Magical Lagoon stayed straight and true to win the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, taking advantage of a late drift close home by Sea Silk Road.
It appeared as if Tom Marquand had done everything right on Sea Silk Road (15-8 favourite) as William Haggas’ filly hit the front inside the final furlong.
However, the Jessica Harrington-trained Magical Lagoon (11-4) dug very deep for Shane Foley and ended up winning going away by half a length.
“Magical Lagoon dug really deep and she stays very well – that is the great thing with her,” said Harrington, who was enjoying a third victory at the big meeting.
“The race worked out great, she got a lead and then she was able to come upsides William Haggas’ horse who headed her and then she battled back.
“She’s a lovely filly, very straightforward, very easy to train, she’s a lovely relaxed horse.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to get another one (Royal Ascot winner), they always mean a lot.”
Looking forward she said: “She loves that quick ground – she really enjoys it.
“The plan was to come here and then go to the Irish Oaks – all being well, that’s the plan. She’s a proper mile-and-a-half filly.”
It was a first Royal Ascot winner for Foley, who said: “I’ve been coming here for a long time now. I have knocked on the door with a couple of seconds and it is the place you want to be riding. However, when you are not winning, it is not the place you want to be.
“I’m just so grateful to everybody and I said to my wife earlier this week that if I was to have a Royal Ascot winner, it would be this week.”
Haggas said of the lightly-raced Sea Silk Road: “I haven’t got a clue (where she will go), really. We have got her in a few places, but whether it will be a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half, I don’t know.
“The French Oaks is too early, so we will see. We will try to make her a Group winner first and then we will look at options.
“The Yorkshire Oaks is a tough race, so I would think York won’t be on the agenda. Maybe the Lyric at York might be the way forward, but that is only a Listed, so we will have to go a bit bigger than that. I need to work out if she is a true stayer yet. She should stay.
“When they get beat half a length, you can make a bucket-load of excuses, all of which are fairly credible, but realistically, she didn’t run fast enough – that is why she didn’t win.”