Trainer Archie Watson has lodged an appeal against Dragon Symbol’s demotion from first place in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
Dragon Symbol passed the post a head in front of Campanelle in last week’s Group One sprint, but the placings were reversed by the Ascot stewards after an inquiry.
The British Horseracing Authority’s independent disciplinary panel appeal hearing is set to take place next Thursday, July 1.
Campanelle was awarded the race, therefore striking for a second successive year at Royal Ascot for American trainer Wesley Ward and jockey Frankie Dettori.
The stewards concluded that interference in the last furlong and a half “had improved Dragon Symbol’s placing” and “the distance lost by Campanelle, who was taken notably off her intended line and bumped on a minimum of two occasions, equated to more than the head by which she was beaten”.
In a BHA release on Thursday afternoon, it was also noted that Dragon Symbol’s jockey Oisin Murphy will not appeal against his four-day suspension for careless riding.
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Four people have been charged after a climate change protest on the final day of Royal Ascot which was intended to get the attention of the Queen.
Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion unfurled a banner reading ‘Racing To Extinction’, with a number of protesters attempting to disrupt racing by chaining themselves to the far rail after the first race, the Chesham Stakes, in which the Queen’s horse Reach For The Moon was a close second under Frankie Dettori.
The Queen was making her first visit of the week to the showpiece meeting, but was nowhere near the incident.
A screen was erected close to the winning post while the protesters were removed, with a spokesperson for Ascot saying at the time: “The incident was quickly dealt with, without delay to racing.”
Four arrests were made on Saturday, with charges of obstructing or disrupting a person engaged in a lawful activity brought by Thames Valley Police on Sunday.
Four women, aged between 20 and 46, have been released on bail to appear at Slough Magistrates’ Court on July 13.
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Quick Suzy is likely to head for the Cheveley Park Stakes next before heading out to Del Mar for the Breeders’ Cup.
Bought by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners in a sale facilitated by bloodstock agent Joseph Burke, the daughter of Profitable is to stay with Gavin Cromwell for the rest of the year.
Quick Suzy, bought after winning her maiden by over five lengths at the Curragh, had finished second in a Group Three at Naas in soft ground prior to winning the Queen Mary under Gary Carroll.
“Eclipse are about 10 years old and Aron Wellman is the president. This is the first horse-in-training deal I’ve been involved with although a couple of years ago I offered him Princess Yaiza, coincidently also trained by Gavin,” said Burke.
“I hadn’t seen anything good enough for the next few years, then this filly came along. A friend of mine bought her for her previous owners. I couldn’t really offer her to a syndicate like Eclipse without some form in the book.
“When she won at the Curragh I was wondering whether she’d stay six furlongs or not, but Gary knew. He’d told the previous owners one day after getting off her that she was a machine.
“Given what she achieved there I thought she’d be good enough for Eclipse and they got the deal done. The next logical race was the one at Naas and it almost worked out perfectly, she just got caught out in soft ground on a stiff track.
“She got black type and kept the dream alive, had she not achieved that I fear we could have been waving bye bye to her and she’d have been off to America – which is fair enough. To be honest if she’d won she may have ended up in the Albany. It was quite clear afterwards the Queen Mary was her race.”
He went on: “Gavin was happy leading up to Ascot and bizarrely, as I’m a glass half-empty man, I was actually quite confident and it was just one of those times everything worked out.
“Wesley Ward’s filly was drawn next to us and we always felt she’d be better with a lead so it couldn’t have worked out any better.”
Looking ahead to the future, plans are now pretty fixed – with a Group One the next aim.
“Now she’s won a Group Two there’s not much point heading for something like the Lowther with a penalty so the Cheveley Park looks the next logical race, she’s had four runs already,” said Burke.
“I told Gavin after Naas that after Ascot she’d probably be heading to America, but Aron said they are doing such a good job there was no reason to take her away from Gavin – which I was delighted to hear.
“After the Cheveley Park there’s then five weeks until the Breeders’ Cup, where she’s got five weeks in between, so it fits in nicely and she’ll run in the Juvenile Sprint Turf.”
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Glen Shiel will head next for the July Cup at Newmarket after his gallant second in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The seven-year-old ran admirably to finish a length behind Sir Michael Stoute’s big-race favourite Dream Of Dreams on Saturday.
Owners Hambleton Racing were thrilled with the Archie Watson-trained gelding, and now have a string of further Group One targets to look forward to this season.
