The 2012 Royal Ascot meeting still has two days left, including the long awaited appearance of Black Caviar (AUS), the undefeated sprinting mare from down under. Through the first three days, we've seen some brilliant performances, none more so than that of The Freak, Frankel (GB), in the meet opening Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
How impressive was Frankel's 11-length dominance over his rivals in the Queen Anne? Looking at the results at the Racing Post, Frankel's final time of 1:37.85 was roughly 1.15 seconds faster than the standard time at Ascot at that distance. The other races on the day? All of them were slower than the standard, even if just by a couple of ticks. The course wasn't incredibly fast on Tuesday, with the ground rated "GOOD to SOFT" at the start of the day, yet Frankel still ran a quicker-than-average time.
For a historical comparison of Frankel's performance, his final time of 1:37.85 is the third fastest since 1984, trailing only Ramonti (FR) (1:37.21) and Goldikova (IRE) (1:38.74)*. Ramonti's race came over ground rated "GOOD to FIRM", while Goldikova's race came over a course rated "GOOD". Last year's winner, Canford Cliffs (IRE), put up a final time of 1:38.38 over a GOOD course.
While it's difficult to compare the inherent speed or slowness of the course between these years, I think we can assume that Frankel wasn't running over a faster surface than either Ramonti, Goldikova or Canford Cliffs.
*The fastest Queen Anne winner in the last 30 years was Valixr in 2005 (1:36.64), but that race took place at York while Ascot was undergoing renovations.
In terms of wagering at the 2012 meeting, after the first three days the prices at the Royal Ascot meeting have been pretty good across the board. Other than Frankel and So You Think (NZ), there hasn't been a parade of odds-on or low priced winners. Ceiling Kitty (GB) (£27.00) and Ishvana (IRE) (£25.40) were the biggest prices on the UK Tote to hit the board, while six other horses paid in excess of £10 for a £1 win wager.
Below is a summary of the winners and their UK Tote payouts from the first three days of the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting.
|G1-Queen Anne Stakes||8.0||Frankel||£1.10|
|G1-King's Stand Stakes||5.0||Little Bridge||£16.20|
|G1-St James's Palace Stakes||8.0||Most Improved||£10.80|
|G2-Coventry Stakes||6.0||Dawn Approach||£4.40|
|Windsor Castle Stakes||5.0||Hototo||£19.00|
|G2-Windsor Forest Stakes||8.0||Joviality||£13.20|
|G1-Prince of Wales's Stakes||10.0||So You Think||£1.90|
|Royal Hunt Cup||8.0||Prince Of Johanne||£18.40|
|G2-Queen Mary Stakes||5.0||Ceiling Kitty||£27.00|
|G2-Norfolk Stakes||5.0||Reckless Abandon||£5.40|
|G2-Ribblesdale Stakes||12.0||Princess Highway||£9.20|
|G1-Ascot Gold Cup||20.0||Colour Vision||£7.20|
|Britannia Stakes||8.0||Fast Or Free||£6.60|
|King George V Stakes||12.0||Fennell Bay||£15.30|
My apologies to our resident pedigree expert, TFTribe, but as I was populating my Excel file with the results of the 2012 Royal Ascot meeting, I became curious about the pedigrees of the winners.
A look at the pedigrees of the winners at Royal Ascot this year we see a mixture of bloodlines from many different areas of the world. Of the 18 winners through the first three days, seven were bred in Ireland, six in Great Britain, two in New Zealand, and one from the United States, France and Germany. Princess Highway, winner of the G2-Ribblesdale Stakes, is the only American-bred winner at Royal Ascot through the first three days. She is a daughter of the Irish-bred Street Cry and Irresistible Jewel.
