Frankel closes in on first sires' title as Hurricane Lane dazzles at Doncaster
Juddmonte kingpin sires second winner of the St Leger
Hurricane Lane became another Classic notch on Frankel's bedpost when careering away with the Cazoo St Leger at Doncaster on Saturday, the victory adding another crucial £420,000-odd to the Juddmonte kingpin’s haul as he bids to break Galileo’s hold on the sires’ championship.
Bred by Philippa Cooper’s Normandie Stud out of the Shirocco mare Gale Force, Hurricane Lane set Godolphin back 200,000gns at Tattersalls Book 1 in 2019 and has proved money particularly well spent.
His only defeat in seven starts was when he lost both front shoes in the Derby behind Charlie Appleby stablemate Adayar, and his haul now includes three Group 1 strikes, the colt having won the Irish Derby and Grand Prix de Paris before his Town Moor heroics.
Hurricane Lane, who was ridden by William Buick, becomes Frankel’s second winner of the world’s oldest Classic, following Logician two years ago.
Runner-up at Doncaster, two and three-quarter lengths adrift, was Sea The Stars’ son Mojo Star, who filled that place for a second time having split Adayar and Hurricane Lane at Epsom.
The Mediterranean, a son of Galileo, outran his odds for the third race on the spin, finishing a further two lengths adrift in third at 28-1.
The first three home were all, notably, by sons or grandsons of the great Urban Sea.
Frankel is now around £800,000 clear of Galileo as he tries to wrest the British and Irish crown from his own late, great sire, who has won it each season since 2010 and for 12 years in total.
At Leopardstown, Siyouni's son St Mark's Basilica had to dig really deep to win his fifth consecutive race at the highest level in the Irish Champion Stakes, being chased all the way by Aga Khan homebred Tarnawa, who was beaten three-quarters of a length, and Jim Bolger's homebred 2,000 Guineas hero Poetic Flare, who was a nose back in third.
St Mark's Basilica carried Tarnawa right for most of the home straight and had to survive a stewards' inquiry before being confirmed the winner.
While attracting only four runners, the contest looked the strongest run all season in Europe, with the first three home among the best horses anywhere on the planet, and with claims to be the cream of their crop over a mile (Poetic Flare), mile and a quarter (St Mark's Basilica) and mile and a half (Tarnawa).