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O'Brien's Royal Ascot sprint star Merchant Navy retired to stud in Australia

Merchant Navy (purple) holds off the late charge of City Light to land the Diamond Jubilee Stakes
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Merchant Navy, winner of the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot a week ago, has been retired and will go to Australia to take up stud duties at Coolmore in New South Wales.

A Group 1 winner at Flemington in November when trained by Aaron Purcell, the son of Fastnet Rock joined Aidan O'Brien early this year with Royal Ascot the target.

He won the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh last month on his first start for Ballydoyle.


Watch Merchant Navy's thrilling Royal Ascot victory


Paying tribute to the colt, O'Brien said: "Merchant Navy proved himself a very special horse. For a three-year-old to come from Australia and win like he did at the Curragh and Royal Ascot while being weighted as an older horse was remarkable.

"He was actually 12lb wrong in the Diamond Jubilee. Only a horse with such natural speed and wonderful temperament like he has could do it.”

Job well done: groom David Hickey (right) gives a thumbs-up as he leads in Merchant Navy with Aidan O'Brien's travelling head lad Pat Keating at Royal Ascot

Merchant Navy will enter quarantine in Ireland before travelling to Coolmore Australia.

“Merchant Navy’s amazing win at Royal Ascot means he retires to stud as one of the best sprinting colts of modern times," said Coolmore Australia’s Tom Magnier.

"We are very excited about his stallion prospects as he was such a brilliant three-year-old sprinter just like his sire Fastnet Rock and grandsire Danehill.”


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For a three-year-old to come from Australia and win like he did at the Curragh and Royal Ascot while being weighted as an older horse was remarkable
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