Royal Dornoch Gowran Web

Smart Maiden Double For Gleneagles

Royal Dornoch (2c Gleneagles - Bridal Dance, by Danehill Dancer) followed up a fine performance at Group level to justify favoritism in the seven furlong maiden at Gowran Park on Wednesday.

Second in a six furlong maiden in July, he was next seen taking third in the Group 2 Richmond Stakes over the same distance at Goodwood and faced 14 rivals on his latest start. Donnacha O’Brien rode the bay to track the leaders, pushing him along from over two furlongs out and improved to lead approaching the final furlong. Driven out to hold off a challenge by Edward Hopper (Excelebration), he won by half a length, with a further three lengths back to Bright Idea (Zoffany) in third.

The winning jockey gave positive feedback after the race, saying, “Royal Dornoch was rated to win and he did it well. I think he'll be better on better ground and he will stay a bit further too. He's learning a lot and I would say that's his most professional performance to date. I do like him.”

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for Coolmore partners, Royal Dornoch was a 240,000gns yearling buy from breeders Barronstown Stud at Tattersalls. He is a half-brother to Hawksmoor, a multiple winner at Graded level, and Group 2 runner-up Magical Fire, while their dam has a yearling colt by Galileo waiting in the wings.

Royal Dornoch was one of two maiden winners by Gleneagles on Wednesday, with Smart Rag (2c Gleneagles - Paint In Green, by Invincible Spirit) having won his debut impressively earlier in the afternoon.

The Alduino Botti-trained colt was sent off favourite for the seven and a half furlong contest and justified market support by six lengths under Dario Vargiu. Owned by Dioscuri Srl and bred by Razza del Velino, he was bred to be talented, being a half-brother to Group 1 Premio Lydia Tesio heroine Sound Of Freedom, plus another two Stakes winners.

Wednesday brought Gleneagles’ tally of winners to 14 and his progeny’s earnings to €436,190; the highest of this season’s first season sires. Standing at Coolmore Stud at a fee of €30,000, his first crop include Group 2 July Stakes scorer and Group 1 third Royal Lytham, as well as Windsor Castle Stakes victor Southern Hills.