Monday 25 June 2018
Aga Khan Studs sires SEA THE STARS and SIYOUNI have enjoyed a magnificent week at the highest level, collecting French Classic and Royal Ascot successes over seven days. The Haras de Bonneval’s SIYOUNI set the ball rolling as his daughter LAURENS recorded her third Group 1 victory in the Prix de Diane, and Gilltown Stud stallion SEA THE STARS’ turn came through his classy stayer son STRADIVARIUS, who narrowly beat Vazirabad in a high-quality renewal of the Gr.1 Ascot Gold Cup.
Royal Ascot week ended in fine style for the two sires, as SEA THE STARS’ son CRYSTAL OCEAN impressed in the Gr.2 Hardwicke Stakes and CITY LIGHT, by SIYOUNI, was beaten by the smallest of margins in the Gr.1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Runner-up in the Gr. 1 St Leger last September, CRYSTAL OCEAN cemented his credentials as one of Europe’s top middle-distance performers with his comfortable success in the Hardwicke Stakes over a mile and a half. The four-year-old is a model of consistency, never having finished out of the first three in nine career races, and he is unbeaten in three outings this season having taken the Gr. 3 Gordon Richards Stakes in April before a six-length victory in the Gr. 3 Al Rayyan Stakes at Newbury in May.
Following this latest win, trainer Sir Michael Stoute remarked, “It was straightforward. He’s so uncomplicated and such a relaxed horse.” Sir Evelyn de Rothschild’s CRYSTAL OCEAN is now likely to be aimed towards the Gr. 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes over the same course and distance on July 28.
In the feature Gr. 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes, SIYOUNI’s son CITY LIGHT was just denied in a photo finish. The four-year-old colt, already Group and Listed placed last year, has proved a revelation in 2018 with wins in the All-Weather Sprint Championship at Lingfield and the Gr. 3 Prix de Saint-Georges prior to his close second against the world’s elite sprinters at Royal Ascot.
Trained at Deauville by Stéphane Wattel, CITY LIGHT may now be prepared for the Gr. 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at the Normandy track.
Updated on 25/06/2018.