Royal Marine wins the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-G1) at Longchamp (c) Frank Sorge/Horsephotos.com
Saturday’s Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-G1) at Longchamp was both a “Win & You’re In” race with an entry to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), as well as a points race on The Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Godolphin homebred Royal Marine was a game winner in the turf test to secure his second straight victory. And Royal Marine is bred to be a great one.
The April foal is by Raven’s Pass, who conquered the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) in his career finale. Ravens Pass has sired at least 29 black-type winners from seven crops, which includes Italian highweights Greg Pass and Atiam.
He is by Elusive Quality, who is responsible for 10 individual champions, most notably 2004 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1) star Smarty Jones.
The broodmare sire of Royal Marine is the great Singspiel. The champion son of In the Wings was one of the best of his generation for sure and showed his versatility on the race track.
Singspiel, who is a blue-blood himself being out of multiple champion Glorious Song, peaked in his four- and five-year-old campaigns. He claimed wins in prestigious races such as the Dubai World Cup, Japan Cup (Jpn-G1), Juddmonte International (Eng-G1), Canadian International (Can-G1) and Coronation Cup (Eng-G1).
The mighty Singspiel has also become an important sire, and maybe even more so, a very successful broodmare sire. His daughters are responsible for producing more than 75 black-type winners. Among them are 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) queen Wuheida, Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) victor Suedois, Japanese champion Robe Tissage, multiple Group 1 winner and highweight Limtao, Australian star Helmet, and many others.
Royal Marine has a superb female line that traces back to greatness.
His dam, the Singspiel mare Inner Secret, has now produced a pair of stakes winners. She is a half-sister to dual Group-1 winning French highweight Librettist, Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-G1) victor Dubai Destination, as well as Turkish Group 2 winner and millionaire Secret Number.
The second dam, the Alleged mare Mysterial, is siblings with Japanese champion miler and sprinter Hishi Akebono as well as dual Group 1 star and sire Agnes World.
There is no doubting that Royal Marine is among the most well-bred horses of this crop. The talented juvenile is clearly running to his pedigree early in his career.
Succeeding at a distance of ground does not appear to be a problem going forward for Royal Marine. His sire was top-class up to 1 1/2 miles, and he should receive an ample amount of stamina through his female family.
However, the unknown is can Royal Marine thrive on dirt? With a family that is heavily slanted toward turf brilliance, it remains to be seen if his connections will give the fine prospect a chance to winter in Dubai and give it a go on the dirt.
If he does eventually run and thrive on dirt, Royal Marine will be a fascinating prospect going forward.