Royal Ascot Review 2014

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As ever it was a cracking Royal Ascot 2014 festival despite our lack of a major big priced winner provided by our stats and trends and we had to wait till the yesterday to land a gamble with BACCARAT who stormed home in the WOKINGHAM.

We got late info about this one and apologies to any of you who missed our late Facebook post, however many of you mailed us saying you managed to get between 12 and 14’s when it was sent of at 9/1.

George Chaloner rode the biggest winner of his career and went one better than on both his previous starts this season to an easy win.

We were always confident that from stall 27, he could give us an EW return and he blasted clear in the closing stages to win by a length and a half  and stable mate Alben Star trained by Richard Fahey, fourth.

“Prior to this, Baccarat’s most notable success had come in last season’s Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon but we thought he was capable of claiming a much bigger prize. He’s a horse I always thought would win one of these races. I thought he’d win the Ayr Gold Cup last year but it just didn’t happen. Today everything has gone right – it’s fantastic, said Fahey.

With no racing of consequence today we’ll review the Royal Ascot 2014 Festival

So what about the festival, what did we see and conclude…..

On Day 1, John Gosden put into words after Kingman’s victory what we all thought,

 “We’ve been treated to some great performances today, it’s been a wonderful day’s racing already,” said Gosden. “Kingman gave us the show I wanted him too, but Sole Power is a wonderful horse, he comes coming back and back, Toronado looked amazing, while the two-year-old winner could be outstanding.”

Sole Power is the sprint king……

Sole Power won the King’s Stand for the second year in succession, with Richard Hughes saying,

“I have never ridden a horse to make up 5l as Sole Power did, he is a hell of a horse,” said Hughes. “Most just can’t do that, I thought a furlong pole that we might get not there, but he made up so much ground late on. Johnny Murtagh said to make sure I got him covered, that’s the main thing. He has a burst of speed and he’ll pass anything – and he did. He also said I should make him nearly clip heels with horses in front as he loves that!”

Kingman is the best three-year-old this year……(we even gave you 4/1 on it!!!)

Kingman was dropped off the pace in the St James’s Palace Stakes and ridden for a quick burst by James Doyle,

“It is easy to be patient when you have a horse such as Kingman to ride. It was very satisfying to win like that on him, especially as the Hannon team have been talking up Night Of Thunder all week. I let my expressions get the better of me crossing the line. A lot has been said about the 2,000 Guineas and it just proves that Kingman is the best of the three-year-olds.” said Doyle.

Toronado lives up to his hype…….(and we gave you 4/1 on that on too!)

Toronado won Queen Anne Stakes on his first run since last August.

“I think Toronado actually blew up in the last 100yds, but he had the job done by then,” said trainer Richard Hannon. “There is definite improvement to come from him. He is a gorgeous horse. He was a little free in his races last year, but Sean Levey has done a great job riding him a home and he settled really well today.”

Day 2 see The Fugue lead them home in the Group 1…..

Treve was sent off the 8/13 favourite but in the end could only finish third, never looking happy through the race. It was left to the older mare The Fugue to collect. It was her fourth Group 1 race and was done so in track record time!!.

“It is very special to win the Prince of Wales’s Stakes and to win it on this filly,” said successful jockey William Buick. “We’ve been through a lot together. You have to believe in your horse going into races such as this and we’ve always had confidence in her. I think she is most effective in a fast-run 1m2f. John Gosden only made the decision to run here last Saturday. “We were aiming her for The Curragh in ten days’ time, but she did a good piece of work at the weekend and we started to worry that it would rain in Ireland. She started to blossom with the sun and we made the decision to come here.  Now we can go for the Nassau and we could go for the Eclipse, which comes close but she did not have the hardest of races today”

Double for Hamdan Al Maktoum…..

