Joseph O’Brien broke yet more ground as his globetrotting star State Of Rest provided him with a first Royal Ascot winner in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.
At the age of just 29, O’Brien has achieved a staggering amount both in and out of the saddle, with two Melbourne Cups, an Irish Derby and a St Leger featuring on his ever-growing training CV.
Despite winning Group Ones in America, Australia and France, State Of Rest has perhaps flown slightly under the radar, but he thrust himself onto the big stage with a tremendous front-running victory over hot favourite Bay Bridge.
Dramatised looks destined for the top after justifying Karl Burke’s faith with a dominant display in the Queen Mary, while the Roger Varian-trained Eldar Eldarov threw his hat into the ring as a likely St Leger contender with the narrowest of wins in a barnstorming finish to the Queen’s Vase.
Jane Chapple-Hyam’s stable star Saffron Beach also merits a mention as a 5lb penalty proved nowhere near enough to prevent her from adding the Duke of Cambridge Stakes to her haul.
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Day three is all about the Gold Cup, in which Stradivarius bids to emulate Yeats by claiming a fourth victory in the Royal Ascot showpiece.
John and Thady Gosden’s remarkable stayer proved he is no back number at the age of eight when winning his third Yorkshire Cup last month and the roof may come off the grandstand if he can strike gold once more under Franke Dettori.
His biggest threat appears to be the four years younger Kyprios, who represents Yeats’ trainer Aidan O’Brien, while Trueshan appears unlikely to line up unless the heavens open.
The biggest attraction on the undercard is undoubtedly Reach For The Moon, who is a red-hot favourite provide the Queen with a Royal Ascot winner in her Platinum Jubilee year.
While the exciting colt ultimately lost his race against time to make the Derby, he could well provide the most popular result of the week if he can gain compensation.