Unexpected (Starspangledbanner) Issues Wins On Debut At Navan

Royal Ascot Hopeful Kicks Off Double For Starspangledbanner

Another Royal Ascot prospect emerged for Starspangledbanner on Tuesday when Unexpected Issues (2f Starspangledbanner – Awohaam, by Iffraaj) justified strong support in the five furlong maiden at Navan.

The Fozzy Stack owned and trained newcomer was sent off favourite under Seamie Heffernan and after racing prominently, was pushed along from two furlongs out. She showed signs of inexperience when ridden approaching the final furlong, but soon led and ran on to beat Heavens Gate (Churchill) by half a length.

Speaking after the race, the winning trainer said, “I suppose we'll run maybe once more and think about something in Ascot for her. She was a little bit green, a little bit slow away and then ran around a bit. She should come forward for that.”

Stack trained Unexpected Issues’s full-brother Castle Star (Starspangledbanner) to win the Listed First Flier Stakes and Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes, before finishing second in both the Group 2 Railway Stakes and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes. The pair were bred by Churchtown Bloodstock, Grouseridge and Carhue.

The very next race on the card saw Air Force One (3c Starspangledbanner – Great Dame, by Dandy Man) complete a double for his sire when making a successful start for Paddy Twomey.

Owned by Bond Thoroughbred Limited, the chesnut showed promise in the UK last season and was sent off favourite for the five furlong maiden. Making all under Billy Lee, he quickened approaching the final furlong and dug deep close home to win by a head.