Welcomed back to Aquis Farm in Queensland last weekend for another breeding season, world renowned shuttle sire Holy Roman Emperor added a 13th Group One winner to his tally in the US on the weekend when Glorious Empire captured the $1million Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga.
An upset winner of the Group Two Bowling Green Stakes at Saratoga last month, the James Lawrence trained seven year-old was able to repeat the performance when taking out this mile and a half staying test on turf by a dominant length and three-quarters.
Ridden forward from the gate by Julien Leparoux , Glorious Empire made all the running and despite being challenged strongly coming to the home turn, he found another gear and cruised clear for a powerful win.
Glorious Empire began his career in Great Britain, and was a winner from two starts in Hong Kong in 2015 before eventually finding his way to North America.
He provided his current trainer James “Chuck” Lawrence with his first Group One win.
“I’m trying to get my voice back,” said Lawrence.
“We knew this horse had this kind of talent, it was just a matter of getting it to come out, so here we go… I thought the 23[-second] quarter[-mile] got us, but then he really slowed it down for Julien [Leparoux], luckily… When he slowed it down, I was pretty happy and I just kept yelling throughout the turn, ‘Julien, let him go, let him go.’ I knew he was fit, it was just a matter of getting the wire to come fast enough. He responded at the top of the lane. That was really special.”
Glorious Empire has earned a ticket to the Group One Breeders’ Cup Turf with Saturday’s win, and Lawrence confirmed a trip to Churchill Downs would likely be the long-term goal going forward.
Glorious Empire is the best of two winners from Humble and Proud, a half-sister by Pivotal to Stakes winner Delsarte.
An incredibly versatile sire of 13 Group One winners in nine countries, Holy Roman Emperor has the ability to sire sprinters, stayers and everything in between.
By Champion Sire Danehill, Holy Roman Emperor has been super popular for Aquis Farm in Queensland at his last two seasons and returns again this spring at the same fee of $9,900.
Image: Holy Roman Emporer (Danehill – L’on Vite) at the Aquis Farm Canungra 2018 Stallion Parade. Photo by Bronwen Healy. The Image is Everything – Bronwen Healy Photography.