Morning Briefing

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Mourayan makes history

Mourayan (Alhaarth), who carried the colours of Lloyd Williams to victory in the 2013 running of the Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) when trained by Robert Hickmott, made his own little piece of history yesterday when siring the longest price winner ever of a race staged in Britain or Ireland. Having beaten just two rivals home on his belated debut at Limerick last month as a 250-1 chance, He Knows No Fear (3 c ex Tripudium by Night Shift) turned the form book on his head as he took out a Leopardstown maiden at a staggering 300-1. Bred and raced in Ireland by the Aga Khan in the earlier part of his career, Mourayan posted three stakes victories for Hickmott before making a low-key return to the northern hemisphere in 2015. Since then owner/trainer Luke Comer and his family have bred exclusively from Mourayan, with He Knows No Fear his only runner to date. More of the sire’s progeny can be expected to appear down the line though as he has 25 known offspring of racing age.

 

56 for Frankel

Juddmonte Farms’ star Frankel (Galileo) sired his 56th individual stakes winner when Alpinista (3 f ex Alwilda by Hernando) posted a commanding success in the Upavon Fillies’ Stakes (Listed, 1m 2f) at Salisbury yesterday. The Sir Mark Prescott-trained three-year-old kept on strongly to pull three and a quarter lengths of her nearest pursuer, Award Scheme (Siyouni), who just got the better of favourite Queen Power (Shamardal) in their tussle for second. The Kirsten Rausing homebred, who has now won two of her five starts, is the first foal out of the Listed-winning Hernando (Niniski) mare Alwida. Further back this is the family of the same connection’s dual Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 1m 2f) winner Alborada (Alzao). Frankel stood at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket for a fee of £175,000 (approx AUD$320,000) in 2020.    

 

10 for American Pharoah

Coolmore shuttler American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) sired his tenth individual stakes winner when Pista (3 f ex Mohini by Galileo) continued her rapid progression through the ranks with a promising success in the Vinnie Roe Stakes (Listed, 1m 6f) at Leopardstown yesterday. An impressive winner of a maiden at the Galway Festival on her most recent outing, the Joseph O’Brien-trained three-year-old took this step up in grade in her stride, downing Sunchart (Teofilo) by half a length, with the same margin back to odds-on favourite Dawn Patrol (Galileo) in third. Pista is the first foal out of the Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) mare Mohini, who herself is a half-sister to Betta Leo (A. P. Indy), the dam of French Oaks (Gr 1, 2100m) winner Senga (Blame). American Pharoah is back at Coolmore Australia again this spring at a fee of $55,000.

 

Royal Dornoch makes most of easier opportunity

A drop in grade saw Royal Dornoch (Gleneagles) bounce back to winning ways as he stayed on strongly to deny favourite Ancient Spirit (Invincible Spirit) in the Desmond Stakes (Gr 3, 1m) at Leopardstown yesterday. Having raced exclusively at the highest level this year, the Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old overcame a troublesome passage to collar the front-running Ancient Spirit by a neck. Bowerman (Dutch Art) was another length and a half away in third. Royal Dornoch has now won two of nine starts, having also been successful in last season’s Royal Lodge Stakes (Gr 2, 1m) at Newmarket.  


Reduced crowds planned for Arc and Kentucky Derby 

A French government decision to prolong until the end of October the limit of 5,000 people allowed to gather in one place has made the prospect of a recognisable Arc day at Longchamp more difficult, though “all is not lost” according to France Galop chief executive Olivier Delloye. But he warned that if Longchamp is not granted special leave to exceed that number, then the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 1m 4f) will be run in front of only owners, trainers, stable staff and journalists, rather than a paying public. The delayed Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f) on September 5 is another major global race meeting set to limit the number in attendance, with a 60 per cent fall in the number of tickets on offer. In the region of 24,000 tickets will be on sale at Churchill Downs after the race was pushed back from its original date on May 2 following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA.