Irish bred horses kicked off day one of Royal Ascot in style winning three of the six races. These three wins included a Group 1 success for Most Improved (IRE) in the St James’ Palace Stakes. The Brian Meehan trained 3yo also proved a first Group 1 success for his sire Lawman (by Invincible Spirit) who stands at Ballylinch Stud in Kilkenny. His trainer always had huge faith in the colt commenting; “We had so much confidence in him in the spring and last winter so it’s great to get it done finally. We knew we were dealing with a Group 1 horse and I allowed myself to think about the Sussex Stakes this morning.”
The progress of Jim Bolger’s Dawn Approach (IRE) has been well documented so far this season and this progress has not halted yet judged on his win in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. Kevin Manning always looked comfortable on his father in laws horse and he carried him nicely to the lead a furlong out. Once in front he was always doing enough to hold fellow Irish bred Olympic Glory (IRE) by ¾ of a length. Jim Bolger bred the son of his former Derby winner New Approach himself and wasn’t hiding his enthusiasm for the 2yo commenting; “He’s as good as I’ve had. He has everything. He has pace, he has stamina, he has looks and he has the temperament. There are no holes in this fellow.” Bolger is obviously keen to win a Group 1 with him so the National Stakes at the Curragh would look an obvious target later in the season.
The Irish bred treble was completed by Simenon (IRE) in the Ascot Stakes. A first Royal Ascot win for the all conquering jumps yard of Willie Mullins, Simeon arrived on the scene over a furlong out and powered away to win by six lengths. The son of Marju was bred by Max Morris of Iverk House Stud and is a half brother to the useful mare Vivacious Vivienne.