Billesdon Brook back to best as British-breds battle out Sun Chariot

BILLESDON BROOK (GB) was back to her very best on Saturday at the scene of her 2018 Classic victory, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, when landing the Group 1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes to add a second top-level victory to her CV and boost her credentials as a future star broodmare for owner-breeder Jeanette McCreery of Stowell Hill Stud and owning partnership Pall Mall Partners.

Covered up for the majority of the contest in the slipstream of eventual runner-up, Cheveley Park’s homebred Veracious, last year’s 1,000 Guineas heroine found daylight approaching the final furlong and kicked on up the hill under Sean Levey to reel in and then extend pass this year’s Group 1 Falmouth Stakes winner.

Having struggled to make much of impression as a three-year-old subsequent to her Guineas victory, Billesdon Brook has looked a different horse over the last three months subsequent to a confidence boosting win in a Listed contest at Chelmsford in June. Her Group 3 Oak Tree Stakes victory in August signalled that she might be back to somewhere near her best.

Trainer Richard Hannon said after that Group 3 victory: “Billesdon Brook deserves respect as she is a Classic winner, and breeders who keep horses like this in training deserve a pat on the back. She has been a star for us. People slightly forgot her after she won the Guineas, but there was no fluke about that.”

Billesdon Brook was bred and raised at Jeanette McCreery’s Stowell Hill Stud in Somerset. Her large ownership syndicate, Pall Mall Partners, was established by McCreery’s late husband Bob, a renowned figure in the bloodstock industry who bred the likes of OLD VIC (GB) and GALE FORCE TEN (GB).

McCreery has enjoyed plenty of success with Billesdon Brook’s family, which she and Bob bought into when picking up this Group 1 winner’s granddam, ANNA OLEANDA, for 45,000gns at Tattersalls in 2005. Herself a daughter of Old Vic, Anna Oleanda only raced once, but has since become a highly successful Stowell Hill broodmare.

As well as Billesdon Brook’s dam, COPLOW (GB), she is responsible for a trio of Group 3 winners in ANNA NERIUM (GB), the promising PIPING ROCK (GB) who landed the Horris Hill Stakes in 2003 before dying from an attack of colic, and MIDDLE CLUB (GB), who took the 2009 renewal of Chantilly’s Prix d’Aumale.

Speaking of her two-time Group 1 winning filly, McCreery commented: “She has learnt to relax, and now is able to show how good she is. Richard Hannon has been incredible patient with her and it has paid off.

“Coplow has a DUBAWI foal and is carrying a KINGMAN colt.”

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.”


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