June 18, 2024

Campanelle dominates Royal Ascot prep in Giant’s Causeway

Campanelle wins the Giant's Causeway Stakes (Photo by Coady Photography)

On Stonestreet Day at Keeneland, Barbara Banke’s operation celebrated a dynamic victory by Campanelle in the $162,461 Giant’s Causeway S. The Wesley Ward pupil warmed up for another trip to Royal Ascot by outclassing the field in a stakes-record 1:01.98 on the good turf.

Campanelle was turning the page on a couple of subpar efforts to conclude 2021. Last in the Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) at Deauville when agitated and rearing in the gate, the Irish-bred was a belated third in the Oct. 15 Franklin County (G3) at this course and 5 1/2-furlong distance.

The 1.90-1 favorite was on her game from the start, though, in her four-year-old bow. Breaking well to put herself in good early position for Irad Ortiz, Campanelle traveled smartly just off the pace set by Elle Z through splits of :21.99 and :44.81. The handwriting was on the wall as Campanelle smoothly advanced turning for home, and in the stretch, she imposed her will by 2 1/2 lengths.

“She’s just gotten big and powerful,” Ward said. “She’s just really grown into herself. So I was really impressed with that; I told (owner) Barbara (Banke of Stonestreet Stables) that. It was a big, big performance today. It was huge. It was really impressive.”

The 17.30-1 Star Devine, always thereabouts, stayed on as best of the rest. Another 1 1/2 lengths back in third came Goin’ Good, who edged defending champion Change of Control in a photo. Elle Z weakened to fifth, followed by the troubled Jouster, Risky Reward, Phantom Vision, Violenza, A G Indy, Hear My Prayer, Headline Hunter, and Ghosting Kim. Ambassador Luna and Social Chatter were scratched.

Campanelle was crossing the wire in front for the first time since her juvenile campaign, when she captured Royal Ascot’s Queen Mary (G2) and the Prix Morny (G1) at Deauville. The Kodiac filly tried to stretch out to a mile for the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), but her fourth on the Keeneland course suggested that sprinting was her game.

Although Campanelle wasn’t able to get in a prep ahead of Royal Ascot last summer, she ran a mighty race in the Commonwealth Cup (G1) for sophomores. Compromised by the first-past-the-post Dragon Symbol, she was awarded the victory via disqualification.

Campanelle will seek a third prize at Royal Ascot in the premier six-furlong sprint on June 18, now termed the Platinum Jubilee (G1) in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne.

“We’re going to the Jubilee, six furlongs,” Ward confirmed. “She has a big, long stride like you saw today, and I’m really excited about it.”

Bred by Tally-Ho Stud in the Emerald Isle, Campanelle is out of the stakes-winning Namid mare Janina. The 190,000-guineas Tattersalls October yearling has bankrolled $626,738 from her 8-5-0-1 line.