Circus Maximus Rallies For Second Royal Ascot Success
Circus Maximus (4c Galileo - Duntle, by Danehill Dancer) provided Aidan O’Brien with a perfect start to the Royal meeting when rallying to win the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
A course and distance winner in last year’s St James’s Palace Stakes, he went on to gain his second top flight success in the Prix du Moulin in September. Sent off favourite under Ryan Moore on return, he raced prominently alongside Marie’s Diamond (Footstepsinthesand) and was asked to challenge from two furlongs out. Asserting approaching the final furlong, he was soon headed by Terebellum, but battled back bravely to win by a head. The front pair finished three lengths clear of Marie’s Diamond (Footstepsinthesand) in third.
Aidan O’Brien, who was celebrating a fourth Queen Anne Stakes success, said after the race, “We're delighted. He's very tough and travels with a lot of speed. I think he's sometimes underestimated but he's very solid. His best form is at a mile, which makes him more valuable and interesting. He loves getting eyeballed and toughs it out really well. He's a very good horse.”
The Sussex Stakes at Goodwood is a possible option for Circus Maximus, who was beaten half a length into second last year. The son of Galileo was bred by the Niarchos family under their Flaxman Stables Ireland banner, who also race the four-year-old in partnership with Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. He is the first and only foal out of Duntle (Danehill Dancer), who David Wachman trained to win the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at the same meeting.