Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday August 6

Choisir’s historic Royal Ascot double back in 2003 would still rank highly on many racing fan’s list of most exciting moments in the sport.

In the King Stand Stakes Choisir defeated Acclamation and Oasis Dream. Few would have guessed at the time what an incredible influence that trio would have on the breed.

Choisir (Mark Smith)

Seventeen years on at Royal Ascot, Acclamation’s increasingly influential son Dark Angel sired the Group 1 King Stand Stakes winner Baataash and the Listed Wolferton Stakes winner Mountain Angel, while Dark Angel’s son Lethal Force was responsible for the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde.

Another son of Acclimation, the former shuttler Harbour Watch, chipped in with the Group II King Edward VII Stakes winner Pyledriver.

At the same time Oasis Dream was cementing his position among the leading broodmare sires with his daughters Bird Flown and Rafaadah producing the Group 1 Irish Two Thousand Guineas winner Siskin and the Group 1 Prix Saint Alary winner Tawkeel respectively.

Choisir has not been idle chipping in as the sire of the dams of Group 1 Newmarket July Cup winner Oxfed and Group II Prix Maurice de Nieuil winner Red Verdon.

Olympic Glory (Mark Smith)

Choisir has featured as a sire of sires of late in Europe with the former Arrowfield shuttler Olympic Glory siring his second Group 1 winner with the Prix Rothschild heroine Watch Me while reverse shuttler Starspangledbanner enjoyed a phenomenal run of success in Ireland. In the space of a two weeks the Rosemont Stud resident sired the Group II Airlie Stud Stakes winner Aloha Star, the Group III Ballyogan Stakes winner Millisle and the Listed winner Dickiedooda.


The winner of the Diamond Jubilee stakes seven years after his father, Starspangledbanner went one better than Choisir in the July Cup where the son of Danehill Dancer had to bow to his old foe Oasis Dream.   

Starspangledbanner’s well documented battle with fertility early on in his career has left him at a numerical disadvantage and it would be fair to say his results in Europe have to date outstripped what he has achieved in Australia.

One of his earliest success stories in Europe was the top-class sprinter Home Of The Brave (IRE).

Purchased by Flemington Bloodstock Agency for €80,000 at the 2013 Arqana August Yearling Sale, Home Of The Brave (IRE) raced for a syndicate that included David Moodie and Troy Corstens whose father Leon trained Starspangledbanner to victories in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and Group 1 Oakleigh Plate before his European sojourn.

Starspangledbanner (Mark Smith)

Sent to Hugo Palmer, Home Of The Brave (IRE) won five races, four of which were at stakes level.

He was also first past the post in the Group III Minstrel Stakes, at The Curragh, only to be disqualified following a positive swab with our old friend Gordon Lord Byron being awarded the race.

After winning a Listed race at Leicester, Home Of The Brave (IRE) was purchased by Godolphin and he celebrated with a win in the Group III Criterion Stakes at Newmarket defeating the future Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke stakes winner Jungle Cat.

After a pair of Group II placings, Home Of The Brave (IRE) travelled to Del Mar for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile but was never a factor. When he appeared on the track again it was in Australia, as a gelding, in the Group III Aurie’s Star Handicap in which he finished second to Voodoo Lad.

At his next start Home Of The Brave defeated D'Argento and Trapeze Artist in a high-class renewal of the Group II Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill.

It would be his first and only win to date in his adopted homeland.

Two years after his Australian debut in the Aurie's Star Handicap, Home Of The Brave (IRE) will line up in the race again down the straight 1200m at Flemington on Saturday.

The now 9yo son of Starspangledbanner faces down a field, which mainly consists of battle-hardened veterans, attempting to break a 12-start losing streak.

Home Of The Brave is out of the unraced Beat Hollow mare Blissful Beat who is a half-sister to a pair of Group III winners in Suggestive (Reprimand) and Rasgbag.

Suggestive, like Home Of The Brave (IRE), won the Group III Criterion Stakes at Newmarket while his brother Rashbag won the Group III Prix de Conde at Longchamp.

While he has been out of the winner’s circle for almost two years, Home Of The Brave (IRE) trialled nicely at Rosehill recently and we will be banking on him to make it eight win from 34 starts on Saturday.


Visit the profile page for Starspangledbanner

Starspangledbanner in upcoming sales:
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