Below is a summary of the pedigrees of the winners from the first three days.
|Frankel||GB||Galileo (IRE)||Danehill||Kind (IRE)|
|Little Bridge||NZ||Faltaat||Gold Brose (AUS)||Golden Rose (AUS)|
|Most Improved||IRE||Lawman (FR)||Linamix (FR)||Tonnara (IRE)|
|Dawn Approach||IRE||New Approach (IRE)||Phone Trick||Hymn Of The Dawn|
|Simenon||IRE||Marju (IRE)||Alzao||Epistoliere (IRE)|
|Hototo||GB||Sleeping Indian (GB)||Dr Devious (IRE)||Harlem Dancer (GB)|
|Ishvana||IRE||Holy Roman Emperor (IRE)||Bering (GB)||Song Of The Sea (GB)|
|Joviality||GB||Cape Cross (IRE)||Night Shift||Night Frolic (GB)|
|So You Think||NZ||High Chaparral (IRE)||Tights||Triassic (NZ)|
|Prince Of Johanne||IRE||Johannesburg||Darshaan (GB)||Paiute Princess (FR)|
|Ceiling Kitty||GB||Red Clubs (IRE)||Tale Of The Cat||Baldovina (GB)|
|Duntle||IRE||Danehill Dancer (IRE)||Lord At War (ARG)||Landy Angola|
|Reckless Abandon||GB||Exchange Rate||Efisio (GB)||Sant Elena (GB)|
|Princess Highway||USA (KY)||Street Cry (IRE)||Danehill||Irresistable Jewel (IRE)|
|Colour Vision||FR||Rainbow Quest||Monsun (GER)||Give Me Five (GER)|
|Fast Or Free||GB||Notnowcato (GB)||Warrshan||Ewenny (GB)|
|Energizer||GER||Monsun (GER)||Theatrical (GB)||Erythesis|
|Fennell Bay||IRE||Dubawi (IRE)||Nomination (GB)||Woodrising (GB)|
Once we move past the country of breeding, we find greater diversity amongst the sires, dam sires and dams. Ten of the first 18 winners were sired by an Irish-bred stallion. Two winners were by a British-bred stallion, one by a German-bred stallion, and four winners were sired by American-bred stallions.
Moving to the female side of the pedigree: six of the dam sires were bred in Great Britain, one in Ireland, one in Argentina, one in Germany, one in France, one in Australia, and eight were bred in America.
Finally, looking at the dams: seven were bred in Great Britain, four in Ireland, one in France, one in Australia, one in New Zealand, and three in the United Stakes.
Perhaps the most interesting of the 2012 Royal Ascot winners' pedigrees to this point is that of Dawn Approach, the winner of the Coventry Stakes at six furlongs. Dawn Approach is a son of the Irish-bred sire, New Approach, but the bottom-half of his pedigree is all American. His dam sire, Phone Trick, won an assortment of graded stakes races in his career, including the G2-San Carlos Handicap, G2-Bold Ruler and G2-True North (via PedigreeQuery.com). He finished with a career record of 10-9-1-0.
Dam Hymn of the Dawn was bred in Kentucky but raced in Ireland during her career where she failed to win in five lifetime starts. The dam sire of Hymn of the Dawn is Pleasant Colony and she sports the names Alydar and Sea-Bird through the female line of her dam, Colonial Debut.
Another interesting pedigree from the first three days of Royal Ascot is that of Energizer, winner of the G3-Tercentenary Stakes at ten furlongs. Energizer is German-bred, a son of Monsun (GER), one of the better German stallions at producing high level runners at a mile and a quarter to a mile and a half. According to PedigreeQuery.com, Monsun was the top sire in German in 200, 2002, 2004 and 2006, following a career where he won over 2 million Deutsch Marks along with three Group 1 races. Energizer isn't the only 2012 Royal Ascot winner with Mosun in their pedigree as Mosun is the dam sire of Colour Vision, winner of the 2 ½ mile G1-Ascot Gold Cup on Thursday.
Little Bridge, winner of the five furlong G1-King's Stand Stakes, is a New Zealand-bred son of Faltaat, and American-bred sprinter that excelled while racing in the UAE during the mid-90s. Faltaat is a son of Mr. Prospector out of a Summing* mare.
*Hey, Summing! I believe our esteemed Jared L. Christopher wrote an excellent feature on Summing recently.