French Oaks glory for Duke

Drakenstein Stud’s exciting young stallion Duke Of Marmalade enjoyed a sensational weekend which was crowned by a French classic win for his outstanding daughter Star Of Seville on Sunday.

Star Of Seville

Star Of Seville

The John Gosden trained filly, who had won the G3 Tattersalls Musidora Stakes two starts ago, was given a fine ride by red-hot jockey Frankie Dettori (recently successful in the 2015 Investec Derby aboard Golden Horn) to win the G1 Prix de Diane Longines (French Oaks) at Chantilly on Sunday.

Dettori took his mount to the front in 2100m classic as the field turned for home, and Star Of Seville kept going gamely to withhold the late challenges of Physiocrate and Little Nightingale respectively.

Trainer John Gosden was quick to praise his charge after the race, saying, ” do.

“He has ridden her beautifully and I said after we walked and planned it, ‘if this works you are a genius’.

“She will have a break and then she could run the Nassau Stakes and the Prix de l’Opera.

“I don’t think she is an Arc filly, I think she is better over the mile and a quarter.

“She is a great filly, who is very strong mentally.”

It was a superb win from Star Of Seville, who was making her second start in just nine days, and had behind her the likes of G1 Prix Saint Alary winner and favourite Queen’s Jewel, and fellow group winners Fontanelice, Malabar, Moonee Valley, and Nightflower.

In the process, the 3yo, owned by Lady Bamford, picked up the first Group One win of her career and she looks unlikely to stop here.

Star Of Seville, who is out of the Selkirk mare Stage Presence, has now won four of her six outings and clearly rates amongst the leaders of her generation.

Remarkably, Star Of Seville was one of two runners in the French Oaks for her sire Duke Of Marmalade, who was also represented by Sound Of Freedom.

Star Of Seville

Star Of Seville

Former European sensation Duke Of Marmalade, a five time Group One winning son of Danehill, successfully completed his first season at Drakenstein last year when covering an exceptional book of mares.

Duke Of Marmalade, the Cartier Champion Older Male of 2008, has enjoyed a tremendous season in 2015, with his other European runners including brilliant Italian classic heroine Sound Of Freedom, while another 3yo daughter, Pamona, is a possible starter in the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot this Thursday.
To date, Duke Of Marmalade sired runners include 20 black type winners, with his other notable runners including G2 winner Big Mirror, the classic filly So Many Shots and the high class Group 1 filly Venus De Milo.
He is also an extremely versatile sire, with the former King George’s top representatives in South Africa including the high class sprinter Moofeed – who was victorious in the G3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap over 1000m.

A half brother to former G1 Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World, as well as Giovanni Canaletto (a good fourth in this year’s Epsom classic), Duke Of Marmalade is out of the Kingmambo mare Love Me True.

This is the same family as legendary sire A P Indy, as well as last year’s Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, as well as the hugely influential South African champion sire Al Mufti.

Interestingly, Duke Of Marmalade is the first son of Danehill to sire a winner of the Prix de Diane.

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