Coolmore’s Deep Impact Experiment Pays Off with Saxon Warrior
Coolmore’s experiment of sending mares to visit Japan’s super stallion Deep Impact has paid dividends with the emergence of group one-winning juvenile Saxon Warrior.
Victories in the Beresford Stakes (G2) and the Racing Post Trophy (G1) have made Saxon Warrior a great stallion prospect already for the Coolmore team – and it propelled him to the head of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby table with all four of the 2-year-old races complete.
In both races the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt showed a good turn of foot, and in the Racing Post Trophy he also showed exceptional courage, stamina, and professionalism, fighting back after being headed by Roaring Lion as that horse ran a little waywardly in the final furlong.
Deep Impact is not only a sensational sire, he’s a great sire of stamina horses – his progeny include three winners of the 1 ½-mile Tokyo Yushun (G1, Japanese Derby), two winners of the 1 ½-mile Japan Cup (G1), and one of the 1 7/8-mile Kikuka Sho (G1, Japanese St Leger).
Saxon Warrior’s dam is the high-class Galileo filly Maybe. She was unbeaten at two, her best triumph being the Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1), and she finished third in the 1,000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket the following year. Maybe’s dam Sumora (Danehill) is a three-quarter sister to Epsom Oaks winner Dancing Rain, and Maybe’s third dam Rose of Jericho (Alleged) is the dam of Dr Devious, who finished seventh in the Kentucky Derby before returning to Europe and winning the Derby (G1) at Epsom.
Pedigree and racing style suggests Saxon Warrior will stay the 1 ¼-mile Kentucky Derby trip, but there are two factors to consider before backing him, as there is with all European-trained horses: one, can he handle dirt, and two, will he be aimed at the Kentucky Derby.
Deep Impact’s progeny have overwhelmingly raced on turf, though given that he is by 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence, his ability to get dirt runners shouldn’t be underestimated. However, there’s a strong chance the English classics will be his aim – he’s likely to be the winter favorite for the 1 ½-mile Epsom Derby, and well up in the betting for the one mile 2,000 Guineas, raced on Kentucky Derby day.
However, if he contests any of the European Road to the Kentucky Derby races next March on synthetic surfaces, punters should pay attention in their betting strategies.