Roaring Lion broke into the top five of the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with his victory in the 2018 Juddmonte International
The late world champion, Roaring Lion, will be represented in both the Betfred Derby and Betfred Oaks with offspring from his only crop; Dubai Mile and Running Lion.
John Gosden trained Roaring Lion, the Qatar Racing-owned son of Kitten’s Joy to win four Group 1s in 2018, which culminated with victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day. Roaring Lion stood for one season at Tweenhills before his untimely death from colic.
Gosden said: “He was a real tough cookie and he was a character too. He had so much talent he could play about and still run huge races.”
Running Lion, also trained in Newmarket by John and Thady Gosden, won the Howden Pretty Polly Stakes (Listed race) at the QIPCO Guineas Festival and is set to run in the Betfred Oaks for owner David Howden.
On Running Lion’s 4 1/2 length victory, Gosden said: “She did it in great style. The ground was a little bit testing that day, but she travelled well and flew home.”
David Redvers, Qatar Racing Manager and owner of Tweenhills, said: “That tenacity is what we loved seeing, the will to win and the way she gallops with her head down trying is something that absolutely reminds me of her father.
“Roaring Lion was the best horse that Qatar Racing had had to that stage and certainly the best horse I’d been involved with, so it was a huge tragedy for all of us when we lost him after just one season at stud.”
Oisin Murphy, rider of both Roaring Lion and Running Lion added: “They have the exact same shape shoulder and carry their head in a similar position and also have a similar constitution thus far, nothing has phased her so that’s really positive.”
On Roaring Lion, Murphy added: “He was a World Champion in 2018 and one of the best horses I’ll ever ride.”
Roaring Lion finished third behind Masar in the 2018 Derby and connections are hopeful his daughter will be able to see out the mile and a half trip.
John Gosden said: “We know she’s bred really to be a mile and a quarter filly, her father was the last one off the bridle in the Derby and if she gets the distance, she’s in there with a huge shout.”
Oisin Murphy added: “I’d imagine she will still be going pretty well coming around Tattenham Corner and I’ll know my fate then in the next furlong or two.”
Group 1 winning two-year-old Dubai Mile, trained by Charlie Johnston is set to line up in the Betfred Derby a month after finishing fifth in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
Charlie Johnston said: “It’s amazing for Roaring Lion to have a runner in both the Oaks and the Derby from his one and only crop.
“We haven’t needed to do a huge amount since Newmarket. He came out of that very well and it’s just a case of getting him there in one piece now.”
Whilst the tragic loss of Roaring Lion was a severe blow to Qatar Racing’s operation, Redvers is optimistic in Classic winning Kameko’s ability to fill the void. The record-breaking QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, also by Kitten’s Joy, now stands at Tweenhills.
Redvers said: “The postscript of this whole thing that really matters is that we’ve got another son of Kitten’s Joy in Kameko.
“The taxation of being in the stud game is that you’re always wishing your life away, you’re looking forward to the next crop or the next foal. This time next year we’ll have Kameko’s first runners and it’s something we’re all eagerly awaiting.”
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