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Starspangledbanner Wins UK Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes
Multiple Gr1-winning Coolmore shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) added a Gr1 triumph when Australian-bred 3YO colt Starspangledbanner (Choisir-Gold Anthem, by Made Of Gold) scored a front-running 1.75-length victory in the £450,000 (A$779,000) Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot in England. Starspangledbanner (ridden by Johnny Murtagh for trainer Aidan O'Brien) defeated Irish-bred fellow 3YO colt Society Rock (Rock Of Gibraltar-High Society, by Key Of Luck) & US-bred 5YO gelding Kinsale King (Yankee Victor-Flaming Mirage, by Woodman); fellow Australian-bred 6YO mare Alverta (Flying Spur-Grilse, by Rahy) finished 14th in the field of 24 runners. After the race, O'Brien declared: "In his last piece of work before this, his 2nd-last furlong was just under 9.5 seconds & we've never seen that before. I couldn't believe he won over a mile (1600m) in Australia with fractions like that & he's no doubt the fastest horse we've had." Starspangledbanner (a $120,000 yearling at the 2008 Inglis Premier Sale in Melbourne) now has 7 wins (also including February's Gr1 Oakleigh Plate over 1100m at Caulfield, plus 2009's Gr1 Caulfield Guineas over 1600m, Gr3 McNeil Stakes over 1200m at Caulfield & Listed Vain Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield, as well as 2008's Inglis Juvenile over 1000m at Moonee Valley) & 3 placings (including March's Gr1 Newmarket Handicap over 1200m at Flemington, plus 2009's Gr3 Arrowfield Stud Blue Diamond Prelude over 1100m at Caulfield) from 14 starts for £932,604 (A$1.613m) earnings. In April, Coolmore announced now triple Gr1-winner Starspangledbanner (purchased in February for a headline-hogging figure reported to be "up to $10 million") will join his sire Choisir (who also won Royal Ascot's Gr1 Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2003) at Coolmore Australia after his European campaign & stand his initial stud season at $33,000.