June 16, 2015
Royal Ascot is five days of fashion, pageantry, and unparalleled racing, and Lane’s End is proud, through its sires, clients and sales division, to have had an influence on the world’s most prestigious race meet.
No American sire has had an impact on Royal Ascot in the past 25 years like the late, great KINGMAMBO. Bred and raced by the Niarchos family, a longtime valued client of Lane’s End, KINGMAMBO was a prohibitive 2-5 favorite when he won the G1 St James’s Palace S. back in 1993. He would go on to make an even bigger impact on the Royal meet by siring three Group 1 winners there.
In 2003, KINGMAMBO’s son Dubai Destination won the G1 Queen Anne S. at Royal Ascot, the meet’s featured event for milers four years and older. Later that same week, his indomitable daughter Russian Rhythm beat Soviet Song (Ire) in the G1 Coronation S. for 3yo fillies.
Henrythenavigator, another son of KINGMAMBO, won the G2 Coventry S. at Royal Ascot at 2, then returned to replicate his sire’s feat by downing rival Raven’s Pass in the G1 St James’s Palace S. in 2008.
The St James’s Palace has a long, storied history, and its honor roll includes one of the all-time greats in Frankel (GB), winner of the race in 2011. A year later, Frankel’s brilliant full-brother NOBLE MISSION (GB) just failed to notch his own Royal Ascot win when narrowly beaten in the G2 King Edward VII, but would later complete the Group 1 treble over the course with a career-finale win in the G1 Champion S.
American speed has proven effective in Royal Ascot’s varied juvenile races over the years, and the impeccably bred Statue of Liberty drove that point home in 2002. Co-bred by Lane’s End, the Storm Cat half-brother to LEMON DROP KID was sold by Lane’s End for $1.3 million as a yearling, and showed why nine months later when he fought off a field of 15 to win the Coventry by a neck.
Another Lane’s End sales grad, Cursory Glance, won the G3 Albany S. for 2yo fillies last term, foreshadowing her victory in the G1 Moyglare Stud S.
Last year’s Royal Ascot meet, of course, showcased another star in the making: QUALITY ROAD’s outstanding Hootenanny. Facing 23 rivals in the Listed Windsor Castle S., Hootenanny made nearly all the pace and powered home 3 1/2 lengths clear for trainer Wesley Ward. Hootenanny later rolled home an impressive winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, sealing Champion First-Crop Sire honors for QUALITY ROAD.
So what stars, emerging or established, will step forward in 2015?
Hootenanny, for one, returns aiming for more top-level glory in the Friday’s newly inaugurated G1 Commonwealth Cup, and will be among the favorites for the six-furlong dash.
LEMON DROP KID’s Cannock Chase won the G3 Tercentenary S. at Royal Ascot in 2014, and he likewise returns on Wednesday to go for a career high in the G1 Princes of Wales’s S.
CITY ZIP’s Bruised Orange, a romping 3-length winner at odds-on in her debut at Keeneland in April, tries to give Wesley Ward another Royal Ascot success in Tuesday’s G2 Queen Mary S. Similarly, the Ward-trained Back at the Ranch, a $110,000 Lane’s End sales grad, will go for glory in Friday’s G3 Albany S. for 2yo fillies.
Back to the older horses, the Lane’s End-sold Wind Fire rates an upset chance in the G1 King’s Stand S. during Tuesday’s opener. That’s if she’s able to improve off her close-up third in the G2 Temple S. The 4yo filly was bred by Kinsman Farm and was produced by the A. P. INDY mare A. P. Dream.
Lane’s End wishes the best of luck to these and all the runners, and thanks the horses and connections of those who have, year in and year out, helped Lane’s End be so well represented during Britain’s best five days of racing.