Close Hatches (USA)
b/br f First Defence – Rising Tornado (Storm Cat)
Close Hatches was born in Kentucky and made a winning debut as a three-year-old in a Maiden Special Weight at Gulfstream Park. After winning again in an Allowance race next time out (defeating subsequent Gr.1 Kentucky Oaks winner Princess Of Sylmar), it was on to the Gr.2 Gazelle Stakes at Aqueduct, which Close Hatches won by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
In the Kentucky Oaks, Close Hatches finished down the field, but she bounced back to form thereafter, running second in the Gr.1 Acorn Stakes and winning the Gr.1 Mother Goose Stakes and Gr.1 Cotillion Stakes. Her final run of 2013 was in the Gr.1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita, where Close Hatches, having taken a keen hold, finished runner-up to champion Beholder.
Close Hatches returned the following year, with a four-race winning streak which saw her take in the Gr.2 Azeri Stakes, the Gr.1 Apple Blossom Handicap, the Gr.1 Ogden Phipps Stakes (ahead of Princess Of Sylmar and Beholder) and the Gr.1 Personal Ensign Stakes. She started favourite for the Juddmonte-sponsored Gr.1 Spinster Stakes, but was only able to manage fourth, and after an unplaced run in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, Close Hatches was retired to stud back at Juddmonte Farms in Kentucky. She was awarded the accolade of Champion Older Female Dirt Horse of 2014.
Close Hatches’ first foal, born in 2016, was the dual Gr.2 winner, Gr.1 Belmont Stakes runner-up and Gr.1 Kentucky Derby third Tacitus.