Holy Roman Emperor Rules at The Curragh
by Mary Schweitzer
Date Posted: 8/13/2006 2:55:50 PM
Last Updated: 8/17/2006 5:59:26 PM

Mrs. John Magnier's Holy Roman Emperor produced a divine performance to rule the Independent Waterford Wedgwood Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) at The Curragh on Sunday. The victory marked trainer Aidan O'Brien's eighth win in the race.

With the victory, the son of Danehill joined other Ballydoyle luminaries such as Johannesburg, Minardi, and George Washington on the honor roll of winners.

Holy Roman Emperor went off as the co-favorite with Hellvelyn, who was undefeated entering the race. One of Hellvelyn's prior victories was a win over Holy Roman Emperor in the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) at Royal Ascot.

Jockey Kieren Fallon had his charge held up near the rear of the field during the early stages of the race, as Drayton and King of Swords set the early pace. Hellvelyn appeared to get the jump on Holy Roman Emperor, as the grey colt took the lead with one furlong left to run. Fallon let out a notch on the reins, and Holy Roman Emperor responded with a burst of speed to grab the lead from his rival with a half-furlong left in the race. He drew away easily to win by 1¾ lengths.

Hellvelyn held on for second, a ½-length in front of Miss Beatrix.

Aidan O'Brien told reporters after the race, "He's quite a horse, isn't he? He's very smart looking. He was explosive when he got out and he's able to turn it on. He just powered through." O'Brien continued, "He'll go to the Prix Morny (Fr-I) next weekend; he just wants to race, and racing brings out the best in him."

Holy Roman Emperor is by the late Danehill, out of L'On Vite, by Secretariat. His second dam is the champion Fanfreluche, a blue hen mare who produced three champions when she was retired to the breeding shed.

Royal Whip Stakes

Mustameet, a 5-year-old son of Sahm, won the United Arab Emirates Royal Whip Stakes (Ire-II) by three lengths over Chelsea Rose. Soar With Eagles was third. Chelsea Rose was coming off a solid fourth place effort to Ouija Board in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes (Eng-I) on August 5.

2-year-old Maidens Shine

Arch Swing started things off at The Curragh with a victory in a six-furlong open maiden.

Arch Swing, a daughter of Arch  , out of Gold Pattern, by Slew o' Gold, held on for a neck win over Theann, a daughter of Rock of Gibraltar.

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