Impressive Debut Winner for Saxon Warrior
A field of blue-blood two year-old fillies lined up in the seven furlong maiden at Leopardstown on Thursday with victory going to first starter Thornbrook (2f Saxon Warrior x Lillebon, by Danehill Dancer), a talented filly by Saxon Warrior, who returns to Australia this spring.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by Declan McDonogh, Thornbrook settled back early and hit the line full of running to win by a length and a quarter with race favourite Dame Kiri, a daughter of Justify, finishing third.
“Declan got shuffled back so had to sit where he was, and she travelled lovely,” said Brendan Powell, assistant to Joseph O'Brien.
“He said he probably didn't want to commit her as soon as he did, but he had to when the gap came. Declan felt she had a look in front, loved the ground and that there's improvement in her. I think she's quite smart and will definitely go for a stakes race next time.”
Bred by Peter Henley, John Connolly and Pattern Bloodstock, Thornbrook holds an entry for the upcoming Group I Moyglare Stud Stakes.
She was retained to race and is a half-sister to stakes-winners Magnanimous and Seisai as well as Group III placed Mirco Manage being the sixth winner from six to race out of terrific producer Lillebon.
By renowned broodmare sire Danehill Dancer, Lillebon is a half-sister to Group I winner Mont Ormel and to the dam of Group I winner Pyledriver, so she has plenty of pedigree to back her up.
Thornbrook is the fourth Northern Hemisphere winner for Saxon Warrior, whose first Australian yearlings sold for up to $400,000 this year.
The dual Group I winning son of Deep Impact returns to Australia this spring at a fee of $19,250.