Starspangledbanner confirmed his rating as the world’s best sprinter with a devastating victory in the G1 July Cup at Newmarket on Friday.
Starspangledbanner (4c Choisir – Gold Anthem by Made Of Gold) was coming off a G1 Golden Jubilee Stakes triumph at Royal Ascot and he doubled up to defeat last start G1 King’s Stand Stakes winner Equiano by a neck.
Arrowfield Stud homebred Alverta (Flying Spur) was less than a length away in third spot. Lindsay Park sprinter Nicconi (Bianconi) failed to flatter and finished with the tailenders.
Coolmore trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed Starspangledbanner was unlike any other horse to have passed through his hands. “It is very unusual for a horse to have so much speed but to be so courageous at the same time,” O’Brien stated. “He runs all the way and is very brave.
Starspangledbanner was bred by Tony Santic’s Emily Krstina P/L and was a G1 winner of the Caulfield Guineas and Oakleigh Plate in Melbourne before travelling to the northern hemisphere.
“When he first came to Ballydoyle, we couldn’t believe he had won over a mile in Australia. He was an incredible horse before we got him and we have been privileged to have him.”
Coolmore purchased the Choisir colt earlier this year and a decision is looming on his immediate future. “We have to decide whether to keep him racing here or send him to Australia for the southern hemisphere breeding season,” O’Brien said. “I would love to see him stay here.”
Winning jockey Johnny Murtagh, who was suspended for crossing too quickly at the start, was also full of praise for the Aussie sprinter. “He’s tough and he’s got loads of class and loads of speed.”
Starspangledbanner went one better than his own sire Choisir (Danehill Dancer) at Newmarket. He won the 2003 King’s Stand and Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot but was denied a clean-sweep when run down by Oasis Dream in the July Cup.
Coolmore has reserved the right to increase Starspangledbanner’s fee if he returns to the Hunter Valley in time for this year’s southern season. His services were initially priced at $33,000 but breeders will now have to dip in and pay at least double that amount.