First Group 1 winner for Olympic Glory

New Group 1 sire Olympic Glory paraded in magnificent order at the 2018 Arrowfield Stallion Open House (PHOTO: Darren Tindale)

Former Arrowfield stallions and now Group 1 sires Olympic Glory and Animal Kingdom aren’t on the Stud’s 2019 roster, but they are doing more than enough to keep a spotlight on their Australian progeny-in-progress.

Olympic Glory’s first European crop produced 21 juvenile winners last year, including Listed winner Watch Me, stakes-placed fillies Mintd & Got Wind and Deauville winner Grand Glory.

Several of those winners have blossomed into even better 3YOs, most notably the presciently named Watch Me (ex Watchful by Galileo) who rolled hot favourite Hermosa in last Friday’s Royal Ascot Coronation S. G1.

Her trainer Francis Graffard was overjoyed but not surprised because he had expected her to win the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) G1.

As he explained, “Four weeks ago in France I thought it was our day and I was very upset as you don’t get many chances to run in a Group 1 with a big chance, and everything went wrong.  

“I worked six years in England, so I always said to myself I need to come here and win a big race. I’ve tried before but today is just amazing. I love this filly, I always thought she was very good and it’s incredible.”

Olympic Glory himself was a 4-time Group 1 winner at 2, 3 & 4 in England and France.

Five days earlier the Gianluca Bietolini-trained Grand Glory (ex Madonna Lily by Daylami) stayed on strongly to finish 3rd in Prix de Diane (French Oaks) G1 – won by the Graffard-trained Channel.

Watch Me, Grand Glory and 18 other winners including Listed winner Phoceene & stakes-placed Got Wind, and Group-placed Pythion, have earned Olympic Glory second spot on the French & British Second Season Sires’ list.

Olympic Glory’s first Australian 2YOs include smart Arrowfield graduate Eric The Eel (ex Modave by Montjeu), winner of two races and fifth in the JJ Atkins G1.

His second-crop 2YOs run next season, and after missing the 2017 breeding season, he returned to Arrowfield in 2018 and has a small third crop of foals due this Spring. 

Angel Of Truth won the 2019 Australian Derby G1 by 3.3 lengths for owner-breeder Ross Williams & trainer Gwenda Markwell. (PHOTO: Sportpix)

Animal Kingdom has had a fine season in Australia, headlined by spectacular Australian Derby G1 winner & $1.3 million earner Angel Of Truth (ex Scarletini by Bertolini), dual stakeswinner Wild Planet (ex Salutations by Redoute’s Choice) and the Bob & Sandra Peters home-bred Mystery Miss (ex Mystical Miss by More Than Ready) who added Saturday’s Belmont Guineas LR to her Belgravia S. LR victory last October. 

One to watch is the Arrowfield-bred 2YO filly Game Of Thorns (ex Only Roses by Redoute’s Choice), a debut winner at Muswellbrook last month and a close fourth in Saturday’s Winning Edge S. LR at Eagle Farm. 

These collective efforts have elevated Animal Kingdom to 4th on the Third Season Sires’ table, despite having fewer than half the runners deployed by the table leaders Pierro & All Too Hard.

Arrowfield graduate 4YO Earth Trilogy (ex Aliyana Tilde by Snitzel) capped the weekend when he became Animal Kingdom’s first Hong Kong winner, leading most of the way over 1600 metres at Sha Tin on Sunday evening. 

Earth Trilogy raced as Table Mountain in Australia where he was prepared by Paul Messara for two wins and a city placing before his October 2018 transfer to the stable of champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore. 

Animal Kingdom’s fourth Australian crop, including a sister to Mystery Miss, will be yearlings of 2019/20.

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