An already excellent year just got a whole lot better for the 15-year-old stallion Montjeu. The Coolmore stud had a great career on the racetrack with 11 wins in only 16 starts. The European champion won such big races as the 1999 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Irish Derby, Prix du Jockey Club as well as the 2000 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, and the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, but if this weekend is any indication, he may prove to be even more outstanding as a sire. Carrying on the phenomenal success of his sire, Sadler's Wells and his grandsire, Northern Dancer, Montjeu is in the midst of possibly his best year at stud despite a stellar record through eight crops of sons and daughter of racing age.
Already in the book this year with major winners Pour Moi, and St Nicholas Abbey, Montjeu took things up an exciting notch the last two days. The weekend started with Fame And Glory kicking off the inaugural British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday with an impressive victory in the two-mile British Champions Long Distance Cup under Jamie Spencer. The win for the five-year-old son of Montjeu strengthened his standing as arguably the finest stayer in the world. A big victory, but things would only get better this afternoon in Canada.
Woodbine’s E.P Taylor Stakes has long been one of the most prestigious turf races for fillies and mares in North America, so it was a pretty big deal when the popular local horse Miss Keller, a daughter of Montjeu, finished second in the race last year. This year she did one better by edging out two others in a thrilling three-horse finish in the $1 million race. Trained by Roger Attfield and ridden by John Velazquez, Miss Keller hit the wire between horses a head in front of I’m A Dreamer, with race favorite Dream Peace a nose farther back in third. It was another big win for sire Montjeu, but the best was still to come.
Finally came the icing on the cake for the great stallion. The connections of Sarah Lynx seemed to be taking a bit of a chance by entering the four-year-old filly in the $1.5 million Pattison Canadian International, but out of Montjeu, they knew their charge was well suited for the 1 ½ trip of the big race. Their gamble paid off in a big way as the longshot filly exploded from the inside to romp home by four lengths over defending race champion, Joshua Tree and 14 other males. It marked the biggest win of her career, and was not the only feather in the cap for her sire, as he is also the sire of Joshua Tree, giving him the exacta in Canada’s richest race.
Known as an extraordinary sire of turf runners who can run all day, Montjeu certainly has also passed on his liking for a turf course with give to the ground to his countless fine sons and daughters. After a big win yesterday at Ascot, Montjeu was the star of stars on Canada’s big day of racing and over a yielding course … the kind of course that Montjeu would have loved himself.