- Sire-Dam -
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.
That man Ryan Moore again!!
CIRCUS MAXIMUS, supplemented for the race, shows real guts to win the St James’s Palace Stakes.
John Gosden’s King Of Comedy finishes fast to claim 2nd.
— Champions Series (@ChampionsSeries) June 18, 2019
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.
“He showed plenty at two and ran a good race at Doncaster at the end of the year, which gave him a chance, plus the rain helped.
“When Too Darn Hot got to me, he did not go by me, and I knew this horse would keep going.
“Fair play to Aidan because he phoned me up on Monday morning to speak about putting him in the race and I said, ‘when you supplement them, they have to win!’
“Aidan knew this horse had a bit of talent and he ran a good race in the Derby, but he didn’t stay.”
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
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