International group race double for Duke
Drakenstein Stud’s resident sire Duke Of Marmlade had a major international Group race double this past weekend. His offspring captured major races in Australia and Italy, thus continuing the good run that the progeny of Duke Of Marmlade have enjoyed in 2014.
The son of Danehill also sired the exacta in Sunday’s Group 3 Premio Verziere when Quaduna and So Many Ways fought out the finish to the 2000m contest.
In capturing the Verziere, Quaduna, who is out of the Monsun mare Quelle Amore, was scoring her second win in the race, having captured it back in 2013. Interestingly, Quaduna comes from the family of former South African sire Qui Danzig.
Runner up in the Premio Verziere, So Many Ways is herself a talented filly, having won the Group 3 Premio Mario Incisa Della Rochetta and ran third in the Italian Oaks earlier in the year.
A day earlier, Duke Of Marmalade’s talented stayer Big Memory ensured his place in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup when he prevailed over a high-class field to win the Group 2 Sportingbet Herbert Power Handicap over 2400m at Caulfield. In landing this prestigious race (won previously by G1 winners Linton, Alcopop and Master O’Reilly), Big Memory bested a field which include the high class performers Protectionist (current Melbourne Cup favourite), Sangster (Victoria Derby), and Masked Marvel (St Leger).
Big Memory has now won or placed ten times and has earned over AUS $300 000 in prize money.
He is one of 18 runners set to do battle in Saturday’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup, a $3 million race and a major prep for next month’s Melbourne Cup.
Former Cartier Champion Duke Of Marmalade has enjoyed an excellent season in 2014, where his runners included the Group race winners Big Memory, Hall Of Mirrors, Quaduna, So Many Ways, Venus De Milo, and Wannabe Better.
The half brother to Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World has covered an exceptional first book of mares in South Africa, where Duke Of Marmalade stands at a fee of R100 000.