First Stakes-Winner for National Defense
Standing at Widden Stud Victoria this spring, young Invincible Spirit stallion National Defense (GB) is on the board with his first stakes-winner after exciting filly Twilight Gleaming won the Listed Prix de la Vallee d’Auge (1000m) at Deauville in France overnight.
Trained by Wesley Ward for Stonestreet Stables, Twilight Gleaming was a winner at Belmont in May before finishing a brave second in the Group II Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Twilight Gleaming was having her first start since then and was sent out a hot favourite scoring a neck win under Frankie Dettori.
“The Breeders’ Cup [Juvenile Turf Sprint] is the target and that’s why Wesley begged me to come and ride her today,” said Frankie Dettori.
“If the ground was quicker I would have made more use of her, but there’s a headwind and I was trying to save a bit. The margin wasn’t big but she got the job done.”
A 75,000 euro purchase from the Goffs Orby Sale, Twilight Gleaming is the second winner from Thames Pageant, an unraced Dansili daughter of stakes-winner Gold Stream that is also a full sister to a pretty handy import to Australia in Invictus Prince (GB), who was second in the 2018 Group I ATC Winx Stakes.
National Defense has now had four winners and two place-getters from 10 runners that come from a small first crop of just 29 foals born in the Northern Hemisphere.
A Group I winner rated the Champion French 2YO Colt of 2016, National Defense returns to Victoria at a fee of $9,900 for his third season after covering 347 mares in his first two.