Tag Archive for: Platinum Jubilee Stakes

After two Classics, Doyle continues headline-making season

When Godolphin field a pair of runners there is an unspoken but not entirely reliable understanding that the more fancied horse wears the first silks, solid royal blue, and the second string runs in the second colours, royal blue with a white cap.

It was certainly the case during the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in April, the opening colts’ Classic of the season, where Native Trail, unbeaten in four runs as a juvenile, was the 5-4 favourite under William Buick.

James Doyle wore the white cap and was legged up on Coroebus, a 5-1 shot assumed to be a lesser threat than his dual Group One-winning stablemate.

It was not a hierarchy Coroebus agreed with and he defied the market’s estimation, and perhaps that of trainer Charlie Appleby, with a three-quarter-length victory over his Godolphin counterpart – the first leg of Doyle’s Guineas double as Cachet took the fillies’ equivalent the following day. The first British Classics of his career.

Naval Crown winning the Platinum Jubilee Stakes
Naval Crown winning the Platinum Jubilee Stakes (David Davies/PA)

At Royal Ascot on Saturday the jockey was again set to ride the larger-priced horse as the Platinum Jubilee Stakes rolled around, though this time neither of Godolphin’s two contenders were particularly favoured as a quality international field had assembled for the six-furlong Group One.

Chris Waller was searching for another Royal Ascot sprint trophy with Home Affairs, the 5-2 favourite, looking to follow up Nature Strip’s brilliant King’s Stand success for the Australian contingent.

In a field of 24 runners, Doyle’s mount Naval Crown started at 33-1 and Creative Force at 12-1, with the two sons of Dubawi sharing a paternal bloodline but not a racing line as the former was drawn in stall 20 and the latter in stall one.

They remained separated by the breadth of the track as the race unfolded, with Naval Crown challenging down the inner rail and only one horse closer to the outer rail than Creative Force at the final-furlong marker.

On the approach to the line the two boys in blue bookended the field, a photo finish eventually confirming that it was Doyle and the bay head of Naval Crown that had passed the post a neck to the good – a second win the race for the rider after Blue Point for Appleby in 2019.

Naval Crown takes the stands-side line
Naval Crown takes the stands-side line (Adam Davy/PA)

The result came as something of a shock to Doyle, who said: “Obviously I saw it was Creative Force and we were separated by the width of the track. It felt like I did (get beaten) and it’s a lovely surprise.

“He’s a tank, isn’t he? He’s not overly tall, but he’s a typical sprinter.

“He has always had a lot of quality and we know what his ideal conditions are now and it’s great that Charlie and (owner) His Highness Sheikh Mohammed have had a wonderful week. It’s great to get one for them.

“At halfway I just got a lovely draft into the race behind Home Affairs, and he kind of dropped away around the two and a half. We had to be pretty brave and kick for home, but Naval Crown has campaigned over further.

“We knew the last furlong would be a fair way, but he’s got the stamina in his legs from going further.

“This race is one of the highlights of the week, so to be able to win it again, and to do it for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and Charlie – they’ve had an awesome week so far.

James Doyle with the Platinum Jubilee trophy
James Doyle with the Platinum Jubilee trophy (David Davies/PA)

“Any season, to get two Classic winners right at the start of the season is incredible and sets the bar quite high – it’s a tough act to follow!

“This is what it’s all about. It’s really tough when you’re going into the last day here (without a winner).

“Charlie said to me this morning, ‘why are you looking so grumpy?’ – I said, ‘I’m running out of bullets!’. So for this fella to get us out of jail is brilliant.

“William said it was about time I pulled my finger out – he’s been winding me up all week – so when you get one on the board, it settles everything down a bit.

“When you’re running out of time, it makes it quite tough. I thoroughly enjoy this meeting – it’s just marvellous.”

Appleby said: “Coming into today, Creative Force was drawn in stall one and Naval Crown was in stall 20 near the favourite. We felt the ground would be quick enough for Creative Force.

“They are just two tough horses. Two Dubawis who are as tough as teak. They have a habit of finishing first and second.

“Back from Dubai Millennium, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has always had a fondness for him having sired Dubawi. To produce a sire like Dubawi and given what Dubawi has been doing, I’m just lucky to be in the position for these horses to come through my door.”

Campanelle seeking Ascot hat-trick in Platinum Jubilee

Campanelle bids to reverse the fortunes of trainer Wesley Ward by claiming her third Royal Ascot success in Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

With a dozen winners at the showpiece meeting already under his belt and fast ground forecast, Ward returned to Berkshire with a small but select squad and high hopes of adding to his tally.

But the Washington-born trainer’s week got off to a nightmare start, with team captain Golden Pal blowing his chance at the start in Tuesday’s King’s Stand, while the following afternoon the well-fancied Love Reigns had to make do with an honourable fourth in the Queen Mary.

