Haradasun Shines in Royal Opener
1st (3) Haradasun 5-1
The Australian-bred and part-owned Haradasun held on in a photo for the opening Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes to earn himself a place at stud in the northern hemisphere.
Coolmore bought 50 per cent interest in the five-year-old after his two Group 1 victories in Australia and he joined Aidan O’Brien’s stable in Ireland late last year with a view to making his mark in Europe.
His previous owners, Sydney-based Frank Tagg and his wife Sally, Frank and Marie Meduri and Garry and Leone Moffitt retain a half share. The three couples have owned McDonald’s restaurant franchises in Sydney and Canberra for 30 years, hence the horse’s yelllow, red and white colours.
“Our goal was to win this race and we achieved that with a great ride from Johnny Murtagh and a great training performance from Aidan O’Brien. The horse is full of heart and really digs deep,” said Tagg.
“We believed so much in the horse and he has done it today. The whole reason he is here is so that he could stand in the northern hemisphere and we will leave it to Aidan to decide what he does now. But his racing career will finish here and he will go to stud in Australia and will shuttle back to Europe..
“Circles Of Gold, his mother, resides at Coolmore at Jerry Plains in Australia and she has been a wonderful mare for us because she also produced Elvstroem, who ran at Royal Ascot when it was at York.”
Trainer Aidan O’Brien added: “There was not much early pace when he ran in the Lockinge and not much pace through the middle of the race so they just sprinted at the end. But we were very happy with him in the Lockinge, obviously with it being his first run for us and he ran a lovely race and was really getting going in the last furlong and a half.
“He’s very natural, this fellow. He came to us in October or November last year and although he took a bit of time to acclimatise, from day one he was always naturally very fast, very quick and a great cruiser. He settles and quickens and you can see why everyone was so excited about him in Australia.
“He’s very courageous. Johnny was very convinced about that and he said that if he got to the front at all he would stay there. He looked like a horse that would get a mile and a quarter today but we entered him in the sprints here later in the week so he’s very versatile.”
Jockey Johnny Murtagh added: “His last race was a little bit messy, they went no pace and he was keen to the start. He was a little bit fresh really but today worked well. Davy (McCabe) did a great job in front, he just moved off the rail and gave me a little slip through. My horse was brave.
“I was a bit surprised with him the last time because he showed so much speed at home but I knew him better today. I knew here today with a stiff mile and plenty of speed on that he’d be hard to beat. He’s very tough and very genuine.
“The Australian horses are real tough. They’re trained hard and ridden hard in Australia. I knew after the Lockinge Stakes that he’d be a lot better today.
“I don’t think Finsceal Beo headed me but it was close for a while. I thought I had the race sown up but the French filly just dived at me towards the line. In fairness, my lad got a little bit tired in the last 50 yards but he’s all heart and he’s got a big engine so I’m delighted to get off to this start.
“The stiff mile here is ideal for him. It’s good fast ground. It’s beautiful ground, exactly what you’d want here - fast ground, fast horses, fast jockeys, going fast and winning the best races!
“I can’t wait to ride Henrythenavigator. Coming here this week, it’s unbelievable the amount of horses I’ve got to ride. Henry is up there in the top - he’s really going well at home, he likes fast ground and I can’t wait to ride him. “
The stewards gave Murtagh a three-day ban for his use of the whip on the winner.
MANNING AND MURTAGH BANNED
Kevin Manning received two separate suspensions totalling five days when riding third-placed Finsceal Beo in the opening Queen Anne Stakes. He was found guilty of careless riding on two occasions and his bans will take place from July 1 to 5.
Johnny Murtagh, who rode the winner Haradasun, was banned for three days - from July 1 to 3 - for using his whip with excessive frequency.
‘NO EXCUSES’: ROYER-DUPRE
Alain Royer-Dupre indicated that the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket (July 9) could come under consideration for Queen Anne Stakes runner-up Darjina.
The Zamindar filly almost beat the boys, producing a thrilling display only to come up short by a head.
The French trainer said: “No excuses, she ran very well and was beaten by a better one on the day.
“She didn’t have a hard race and all being well she may go for the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.”
The Group 1 at the July Course could be on the agenda for third-placed favourite Finsceal Beo - although her trainer Jim Bolger outlined several possibilities.
He said: “She ran a terrific race. You would have to be pleased with her performance. She has several options - the Pretty Polly at the Curragh, the Falmouth would be a possibility and the Nassau at Goodwood.”
Cheveley Park director Chris Richardson was delighted with fourth-placed Cesare, despite the seven-year-old not enjoying a smooth passage.
He said: “He has a blinder. Maybe he got caught in a pocket and just couldn’t his momentum going until too late. But it was a good performance in a very good race.”
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