Yvonne Jacques' Grandeur, who trailed much of the way after stumbling at the start in Friday's Grade 2, $150,000 Twilight Derby, flew home in deep stretch to catch 5-2 favorite Speaking of Which. Trained by Jeremy Noseda and ridden by William Buick, the English shipper bested the Irish colt by a half-length in the all-European exacta.
Grandeur's early faux pas might have been a blessing in disguise, for he found himself well off a frenetic early pace. The 32-1 longshot Hoist rushed up to take a narrow lead from My Best Brother while reeling off fractions of :23 2/5 and :46 2/5 on the firm turf. My Best Brother put his head in front through six furlongs in 1:10 4/5, but had been softened up in the process.
Speaking of Which was the first to take advantage as he uncorked a bold move on the far turn. Driving to a clear lead down the stretch, the Dermot Weld trainee appeared well on his way to victory. Then Grandeur suddenly erupted from farther back to deny the favorite with a blistering late rally. After completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:46 3/5, Grandeur paid $12.60, $6 and $3.60 as the 5-1 fourth choice.
Smart Ellis got up for third, edging All Squared Away. My Best Brother tried to hang tough, but yielded grudgingly and checked in fifth. Power Foot, Old Time Hockey, Huntsville and Hoist rounded out the order under the wire, and Regulus was scratched.
Grandeur's first career stakes score boosted his bankroll to $198,632 from his 10-5-2-1 line. The gelded son of Verglas broke his maiden at Brighton as a juvenile, beating Bronze Angel, who would go on to win this September's Cambridgeshire Handicap. During his sophomore campaign in 2012, Grandeur has won a pair of handicaps at Goodwood as well as a conditions race at Newbury last out. His only two stakes attempts came on unsuitably soft ground, a seventh in the Group 3 Tercentenary at Royal Ascot and a third to the fillies Lay Time and Primevere in the Group 3 Winter Hill.
Bred by Mrs. Cherry Faeste in Ireland, Grandeur was sold for $115,455 as a Goffs Orby yearling. The gray is out of the winning Desert Sun mare Misskinta, who is herself a half-sister to the stayer Far Cry, hero of the Group 3 Doncaster Cup and runner-up in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup. This is also the immediate family of Group 3 vixen Dress Rehearsal. Further back, the female line has yielded a number of top-class runners for the Aga Khan, including champion Darjina, Darsi, Daryaba and Daryakana.