Sons of Arrowfield stallions lead Royal Ascot challenge

Sons of Arrowfield stallions lead Royal Ascot challenge

Sons of Arrowfield stallions lead Royal Ascot challenge

The Australian-bred challenge for a fourth Golden Jubilee Stakes G1 victory at Royal Ascot now lies with the sons of Arrowfield stallions Redoute’s Choice and Starcraft .

Pictured: Champion sire Redoute’s Choice, photographed at Arrowfield by Bronwen Healy, April 2011.

After powering home for an eye-catching second in Tuesday’s King’s Stand S. G1, Star Witness (Starcraft-Leone Chiara by Lion Hunter) is vying for favouritism in the Golden Jubilee, which has previously been won by Australian-breds Choisir (twice), and Starspangledbanner in 2010. Star Witness is already a dual Group 1 winner, in the MRC Blue Diamond Stakes at two, and last spring’s VRC Ascot Vale Stakes. He and the splendid New Zealand-trained filly We Can Say It Now are both dual Group 1 winners for Starcraft, the sire of 7 individual stakeswinners this season – more than any other Australasian 2nd Season sire.

Star Witness will be joined in the Golden Jubilee field by Sheikh Hamdan‘s exciting colt Elzaam (Redoute’s Choice-Mambo In Freeport by Kingmambo), who was bred in Australia to northern time by Kia Ora Stud. He was then sent to the 2009 Arqana August Sale where Shadwell France purchased him for ?280,000.

Trained initially by Michael Jarvis, Elzaam made his first raceday appearance in May 2010 at York where won impressively over six furlongs. He then ran a very close second in the 2010 Royal Ascot Coventry S. G2 – beaten by Strong Suit who won Wednesday’s Royal Ascot Jersey Stakes G3.

Now trained by Roger Varian, Elzaam became Redoute’s Choice’s first stakeswinner in England when he won the Newbury Carnarvon S. LR on 13 May this year. Sheikh Hamdan’s Tazahum became English stakeswinner No. 2 for Redoute’s Choice with a victory at Sandown 13 days later, and finished a respectable fifth in the Tercentenary S. G3 on the third day of the Royal Ascot meeting.

Tazahum and Elzaam have taken Redoute’s Choice’s worldwide tally of 2010/11 stakeswinners to 17, headed by Group 1-winning classic fillies Absolutely and King’s Rose.

Australian-bred horses have built a remarkable record at Royal Ascot, winning or filling a place at the carnival in each of the past six years. Arrowfield’s home-bred mare Alverta (by Flying Spur ) was among the Australian contingent last year, and remained in England to run a magnificent third in the Newmarket July Cup G1.

The 2011 Golden Jubilee Stakes will be televised in Australia on both Sky Channel and TVN, with the race scheduled to be run on Sunday morning at 12.45am (EST).