06/18/2010 11:00PM

Starspangledbanner wins at Ascot

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Edward Whitaker/Racing Post
Starspangledbanner (right) pulls away from Kinsale King (yellow silks) in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee.

Starspangledbanner set off like a rocket's red glare and never looked back to win the Group 1, $665,000 Golden Jubilee Stakes on closing day at Royal Ascot on Saturday to give trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Johnny Murtagh their third victories at the meeting. American hope Kinsale King was on his heels most of the way and only lost second on the line by a head to longshot Society Rock.

A 4-year-old Australian-bred son of Choisir, the Australian-trained horse who won this race in 2003, Starspangledbanner was racing on the stands' side of the straight six-furlong course that was loaded with the speediest horses in the 24-runner field. He repelled a challenge from Kinsale King at the quarter pole and went clear approaching the eighth pole. Sent off as the 13-2 co-favorite with eventual fourth-place finisher Fleeting Spirit, the 1 3/4-length winner was timed in 1:12.57 on good to firm ground, just .11 of a second off the course record set by the 2-year-old Henrythenavigator in 2007.

Winner of the six-furlong Oakleigh Handicap in his penultimate start Down Under three races back on Feb. 20, Starspangledbanner was bought by Coolmore with Michael Tabor as principal owner after his third-place finish in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap. His fifth-place finish in the Duke of York Stakes in his European debut for O'Brien was better than it looked as he was giving weight all around on the scale as a Southern Hemisphere 3-year-old.

Starspangledbanner, Society Rock, and Kinsale King are all likely to meet again at Newmarket on July 9 in the six-furlong, Group 1 July Cup. Trainer Carl O'Callaghan was thrilled with the performance of the 8-1 Kinsale King, reminding everyone that his Dubai Golden Shaheen winner had not run since March 27 and would be better next time. Kinsale King will remain at his Newmarket base until July 9 at the Rose Cottage yard of trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam.

Harbinger headed to King George next

Harbinger will go in search of bigger game after his handy victory in the Group 2, $184,000 Hardwicke Stakes, a 1 1/2-mile course and distance prep for the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 24. The Michael Stoute-trained 4-year-old son of Dansili hardly turned a hair in slamming Duncan by 3 1/2 lengths as the 8-11 favorite with Ryan Moore along for the ride. The winner already this season of the Group 3 John Porter Stakes and the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes, Harbinger was timed in 2:27.36, just .12 of a second off the course record.

Zaidan takes Chehsam Stakes

Zaidan cruised to a three-length victory in the seven-furlong listed Chehsam Stakes, which was restricted to horses whose sires won going at least 10 furlongs. By Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, the 7-1 Zaidan overpowered his 12 rivals, defeating Sonning Rose with the game Ken McPeek-trained 9-1 chance Casper's Touch third, three-quarters of a length behind the runner-up. The time of 1:27.51 for the straight seven furlongs broke the old course record by .39 of a second.

A $200,000 Keeneland yearling, the Saeed Manana-owned Zaidan had won his maiden at first asking by 2 1/4 lengths going five furlongs at Doncaster for trainer Clive Brittain.