History-making Champion Sprinter U.S. Navy Flag to Valachi Downs

With great excitement Valachi Downs announce exquisitely-bred three-time Group 1 winning Champion sprinter U.S. Navy Flag (USA) (War Front {USA}) will stand at the Matamata property in 2019.

For the first time in history, New Zealand breeders will have the opportunity to breed to a Champion European two year old and three year old sprinter, who beat older horses in the breed-shaping G1 July Cup.

“There has never been a sprinter of this elite-level stand at stud in New Zealand, let alone with the incredible pedigree U.S. Navy Flag possesses,” said Valachi Downs General Manager Jonathan Scully. “We are beyond delighted to offer this precocious speed sire to breeders.” 

U.S. Navy Flag offers a beautiful blend of elite sirelines and a bluechip pedigree through a deep black-type family. A son of top international sire War Front, U.S. Navy Flag is from a four-time Group 1 winning daughter of Galileo, Misty for Me, a Champion two-year-old and three-year-old in Ireland. He is a brother to three-time Group 1 winner Roly Poly. 

Debuting as an early two-year-old, trainer Aiden O’Brien travelled U.S. Navy Flag to Newmarket for the G1 Middle Park S. after he saluted in the G3 Curragh Round Tower S. He upstaged his G1 Phoenix S.-winning barnmate Sioux Nation in his maiden Group 1 victory, before backing up a fortnight later into the G1 Dewhurst S.  

When defeating an exceptional field in the Dewhurst, including eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf hero Mendelssohn, U.S. Navy Flag became the first horse for 35 years, since Diesis, to land the Middle Park-Dewhurst double.

After the historic win, jockey Ryan Moore was effusive in his praise for the outstanding juvenile.  “He’s been a remarkable horse,” Moore said. 

“It was a good Dewhurst today and he was strong at the line. This is a massive feat.” 

U.S. Navy Flag returned at three to run second in the Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas, before dropping back to his preferred 1200m-distance in the Group 1 July Cup against older horses. The ultimate European sprint Championship, the July Cup has produced winners Oasis Dream, Anabaa, Starspangledbanner and Stravinsky, plus Danehill who finished second, amongst others, who have excelled at stud.

In this impressive victory, U.S. Navy Flag created a piece of racing history by completing a Newmarket Group 1 triple crown in the form of the Middle Park, Dewhurst and July Cup.

Upon retirement to Coolmore Ireland, trainer Aiden O’Brien described U.S. Navy Flag as ‘brilliant’, stating, "speed is his biggest attribute but heart is his next biggest, he never lies down and is an amazing horse.”

The arrival of U.S. Navy Flag to Valachi Downs highlights the commitment of the farm to accessing the best bloodlines in the world.

“I recently traveled to Coolmore to physically inspect U.S. Navy Flag and can describe him as the epitome of a Danzig-line sprinter. He is strong, neat and correct, the same dark-bay colour as his sire War Front and grandsire Danzig,” said Scully. 

“He will add an enormous injection of high quality speed to our broodmare population.”

After covering a full book in his maiden season at Coolmore Ireland, U.S. Navy Flag will shuttle to New Zealand to commence the 2019 season at a fee of $20,000 + GST.