Crystal Ocean heads to Coolmore NH

Top-class middle-distance performer Crystal Ocean has been bought by Coolmore and will stand as a National Hunt sire at The Beeches Stud in County Waterford next year.

Crystal Ocean, who was trained by Sir Michael Stoute and raced for his breeder Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, scored a decisive victory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot in June before two cracking efforts in defeat, going down by a neck to Enable in the King George before failing by a head to catch Japan in the Juddmonte International.

The son of Sea The Stars was awarded a mark of 127 after his King George defeat to Enable (giving 3lb to the mare), which made him the top-rated racehorse in the world.

In his 17-race career, Crystal Ocean was a model of consistency, never finishing out of the first three, winning eight times and earning over £2 million.

His fee will be announced in due course but will off course be a long way short of the figure commanded by his father Sea The Stars, one of the top stallions in Europe who stands at €135,000.

Quality action at Ascot

The Listed Londonmetric Noel Murless Stakes (1m6f) is the standout race on Ascot’s six-race card today and three-year-old Hereby looks to have the right profile for the staying test.

Julian Richmond-Watson’s homebred filly, out of his Oaks heroine Look Here, is an improving type and winner of her last three races. She looks to have an excellent chance of completing the four-timer.

Archie Watson is never afraid to travel his horses and the Lambourn handler sends two-year-old Above to Dundalk for the Listed Boylesports Irish EBF Star Appeal Stakes (7f).

Above was last seen finishing a fine third in Group 3 company in Germany and looks a progressive sort for Qatar Racing, though the Aidan O’Brien-trained Fort Myers, not beaten far behind Threat in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, looks a tough nut to crack.

Second in the Champagne Stakes, two places ahead of Fort Myers, was Royal Crusade, who takes in the Group 3 Prix Thomas Byron Jockey Club de Turquie at Saint-Cloud today for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, who also runs King’s Command in the seven-furlong contest.

There is NH racing today at Hexham and Fontwell while they race on the Fibresand at Southwell. Gowran Park stages a jumps card.

Keeneland kicks off

The Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes for two-year-old fillies on dirt is the headline race on the opening day of Keeneland’s Fall Meet.

Eleven runners go to post for the extended mile event and the Mark Casse-trained Perfect Alibi looks the goods as the daughter of Sky Mesa already has a Grade 1 victory to her name.

In the Grade 2 Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes, a six-furlong dirt event, Diamond Oops, trained by Patrick Biancone, should relish the drop in class under Julien Leparoux, one of the top riders at Keeneland.

Overbury recruits Le Brivido

Le Brivido, winner of the 2017 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, has been retired and will stand at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire next year at a fee of £7,000.

The son of Siyouni was a precocious talent who improved as he got older, scoring first time out at two, taking the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at three and finishing a close fifth in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at five.

The 2017 Jersey Stakes winner Le Brivido (red silks) will stand at Overbury Stud next year | ©George Selwyn

He joins an exciting roster of stallions at Overbury that features Ardad, Cityscape, Frontiersman, Jack Hobbs, Kayf Tara and Schiaparelli.

Sportsman’s Sale

A daughter of Camelot topped the first day’s trade at the Goffs Sportsman’s Sale, selling for €100,000 to Stroud Coleman and George Murphy.

Pine Tree Stud was the vendor of the filly, a half-sister to recent Listed scorer Orlaith from the family of Toormore and Estidhkaar.

The sale concludes today, with a start time of 10am.