ATHENA REIGNS SUPREME IN BELMONT OAKS
09 July 2018
ATHENA (IRE) showed the warrior qualities of her namesake
when taking Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, just six days after finishing
third in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes. Just ten days before that, she
finished fourth in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot, having only lost her maiden
tag at the end of May.
Aidan O’Brien’s progressive charge was held up by Ryan
Moore, who waited until a furlong and a half from home to make his move, with
Coolmore’s representative duly responding to lead inside the final furlong and
win by two and a half lengths. European imports Thewayiam and Chipolata
produced career-best performances to finish second and third respectively.
ATHENA (IRE) continues a fine run for her sire, Camelot,
following on from his Irish Derby victory courtesy of Latrobe (IRE), and Moore
commented, “These Camelots seem to be coming into themselves now. He's had a
lot of very good horses very quickly.”
Bred by Roncon and Chelston, ATHENA (IRE) becomes the second
Oaks heroine out of her dam, Cherry Hinton, whose Montjeu (IRE) daughter
Bracelet (IRE) won the 2014 Irish Oaks, as well as the Ribblesdale Stakes. Cherry
Hinton, herself, is a black-type daughter of Green Desert and most notably, a
half-sister to the great Galileo (IRE) and Sea The Stars (IRE), as well as
top-level scorers Black Sam Bellamy (IRE) and My Typhoon (IRE). That, of
course, makes the second dam the legendary racehorse and broodmare, Urban Sea.