The juvenile campaign from U S Navy Flag (USA) saw the speedy son of War Front (USA) claim two Group 1 feats back-to-back, quickly earning him the honours of Champion 2YO in Europe and Champion 2YO Colt in Europe, GB and Ireland.
He first entered the winners circle following a 2-year-old maiden race over six furlongs, beating home Dawn Delivers (GB) and stablemate Fleet Review (USA), with the latter a frequent rival in his Group 1 quests.
Following an admirable fourth place in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes behind Sioux Nation (USA), U S Navy Flag made the most of a slightly easier task in the Group 3 Round Tower Stakes to lead all the way on the stands rail and strike by an impressive six lengths.
His progression at each start saw him headed for the Group 1 Newmarket Middle Park Stakes where he began his rise to record-breaking glory.
Flying down the straight course at Newmarket, U S Navy Flag put in a gutsy performance to win the six-furlong feature half a length ahead of Fleet Review, while also upstaging Phoenix Stakes-winning Sioux Nation.
Two weeks later he led throughout to win the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes, again over the Newmarket six furlongs and this time beating home Mendelssohn (USA) by two and a half lengths. In doing so, U S Navy Flag became the first 2-year-old since Diesis in 1982 to win both the Middle Park Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes.
“The redoubtable colt saw the most racecourse action as a 2-year-old of any of the 44 European juvenile champions and joint-champions dating back to 1978,” commented Mark Bird, Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board Handicapper.
“There was no shortage of quality in some of his efforts and he emerged to put in the season’s defining juvenile performance, in landing his second Group 1, the Dewhurst in record time.”
U S Navy Flag follows in the footsteps of other exceptional Group 1-winning 2-year-olds to retire to stud. Looking at the Dewhurst Stakes honour roll in recent years, Frankel (GB), Teofilo (IRE) and Shamardal (USA) all progressed from Group 1-winning 2-year-olds into successful stallions.
Frankel is now a rising star striking at 16.8% stakes winners to runners with a multitude of high-class performers, while established sire Shamardal continues to punch at over 72% winners and 11.2% stakes winners.
With U S Navy Flag the most talented son of War Front, having proven himself a record-breaking world-class racehorse, his future off the racetrack is set to deliver just as much anticipation.