Sub-fertile sire sensation Starspangledbanner already has a Group I winner on the board in the Northern Hemisphere and has a very smart one here in Australia in exciting colt Of The Brave, who resumed from a spell to win the Group III MRC Blue Diamond Prelude at Caulfield on Saturday.
A dashing chestnut like his sire, the Mark Riley trained Of The Brave was quickly away from a wide gate and accelerated smartly in the straight, but was challenged late by Street Cry (IRE) colt Pride of Dubai.
Running on empty in the last few strides, Of The Brave held on to win the 1100 metre contest by a short half head and will no doubt be better for the run.
“He’s won two from two so has earned his place in the Blue Diamond,” said Mark Riley.
“He was vulnerable today. I said if he was going to get beaten, today would be the day.
“He needed that hard run to top him off and he’s going into the Blue Diamond on the way up.
“He’s really matured since the Debutant Stakes and just keeps going forward.”
A $170,000 Magic Millions purchase for his trainer from the Rosemont Stud draft, Of The Brave is bred to go fast being a three-quarter brother to brilliant Group III winner Eloping and Group II placed Jesse’s Girl.
He is the fourth winner for Runaway Jesse, a half-sister by Rory’s Jester to Group III winner All Courage.
Runaway Jesse has no yearling for the sales in 2015, but has a filly foal by Golden Slipper winner Sepoy and was covered last spring by Fastnet Rock.
Of the Brave is the first Australian stakes-winner for globe-trotting champion Starspangledbanner, who was popular at Rosemont Stud last spring covering 93 mares.