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Circus Maximus


Circus Maximus
  • 2019 Series win-2nd-3rd - -
  • 2019 Total prize money

  • Sire-Dam -
  • Owner
  • Trainer

Circus Maximus provided Aidan O’Brien with an eighth triumph in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but, unlike his previous seven, he was not originally entered.

He was supplemented at a cost of £45,000, having finished sixth in the Investec Derby on his previous start.

It was money well spent as Circus Maximus, sent off at 10/1 and equipped with first-time blinkers, became the first horse since Dawn Approach (2013) to run in the Derby before scooping the £538,750 contest over a mile.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, he held on gamely in the closing stages by a neck, denying the fast-finishing King Of Comedy in second. Too Darn Hot, the 2/1 favourite and also trained by Gosden, was a further three-quarters of a length back in third.


Circus Maximus was a creditable sixth in the 12-furlong Investec Derby at Epsom Downs on June 1, but the drop back to a mile and the addition of blinkers proved the right combination this afternoon.

O’Brien was registering his 67th winner at the Royal Meeting and said: “Maria (Niarchos-Gouaze), Derrick Smith, John Magnier and Michael Tabor [owners] all decided at 11.45am at the six-day stage that they were going to supplement Circus Maximus for this race and we just ran with it.

“It is hard to believe, but we are just privileged to be a small part of it.

“It is a big challenge for the horse to drop back down in trip. That’s why we put the blinkers on him as he didn’t have much time to learn how to race back at a mile, so that helped him.

“We were worried about the pace of the race for Circus Maximus back over a mile having raced over a mile and a half, so we are delighted really.”

Moore said: “Circus Maximus has plenty of speed. The mare [Duntle, Circus Maximus’s dam] was good and won a couple of races here. Circus Maximus has been a little bit slow coming to himself and learning about it all.”

Circus Maximum was also supplemented for the Qatar Sussex Stakes next time at Goodwood and again ran well, finishing half a length second behind Evens favourite Too Darn Hot.

“You would have to be very happy with that. We were delighted with the run today,” O’Brien said.
“There are a lot of things open to him because he is a relaxed horse. You wouldn’t believe how relaxed at home he is, he just takes everything in his stride.”
After failing to make an impact in the Juddmonte International at York, upped to ten furlongs, connections vowed to return him to a mile.
He duly ran over that trip in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp next time and prevailed after a tight finish with Romanised.
On his final start of the year, he was a creditable fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.

Circus Maximus had won the Dee Stakes at Chester on his return. The pick of his four efforts as a two-year-old was when a close fourth in the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster.

BCS Career statistics

Year Wins-2nd-3rd Prize money Group 1 wins Archived results