Decorated Knight was a Group 2-placed miler when he left Roger Varian's stable to join the Roger Charlton team last year. He started off well from his new base, winning two of his four starts, but was not seen out again after his victory in the Group 3 Meld Stakes over nine furlongs at Leopardstown in mid-July.
The chestnut made a successful return to action in the Listed Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes over 10 furlongs on the polytrack last month, increasing his official rating to 113, and he looks set for another raise following his win in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates Airline over nine furlongs at turf at Meydan this afternoon.
He is a 63rd winner at the highest level for Coolmore Stud's prolific champion sire Galileo (by Sadler's Wells) and, as he could be described as being a brother-in-blood to two classic stars, in addition to being out of a full-sister to a multiple champion sire, an eventual future role as a stallion has probably been on the cards at least since his victory in a 10-furlong listed contest at Goodwood 10 months ago.
With a Group 1 success to his name, the odds of that new career becoming a reality are surely odds-on and what remains to be discovered is where that will be and the strength of support he will receive.
He will need to do more to enhance his record on the track and, hence, his profile as a prospective stallion, but, with a top-level success on his CV, it just got a whole lot easier to market him as a less expensive alternative to two of his most famous relations.
Decorated Knight is out of Pearling (by Storm Cat) and that mare's string of blacktype siblings includes Giant's Causeway, You'resothrilling, and Freud, all of whom are also by Storm Cat (by Storm Bird).
Giant's Causeway was a Group 1 star at two, went on to become a Breeders' Cup Classic and dual Guineas-placed winner of the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes, Group 1 Eclipse Stakes, Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes, Group 1 Sussex Stakes, and Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at three, before going on to become a triple US champion sire.
His current tally of 168 stakes winners includes 31 Group/Grade 1 scorers of whom Footstepsinthesand (52 SW inc 5 G1W), Ghanaati, Penelopa, and Shamardal (108 SW inc 18 G1W) have been European classic stars.
Group 2-placed sprinter Freud has been the leading New York-based stallion for a long time and his tally of 51 stakes winners includes the Grade 1 Prioress Stakes victress Franny Freud, Argentine Grade 1 scorer Must Go On, and the tragically ill-fated Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes winner Giant Ryan.
You'resothrilling won the Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes and her first three foals are the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Marvellous, dual mile classic star and exciting young Coolmore stallion Gleneagles, and the Grade 1-placed pattern-winning filly Coolmore. They are all by Galileo, as is last year's Group 3 Killavullan Stakes third Taj Mahal.
The grandam of Decorated Knight is the Grade 1-placed Grade 2-winner Mariah's Storm (by Rahy), her offspring also include the blacktype sires Tumblebrutus (by Storm Cat) and Tiger Dance (by Storm Cat), and unraced Love Me Only (by Sadler's Wells), the dam of Storm The Stars (by Sea The Stars).
He won the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes, chased home Jack Hobbs in the Group 1 Irish Derby, and finished third in both the Golden Horn's Group 1 Derby at Epsom and Erupt's Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp before spending a year Australia, where he picked up Group 2 placings at eight and 10 furlongs. It was reported in December that he is to be trained by Andreas Wöhler in 2017, in advance of a stallion career.
Panoramic (by Rainbow Quest), the Grade 1-placed Group 2-winning half-brother to Mariah's Storm, enjoyed some success as a dual-purpose sire – most notably with his Grade 1 Ramona Handicap-winning daughter Tuzla – and other descendants of their Grade 3-winning dam, Immense (by Roberto), include the US Grade 2 scorers Guys Reward (by Grand Reward) and Quest Star (by Broad Brush).
Decorated Knight still has improvement to make if he is to be able to win a well-contested Group 1 event in Europe, but he is clearly on the upgrade and it will be fascinating to see how the rest of his career turns out, both on the track and, eventually, at stud.