Glorious Empire Julien Leparoux G1 Sword Dancer Web

Glorious US Group One Winner for Holy Roman

World renowned shuttle sire Holy Roman Emperor added a 13th Group I winner to his tally in the US on the weekend when Glorious Empire (7g Holy Roman Emperor x Humble and Proud, by Pivotal) captured the $1 million Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga.

Winner of the Group II Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga last month, the James Lawrence trained seven year-old was able to repeat the performance when taking out this mile and a half test on turf by a dominant length and three-quarters.

Ridden forward from the gate by Julien Leparoux, Glorious Empire made all the running and despite being challenged strongly coming to the home turn, he found another gear and cruised clear for a powerful win.

Glorious Empire began his career in Great Britain, and was a winner from two starts in Hong Kong in 2015 before eventually finding his way to North America. He provided his current trainer James “Chuck” Lawrence with his first Group I win.

“I'm trying to get my voice back,” said Lawrence.

“We knew this horse had this kind of talent, it was just a matter of getting it to come out, so here we go... I thought the 23[-second] quarter[-mile] got us, but then he really slowed it down for Julien [Leparoux], luckily... When he slowed it down, I was pretty happy and I just kept yelling throughout the turn, 'Julien, let him go, let him go.' I knew he was fit, it was just a matter of getting the wire to come fast enough. He responded at the top of the lane. That was really special.”

Glorious Empire has earned a ticket to the Group I Breeders’ Cup Turf with Saturday’s win, and Lawrence confirmed a trip to Churchill Downs would likely be the long-term goal going forward.

Glorious Empire is the best of two winners from Humble and Proud, a half-sister by Pivotal to stakes-winner Delsarte.

An incredibly versatile sire of 13 Group I winners in nine countries, Holy Roman Emperor has the ability to sire sprinters, stayers and everything in between.