Did you know: Did You Know: There can't be too many fillies that were beaten on four occasions in nurseries prior to going on to win five Group 1 races, but Alexander Goldrun did just that. While Jim Bolger's charge didn't look a star in the making as a two-year-old, she very much took off as a three-year-old and kept progressing throughout her career. She had many memorable victories on the racecourse, perhaps most remarkably when winning the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin by a short-head in 2004, but one of her most memorable performances came in defeat in the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 2006. In opposition to her was the fabulous race mare Ouija Board, the winner of a total of seven Group/Grade 1 races, and the pair engaged in a titantic battle all the way down the straight, with Ouija Board prevailing on the nod. Alexander Goldrun lost absolutely nothing in defeat and will be remembered as one of the best Irish race mares of the decade.
Anyone who witnessed Alexander Goldrun's first couple of outings would scarcely believe that she would develop into a five time Group 1 scorer and winner of ten of her twenty-eight career outings.
A daughter of Goldmark, she made her debut on the opening day of the 2003 Flat Racing Season at the Curragh and finished a respectable fifth to Colossus at odds of 10/1. Returning to the same course two weeks later, she obviously showed she had learnt a lot from her first outing with a decisive three length victory on ground officially described as good to yielding.
Given a break of a couple of months, she lined up in the first nursery handicap of the season at Tipperary in late July off an initial handicap mark of 88 and ran a solid race to finish a close up third on unsuitably heavy ground. Sent to Galway to contest a Premier Nursery, she started the 7/2 second favourite but unfortunately lost her chance when her stall malfunctioned resulting in her being slowly away and in the end she finished towards the rear of the field.
However, her trainer always believed that good fast ground would see her in a better light and he was proved correct when she gained compensation in a similar event at Leopardstown in early September with a narrow victory over Castledale and Amourallis in a driving finish. Her rating rose from 89 to 95 as a result of this win and despite having to concede 6lbs to the well regarded Anchor, trained by Aidan O'Brien, she only lost out by a short head to that rival at Gowran Park in October. With her rating now officially 100, Bolger aimed her at the listed Silken Gilder Stakes at the Curragh, the last of her eight outings as a juvenile, and he was rewarded with a good victory over Poetical and the well fancied, Treasure The Lady.
Under Bolger's expert guidance, Alexander Goldrun strengthened up considerably over the winter months and again came to hand early in the season. Indeed, she landed the listed Park Express Stakes over a mile at the Curragh on the opening day of the 2004 Flat Season and connections were now dreaming of Classic glory after this display.
Stepping back down to seven furlongs for the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in mid-April, she came from a near impossible position early in the straight to get up close home and defeat Misty Heights by a short head, a performance which fully entitled her to take her chance in the Boylesports Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh in late May. Mark Johnston's unbeaten filly, Attraction, was the well backed favourite to complete a Classic double here having earlier landed the English equivalent in good style and despite Alexander Goldrun's best efforts, she was unable to stop Attraction completing a historic double, going down by a length.
Connections were understandably delighted with her performance at the Curragh and she was then sent on the first of her many international forays, lining up in the French Oaks at Chantilly in mid-June in the belief that ten furlongs would bring out the best in her. However, although she ran very well, a close up fourth was the best she could do and just two weeks later, the first running of the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes as a Group 1 race at the Curragh was her next target. Starting 6/4 favourite to defeat her five rivals, she found the year older English raider, Chorist, half a length too strong after a good battle inside the final quarter of a mile.
Given a bit of a break after this effort, Bolger produced his charge in mint condition for an attempt at the Prix de L'Opera at Longchamp in early October and with the ground riding surprisingly good at that time of year, she produced a top class display to record the first of five Group 1 victories under a superb ride from Kevin Manning. This performance earned her an invite to contest the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin racecourse in December and because of her wonderful constitution and her appetite for racing, Bolger decided to let her take her chance. Relishing the fast ground on offer, she struck the front early in the last furlong and kept on well to hold off the flying late challenge of Bullish Luck by a short head with again Manning playing a starring role in this tremendous success.
Kept in training as a four year old, Alexander Goldrun kicked off 2005 by finishing a fair sixth in the Dubai Duty Free Race in Dubai in late March before filling third place in the Singapore Airlines International Cup in early May. Both of these efforts earned her valuable prize money and when she easily landed the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in late June, it showed that flying to various destinations around the globe had little effect on this wonderfully consistent performer. While it was becoming evident that ten furlongs was her preferred distance, her trainer felt it was worth having a crack at the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket over a mile and while Soviet Song proved too strong on the day, she lost little in defeat in finishing an honourable second.
Alexander Goldrun subsequently gained her fourth Group 1 victory with a comfortable success in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood before finishing a close up third in the Baileys Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown in September but she failed to win the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp for a second consecutive occasion the following month. The ground may have been a bit soft for her on that occasion and it was again soft when she disappointed in the Dubai Champion Stakes at Newmarket two weeks later. A second attempt at the Hong Kong Cup in December resulted in disappointment although she was not beaten that far and it was a brave decision by connections to keep her in training as a five year old.
2006 started with a creditable fifth placing behind Heart's Cry in the Dubai Sheema Classic in late March before she proved no match for Hurricane Run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh two months later. However, she proved that her exceptional ability and her enthusiasm for racing was still very much intact with a second victory in the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh, while she lost nothing in defeat when going down by a short head to Ouija Board in an unforgettable renewal of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in early August and then when finishing a gallant third behind Dylan Thomas in the Baileys Irish Champion Stakes, Her last runs before retirement to the breeding paddocks were further unsuccesfull forays to Newmarket and Sha Tin.
Alexander Goldrun raced thirty-one times in her career, winning ten races and reaching the frame on thirteen other occasions. Her total career earnings stand at over €2.5 million. Superbly handled during her career by Jim Bolger and ridden on all her starts by Kevin Manning, she never failed to give her best and she will take high ranking amongst the most popular Irish mares of recent times.