Reflecting on Golden Pal’s performance, Ward said: “You train them right down to the when the man says go and something like that happens and you’re done, especially with a horse like that.

Wesley Ward (second left) at Ascot
Wesley Ward (second left) at Ascot (Steve Parsons/PA)

“We wanted to jump out and get two or three in front and then hopefully ease back and then it would have been a race home – that would have been great to see. But take nothing away from the winner (Nature Strip), who ran great – I have the utmost respect for him.”

The difference with Campanelle, of course, is she has already proven her liking for Ascot – winning the Queen Mary two years ago and getting the Commonwealth Cup in the stewards’ room 12 months ago after a pulsating duel with Dragon Symbol.

Ward, who won the 2015 renewal of this race, when it was run as the Diamond Jubilee, with Undrafted, is expecting the four-year-old to make her presence felt in the final day feature.

He said: “She’s doing phenomenal, she’s a dual winner here so we know she likes the course and all.

“Hopefully we can move on from previous bad luck and move forward with her.”

The hot favourite for the Platinum Jubilee is Home Affairs, who will bid to complete a huge sprint double for Australian trainer Chris Waller following the stunning victory of Nature Strip in the King’s Stand.

Home Affairs touched off his stablemate in the Group One Lightning Stakes in February and Waller is anticipating a bold showing, having saddled Brazen Beau to finish second to Undrafted seven years ago.

He said: “Brazen Beau was a good Australian sprinter, a young horse with a similar profile to Home Affairs. We almost got it right with Brazen Beau and we will try to get it right this time.

“I feel with Home Affairs, after his dominant win the Coolmore Stud Stakes, that he is very good over 1200 metres (six furlongs) provided he settles, and we have done a lot of work with him on that

“I loved his jump out at Flemington before getting on the plane – he relaxed very quickly, which is what he will have to do to win.”

Artorius in Newmarket
Artorius in Newmarket (Ashley Iveson/PA)

Home Affairs is one of two Australian-trained runners along with Artorius, who finished third behind his compatriot in October.

Sam Freedman, who trains Artorius in partnership with his father Anthony, expects his charge to be doing his best work at the finish.

He said: “He’s a hold-up horse who doesn’t have any early speed out of the gates really, he sort of falls out and it’s been to his detriment in Australia because you want to be up with the pace generally to feature, particularly on the tight track.

“He’s performed well from six to eight furlongs, he’s got form over a mile which I think will stand him in good stead over a testing six furlongs at Ascot. He just needs good pace in the race and a fair track, in Australia you can have a bit of a bias where you need to be up with the pace.

“The tracks in Australia just probably don’t suit him as he just needs a bit of time. I think he just lacks a bit of that tactical speed and when you watch his replays, he’s always finishing hard but he just runs out of time.

“If he’s going to win it, it won’t be until late. We went for Jamie Spencer for a reason, as he has such a good record on backmarkers at Ascot.”

Highfield Princess winning the Duke of York Stakes
Highfield Princess winning the Duke of York Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

One of the leading hopes for the home team is John Quinn’s Highfield Princess, who won the Buckingham Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting 12 months ago and returns at the top of her game after winning the Duke of York last month.

Quinn said: “She’s in very good form, obviously she’s a course winner and her last run was very good.

“Obviously it’s a very spicy race, but she’s in good nick and we’re hoping for a good run.

“She has form on all ground. You’d hope it wouldn’t get rattling, but it looks like it’s been very decent ground all week, so fingers crossed.”

The William Haggas-trained Sacred has been off the track since winning Newbury’s Hungerford Stakes in August, but connections are not too worried about the lack of a recent run.

Chris Richardson, managing director for owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “They are forecasting some potential rain on Saturday, which I’m hoping doesn’t appear for her as she likes top of the ground.

“It’s a tough race, but she’s a filly that we believe will be suited by a fast pace and we’ll learn a bit more about her – whether she can step up to a mile at some point in the future, we’ll see.

“This has always been her target and she runs well fresh, that’s always been our thought. When she won the Nell Gwyn she was fresh and she won first time out as a two-year-old.”

Minzaal is fitted with cheek pieces for the first time by Owen Burrows after finishing third to Highfield Princess at York, while Ado McGuinness saddles dual Group One winner A Case Of You.

A Case Of You after winning the Prix de l'Abbaye
A Case Of You after winning the Prix de l’Abbaye (Ashley Iveson/PA)

He said: “He’s a great horse to travel, we’re very happy with him and fingers crossed he’ll put up a good show.

“We’re drawn over in 27, so hopefully there’ll be plenty of pace our side and we’ll see what happens.

