31 August 2018

Stepping up to a mile and a half saw GLORIOUS EMPIRE (IRE) register the first Grade 1 success of his career, with the seven-year-old bay running out a comfortable winner of the Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga. The Matthew Schera-owned gelding gained his maiden Graded victory last time out, but was forced to share the honours in a deadheat with Channel Maker.

His old foe was his closest challenger on Saturday, closing in on the all-the-way leader on the far turn, but GLORIOUS EMPIRE (IRE) would not be headed, and began to race away in the straight, asserting by a length and three quarters. It was also a first Grade 1 success for his trainer, James Lawrence II, who later said, “That was really special. This is my first grade 1, and we're going to bask in it. Of course, the Breeders' Cup is going to be a big option, but we're going to take it day by day and see how the horse is and everything. Our big goal before was just to win a race at Saratoga with him, so he's exceeded our expectations.”

This was a third top-level success of the season for GLORIOUS EMPIRE (IRE)’s sire, Holy Roman Emperor (IRE), who now lays claim to 13 individual Group/Grade 1 winners. His latest victor was bred by Patrick Grogan out of Humble And Proud (IRE), an unraced half-sister to three Stakes performers, from the family of Group 2 Park Hill Stakes winner Casey and two winners of the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye, in Patavellian (IRE) and Avonbridge.

GLORIOUS EMPIRE (IRE) was bought at the Goffs November Foal Sale by Whatton Manor Stud for €20,000 and won four of his six starts for Ed Walker in the UK. He went to Hong Kong for a short time, where he over six furlongs and returned to Walker before eventually being sold to race Stateside.

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