The opening Group 3 Jersey Stakes gave owner Hamdan Al Maktoum a 1-2, with the Dermot Weld-trained Mustajeeb leading home Muwaary. Muwaary sticks in our notebook performing well from a poor draw. The form was in the book for the winner – he finished third last time out behind Kingman in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

“We were quite confident of winning,” smiled Weld, collecting an 18th race win at Royal Ascot. “He is a genuine and tough horse. I am glad we sidestepped Kingman yesterday.”

The owner was also successful at the end of the day with the Mark Johnston-trained Muteela, also by Dansili, in the Listed Sandringham Handicap. The filly is unbeaten in four starts.

Royal Hunt Cup…..

Field Of Dream defied a racecourse absence since September to win the Royal Hunt Cup, but it was all part of a well-worked out plan put together by trainer Jamie Osborne.

“He has come here before for these sort of races after a winter trip to Dubai,” said Osborne, “and he was just missing out.  We thought if we gave him a break and bought him here fresh it might eek out that bit of improvement. Thankfully it has.  You can only be hopeful in races such as this, but you get your horse as well as possible, get the best jockey on board, and hope for the best. He has been working with Toast Of Dubai – he travels to the US a week on Friday, I am not sure what we are going to do for a work horse for Toast for this week now!”

Day 3, Ladies Day….

The Gold Cup and despite rousing cheers from the British crowd Estimate could not manage a 2nd success but the race lived up to its hype with Leading Light just getting up to deny The Queen’s Estimate back to back victories in the Group 1 feature.

“He was very brave,” said jockey Joseph O’Brien of Leading Light. “The trip is probably beyond his best, and he was tiring when he drifted, but he stuck his neck out to win. That was the longest 3f I have watched in a while!” said trainer Aidan O’Brien. “It was nip and tuck all the way, anyone of the first three could have won. Horses have to be so brave in the race, courage really wins the day.”

For Estimate, The Queen’s racing manager John Warren was not too despondent and said:

“It was tremendous, The Queen got such pleasure out of it. Ryan said it was a career best – she ran as good as you could ever have hoped for.”

Sir Michael Stoute gets 70th Royal Ascot winner….

Denied victory in the Gold Cup, Sir Michael Stoute did collect courtesy of Cannock Chase in the Tercentenary Stakes. The horse was one of the bets of the day – he did not disappoint backers and him a 70th Royal Ascot success.

The trainer said:

“He’s a very progressive horse that we have always liked. I was just a little concerned about the ground, because he’s got a turn of foot and a bit of class. I think he’ll get a 1m4f, although I haven’t checked that with Ryan yet, and I had him in tomorrow’s King Edward VII Stakes but this was the first choice. I just must ensure I don’t run him on fast summer ground at this stage. I’m glad they put a bit of juice on the ground last night – they’ve done a good job. I do believe that in time he will become a Group 1 horse.”

The Great War comes up short in the Norfolk……

One that was turned over at short odds was the Norfolk Stakes favourite The Great War, trained by O’Brien, the race was instead won by the 8-1 shot Baitha Alga, ridden by Frankie Dettori and trained by Richard Hannon.  The victory took the jockey to a total of 49 winners ridden at the Royal meeting.

“I really like this horse but I was worried because I’d heard Aidan O’Brien’s horse was the best in his yard and there was the American filly to worry about, but I knew they all had me to beat. He’s as hard as nails and uncomplicated – everything you want in a two-year-old. I just had to do the right thing, get into the race and use his turn of foot. He can lead if he wants, but I knew that if I joined the mix he could burn himself out – when I pressed the button he just went. His attitude is fantastic which makes such a big difference.” said Dettori.

Bracelet shines…..

O’Brien bagged the first part of his Gold Cup day double with his Montjeu filly Bracelet, who won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes. 

 “We could have gone to the Irish Guineas after Newmarket, but Ryan said he felt a 1m2f or a 1m4f would suit.We gave her time to progress after the Guineas, and because we had three other fillies in the Oaks we decided to leave her at home and wait to come here. Joseph rode her work in a hood and felt that we should leave it on to come here, especially stepping up in trip. We will have to look at the Irish Oaks for her.” said O’Brien.

