French Derby Winner for Aussie Breeder

Tara Madgwick - Sunday June 6

The Group I Prix du Jockey Club (2100m) was run overnight at Chantilly in France with victory going to Coolmore’s remarkable Siyouni colt St Mark’s Basilica, who demonstrated a rare talent to stretch his speed from six furlongs to a Classic trip.

Australian breeder Bob Scarborough has a small band of mares based in Ireland and one of them, 14YO Galileo mare Cabaret, is the dam of St Mark’s Basilica, who made it back to back Group I wins in France when adding the Derby to his previous win in the Group I Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m).

Cabaret had already achieved Group I success as a broodmare having delivered dual Group I winner Magna Grecia, heading back to Australia again for Coolmore this spring, and she has done it again with St Mark’s Basilica.




A winner over six furlongs at two that closed out his juvenile season with a win in the Group I Dewhurst Stakes (7f) at Newmarket last October, the Aidan O’Brien trained colt was been a revelation when stepped up in distance this year.

Facing a big field of 19 runners, St Mark’s Basilica proved much the best, cruising clear to win by a length and three-quarters taking his overall record to four wins and two placings from seven starts.

“I came (to win) a little bit early but St Mark’s Basilica  was the best horse in the race, the only question was the distance. But that was no problem,” said winning rider, Ioritz Mendizabal.

Somewhat surprisingly, St Mark’s Basilica gave Aidan O’Brien his first win in the French Derby with his previous best result a second with Highland Reel.

"You need a very good horse to win it and it's a very difficult race to win," said O'Brien.

"His qualities are that he has a lot of speed and he can quicken very well. He's a very relaxed horse, he travels well and he's kind in his races. We thought all those were qualities he would need to win the Jockey Club."


St Mark's Basilica was a 1.3million guinea Tattersalls October Yearling.

A 1.3million guinea purchase from the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for MV Magnier on behalf of a Coolmore partnership, St Mark’s Basilica is the second Group I winner among four winners from Group III winner Cabaret, a half-sister by Galileo to Group III winner Drumfire and stakes-winner Ho Choi.

His sire Siyouni is available to Australian breeders for Southern Hemisphere covers at Haras de Bonneval at a fee of 100,000 euros, click to read.

St Mark’s Basilica’s half-brother Magna Grecia was popular with Australian breeders last spring covering 122 mares.

A Group I winner at two and three, the son of Invincible Spirit stands at a fee of $19,250.

Magna Grecia - click for more information.


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