Irish Star wins Minstrel Stakes

Home Of The Brave became the fourth Group winner for Starspangledbanner in the G3 Minstrel Stakes (1400m) at the Curragh on Sunday.

He had scored a Listed victory in the European Free Handicap at Newmarket in April and finished sixth in the G1 English 2000 Guineas and G1 Commonwealth Cup.

The Starspangledbanner colt was sent into an early lead by James Doyle and they held a two-length cushion entering the final furlong and didn’t relent to post a three length victory over Australian Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron.

“I thought he would win but I didn’t quite think he would win like that,” trainer Hugo Palmer said.  “He’s a very immature horse and that’s why he was so lightly raced at two.  He always showed he was a horse with amazing speed from Christmas as a yearling.  He was terrifyingly quick.

“The Hungerford Stakes would look the obvious next target.  There is the Prix Maurice de Gheest but that might be his Group 1 for next year.

Home Of The Brave (3c Starspangledbanner – Blissful Beat by Beat Hollow) has an Australian connection through Flemington Bloodstock’s Troy Corstens & Justin Bahen.  They put together a partnership that includes David Moodie, Ash Hardwicke, Peter Raff, Frank Cotela and Micheal Ramsden and bought him for 80,000 euros (AUD 114,400) at the 2013 Arqana yearling sale.

Bred in Normandy by Etienne and Anna Drion of the Haras du Grand Chene, he has a two year-old half-brother by Dream Ahead and a yearling half-brother by Excelebration who will be offered at next month’s Arqana August yearling sale.

Starspangledbanner (Choisir) was formerly based at Coolmore Stud but now covering a carefully managed books at Rosemont Stud in Victoria.  Despite a limited number of offspring he has also supplied Prix Morny hero The Wow Signal, Queen Mary Stakes winner Anthem Alexander and Australian Group 3 scorer Of The Brave.

CURRAGH 19-7-2015. HOME OF THE BRAVE and James Doyle winning for trainer Hugo Palmer. Photo HEALY RACING.