Born In Bombay a first for Probert…..

Young jockey David Probert collected his first Royal Ascot winner on Born In Bombay.

“It is unbelievable, it is what dreams are made of,” he said. “I’ve been dreaming of a having a Royal Ascot ride since I was a child, let alone riding a winner so I’m delighted. He jumped so well and was a bit keen early on. I just tried to take a hold of him and settle him down so that he had enough left to finish the race.”

Elite Army takes King George…

The King George V Stakes, put jockey Kieron Fallon and Godolphin and trainer Saeed Bin Suroor on the 2014 Royal Ascot score sheet courtesy of Elite Army.

“The racing is so tough here that to get one winner at the meeting is a job done,” said Suroor. “This horse could go on to be anything, we’ll have a think about where to go next, but there may be an option at the Newmarket meeting.”

Day 4 and a few Royal Ascot firsts…..

Cursory Glance took the opener, the Albany Stakes, giving owner Craig Bennett and jockey Andrea Atzeni a first win at the Royal meeting,  promptly followed up by jockey George Baker and owner George Bolton, both also enjoying a first success here in the Wolferton Handicap with Contributor. In the last, the Buckingham Palace Stakes, trainer David O’Meara got off the mar kwith Louis The Pious ridden by Silvestre De Souza.

The King Edward VII Stakes was won by John Gosden, giving the Newmarket trainer a third winner this week, but it was also a first success here for owner-breeder Lady Bamford.

Contributor benefits from an “exceptional” ride from George Baker….

Ed Dunlop had trained six previous winners at Royal Ascot, but his victory today with Contributor was as important as any that have gone before.

“We have always thought a lot of him and he was always my best three-year-old last season when he was fourth in the King Edward VII Stakes having got struck into. He was second to Magician in the Dee Stakes and he ran very well against Noble Mission at Sandown last time out. We decided to wait for this after he got stuck in the mud at Sandown. He had to carry a lot of weight today and was drawn badly, but I was surprised he was 14/1. I hate horses coming around the outside so George Baker dropped him in and it worked. It was an exceptional ride. I needed a winner and this is a big day for us.”

Rizeena with back-to-back wins….

One of the most popular results of the week came in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes. It was won by Rizeena, winner of last year’s Queen Mary Stakes, for 80-year-old trainer Clive Brittain and jockey Ryan Moore.

“I wasn’t worried about the race, we had covered every angle. All she had to do was turn up and show what she could do. She always had the lead horse in her sights and when she decided to pass her, she did. Days don’t get better than this and I think we’ll come back for the big meeting and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Why not? I wouldn’t be against taking on the colts again too.” said Brittain.

Queen’s Vase goes to Hartnell….

Hartnell had to survive a pretty lengthy stewards’ enquiry to take the Queen’s Vase giving Mark Johnston a seventh win in the race and jockey Joe Fanning a second.

“I think he was tiring as he drifted, his work improved all winter and he stated finishing ahead of horses he had been behind. We entered him in the Derby, but in the end, we decided to miss Epsom and I think that was the right decision. We were then to run in the King Edward VII and only swapped this week to the Queen’s Vase. The plan will be the St Leger now.” said Johnston.

Louis The Pious collects Buckingham Palace….

Louis The Pious trained by David O’Meara, won the Buckingham Palace Stakes.

“The horse has two ways of running, just depends if he gets out of bed on the right side,” laughed O’Meara collecting a first Royal Ascot win. “It’s great for owner Frank Gillespie – he has had a wonderful year as he also owns the Prix du Jockey-Club winner, The Grey Gatsby.

And Finally…..

We have updated our notebookers  with performers that may go close last time out. The draw was so key in the 5f to 1m straight races and there were quite a few noted who ran well from a ‘hampered’ draw who could be going close soon?

Check them out via the notebookers link or just keep an eye out daily on our FACEBOOK LINKS 

 Who were YOUR ROYAL ASCOT winners and losers??…….

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