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Royal Ascot’s Finest

Who, of the past 30 years, have exerted the most influence on the stud book?

This great festival has been graced by many outstanding subsequent sires and broodmares. But who, of the past 30 years, have exerted the most influence on the stud book? Frankel, whose first crop has made such a sizzling beginning, looks set to join these ranks, writes Sarah Whitelaw.

Here are the top ten most influential Royal Ascot winners, in my opinion, of the past few decades:

DANEHILL: 1989 Gr3 Cork and Orrey Stakes (now Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes)


One of the greatest sires in history, the late, great Danehill is the all time leading sire in history of stakes winners. The mighty son of Danzig garnered no fewer than 39 sires titles in both the Southern and Northern Hemispheres, and his tally of 347 stakes winners include such breed shaping sires as Dansili, Redoute’s Choice, Fastnet Rock, Exceed And Excel and Danehill Dancer.

Also an exceptional broodmare sire, Danehill is damsire of unbeaten superstar, Frankel, who has made such a remarkable start to his stud career.

GIANT’S CAUSEWAY: Won Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes  2000

A Horse Of The Year and six time Gr1 winner, Giant’s Causeway is the best sire son of legendary US sire, Storm Cat. Champion Sire in North America on three occasions, Giant’s Causeway has sired over 130 stakes winners, with his tally including the successful sires, Shamardal, Footstepsinthesand and First Samurai. Other notable performers by the son of Storm Cat include US champion, Take Charge Brandi, classic winner, Ghanaati, and Gr1 winners Frost Giant, Maids Causeway, Red Giant, Carriage Trail and Heatseeker.

PIVOTAL: Won King’s Stand Stakes 1996


A winner of four of his only six outings, Pivotal was a rags to riches sire success story and started out at the bargain fee of £6,000. The son of Polar Falcon quickly made his mark, with his first crop including the Gr1 winners, Kyllachy, classic winner Silvester Lady and US champion, Golden Apples. Since then, Pivotal has gone on to be represented by more than 20 Gr1 winners, including the successful sires, Siyouni, and Kyllachy and he is also damsire of Gr1 July Cup hero and hugely promising sire, Mayson.

CAPE CROSS: Won Gr2 Queen Anne Stakes 1999

Now pensioned, Cape Cross (Green Desert) scored an impressive victory in the 1999 Queen Anne Stakes, where he had to give weight all round. He has 2 Epsom Derby winners to his credit, including Sea The Stars, sire of recent Investec Derby hero, Harzand, while his Oaks winning daughter, Ouija Board, is dam of Investec Derby hero, Australia (Galileo).

KINGMAMBO: Won Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes 1993

Kingmambo, St James Palace Stakes 1993Kingmambo

A blue blooded son of Mr Prospector and the great mare Miesque, triple Gr1 winner Kingmambo lived up to his pedigree by becoming an outstanding stallion in what was an all too brief a stud career. The half brother to successful South African sire, Judpot, left behind over 80 stakes winners, headed by top class sires, King Kamehameha, King’s Best and US champion, Lemon Drop Kid. Kingmambo’s best offspring also included Japan Cup winners, Alkaased and El Condor Pasa, and a plethora of English classic winners. He is damsire of Investec Derby winners. Camelot and Ruler Of The World, as well as Cartier Champion and successful sire, Duke Of Marmalade.

INDIAN RIDGE: Won Gr2 King’s Stand Stakes 1989

A son of top class but ill-fated sire, Ahonoora, Indian Ridge (like his sire before him) did not begin his stud career with much fanfare as some other Royal Ascot winners, but made a name for himself as a top class stallion, with his offspring including the Breeders’ Cup winners, Domedriver and Ridgewood Pearl, Gr1 sprinters, Compton Place and Namd, classic winner, Indian Haven, and multiple Gr1 winner, Indian Ink. He was also a top class broodmare sire, with his daughters responsible for over 80 stakes winners including dual Oaks winner, Dancing Rain.

LAST TYCOON: Won Gr2 King’s Stand Stakes 1986

1986 Breeders Cup winner, Last Tycoon1986 Breeders Cup winner, Last Tycoon

As versatile as he was brilliant, Last Tycoon’s wins included not only the King’s Stand Stakes but also the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. He was a top class sire in both hemispheres and his top runners included the highly successful sires, Marju and O’Reilly. He is also broodmare sire of over 140 stakes winners, including champion sire, King Kamehameha and Horse Of The Year, Typhoon Tracy. Last Tycoon also enjoyed notable success in South Africa, with champions, Tracy’s Element and Tytola, as well as top class runners, Super Sheila and Double Reef.

SHAMARDAL: Won Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes 2002

Having emulated his sire Giant’s Causeway by winning the St James’s Palace Stakes, Shamardal then went on to emulate his mighty sire by becoming a top class stallion. His 17 individual G1 winners include 2016 scorers, Dariyan and Tryster, as well as the very promising young sire and dual French classic winner, Lope de Vega. He is broodmare sire of recent Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Awtaad (Cape Cross).

MEDICEAN: Won Gr2 Queen Anne Stakes 2001

Also successful in the Gr1 Lockinge Stakes and Gr1 Eclipse Stakes, Medicean has since gone on to enjoy a consistently successful stud career. The son of Machiavellian (and from the family of Caro) has sired 10 Gr1 winners, including the highly successful sire and dual Gr1 winning 2yo, Dutch Art,and Gr1 Dubai Duty Free hero, Al Shemali.

HELLENIC: Won Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes 1990

A daughter of the great broodmare sire Darshaan, Hellenic was one of her sire’s best daughters, both on the track and at stud. Winner of the 1990 Gr1 Yorkshire Oaks, Hellenic went on to produce 3 Gr1 winners at stud –Greek Dance (Sadler’s Wells), Mountain High (Danehill) and multiple champion and Breeders’ Cup winner, Islington (Sadler’s Wells). She is also dam of high class South American sire, Election Day (Sadler’s Wells), Hellenic is the third dam of Gr1 Melbourne Cup winner and Australian sire, Fiorente (Monsun).

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One comment on “Royal Ascot’s Finest”

  1. some lovely memories of these horses,just watched an american filly lady aurelia win yesterday at royal ascot,looks something special.

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