Lion roars home to become second Eclipse hero for Kitten's Joy
A look at the pedigree of the Sandown Group 1 winner
Ace US turf sire Kitten's Joy was represented by his second winner of the Coral-Eclipse in three years on Saturday, as son Roaring Lion cut down 2,000 Guineas hero Saxon Warrior to take the Sandown Group 1.
In 2016 the contest was won by Roaring Lion's paternal half-brother Hawkbill, who finished fourth this time around.
This was a deserved first Group 1 victory for Roaring Lion, who had won the Royal Lodge Stakes and finished a narrow second to Saxon Warrior in the Racing Post Trophy last year and taken the Dante Stakes before finishing third in the Derby in the recent months.
The John Gosden-trained colt takes Kitten's Joy's tally of top-level winners to 12, with his roll of honour also including greats such as Big Blue Kitten, Oscar Performance, Real Solution and Stephanie's Kitten.
Kitten's Joy was built into a brilliant stallion almost single-handedly by his owner-breeders Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, whose colours he carried when he won the Secretariat Stakes and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational.
Indeed, the Ramseys have bred half of those Group/Grade 1 winners by the sire – Admiral Kitten, Big Blue Kitten, Bobby's Kitten, Kitten's Dumplings, Real Solution and Stephanie's Kitten.
Kitten's Joy, a son of the Sadler's Wells stallion El Prado, was moved across Kentucky from Ramsey Farm to Hill 'n' Dale Farms in a bid to reinvigorate his stallion career this year, with Hill 'n' Dale Farms principal John Sikura buying 50 per cent of the horse.
Roaring Lion was bred in the US by Ranjan Racing and is the first foal out of the Street Sense mare Vionnet, a winner stateside on the turf and third in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes over ten furlongs at Santa Anita.
Vionnet is a half-sister to stakes winners Alexis Tangier, Bronson, Moulin De Mougin and Schiaparelli out of the Grade 3-winning Avenue Of Flags mare Cambiocorsa.
Roaring Lion was bought by David Redvers on behalf of owners Qatar Racing for $160,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale of 2016.
The Coral-Eclipse had a distinctly international feel to it this year in breeding terms, as runner-up Saxon Warrior is by Japan's champion sire Deep Impact out of Galileo's Group 1-winning daughter Maybe.
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