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ATHENA REIGNS SUPREME IN BELMONT OAKS

09 July 2018

ATHENA (IRE) showed the warrior qualities of her namesake when taking Saturday’s Grade 1 Belmont Oaks, just six days after finishing third in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes. Just ten days before that, she finished fourth in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Ascot, having only lost her maiden tag at the end of May.

Aidan O’Brien’s progressive charge was held up by Ryan Moore, who waited until a furlong and a half from home to make his move, with Coolmore’s representative duly responding to lead inside the final furlong and win by two and a half lengths. European imports Thewayiam and Chipolata produced career-best performances to finish second and third respectively.

ATHENA (IRE) continues a fine run for her sire, Camelot, following on from his Irish Derby victory courtesy of Latrobe (IRE), and Moore commented, “These Camelots seem to be coming into themselves now. He's had a lot of very good horses very quickly.”

Bred by Roncon and Chelston, ATHENA (IRE) becomes the second Oaks heroine out of her dam, Cherry Hinton, whose Montjeu (IRE) daughter Bracelet (IRE) won the 2014 Irish Oaks, as well as the Ribblesdale Stakes. Cherry Hinton, herself, is a black-type daughter of Green Desert and most notably, a half-sister to the great Galileo (IRE) and Sea The Stars (IRE), as well as top-level scorers Black Sam Bellamy (IRE) and My Typhoon (IRE). That, of course, makes the second dam the legendary racehorse and broodmare, Urban Sea.

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