The Mark Johnston-trained Communique caused a surprise at Newmarket today when making all to win the Group 2 Roaring Lion Jockey Club Stakes at odds of 12/1. The four-year-old son of Casamento (by Shamardal) was well clear during part of the race and stayed on well to hold off Defoe by a length and a quarter.
The winner's stable companion Mildenberger finished a further two and a quarter lengths adrift in third, with race favourite Coronet another two lengths back in fourth on what was a disappointing seasonal reappearance for that John Gosden-trained mare.
Communique has now won six of his 18 starts. The former handicapper got his first blacktype success when beating Barsanti by a neck in the Listed Mukhadram Godolphin Stakes over the same course and distance in late September, just over a week before he chased home Laraaib in the Group 3 Stella Artois Cumberland Lodge Stakes on soft ground at Ascot.
The chestnut colt was bred by Godolphin and he is by the now Sunnyhill Stud-based sire of last year's Group 2 Prix de Royallieu scorer Princess Yaiza. The stallion began his career under the Darley banner, spending three years at Kildangan Stud and two at Dalham Hall Stud, then did one season at Ljungstorps Stud in Sweden before taking up his current position in Ireland this year.
Communique is the best of several winners out of Midnight Line (by Kris S). She won the Group 3 Prestige Stakes and Group 3 May Hill Stakes as a juvenile, beat Leggera by eight lengths in the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes first time out at three, finished third to Shahtoush in the Group 1 Oaks at Epsom, and later had a good season in the USA, winning the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap over 12 furlongs at Aqueduct and earning placings in the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap and Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes.
Midnight Air (by Green Dancer), the grandam of Communique, won the Group 3 May Hill Stakes by three lengths but was disqualified after passing the post in front of Culture Vulture in the Group 1 Filies' Mile 17 days later. Although that rival went on to become a classic star at three, Midnight Air disappointed and managed just a pair of listed-race placings from six starts at three.
Communique holds entries in the Group 1 Investec Coronation Cup and Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes and it will be interesting to see how highly he can climb in the rankings by the end of the year. Like his sire, he could eventually have a career ahead of him as a National Hunt or dual-purpose stallion.
Sires & Winners