A Royal Ascot Winner’s Story: The Unlikely Entertainer
Circus Maximus’s dam is multi-Group winning Irish bred, Duntle, from the Danehill line. The 3YO, a cross between Galileo’s Northern Dancer line and Duntle from the Danehill line showed all the character she had when she won twice at the Royal festival in 2012 and 2013.
The high-class mare herself was bred by the Airle Stud and owned by the Niarchos Family. She was trained by David Wachman, who spent many years as one of the top Flat trainers in Ireland.
The Danehill line has an affinity for Northern Dancer-line mares. Many good horses have flowed from this “nick”.
While Danehill himself was a son of Danzig (by Northern Dancer,) he carries in his female line yet another strain of the Emperor’s “blood”. Indeed, he is a member of the self-same female family (of Northern Dancer), and while that’s no guarantee of an affinity, the fact is, the Danehills are typically big, strong horses who generally complement the very feminine, high quality females descending from the strain.
The Circus Maximus in Rome is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue. In many respects the atmosphere of a race day at the Circus Maximus was similar to a modern harness racetrack. In a strange way Circus Maximus provided us with a great many moments of entertainment in the present day.
Circus Maximum himself is a Flaxman Stables homebred, still owned by the Niarchos Family the Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith.
Understandably as the Magniers are involved, Adien O’Brien is closely involved with training of this particular son of Galileo.
After a disappointing run in the Epsom Derby (mile and half) O’Brien suggested to John Magnier that they should take him back to a mile.
Circus Maximus proved his stamina and his adaptability in this test which would have been almost a no-go for a human athlete being asked to drop from a 1500m to 400m. And Circus Maximus won over a mile and five-sixteenth of a mile, like a stayer.
According of O’Brien in an interview with Sporting Life Circus Maximus sported a set of blinkers to “sharpen him up”.
Circus Maximus made the most of a good draw against the rail in stall one to track the lead into the straight as a couple of his opponents, including the fast-finishing runner-up King Of Comedy, were forced to wait to launch a challenge.
Ryan Moore pushed Circus Maximus towards the finish while Too Darn Hot, the favourite, did his best to run him down alongside King Of Comedy.
Circus Maximus stayed on to win by a neck and three-quarters of a length.
The connections paid £45,000 supplementary fee to get him into the race earlier in the week, a gamble that paid off handsomely.
The 3YO is most likely be asked to stick at a mile, probably with the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.