St Jude Farm stallion King Of Athens (USA) received a Group 1 update in England last week when his younger half-brother City Of Troy (USA) won the Dewhurst Stakes (1400m) at Newmarket.
The Dewhurst is England’s equivalent to our Golden Slipper Stakes and City Of Troy maintained his unbeaten record when storming clear to score by more than three lengths. It also confirmed he’s long odds-on to be named European Champion 2YO for 2023.
The Coolmore Stud colt (pictured) had won a Curragh maiden in July and followed up with a six-length romp a fortnight later in the G2 Superlative Stakes (1400m) at Newmarket.
“There is no doubt he’s the best 2yo I’ve trained,” Aidan O’Brien declared. “We don’t know his limit. He just lobs along with his ears pricked.”
King Of Athens (War Front) and City Of Troy (Justify) are sons of Coolmore mare Together Forever (Galileo) who won the G1 Dubai 2YO Mile at Newmarket in 2014. Her sister Forever Together added another Group 1 for the same connections in the 2018 English Oaks.
City Of Troy will winter as a $1.90 favourite for next year’s G1 English 2000 Guineas (1600m) and a $3.20 favourite for the G1 English Derby (2400m). And he’s as short as $10 to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to complete the Triple Crown in the English St Leger (2800m) at Doncaster next September.
Part-owner Michael Tabor said the colt could be anything following the Dewhurst demolition. “We’re optimists but this horse is so special. He really is our Frankel. No question, he’s the real deal.”
Serpentine-based King Of Athens will have his first yearlings catalogued for the 2024 Perth Magic Millions. Raced by Tabor, Derrick Smith and John Magnier in a Coolmore partnership with Maria Niarchos (Flaxman Stables), he signed off as a 2yo with a five-length victory in a Lingfield nursery. “He’s a lovely horse with a great temperament and is regarded highly here,” O’Brien said. “He’s a good-limbed colt with lots of quality and plenty of ability.”
King Of Athens returned as a 3yo for a neck second in the LR Irish 2000 Guineas Trial (1400m) at Leopardstown and followed up with a fourth in the G3 Ballycorus Stakes (1400m) at Fairyhouse before a stifle injury curtailed a promising career at Ballydoyle Stables.
Currently covering his third book at St Jude Farm for a $5,500 fee (inc GST), King Of Athens represents another successful branch of the Danzig sireline as the first son of War Front (USA) to stand in WA. The Claiborne Farm stalwart has sired 176 Stakes winners worldwide and stands for a $100,000 service fee at the famed Kentucky stud.