By Emma Berry
ASCOT, UK–There's nothing quite like Royal Ascot to inject some interest into the first-season sires' championship and, with three days down and two to go, there will be several stallion masters with an extra spring in their step following the results of this week's juvenile contests.
As Roger O'Callaghan of Tally-Ho Stud said on Thursday afternoon, “Royal Ascot is very important. This week can make the horses.”
And the O'Callaghan family has reason to be doubly pleased with the way the races have fallen so far this week. Their own first-season sire Cotai Glory (GB), who has already notched 10 individual winners, has had two black-type performers this week, with Eldrickjones (Ire) finishing second in the G2 Coventry S. and Dig Two (Ire) taking the same spot in the listed Windsor Castle S. Tally-Ho Stud also featured as the breeder of G2 Norfolk S. winner Perfect Power (Ire), the first Group winner for Overbury Stud's freshman Ardad (Ire), himself a Royal Ascot winner who was also bred by the O'Callaghans and is yet another exciting young sire son for the Tally-Ho stalwart Kodiac (GB).
“It went from being a nearly week to a very pleasing week,” O'Callaghan added. “It's very satisfying to see all the hard work bearing fruit.”
There could yet be more excitement to come for the team as Cotai Glory's stud-mate Galileo Gold (GB)–the first of this season's freshmen to post a stakes winner with the Tally-Ho Stud-bred Ebro River (Ire)–has two runners in Friday's G3 Albany S. in the Woodcote S. winner Oscula (Ire) and Hellomydarlin (Ire).
Meanwhile, Ardad continues to heap reflected glory on Tally-Ho as well as bringing big smiles to the faces of the team at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire. The winner of the Windsor Castle S. in 2016, followed by the G2 Flying Childers S., Ardad is out in front in the table and his week started with a 12th individual winner in the debutant Najat at Thirsk on Tuesday for the stallion's racing owner Abdullah Saeed Al Naboodah. This was followed by a third-place finish an hour or so later from dual winner Vintage Clarets (GB) in the G2 Coventry S. Better was to come on Thursday, however, with Perfect Power's determined last-gasp victory in the Norfolk. The latter result also brought a touch of deja vu for Richard Brown of Blandford Bloodstock, who bought Perfect Power from Tally-Ho Stud at the Goffs UK Breeze-up Sale, just as he had done with Ardad.
“Ardad has covered 145 mares now this season and 100 of those have been booked since the beginning of April,” said Overbury Stud's Simon Sweeting. “It's beyond our imagination that he could have started as well as this and he has another good chance at Ascot tomorrow [Friday] with Eve Lodge.”
Darley's Profitable (Ire) was represented in impressive fashion by Quick Suzy on Wednesday, who became his first Group winner in the G2 Queen Mary S. when leading home Twilight Gleaming (Ire), an American-trained daughter of the Irish National Stud's National Defense (GB).
Still to come at Ascot this week are the Albany S., which features the aforementioned Eve Lodge, Hellomydarlin and Oscula, as well as the impressive recent Newmarket winner Cachet (GB), by the National Stud's Aclaim (Ire), and Elliptic (Ire), a daughter of Coolmore's Caravaggio.
Among the line-up for Saturday's listed Chesham S. are Goodwood novice winner Masekela (Ire), a colt by another young son of Scat Daddy in the Yeomanstown Stud resident El Kabeir, as well as Withering, by the now French-based Mondialiste (Ire).