Big Duke, the talented son of Raven’s Pass who raced in his native Ireland under the name Swashbuckling, charged home in the G3 Manion Cup on 18 March, winning the opening race on Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens. This was the second consecutive Group win for the consistent five-year-old, who landed the G3 Launceston Cup last month.
The Darren Weir-trained gelding jumped from an outside barrier and settled midfield. Entering a fierce sprinting battle coming into the straight, Big Duke battled it out with tough contender Our Century for a photo finish. Despite Our Century being first past the post by a nose, Big Duke successfully won a protest to be crowned the winner of the Cup.
Bred by Richard Pegum, Big Duke is out of the Polish Precedent mare Hazarayna, who is a half-sister to G3 winners Hazariya and Hazarista.
Big Duke is one of seven Group winners for Raven’s Pass, who is the sire of 16 individual Stakes winners including top-performing European Free Handicap winner Ibn Malik, G2 Hungerford Stakes hero Richard Pankhurst and G3 Premio Ribot winner Greg Pass. He is standing this season at a fee of €12,000 Oct 1st, SLF.