Starspangledbanner Soars in Golden Jubilee

Starspangledbanner Soars in Golden Jubilee
Photo: Trevor Jones
Starspangledbanner comes home strong to take the Golden Jubilee Stakes.
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Australian import Starspangledbanner took the lead at the start and never looked back, rocketing home to win the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot by 1 3/4 lengths over Society Rock. Kinsale King finished third.

A dual group I winner in Australia, Starspangledbanner was purchased by Coolmore for a reported $10 million (Australian) and transferred to trainer Aidan O’Brien earlier this year. The chestnut colt made his debut for O’Brien in May, finishing fifth (but only beaten by two lengths) in the Blue Square Duke of York Stakes (Eng-II).

Sent off as the co-favorite along with Fleeting Spirit, Starspangledbanner broke sharply and was sent straight to the front by Johnny Murtagh. The field of 24 runners split into two groups, with Starspangledbanner leading the pack on the stands’ side, while Prime Defender and Fleeting Spirit led the field on the far side.

Hot on the heels of Starspangledbanner was the highly-regarded American sprinter, Kinsale King, who entered the Golden Jubilee off an impressive victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) at the end of March.  

As the field hit the two-furlong marker, Murtagh asked his charge for more and the response was immediate, with Starspangledbanner opening up on the field. Kinsale King was under a drive by Kieren Fallon but couldn’t match the burst of speed from the eventual winner.  

Starspangledbanner crossed the wire comfortably in front in the swift time of 1:12.57, which was just .11 seconds off the course record set by Henrythenavigator in 2007.  

Society Rock just got up at the wire to take second by a head over the valiant Kinsale King. Fleeting Spirit finished the best of the far side group, just another half-length back in fourth.

In winning the Golden Jubilee, Starspangledbanner emulated the feat of his sire, Choisir, who captured both this race and the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-II) in 2003.

A delighted Aidan O’Brien said after the race, “Unbelievable. Before York he was only doing half speeds but his half speeds were amazing. His work has been incredible.

“His last furlong in his last work was just outside nine and a half seconds, which we have never seen before. He’s the fastest horse we have had and the July Cup (Eng-I) is the plan.”

Starspangledbanner is a 4-year-old colt out of Gold Anthem, by Made Of Gold. He is owned by the partnership of Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier, and Ms. Massey, and was bred in Australia by Emily Krstina Pty. Limited. Starspangledbanner hails from the immediate female family of champions Elvstroem (by Danehill) and Haradasun (by Fusaichi Pegasus  ).

 

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