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Merchant Navy Certain To Be Popular With Breeders

The Australian breeding industry will be eager to support Coolmore Stud’s new boy Merchant Navy when the dual hemisphere Group One winner starts his stud career alongside his sire Fastnet Rock this spring.

Merchant Navy Certain To Be Popular With Breeders

The Australian breeding industry will be eager to support Coolmore Stud’s new boy Merchant Navy when the dual hemisphere Group One winner starts his stud career alongside his sire Fastnet Rock this spring.

Merchant Navy (right) wins the Diamond Jubilee
Merchant Navy (right) wins the Diamond Jubilee Picture:Pat Healy Photography

Australian-bred Merchant Navy, a rising 4YO to southern hemisphere time, gave away age and a weight disadvantage to join the elite list of Australian sprinters to claim a northern hemisphere G1 win when he won a dramatic Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

He is unbeaten in two starts in Ireland and the UK for Ballymore trainer Aidan O’Brien and has the option of one more career start in the July Cup at Newmarket before he returns to Australia to start his stud career in the NSW Hunter Valley this spring on a fee of $55,000.


He should generate immediate response as just like ruling Australian champion sire Snitzel he is a G1 winning sprinter by a son of Danehill out of a stakes winner by Snippets

Merchant Navy was bred, raised and educated in Australia, winning five of his first eight starts for Victorian trainers Ciaran Maher and Aaron Purcell, before he joined the O’Brien stable in Ireland three months ago.

He was unbeaten in three starts as a 2YO and at three won the stallion making G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington last spring.

He added the G3 HDF McNeil Stakes earlier this year and was third in the G1 Newmarket Handicap – won by his Diamond Jubilee Stakes rival Redkirk Warrior – in March before he was sent to O’Brien.

He won the G2 Greenland Stakes at The Curragh on debut for O’Brien in May and his win on Saturday places him beside Choisir, Starspangledbanner and Black Caviar as the four Australian-trained products to win the Diamond Jubilee since 2003.

2018 Diamond Jubilee Stakes - Merchant Navy

Choisir and Starspangledbanner, who was O’Brien’s only previous Diamond Jubilee winner, are also on the Coolmore stallion roster.

O'Brien admitted the Coolmore team held doubts about Merchant Navy being able to overcome his age and weight disadvantage against the older northern hemisphere sprinters.

“We thought that it was an impossible task for him. We knew that he was meeting the field 12 pounds wrong than if he was in Australia and it was a big worry for him. He was only a three-year-old being treated as a four-year-old,” O’Brien said.

Merchant Navy (Fastnet Rock x Legally Bay by Snippets), purchased as a yearling for $350,000 by Ciaron Maher Racing from the draft of Segenhoe Stud at the 2016 Australian Easter Yearling Sale, is one of three black-type performers among six winners from his Group 3 winning dam.

Legally Bay, who won the G3 Sweet Embrace Stakes as a 2YO and was also third in the G1 Oakleigh Plate and G1 Australia Stakes, is also the dam of the G2 Roman Consul Stakes winner and G1 placed Jolie Bay (Fastnet Rock) and the stakes placed Zara Bay 9Fastnet Rock).

Legally Bay is a half-sister to G1 Myer Classic winner Bonaria (Redoute’s Choice) and G3 winner Time Out (Rory’s Jester) from the Last Tycoon mare Decidity (Twig Moss x Class).

Decidity’s other progeny include the dam of the Group performers Montsegur (New Approach) and Tessera (Medaglia d’Oro).

The family also includes the multiple G1-winning Australian champion and sire Gypsy Kingdom (Planet Kingdom) and G1 Queensland Derby winner Our Planet (Planet Kingdom).

Legally Bay also has an unnamed 2-year-old colt by All Too Hard and a yearling brother to Merchant Navy.



Racing And Sports





136321
R4 GB - ASCOT 23 June 2018
Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 4U C1, 1207m
FP
 
Horse
Age & Sex
Trainer
Jockey
WT
SP
 
1st  
7. MERCHANT NAVY (AUS)
4yo H
A P O'BRIEN
RYAN MOORE
58.5
$5.00
 
FASTNET ROCK (AUS) - LEGALLY BAY (AUS)
MERCHANT NAVY SYND/SMITH/MAGNIER/TABOR
2nd  
2. CITY LIGHT (FR)
4yo H
S WATTEL
C SOUMILLON
58.5
$13.00
 
SIYOUNI (FR) - LIGHT SABER (FR)
ECURIE JEAN-LOUIS BOUCHARD
3rd  
1. BOUND FOR NOWHERE (USA)
4yo H
W A WARD
JOEL ROSARIO
58.5
$17.00
 
THE FACTOR (USA) - FANCY DEED (USA)
 WESLEY A WARD
4th  12. THE TIN MAN (GB)
6yo Gelding
JAMES FANSHAWE
T P QUEALLY
58.5
$6.00
5th  8. PROJECTION (GB)
5yo Gelding
R CHARLTON
KIERAN SHOEMARK
58.5
$26.00
6th  3. D'BAI (IRE)
4yo Gelding
C APPLEBY
WILLIAM BUICK
58.5
$21.00
7th  10. SIR DANCEALOT (IRE)
4yo Gelding
DAVID ELSWORTH
S M LEVEY
58.5
$34.00
8th  11. SPIRIT OF VALOR (USA)
4yo Gelding
A P O'BRIEN
DONNACHA O'BRIEN
58.5
$21.00
9th  6. LIBRISA BREEZE (GB)
6yo Gelding
D K IVORY
ROBERT WINSTON
58.5
$11.00
10th  9. REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)
7yo Gelding
D & B HAYES & T DABERNIG
FRANKIE DETTORI
58.5
$5.00
11th  4. HARRY ANGEL (IRE)
4yo H
C G COX
ADAM KIRBY
58.5
$3.50
12th  5. INTELLIGENCE CROSS (USA)
4yo H
A P O'BRIEN
J A HEFFERNAN
58.5
$67.00

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