“We’re happy we’re running here instead of the King’s Stand and we’re looking forward to it.”

Waller bids for sprint double with Home Affairs

Chris Waller will bid to make it a Royal Ascot sprint double as his Home Affairs leads a bumper 27 declarations for Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

Stablemate Nature Strip blasted his rivals in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs and Home Affairs is favourite to secure six-furlong honours having won two Group Ones so far, including when beating his fellow Waller inmate earlier in the year.

Nature Strip was entered for the Platinum Jubilee but connections opted not to double up and he was the only absentee from 28 contenders at the five-day stage.

Campanelle goes for a third Royal Ascot victory
Campanelle goes for a third Royal Ascot victory (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

The Wesley Ward-trained Camapanelle leads the opposition as she bids for a third Royal Ascot victory following her 2020 Queen Mary Stakes success and last year’s controversial Commonwealth Cup verdict.

She finished a head behind Dragon Symbol that day but was given the race in the stewards’ room after significant interference in the final furlong.

Dragon Symbol, who was trained by Archie Watson then and is now with Roger Varian, will be given the chance to avenge that defeat here.

There is another Australian challenger in Anthony and Sam Freedman’s Artorius with Japanese runner Grenadier Guards adding an extra international element for Mitsumasa Nakauchida.

Champions Sprint winner Creative Force, Duke of York Stakes first and third Highfield Princess and Minzaal, plus A Case Of You and Sacred are also towards the fore.

Hurricane Lane returns in the Hardwicke Stakes
Hurricane Lane returns in the Hardwicke Stakes (Mike Egerton/PA)

Hurricane Lane makes his eagerly-anticipated return in the Hardwicke Stakes.

Winner of the Irish Derby, Grand Prix de Paris and St Leger in an exceptional three-year-old campaign for Charlie Appleby last year, Hurricane Lane finished third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on his final run in 2021.

Chester winner Solid Stone, who was supplemented, represents Sir Michael Stoute with Away He Goes, Broome, Mostahdaf, Living Legend, Third Realm and Layfayette completing the eight-strong field.

Noble Truth runs in the Jersey Stakes
Noble Truth runs in the Jersey Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

Appleby also holds a favourite’s chance in the Jersey Stakes via King Charles II Stakes winner Noble Truth, with Monaadah, who is unbeaten in three runs for Saeed bin Suroor another leading fancy.

The latter runs in the Shadwell colours and Alflaila is a strong second string for the owner, while Star Girls Aalmal is a rare Royal meeting runner for Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Champion Hurdle victor Honeysuckle and Cheltenham Gold Cup hero A Plus Tard.

Leopardstown maiden winner Alfred Munnings is Aidan O’Brien’s sole representative in the Chesham Stakes, while John and Thady Gosden mount a three-strong challenge via Faisal Road, Alzahir and One World.

Crypto Force, who changed hands for £900,000 on Monday, is another major contender in the seven-furlong Listed prize.

Rohaan will try to double up
Rohaan will try to double up (Steven Paston/PA)

Last year’s Wokingham Stakes winner Rohaan tops a maximum field of 28 in the handicap highlight, for which the James Fanshawe-trained Fresh is well fancied after just making the cut.

The Gosdens’ Aldous Huxley is top weight for the Golden Gate Stakes and he is one of four in the Godolphin colours along with stablemate Honiton, plus Appleby’s pair of Blue Trail and Falling Shadow.

Trueshan, who missed his Gold Cup engagement due to fast ground, has been declared for the closing Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Alan King’s charge will shoulder top weight in the near two-mile-six-furlong closer, although rain would have to arrive for him to take his chance.

Solid Stone added to Hardwicke field

Sir Michael Stoute has supplemented Solid Stone for the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot on Saturday.

The six-year-old – who runs in the Saeed Suhail colours of Stoute’s Derby hero Desert Crown – was last seen winning the Ormonde Stakes at Chester. He would be a record-extending 12th winner for Stoute in the mile-and-a-half feature.

Charlie Appleby’s St Leger winner Hurricane Lane heads the opposition, with Doncaster runner-up Mojo Star and Fancy Man retaining the option for the Richard Hannon team.

William Buick celebrates winning the St Leger with Hurricane Lane
William Buick celebrates winning the St Leger with Hurricane Lane (Mike Egerton/PA)

Hurricane Lane has not been seen since finishing third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and has recently been away for a gallop.

Appleby told Godolphin: “I’m delighted with the way he has physically done from three to four and this has very much been our target, we’re very much working back from the Arc.

“Compared to some of the older horses he had an extended break as we knew we weren’t going to do anything early in the season with him.

“He took in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket the other day, William (Buick) sat on him and he was very pleased. He needed it in the sense that everything is very relaxed at Moulton Paddocks and he was in a relaxed mode, so William  just had to give him the signal to remind him to switch on his racing brain and you could see the penny dropped at the right time.”

