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Royal Ascot: Tying Up Loose Ends

Kingsgate Native (pictured) sprinted home to take the Golden Jubilee at a price on Saturday (although he was duly noted as a real threat here) and is pointed toward the July Cup at Newmarket and then a defense of his Nunthorpe victory. He was the only British-trained horse to win a Group 1 race during the meet.

Takeover Target’s fourth-place finish left his connections wondering if he’s simply feeling his age or if he he’s a little off his game for some other minor issue and so vets are being consulted; he may also contest the July Cup. Retirement is also a possibility, but one hopes that the old crowd favorite will be back for a few more starts.

Even the Queen had a winner in the Chesham Stakes with a colt named Free Agent, who is the product of decades of patient breeding — she purchased his great-great-great-great-grand-dam, Amicable, in 1961. Free Agent’s sire, the US-bred Dr. Fong, is also the sire of Shamdinan. Free Agent made his debut three weeks ago before winning on Saturday; he should be one to watch.

The biggest winners at Royal Ascot, by any measure, were the Coolmore boys: they took four out of the meet’s seven Group 1 wins, and their stallions appear in the pedigrees of a third of the total winners. Even those without Coolmore stallions in their immediate family are still part of the clan — Henrythenavigator is by Kingmambo, but his dam is a Coolmore mare by their recently-pensioned Sadler’s Wells. Sadler’s Wells is also the sire of Yeats, who may venture Down Under on the strength of his Gold Cup three-peat to try again for the Melbourne Cup.

Steve Haskin has a nice wrap-up of Royal Ascot at the Blood-Horse; the Blood-Horse will also be hosting a chat with my fellow blogger/ex-Penn employee Mr. Alex Brown on Thursday – stop by now to submit any questions you may have. Pimm’s, anyone?

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