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Flying The Flag Sister Wins Gr2 In Ireland

Magical winning the Gr2 Debutante. Her older full sister won the race in 2016 before securing a Gr1 win. Image: The Sun

As expected, there was an Aidan O’Brien one-two here but not with the duo many thought would prevail as Donnacha O’Brien steered Magical to an all-the-way win from Happily as September (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) came off worst of the stable trio.

Runner-up to Dawn Delivers (GB) (Dawn Approach {Ire}) in a six-furlong maiden on debut here July 16, Magical had to fight to get the better of Mary Tudor by a head at Cork 12 days ago but despite her odds she had the pedigree for the task in hand as a full-sister to last year’s Debutante winner Rhododendron (Ire).

Sent straight to the front, the bay whose dam Halfway To Heaven (Ire) (Pivotal {GB}) captured the G1 Irish 1000 Guineas at this track set an honest tempo tracked by her two stable companions.

It was Happily who gave the most determined chase under Ryan Moore, but Magical kept up a testing gallop to keep her at bay and at the line had extended her superiority over Godolphin’s Mary Tudor who ran another taking race in third to deny a Ballydoyle whitewash.

After a race that was supposed to help Ballydoyle decide the relative merits of their fillies and which instead muddied the waters, Aidan O’Brien who was celebrating a 12th renewal said, “She had a lovely run the first day and she was a bit green at Cork and made hard work of it. Donnacha was delighted with her. She’s out of a Pivotal mare and handled the ground. Donnacha gave her a lovely ride and had her in a good position throughout the race. She stays well and should get well beyond a mile next year.

Flying The Flag pictured at Bush Hill Stud in May 2017. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Ryan [Moore] said Happily struggled to quicken and she is able to quicken better on better ground. Seamus [Heffernan] was a bit the same with September on her first run back. She will come on from that. They are all nice fillies and were all coming here with the view to coming back for the [G1] Moyglare [Stud S. at The Curragh Sept. 10].

Magical is currently her esteemed dam’s last known foal and the third group winner for Halfway To Heaven, whose victory in the Irish Guineas was supplemented by wins in the G1 Nassau Stakes and G1 Sun Chariot Stakes. Her previous Galileo’s to make an impact are the G3 International Stakes Winner Flying the Flag (Ire) and the aforementioned Rhododendron who followed her success in this race in 2016 with another in the G1 Fillies’ Mile before filling the runner’s-up spot in both the G1 1000 Guineas and G1 Epsom Oaks.

The second dam Cassandra Go, who is a half-sister to the late G3 Coventry Stakes-winning sire Verglas (Ire), was a top sprinter who captured the G2 King’s Stand Stakes, G2 Temple Stakes and G3 King George Stakes before producing the G3 Abernant Stakes and G3 Sandown Sprint scorer Tickled Pink (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) and the G3 Summer winner Theann (GB) (Rock of Gibraltar {Ire}). She is now herself responsible for the GI First Lady and GI Rodeo Drive heroine Photo Call (Ire) from a mating with Galileo.

Galileo full brother Flying The Flag, standing at Bush Hill Stud, has his first foals arriving this season. Warwick Render reports that "we have had great reports on his first foals from all around the country."

Flying The Flag who shares the same markings as his full sister Magical, stands for a fee of R20 000 this season.

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