Royal Ascot Day 4 – Pedigree Watch

Tara Madgwick - Saturday June 22

Royal Ascot on Day 4 is all about the three year-olds with the Group I Commonwealth Cup (6f) for the sprinters and the Coronation Stakes (1m) for the three year-old fillies and the victors were a blue blood colt from the last crop of Shamardal and a filly trained by a member of the O’Brien family, but not Aidan.

The Commonwealth Cup attracted a field of 14 with the Kevin Ryan trained Shamardal colt Inisherin sent off favourite following a commanding last start win in the Group II Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock when he defeated last year’s unbeaten Group I winning colt Vandeek.

With Tom Eaves in the saddle he proved that win was no fluke galloping clear to win by two and a quarter lengths over the William Haggas trained No Nay Never colt Lake Forest, who made a brilliant return at his first start this year.


“Inisherin improved from Haydock. I think he is just going to get quicker and better at this job. He's a joy to train. He's an absolute legend,” said Kevin Ryan.

“It was a very easy watch. Obviously very different ground than how it was at Haydock, which always makes you nervous. But he is a great striding horse. I was nervous about the ground going to Haydock, with it being soft. Then obviously when he won on that type of ground, but he hardly bends his knees.”


A homebred for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, Inisherin has the overall record of three wins and a placing from five starts and was supplemented into this race at a cost of £46,000, but there are more Group I goals ahead.


"He's got such a good temperament – most of these good horses have an edge to them but he doesn't. He's a pleasure to train," Ryan added.

"He's improved from Haydock and we can train him like a sprinter now, so he's going to get quicker and better. So the July Cup is next and if everything goes right he'll be back here for Champions Day."

Inisherin is closely related to outstanding colt Rosallion, who won the Group I St James’s Palace Stakes on Day 1 at Royal Ascot and both colts are homebreds for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, who plans to keep the pair in training next year as well.

Inisherin is the first winner for Teofilo’s Group I winning daughter Ajman Princess, a sibling to the dam of Rosallion, who is by Shamardal’s son Blue Point.

Ajman Princess is from blue hen Reem Three, who left 10 foals to race all winners led by Ajman Princess and last year’s Group I Royal Ascot Queen Anne Stakes winner Triple Time (in Australia for Darley this spring), Group winners Ostilio and Cape Byron as well as stakes-winners Third Realm and Captain Winters, plus two more stakes-placed horses!

Inisherin is the 28th Group I winner for Shamardal and is from the final crop of the champion son of Giant’s Causeway, who died in 2020.  He is also the eighth Group I winner for Teofilo as a broodmare sire and is the first stakes-winner bred on this nick which has had four winners from six runners.

Shamardal has two Group I winning sons shuttling to Darley Australia this spring. Blue Point goes to Victoria at a fee of $44,000 and Pinatubo to NSW at $55,000.


The Coronation Stakes (1m) had all the top fillies engaged and Justify looked likely to sire the winner when the Aidan O’Brien trained Opera Singer kicked clear, but Aidan’s son Donnacha O’Brien had something up his sleeve with his star filly Porta Fortuna hitting the line hard to catch her with another Justify filly in Ramatuelle in third place.

Ridden by Tom Marquand, Porta Fortuna had a busy juvenile season starting seven times with wins in the Group III Albany Stakes at this meeting last year and the Group I Newmarket Cheveley Park Stakes and a season ending second place at the Breeders Cup meeting at Santa Anita.

The daughter of Caravaggio was second first up in the Group I Newmarket 1000 Guineas to Emalka, who finished fourth in this race with Porta Fortuna taking her overall record to five wins and four placings from nine starts.


“Porta Fortuna is so uncomplicated, Tom gave her a lovely ride, I was happy the whole way and everything went to plan. It's not too often you can say that so I'm delighted,” said Donnacha O’Brien.

“All along, she hasn't got the credit she deserves. She's never missed a beat, she had two runs before Royal Ascot last year and has literally never missed a race since.

“She's incredibly sound, incredibly tough. It's a testament to all the team at home. Anyone that has anything to do with her at home, I'm so proud of them and all the work they do. Newmarket is tough, there are a few ridges, they go a hard gallop and there are no hiding places. I think a mile is probably her maximum because she's got so much speed.”

Bred by the O’Brien family and raced by Medallion Racing and partners, Porta Fortuna is the first winner for Too Precious, a four time winning full sister to multiple Group winning stayer Numerian (IRE), who is trained in Australia by Annabel Neasham.

She is the best of 17 stakes-winners by Scat Daddy’s brilliant sprinting son Caravaggio, who shuttled to Coolmore Australia for one season and was relocated to Japan in 2022.


The Group III Albany Stakes (6f) for two year-old fillies was won last year by Porta Fortuna and this year by the Aidan O’Brien trained Night of Thunder filly Fairy Godmother.

A Group III winner at Naas at her second start, she was favourite for this assignment and scored by three-quarters of a length under Ryan Moore.


Bought for 425,000 guineas by MV Magnier from the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1, Fairy Godmother runs for the Coolmore partners and has two wins from three starts.

Fairy Godmother cost 425,000 guineas at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1.

One of 49 stakes-winners for Night of Thunder, she is a half-sister to stakes-placed Sketch and is the second winner from Scintilating, a winning half-sister by Siyouni to Group II winner Prolific and stakes-winner Deal Breaker.



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