Chester Cup winner Cleveland is one of two among the 14 for Aidan O’Brien, together with Broome. William Haggas is also doubly-represented with Hamish and Dubai Honour, as is Roger Varian with Eshaada and Third Realm.

Eshaada (striped cap) was a winner on Champions Day
Eshaada (striped cap) was a winner on Champions Day (Steven Paston/PA)

John and Thady Gosden have Brigadier Gerard second Mostahdaf, while Noel Meade has left in the progressive Layfayette.

A high-class collection of 28 have stood their ground for the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, including Australian ace Nature Strip, who is declared for the King’s Stand on Tuesday.

Ado McGuinness’ Abbaye winner A Case Of You is on course, as is the Hannon-trained Happy Romance, who came out on top when the pair met in the Al Quoz on World Cup night.

Also featuring is the Wesley Ward-trained filly Campanelle, who will be bidding for her third win at the meeting, after the Queen Mary in 2020 and the Commonwealth Cup 12 months ago.

Freedman name set to be back in lights at Ascot

Artorius will bid to uphold Freedman family honour as he goes for gold in next Saturday’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Berkshire track is a familiar venue for joint-trainer Anthony Freedman, whose brother Lee sent out Miss Andretti to win the 2007 King’s Stand Stakes, improving on the effort of Falkirk who finished fourth in that race the previous year.

Freedman now trains in partnership with his son, Sam, who is in Britain to supervise preparations for the Flying Artie colt.

A Group One winner as juvenile, Artorius has clashed with Platinum Jubilee favourite and fellow Australian raider Home Affairs on a couple of occasions, finishing third to him at Flemington in October, before having him a couple of places behind when both were out the frame in the Newmarket Handicap on their latest starts.

Artorius was on show in Newmarket on Thursday morning, with big-race rider Jamie Spencer due to put him through his paces on Friday ahead of his Group One assignment.

Sam Freedman said: “He had a very steady canter today, we don’t do a lot with him. He’s pretty fit now so he’s just been hacking around. His rider was very pleased with him, he recovered quickly from his canter.

“He will have his last piece of work tomorrow before the Platinum Jubilee, so hopefully that will go smoothly and he will have a good weekend.

“It’s not easy travelling them, but he seems to be going well so far.

“This horse is a little bit quirky, he’s not straightforward. Jamie will have a sit on him tomorrow morning and hopefully he’ll get on well with him.

“He’s travelled well – nothing has phased him. He lost 9kg on the flight and he’s put 14kg on since he arrived, so he needs a good gallop tomorrow. He’s coping with it all well at the moment.”

Miss Andretti was an Ascot winner for Lee Freedman
Miss Andretti was an Ascot winner for Lee Freedman (David Davies/PA)

Freedman thinks Artorius is a perfect Ascot candidate, judged on his family’s previous Royal meeting experiences.

He added: “Miss Andretti, Lee came over with her and had a lot of success and my dad came over with Falkirk who was fourth behind Takeover Target and quite unlucky. We identified this horse as the right one to bring over here. He’s a very sensible horse and very easy to train.”

Japanese star Shahryar is one of the flagship overseas contenders at this year’s fixture, having edged out Breeders’ Cup winner Yibir to win the Sheema Classic at Meydan on World Cup night.

The four-year-old is due to clash with the likes of Bay Bridge and previous winner Lord North in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

Via a translator, Hiroyasu Matsumoto, farm manager and vet from Northern Farms, said: We originally had plans to bring him to international races, so the Dubai trip came first and that experience was very much a benefit for the horse.

“It’s an honour to have the horse run at Royal Ascot. The team will try their best to have him produce his best performance at Royal Ascot.”

American trainer Graham Motion sent Sharing to finish second in the 2020 Coronation Stakes and again fields a contender in the fillies-only race over a mile.

Spenderella is his pick this time around and the daughter of Karakontie has won each of her three starts, culminating in a Grade Two win at Keeneland.

She faces a tough task at Ascot, with Cachet, Mangoustine and Homeless Songs – winners of the English, French and Irish 1000 Guineas respectively – due to line up, as is fellow American raider Pizza Bianca who beat Cachet at the Breeders’ Cup.

Motion’s assistant trainer Alice Clapham said: “We’re all very excited, she shipped over here great and seems to be handling everything very well right now, so we’re looking forward to next Friday.

“It was great to see her settling behind a horse (last time), she’s growing and getting better every time we’ve run her, so this was a great opportunity for us to bring her over here.

“It’s a big ask and a big step up for her, but it’s also a great opportunity and if she wins or is placed in Group One company at Royal Ascot, it would be huge.”