Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Australia’s Leading Ladies Headline International Royal Ascot Entries
Black Caviar (Peter Moody), with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes her most likely target, headlines entries from 11 countries for Royal Ascot’s Group One races and she could lead a female Australian team unprecedented in strength including her stablemate King’s Rose, Ortensia (Paul Messara) and Australia’s champion miler, More Joyous (Gai Waterhouse).
The great Black Caviar needs no introduction and the unbeaten mare is set to ship to the UK at the beginning of June, all being well, following two runs in Adelaide.
Ortensia, entered in both sprints but likely to be campaigned primarily for the King’s Stand Stakes, is in the UK already following her victory in the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai whilst King’s Rose will run next in Hong Kong and could then ship to the UK, possibly to lock horns again with seven time Group One winner, More Joyous, in the Queen Anne Stakes.
When the pair last met in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes on 7th April, More Joyous had King’s Rose just under three lengths back in third before going on to land Australia’s most prestigious mile race, The Doncaster Handicap (Randwick), under second top weight. Both have also been entered in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes which closes next week.
Not to be outdone, Australia’s top two active male sprinters, with Hay List sidelined, are also entered for Royal Ascot in the form of Foxwedge (John O’Shea) and Temple of Boom (Tony Gollan).
Foxwedge had been the model of consistency at Group One level until disappointing due to a throat infection in the recent T J Smith Stakes but had previously defeated Hay List in the William Reid Stakes. He remains on course for the King’s Stand Stakes and possibly the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The same double is an option for Temple of Boom, who burst onto the Group One scene at the weekend with victory in the Galaxy Stakes at Randwick.
All Three 2012 Global Sprint Challenge Leg Winners Entered For Royal Ascot
Three of the 10 legs of the 2012 Global Sprint Challenge have been run and the winners of all three races are entered for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (leg 6).
Lightning Stakes (leg 1) winner Black Caviar is obviously the highest profile of them but Japanese Champion, Curren Chan (Takayuki Yasuda), and Bahrain-trained Krypton Factor (Fawzi Nass), could be waiting in the wings to take her on following victories in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (leg 2) and Dubai Golden Shaheen (leg 3) respectively.
There are only two Group One Sprints in Japan, the Sprinters Stakes and the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, and Curren Chan has won the latest renewals of both of them. She could be joined in the UK by compatriot, Curren Black Hill (Osamu Hirata), who is entered in the St James’s Palace Stakes following a Group Two victory at Nakayama earlier in the month.
Krypton Factor, who has been a revelation in Dubai during the recent Carnival, has leg 4 of the Global Sprint Challenge in Singapore in his sights before Royal Ascot.
The first four home in Dubai’s Group One 5f Turf Sprint on World Cup night, the Al Quoz, are all engaged in the King’s Stand Stakes, including third placed Joy And Fun (Derek Cruz), who is one of five Hong Kong entries across Royal Ascot’s Group One programme.
Also engaged in the sprints for Hong Kong are Little Bridge (Danny Shum), who split Joy and Fun and Curren Chan when fourth in the Hong Kong Sprint in December, and Captain Sweet (John Moore), who was second to Little Bridge in the recent Bauhinia Sprint Trophy
John Moore has also entered versatile stable star, Xtension, for both the Queen Anne Stakes and Prince of Wales’s Stakes whilst Derek Cruz is considering Collection for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Legendary US Owner Ken Ramsey Massing His Ranks & Possible First For Asmussen
No one from the US has supported Royal Ascot more loyally than Ken Ramsey, whose famous red and white silks came so close to victory with Cannonball in the 2009 Golden Jubilee Stakes, and he has three horses entered for the Group One races with a promise of more to come as part of Wesley Ward’s two-year-old team.
The star name amongst the Group One trio is Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner, Stephanie’s Kitten (Wayne Catalano), who is firmly on course for the Coronation Stakes.
In the colts’ equivalent, the St James’s Palace Stakes, Ramsey has entered Gung Ho (Michael Maker), who was third in the recent Group One Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland, whilst Big Blue Kitten (Chad Brown), third in a Grade One on turf at Gulfstream in February, is engaged in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
A further exciting prospect for the United States comes in the form of Steve Asmussen’s Great Mills, who was narrowly denied by Perfect Officer in the recent Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland, one of the top early season turf sprints in America. With tremendous early pace, he looks ideally suited to the speed test of the King’s Stand Stakes and could represent the US in what looks a fascinating international contest on the opening day of the meeting.
Asmussen has been champion trainer in the US no less than five times and is possibly best known for training the brilliant Curlin.
Other notable international names that feature at this stage are Overdose (Jozef Roszival) for Hungary and Master Of Hounds (Mike De Kock) for South Africa, whilst three German-trained and 36 French-trained horses have been entered, including QIPCO Champion Stakes winner, Cirrus des Aigles (Corine Barande-Barbe).
Ireland has 63 entries, 43 of which come from Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle powerhouse, including names such as Camelot, Maybe, So You Think, Fame And Glory and Excelebration.
Headlining the home team, of course, is Frankel, who could appear in the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile or step up to 10f in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
Entry stakes have been paid by the connections of no fewer than 344 horses across the seven Group One races at Royal Ascot, all of which form part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Charles Barnett, Chief Executive at Ascot, said.
"Once again we are delighted to see such a wide range of entries from around the world, headlined of course by Frankel for the home team and Black Caviar from Australia.
“The star names don’t end there, however, and include the Japanese sprint champion, Curren Chan, the Australian mile champion, More Joyous, some fascinating names from the United States, a particularly numerically strong Hong Kong entry and the best from all over Europe.
“It would be wonderful to be able to welcome Gai Waterhouse back with a runner and nothing would give us more pleasure than to see Ken Ramsey achieve his lifelong dream of a Royal Ascot winner. We were lucky enough to have runners from Todd Pletcher’s US stable last year and further ground would be broken if we were able to welcome Steve Asmussen with a runner this time round.
“Interestingly, the winners of all eight thoroughbred races on Dubai World Cup night are entered at Royal Ascot, highlighting the increasing international pull of the Royal Meeting.”