The Commonwealth Cup: Pass or Fail for Britain's Youngest G1?

By Emma Berry and Brian Sheerin On Tuesday the European Pattern Committee (EPC) announced that 42 races are at risk of being downgraded in 2025, including Britain's G1 Commonwealth Cup. Its status will depend very much on its performance in 2024, which will mark the tenth running of the race introduced to the British calendar in 2015 as a readymade Group 1 in order to "create a more balanced programme and better opportunities for high-class sprinters". The Commonwealth Cup, run at Royal Ascot over six furlongs for three-year-olds only, was...

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Equinox Crowned Longines World's Best Racehorse 

LONDON, UK -- Japan stole the show at the Longines World Racing Awards in London, with Silk Racing's Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) named the Longines World's Best Racehorse for 2023 while the G1 Japan Cup claimed the title of Longines World's Best Horse Race. The top-rated three-year-old filly in the world was Japan's Triple Tiara winner Liberty Island (Jpn) (Duramente {Jpn}). Equinox's top rating of 135 - the highest ever awarded to a Japanese horse - was achieved in his four-length romp in the Japan Cup, his final appearance...

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Value Sires for 2024 Part I: New Stallions

Who would be a stallion master, eh? Sure it's fine if you have a new horse to show off, or one of the elite few who has truly made it, but pity the owner of the stallion who has just faded from fashion through no real fault of his own, merely overlooked as the stampede rushes on to the next new thing. One can't blame breeders either for showing such interest in the new stallions at stud, for they have yet to be judged (though they will be, just as...

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Rafha's Influence Prevails Through Her Dominant Sons

It has been a basic tenet of bloodstock since the early days that Classic form is to be respected when a colt or a filly retires to stud. Some Classic results stand out, with the 1984 Prix du Jockey-Club often cited thanks to Darshaan (GB) leading home Sadler's Wells and Rainbow Quest in a trifecta of future superstar sires. As regards fillies, the 1990 Prix de Diane takes some beating, with Rafha (GB) coming home ahead of Moon Cactus (GB) and Colour Chart. All three ended up breeding at least...

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Stallions Fees: That Was The Week That Was

Our man in Ireland, Brian Sheerin, timed his run to the altar to perfection, leaving his colleagues to sort through and try not to miss any of the plentiful stallion fee announcements over the last week or so. He's now back from his Tuscan honeymoon and has been banned from getting married again. In case any of you were similarly distracted by nuptials, holidays, or binge-watching The Dry, here's a handy TDN overview as to who's up, who's down, and who's new on the stallion scene. (And a tip to...

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Ace Impact Crowned Cartier Horse of the Year

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Classic winner Ace Impact (Fr) (Cracksman {GB}) has been named Cartier Horse of the Year at the 33rd Cartier Racing Awards ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget for Gousserie Racing and Serge Stempniak, the unbeaten colt is the first French-trained winner of the award since Treve (Fr) in 2013. His sire Cracksman was the Cartier Three-Year Old Colt of 2017. Ace Impact's fellow nominees for the premier award were Coolmore's Paddington (GB) and Auguste Rodin (Ire), each of whom won four...

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Shaquille's Fee Set at £15,000; Soldier's Call Moves to Dullingham Park

As the line-up continues to take shape at Steve Parkin's new stallion operation at Dullingham Park near Newmarket, it has been announced that the G2 Flying Childers winner Soldier's Call (GB) will move from Ireland to join this season's top-rated sprinter Shaquille (GB) on the roster.  In his debut season, Shaquille will stand for £15,000, while Soldier's Call's fee for 2024 will be £8,500. He stood at €7,500 this season and covered 190 mares. One of this year's leading first-season sires, Soldier's Call began his career at Joe Foley's Ballyhane...

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Europe's Top Sprinter Shaquille a First for Dullingham Park

The dual Group 1 winner Shaquille (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) is the first stallion to retire to Steve Parkin's Dullingham Park near Newmarket.  The top-rated sprinter in Europe this year, Shaquille was trained by Julie Camacho to win the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot before defeating his elders in the July Cup at Newmarket. The 3-year-old was co-bred by his owner Martin Hughes, who paid tribute to the retiring star, saying, "It was an honour to be associated with such a brilliant horse. To breed him and to race him...

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Connections Of Believing And Mill Stream Supplement For Sprint Cup

Believing (Ire) (Mehmas {Ire}) and Mill Stream (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) have been supplemented at a cost of £20,000 to take on Shaquille (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock on Saturday. A total of 23 speedsters are in contention for the six-furlong Group One, with the Julie Camacho-trained Shaquille very much the star attraction as he looks to add to his previous top-level wins this summer in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket. The George Boughey-trained Believing and Jane Chapple-Hyam's...

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'Thirty-odd years ago we'd have a pint and dream about something happening one day': Martin Hughes on Shaquille

It may have started more by necessity than by desire, but Martin Hughes has now hit the heights that most small breeders can only dream of with his sprinting sensation, Shaquille (GB). A year ago this week, the son of the treble Group 1-winning miler Charm Spirit (Ire) made a winning debut at York. In the ensuing 12 months, he has taken Hughes, who bred Shaquille with Michael Kerr-Dineen, and his friends in the partnership on quite a ride, often with heart in mouth, but on all bar two occasions...

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Newmarket: “It Will Be A Different Sort of Pressure.” Shaquille the Target in the July Cup

First there was Dettori's ban, meaning that the one missing English group 1 on his palmares was going to stay void. Then the setback to Little Big Bear (Ire) (No Nay Never). Now, the persistent rain that dogged Friday's action at Newmarket's July Festival and has changed the complexion of Saturday's feature G1 Pertemps Network July Cup. Ironically, every bit of that unexpected wet spell acted further to aid the cause of Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) who would have been Frankie's final ride in his last-chance saloon which is now...

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Talking Points: Life After Frankie Won't Be Bleak With Magical Murphy Around

I don't know about you, but I can't seem to remember a better big-race ride in recent times than what Oisin Murphy produced in winning the G1 Commonwealth Cup aboard Julie Camacho's Shaquille (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}). It would be hard enough to win a middle-of-the-road handicap after blowing the start like Shaquille did. A Group 1 at Ascot? You must be having a laugh.  The in-running punters agreed and quickly laid Shaquille at odds all the way up to 90 on the exchanges. Ouch. But even when Shaquille got...

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