Progressive Fillies Complete Group Double For Starspangledbanner
Exxtra (3f Starspangledbanner - Rolling Stone, by Raven’s Pass) completed the first leg of a Group 3 double for Starspangledbanner on Friday when capturing the Prix de Seine-et-Oise at Chantilly.
The Carl and Yann Lerner-trained filly boasted strong form as a juvenile and progressed to win a Listed race in July, before being narrowly denied in a Group 3 sprint. The bay finished strongly into sixth in the Group 1 Prix de la Foret last time out and dropped back to six furlongs on her latest start.
Racing prominently under regular rider Ronan Thomas, she was pushed along to challenge two furlongs from home and was ridden approaching the final furlong. Running on well, she headed American Kestrel (Starspangledbanner) close home and led by three parts of a length on the line.
Owned by Madame Anja Wilde, Exxtra was bred by Madame Isabelle Corbani and Jedburgh Stud.
At Dundalk later that evening, the progressive Dun Na Sead (4f Starspangledbanner - Alice Thornton, by Hurricane Run) gained her first black-type win in the feature Group 3 Mercury Stakes.
The Danny Murphy-trained chesnut improved through the ratings before finishing a close third on her first start in Stakes company last month. Breaking smartly on Friday, she made all of the running under Oisin McSweeney and was travelling well approaching the final furlong. Ridden clear inside the final 110 yards, she led by two and a quarter lengths on the line.
“The mares sometimes can really come on as they get older,” the winning trainer said. “I knew the way she jumped out, we had it. She would be tough.”
Murphy added that he expected further improvement from Dun Na Sead next year. The five-time winner was bred by Ms Diane O’Neill and is owned by the Kildare Racing Syndicate.