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Rainbow Lake's influence apparent at Royal Ascot
By Nicole Russo
Although she never competed at Royal Ascot herself, few mares have enjoyed a more successful run of influence at the famed race meeting than Rainbow Lake has in recent years.
The 23-year-old Rainbow Quest mare, perhaps best known as the granddam of unbeaten champion Frankel, is the first or second dam of four runners at this week's Royal Ascot meet. With one win and a placing already among those, she could further burnish her success as Noble Mission—a full brother to Frankel—is set to go postward on the meet's final day.
Bred by Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farm, which also runs many of her famed descendants, Rainbow Lake won three of her six career starts, all as a 3-year-old, including the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks and the Ballymacoll Stud Stakes. Retired to Juddmonte’s broodmare band, she is currently the dam of eight winners, including three group/graded stakes winners and one listed winner, from 12 starters.
Chief among the mare's earners is Powerscourt, who bankrolled nearly $2 million whole competing at the highest level internationally. Winner of the Grade 1 Arlington Million in the U.S. and the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland, the son of Sadler's Wells was also Group 1-placed in Germany and England, finishing second in the 2004 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in the latter country.
Rainbow Lake's other two group stakes winners were in action at Royal Ascot on Thursday. The mare's 3-year-old daughter Riposte became the latest stakes winner out of her dam after capturing the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes by an emphatic 2 1/4 lengths. Unraced as a juvenile, the Dansili filly, who runs as a homebred for Juddmonte, has won two of three starts, with one second, this season.
One race later, Last Train, Rainbow Lake's 4-year-old son by 2006 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Rail Link, contested the Group 1 Gold Cup. A Group 3 winner in France this season, the colt faltered and finished 11th in the 2 1/2-mile endurance test.
Despite her three group stakes winners, Rainbow Lake's most well-known offspring might be Kind. The stakes-winning daughter of Danehill has gone on to become one of the world's most well-known broodmares, producing five winners from five starters, including four stakes performers, for Juddmonte.
Chief among those, of course, is two-time European Horse of the Year Frankel, who won all 14 of his career starts, including 10 Group 1 events, while earning $4,789,144. The son of Galileo, now an internationally coveted first-year stallion at Juddmonte’s Banstead Manor Stud, was a two-time winner at Royal Ascot, capturing the 2011 St. James's Palace Stakes and the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes. Kind is also the dam of Group 3 winners Bullet Train and Noble Mission.
Two of Kind's foals—and thus, grandchildren of Rainbow Lake—were in action at the meet this week. Joyeuse, the mare's 2-year-old filly by Oasis Dream, made just her second career start in the Group 3 Albany Stakes on Friday; The filly, who impressively won her debut last month, finished a creditable third.
The aforementioned Noble Mission is among the entrants for the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday, the closing day of the meet. This is the second tilt at Royal Ascot for Noble Mission, who finished a close second to Thomas Chippendale in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes last season. The rivals will square off again in the Hardwicke.
Out of the Group 3-placed Stage Door Johnny mare Rockfest, Rainbow Lake is a half-sister to stakes winner Vertex. The mare could have another runner on the track later this year in Colourful, her 2-year-old Champs Elysees filly.