Royal Performances

Six Royal Ascot winners for the half-brothers

Not for the first time in recent years, Derby winning half-brothers Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) and Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) dominated a major international race meeting, with the descendants of Galileo wreaking havoc at last week’s Royal Ascot meeting.

Sea The Stars

Sea The Stars

His half-brother Sea The Stars followed in Galileo’s footsteps with his progeny landing  a number of decent prizes.

Galileo Tops

Sarah Whitelaw writes that when Circus Maximus captured last Tuesday’s Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes, he became the 78th Gr1 winner sired by Galileo – who is without question the best stallion currently at stud anywhere in the world.



Out of the high-class Danehill Dancer sired racemare Duntle (and thus bred on the same Galileo/Danehill Dancer cross as Gr1 winners Minding, Alice Springs and The Gurkha), Circus Maximus is the third son of Galileo to land the St James’s Palace Stakes following Frankel and Gleneagles. Galileo is also damsire of recent St James’s Palace Stakes winners Barney Roy and Galileo Gold.

Both Frankel and Gleneagles also tasted success at Royal Ascot this year, with Frankel son’s The Grand Vizir capturing the Ascot Stakes on Tuesday and another Frankel son Baghdad capturing Friday’s Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes. Gleneagles’ first crop son Southern Hills won the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes on Wednesday.

Another son of Galileo, the in-form Nathaniel, is the sire of Thursday’s Gr2 Queen’s Vase winner Dashing Willoughby –with Galileo sons Barbados and Nayef Road finishing second and third in the Queen’s Vase.

Galileo was also responsible for Friday’s impressive Gr2 King Edward VII winner Japan, while his daughters Magical and Hermosa ran second in the Gr1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Gr1 Coronation Stakes respectively – his son Waldgeist was third in the Prince Of Wales’s Stake. Yet another son to score at the meeting was South Pacific –victorious in the King George VI Stakes last Thursday.

The champion is also broodmare sire of last Friday’s surprise Gr1 Coronation Stakes winner Watch Me (Olympic Glory) and Gr3 Jersey Stakes hero Space Traveller (Bated Breath).

Urban Sea’s Influence

With both her sons Galileo and Sea The Stars responsible for Gr1 winners at Royal Ascot in 2019, the legacy of 1993 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Urban Sea (Miswaki) continues to grow.

Urban Sea

Urban Sea

Between them, Galileo (see above) and Sea The Stars were responsible for six winners, with Galileo sons and daughters also making their mark.

Sea The Stars, one of the greatest racehorses of this century, had three impressive winners, with his sons Stradivarius (Gold Cup) and Crystal Ocean (Prince Of Wales’s Stakes) both scoring Gr1 victories. His daughter Star Catcher added to Sea The Stars’ good week by winning the Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes. Progeny of Galileo and Sea The Stars also filled the first three places in the King George V Handicap, while Urban Sea can be found in the pedigrees of the first three home in the Gr2 King Edward VII Stakes.

When taking into account the fact that Urban Sea appears in the pedigree of each of the 13 runners in this year’s Investec Derby, it is clear that her influence is unparalled for a mare in recent times –and it will only continue to grow and grow.

Shamardal Impresses

Darley’s red hot Giant’s Causeway sire Shamardal was another to have a major week at Royal Ascot. Not only did his son Blue Point complete a rare Gr1 King’s Stand Stakes/Gr1 Diamond Jubilee double, Shamardal is also the sire of hugely impressive Listed Chesham Stakes winner Pinatubo and Wokingham Stakes winner Cape Byron.

Lope de Vega (Shamardal - Lady Vettori)

Lope de Vega (Shamardal – Lady Vettori)

Shamardal’s son Lope de Vega is the sire of the second home in the Chesham, while the Shamardal sired Mukhadram is the sire of Sandringham Stakes winner Thanks Be.

Another by Sharmadal, exciting 3yo filly Jubiloso, ran third in the Gr1 Coronation Stakes and the sophomore – whose dam is a half-sister to Frankel – looks a filly with a bright future.

A Pivotal Pedigree

The evergreen Pivotal, who remains active at stud at the ripe old age of 26, continues to make his mark at the top level all around the world, and he also made his presence felt at the Royal meeting this year. Not only did his Gr2 winning son Addeybb win the Listed Wolferton Stakes on the opening day, but Pivotal also made his presence felt as a broodmare sire and sire of sires. Pivotal is not only damsire of Friday’s Gr1 Commonwealth Cup victor Advertise, he is also damsire of Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes third One Master, Gr2 Queen Mary Stakes heroine Raffle Prize (Slade Power), and Defoe (Gr2 Hardwicke Stakes).

He also features as the broodmare sire of both Magical and Hermosa, while Pivotal’s dual Gr1 winning son Farhh is the sire of Wednesday’s Gr2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes winner Move Swiftly and Thursday’s Gr1 Gold Cup runner up Dee Ex Bee.

SA Connection

South African legend Horse Chestnut made his mark at Royal Ascot in 2019, with his outstanding daughter Lynnwood Chase the dam of Thursday’s impressive Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Star Catcher (Sea The Stars).

Horse Chestnut at Drakenstein Stud Farm

Horse Chestnut at Drakenstein Stud Farm

The latter is a third group/graded winner produced by her dam whose previous foals include Gr1 Pattison Canadian International Stakes winner Cannock Chase (Lemon Drop Kid) and the latter’s full-brother Pisco Sour (Gr2 Prix Eugene Adam).

Other Ascot performers with South African connections included the impressive Gr3 Hampton Court Stakes winner Sangarius –whose dam is a half-sister to successful local sire Ideal World, and the likes of Magical and Hermosa. The former is a full-sister to Bush Hill Stud’s resident sire Flying The Flag, while Hermosa is a full-sister to Cape based Gr1 winner The United States.Mirage Dancer, third in the Hardwicke is another from the family of Ideal World.

It was also interesting to see the form of new Cape sire Lancaster Bomber (War Front) being franked, with Lancaster Bomber having previously accounted for both Defoe (Grr2 Hardwicke Stakes) and Blue Point – winner of both the Gr1 King’s Stand Stakes and Gr1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

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