Flag Of Honour Looks for Banner Effort in Thorncliffe

May 2, 2024

Flag of Honour (AUS) and jockey Kazushi Kimura winning the Kennedy Road Stakes on November 18, 2023 (Michael Burns Photo)

Chris Lomon, Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms 

TORONTO, Ont. – Flag Of Honour (AUS), a 5-year-old son of American Pharoah, goes after his second straight stakes score, this time in Sunday’s $100,000 Thorncliffe at Woodbine.

Trained by Julia Carey, Flag Of Honour capped off his 2023 season with a gutsy rail-skimming score in the six-furlong Kennedy Road Stakes (G2) on November 18.

The bay will look to duplicate that performance in the 5 ½-furlong Thorncliffe, a main track engagement for 4-year-olds and up.

“He is a big boy, but he’s not very tall,” said Carey, who won with Miss Vyvyanne on April 27, opening day of the 2024 Woodbine Thoroughbred season. “He’s kind of rugged but very well-behaved. He moves when you ask him, that’s for sure. He likes his job.”

Flag Of Honour launched his career with two wins, one at Newcastle, the other at Rosehill, and went on to post a 3-0-0 mark from six starts overseas. 

In his North American debut, on October 29, the gelding was third at six furlongs over the Woodbine main track.

“As soon as I breezed him, I knew we had a good one,” recalled Carey. “We were aiming for the Kennedy Road, and we wanted to have a race under his belt before we went into that one. 

“He missed the break in that first start, but he ran well, and it set him up nicely for the Kennedy Road. I think what impressed me the most in that win was the way he fought to the finish. He gave it his all. It was only his second race here, he had done a lot of travelling, and we had a few minor issues along the way, but he gave 100 per cent. It was very impressive.” 

A $330,391 (U.S.) purchase at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Flag Of Honour, who sports a record of 4-0-1 from eight career starts, spent the winter months in Ontario.

“It was his first Canadian winter and probably his first experience with snow,” said Carey, a multiple graded stakes winner. “We didn’t want to send him anywhere and he seemed to appreciate staying put.”

Included on his work menu is a trio of April works, the most recent coming on April 28 when he navigated four furlongs over the Toronto oval main in :47.80.

Flag Of Honour will take on eight foes, a formidable group that includes graded stakes winners Candy Overload and Ironstone, stakes winners Armstrong and Sky’s Not Falling, and graded stakes placed Biz Biz Buzz and Rockcrest.

“He’s like a bull out there, just a real racehorse in every sense,” said Carey. “We are all thrilled to have him in our barn. Gary Sutherland, his groom, does a wonderful job as does his exercise rider, Terry Husbands.” ​ 

Bred by Mr. G. Harvey, Flag Of Honour is owned by R.M. Wanless and Mrs. J.M. Wanless. 

Sunday’s first post is 1:10 p.m. with the Thorncliffe scheduled as the afternoon’s eighth race. Fans can wager on all the action via HPIbet.com, bet365.com, and the Dark Horse Bets app.

Field for the $100,000 Thorncliffe Stakes 

Post – Horse – Jockey – Trainer

1 – Jazz Hands – Shane Ellis – Harold Ladouceur

2 – Rockcrest – Rachel Slevinsky – Nigel Burke

3 – Light the Lamp (S) – Luis Contreras – Don MacRae

4 – Armstrong (S) – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

5 – Candy Overload – Patrick Husbands – Mark Casse

6 – Ironstone – Ryan Munger – William Armata

7 – Sky’s Not Falling – Jose Campos – Michael Trombetta

8 – Flag of Honour (AUS) – Emma-Jayne Wilson – Julia Carey

9 – Biz Biz Buzz – Rafael Hernandez – Michael Trombetta

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