe and Valiant Stud, in Newmarket.

And the three-year-old filly is now a two-time Group 1 winner as she added to her considerable gains in the Kerrygold Irish Oaks at the Curragh with another bold success under Frankie Dettori.

Fiona McGlone, stud secretary of Hascombe and Valiant Stud, said:

“To see what she did in the Irish Oaks and in France on Sunday, it is beyond amazing.

“It’s especially fantastic for Mr Oppenheimer, who has invested his whole life into the breeding side of horseracing. We are all so very happy for him.

“She’s a superstar filly and we are very excited to have her. 

“We had the boys (Cracksman and Golden Horn) and now we’ve got the girl!”

In what has been a memorable campaign for Oppenheimer, Star Catcher also won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

Star Catcher’s late dam, LYNNWOOD CHASE, has been a most influential asset for Oppenheimer and Hascombe and Valiant Stud, having produced four winners.

Oppenheimer’s new star is a half-sister to Grade 1 Canadian International and Royal Ascot scorer CANNOCK CHASE and the Group 2-winning PISCO SOUR.

Lynnwood Chase also has a two-year-old filly by KINGMAN (GB) – named MAURIMO (GB) – who is in training with Roger Charlton, a yearling filly by FRANKEL (GB), and a colt foal by TIME TEST (GB).

Fiona McGlone added:

“Star Catcher was a beautiful, lovely foal – she has got a lot of her mother’s personality about her – and it’s so exciting as you simply couldn’t know where Star Catcher might end up.

“Sadly her mother is now longer with us, but she has left a fitting legacy and it’s so lovely to have that bloodline continuing.”

Old Persian takes top honours at Woodbine

OLD PERSIAN (GB) showed his class at Woodbine on Saturday with a decisive triumph in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes.

Owned and bred by Godolphin, the four-year-old son of DUBAWI thrived in the hands of James Doyle to take the mile-and-a-quarter contest by two and a half lengths from NESSY.

It was Old Persian’s second victory at the highest level following his Dubai Sheema Classic triumph at Meydan in March.

Charlie Appleby’s inmate, who is closely related to two-time winner CHAPELLI (GB), is the first live foal out of SINGSPIEL mare INDIAN PETAL (GB).

Indian Petal is a full sister to SILKWOOD (GB), who landed the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2007, and a half-sister to SILENT HONOR, who won the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes in 2001.

Godolphin representative Alex Merriam said:

“Old Persian didn’t run great in the Coronation Cup at Epsom, but that was coming back after a good effort in Dubai, and we were pleased enough with his run in Germany.

“They have gone a strong gallop, which suited Old Persian, and James has given him a nice ride. It has worked out well.

“I have spoken to Charlie and we will see how Old Persian comes out of this race before deciding where to go next.”

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