Courageous Illuminate Retired To Stud

Mon 25 July 2016

The career of the hugely talented ILLUMINATE has come to an end. Her achievements on the course as a two year old stood her up to be right at the top of the game. She won three of her five starts as a two year old taking a Group 3, a Group 2 and finally a Group 1 placing.

She was purchased at the Goffs Doncaster Yearling Sale in 2014 and is owned by Denford Stud. They are based up the road from Herridge, near Hungerford and have had success before with good filly Rimth

The daughter of Zoffany started her career off in a Fillies Conditions Stakes at Salisbury over five furlongs, which was the very same race Tiggy Wiggy won twelve months previous. She was slow away and ran green in the first part of the race, however she really got to grips with things late on and flew home winning by 2 3/4 lengths. The horse that ran second was another filly trained by Richard called Great Page, who went on to win a Listed and a Group 3 contest. With Royal Ascot around the corner the plan was hatched to run her in the Albany Stakes where Richard Hughes took the ride. The Group 3 contest had been won by the likes of Jewel In The Sand and Memory but to name a few. She was ridden patiently by the then Champion Jockey, who crept through the field and let her go to win going away by 1 ½ lengths. ‘I knew we had a decent filly in the yard after she beat Great Page last time, and her work was exceptional between her first and second run. The only logically place to head was straight to Newmarket in the Duchess Of Cambridge.’

That she did and she again went off favourite but this time Richard Hughes rode her closer to the pace and she managed to quicken nicely, however she had more of a battle on her hands as Besharah of William Haggas got to within a short head of her. ‘She was very game this day and showed her versatility winning from where she was. Commenting after that run I said she was the best filly we have ever had and she seemed to show her presence there.’ On to the Group 1 Cheveley Park at Newmarket where the rivalry was reinstalled as Besharah lined up again as well as the impressive maiden winner Lumiere. The three were all very close in the betting and that was how the result ended up. Lumiere held on to win from Illuminate in second and back to Besharah in third, giving Illuminate a Group 1 placing.

She did run one very good race as a three year old in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot one year after her demolition in the Albany Stakes. She was fifth only beaten 2 ¾ lengths. ‘She was a real flag bearer for us last year and I thought she ran very well in the Cheveley Park perhaps lacking the match fitness of the other two in the race. I would have loved to see her bag a Group 1, but I couldn’t be happier with her career and she is the type of filly to go on and make a super broodmare. It was a sad day to see her go as she was great to deal with in the yard but I wish her all the best in her new career and thank you for the good times.’

'I wish all the best to Denford Stud in her new career and I hope she can be as much of a success off the track as she was on the track.'

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