Racing Post: live blog

Australasian horses at Royal Ascot

A look at the well-bred Australasian horses who have taken Royal Ascot by storm over the last few years


    Starspangledbanner winning the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2010 

    Sprinting was clearly in Starspangledbanner's genes. His sire Choisir needs no introduction, and he is out of the Made Of Gold mare Gold Anthem, who won twice at two as well as finishing second in the Listed Balcrest stakes over 5f. 

    A half-brother to another Australian sprinter in Gold Chant, Starspangledbanner was a top-class sprinter and miler in Australia winning five races. His biggest successes came in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and the Oakleigh Plate. 

    Four years later, Starspangledbanner took Royal Ascot by storm again when his his small first crop of two-year-olds - he has proved subfertile at stud - contained Coventry Stakes hero The Wow Signal and Queen Mary Stakes winner Anthem Alexander.

    by Zoe Vicarage edited by Martin Stevens 6/10/2016 1:41:33 PM
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    Haradasun (left) gets the better of Darjina and Finsceal Beo in the 2008 Queen Anne Stakes 

    Haradasun boasts a pedigree that has done well at Royal Ascot - his half-brother Elvstroem finished third in the Prince of Wales's Stakes when the meeting was held at York in 2005 and close relation Starspangledbanner scored in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. 

    Having been crowned champion three-year-old in Australia in 2007 thanks to victories in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Handicap, Coolmore bought a stake in him and he was transferred to be trained by Aidan O’Brien.

    On what to be his final career start, Haradasun got the better of top fillies Darjina and Finsceal Beo to win the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes in 2008.

    by Zoe Vicarage edited by Martin Stevens 6/10/2016 5:25:09 PM
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    Star Witness (right) is beaten by Society Rock in Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2011

    In 2011 Star Witness attempted the King’s Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes double that Choisir had achieved eight years earlier.

    He did not manage the feat, but lost little caste in defeat when second to Prohibit in the King's Stand Stakes and third to Society Rock in the Golden Jubilee.

    Star Witness is the son of another horse who ran well in defeat at the royal meeting - Starcraft, a New Zealand-bred son of Soviet Star who won three Group 1s down under before joining Luca Cumani and winning the Prix du Moulin and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Starcraft also finished third to Valixir in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot at York in 2005.

    Star Witness seems to have got his sprinting ability from his dam Leone Chiara. She was the winner of seven races including the Group 3 Irwin Stakes and Listed W H Wylie Handicap over 5f.

    by Zoe Vicarage edited by Martin Stevens 6/10/2016 6:24:44 PM
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