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Flags Are Flying High

Flying The Flag pictured recently at Bush Hill Stud - the full brother to Gr1 winner, Rhododendron and Gr2 winner Magical. Image: Candiese Marnewick
Flying The Flag pictured at Bush Hill Stud – the full brother to 3x Gr1 winner, Rhododendron and Gr2 winner Magical. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Coolmore recently announced that Flying The Flag’s dam will once again visit Galileo for the 2018 season – its a pedigree cross that has excelled, producing triple Gr1 winner Rhododendron, Gr2 winner Magical and international Group winner, Flying The Flag. 

Young Bush Hill Stud based stallion, Flying The Flag, is a horse with an impressive pedigree, and his family continues to enjoy success at major race meetings around the world, writes Sarah Whitelaw.

The chestnut is a son of the world’s premier stallion, Galileo, who is just one away from tying his legendary own sire Sadler’s Wells’ record of 73 individual Gr1 winners.

Galileo has had another solid season, if not one quite comparable to his very best previous years, with his major winners including Kew Gardens (Gr1 Grand Prix de Paris), Waldgeist (Gr1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud) and Forever Together (Investec Oaks).


At the time of writing (August 2018), Galileo has been represented by 24 stakes winners in 2018, with his other notable winners including the impressive 2yo, Anthony Van Dyck (Gr3 Tyros Stakes). In addition, Galileo has had another bumper year with his sire sons producing the winners of such races as the Gr1 Investec Derby, Gr1 St James’s Palace Stakes, Gr1 Investec Coronation Cup, Gr1 Prix Jean Prat, Gr1 Prix Ganay, and Gr1 Doncaster Handicap. Remarkably, his sons Frankel, Nathaniel, Intello and Teofilo all enjoyed group success at Glorious Goodwood last week.

Galileo’s sons include the proven stallions New Approach, Frankel and Teofilo, as well as the hugely exciting younger sires Intello and Australia, with the latter responsible for a first crop group winner in the form of Beyond Reason (Gr3 Prix Six Perfections) and the former producing a Gr1 winner in his first crop, Intellogent (Prix Jean Prat). However, Flying The Flag’s appeal lies not only in the fact that he is a son of the world’s premier sire, but also that he hails from a tremendously powerful female line.

Triple Gr1 winner and globetrotter, Rhododendron.
Triple Gr1 winner and globetrotter, Rhododendron.

He is a full-brother to two group winners of 2018, and is also closely related to a very impressive recent group winning two-year-old, who could well feature in Gr1 contests later in the year.

Flying The Flag’s full-sisters Rhododendron and Magical further enhanced his pedigree page by landing the Gr1 Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes and Gr2 Kilboy Esate Stakes respectively in 2018.

The four-year-old Rhododendron, a Gr1 winner at two, three and four, has earned over £1 000 000 in stakes, while her talented year younger sister, Magical, was one of Ireland’s top two-year-old fillies in 2017, when she won the Gr2 Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes and finished second, beaten a short head, in the Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. The trio of Flying The Flag, Rhododendron and Magical were produced by top class racemare, Halfway To Heaven, whose four victories included the 2008 Gr1 Irish 1000 Guineas.

Land Force

Out of top sprinter Cassandra Go (winner of the 2001 Gr2 King’s Stand Stakes under South African legend Michael Roberts), Halfway To Heaven is a half-sister to Gr3 Summer Stakes winner, Theann (by Rock Of Gibraltar).

The latter, a proven high class producer whose previous runners include Gr1 Rodeo Drive Stakes winner, Photo Call (a Galileo ¾ sister to Flying The Flag et al), made headlines at Goodwood last week when her son, Land Force (a first group winner for his sire No Nay Never) captured the Qatar Gr2 Richmond Stakes. Land Force could well add further glory to his increasingly successful family as he holds entries in numerous big race 2yo contests this season – notably the Gr1 Keeneland Phoenix and Gr1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

Land Force was not the only member from this potent family to strike at the 2018 Glorious Goodwood meeting.

Cross Counter (by Galileo’s unbeaten son, Teofilo) stamped himself a potential Melbourne Cup contender when he romped to a four and a half length win in the Gr3 Qatar Gordon Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday. The 3yo, who left Investec Derby runner up, Dee Ex Bee, in his wake, was produced by the stakes placed Kingmambo mare, Waitress, who shares her third dam, Rahaam, with Flying The Flag.

Magical winning the Gr2 Debutante. Image: The Sun
Magical winning the Gr2 Debutante. Image: The Sun

Read The Footnotes

Rahaam (Secreto) is also damsire of Coventry Stakes winner and successful sire, Verglas, while Rahaam’s own third dam, Native Street (Native Dancer) won the Kentucky Oaks.

The numerous top class performers descended from Native Street, herself dam of Florida Derby victor, Royal And Regal (Vaguely Noble), include short-lived Gr1 Gran Criterium winner, Pearl Of Love (Peintre Celebre), Gr1 winning sprinters, Dowsing and Stravinsky,  Fountain Of Youth Stakes winner and Gr1 sire, Read The Footnotes, and Gr3 Regal and Royal (Vaguely Noble), broodmare sire of Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner, Spain (Thunder Gulch).

The Native Street clan has also enjoyed success in South Africa, with the former Kentucky Oaks winner featuring as third dam of Gr1 SA Classic winning sire, Jam Alley (Peintre Celebre). This female line has clearly done well when mated with Nureyev and his sire /grandsire sons with this combination resulting in Stravinsky, Halfway To Heaven, Jam Alley and Pearl Of Love. Flying The Flag’s broodmare sire Pivotal was also in the news recently, when his son, Lightning Spear, captured the Gr1 Qatar Sussex Stakes last Wednesday to become his 28th individual Gr1 winner.

Pivotal, currently the Leading Broodmare Sire in Europe, has been represented by 12 top flight winners, notably triple Gr1 winner, Cracksman, the above mentioned Rhododendron, Cape sire, The United States, French classic winners, Olmedo and Precieuse, and English St Leger hero, Harbour Law.

-Sarah Whitelaw

*Flying The Flag stands at Bush Hill Stud for a fee of R20 000. His foals are very exciting, carrying outstanding quality, substance and size. Read more about his pedigree at the following link

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