“He’s just a complete legend of a horse – we were pretty confident he’d strip fitter for his first run at the Curragh, and he was right back to his best,” said the owners’ racing director Simon Turner.
“It was possibly even a marginal personal best, which is saying something at the age of seven – he ran his heart out.
“It was a super race – you’d have thought he won, with the ovation his owners gave him when he came back in.
“He’s just given his owners so much pleasure, and we can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
The July Cup will be next, with a trip to Deauville for the Prix Maurice de Gheest also under consideration before a bid to retain his Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes crown.
“He’ll go to the July Cup next,” said Turner.
“He’s got other Group One options in France, like the Prix Maurice de Gheest – then he’ll go to Haydock for the Haydock Sprint Cup and then the race he won last year at Ascot on Champions Day.
“Those would be the major races that would be at the front of our minds.”
Glen Shiel has been a model of consistency since specialising in sprint distances and has been unplaced just once when running over a six-furlong trip, in fourth on his first start of this season at the Curragh last month.
“If you look at him since he dropped to six furlongs and started sprinting, he’s never been far away,” added Turner.
“He really thrives on his racing, this horse. He deserved a break after last year, and I think Archie just felt he’d need that run (at the Curragh) just to get him right back to where he wanted him.
“He’s a super consistent horse and he’s just been a brilliant acquisition for us, to say we only paid £45,000 for him.
“He’s just been a super horse, and there’s nothing to say he won’t be just as good for the rest of the year, so we’ve loads to look forward to.”
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Bryan Smart has York’s Ebor meeting in mind for Project Dante following the two-year-old’s fine performance at Royal Ascot.
The Group Two Gimcrack Stakes and possibly the Nunthorpe, a Group One against older horses, are the two races Smart is likely to consider for his exciting youngster at the showpiece Festival in August.
Project Dante went close to snatching victory in the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday after being denied a clear run, beaten only a head and a nose in third place in the Group Two contest over five furlongs won by Perfect Power.
“Firstly I just want to get him over Royal Ascot,” said Smart.
“To go to Royal Ascot, I normally like to get two runs into them, and he only had the one. He will improve again for education.
“He’ll be entered in most of the smart races. We will definitely look at the Gimcrack. He’ll be entered in that, and I might give him an entry in the Nunthorpe.
“I think he’ll get six, and he could be a better horse over that trip, but we’ll just play it by ear. When you’ve got a nice horse like him, you just want to take your time and let the horse do the talking.”
Smart reports Project Dante, who made a successful debut at York last month, to have taken Royal Ascot remarkably well.
“He’s come out of the race like an absolute raging bull,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.
“He’s as fresh as paint. He was out in his pen in the sunshine having a pick of grass with his mate (Bond Chairman) at the side of him.”
Smart, who won the Nunthorpe with 40-1 outsider Alpha Delphini three years ago, reflected with pride rather than anguish at Project Dante’s Norfolk near miss.
“He ran a great race,” he said.
“That’s how it happens, that’s racing. You take the rough with the smooth. He finished really well.
“Me and (jockey) Graham (Lee) discussed it beforehand. We felt we had a good draw (16), but I said before he went out that it could be a bad draw if they all went across – and they did.
“He’s obviously a very good horse, and I’m very proud of him.”
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Ascot chief executive Guy Henderson has voiced his gratitude to all who played their part in ensuring this year’s Royal meeting allowed thousands of racegoers to “come out of hibernation”.
Royal Ascot was chosen as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme and was therefore permitted to host a crowd of up to 12,000 spectators per day.
The track allocated 50,000 tickets across five days, with Saturday inevitably the busiest day as nearly 11,000 attended – including the Queen.
Henderson described the week as “absolutely wonderful” but has also pointed out the next hugely important step is that all who attended should conduct their coronavirus tests which will assist in critical Government data to inform future easing of pandemic restrictions.
“First of all, it was a real boost to be accepted as part of the Government’s Events Research Programme,” he said.
“Thank you to everybody for cooperating with all the procedures. The most important thing after the event is for people to do their five-day PCR tests, because the data from that will be really helpful to the Government in future plans.
“The truth of the matter is that the events industry across all sectors needs people to be sustainable.
“Therefore it was an easy decision to say ‘of course, no matter how difficult it is, we will try’ – because the Government is trying to collect the appropriate data to help the country open up, and to give themselves and all of us the confidence that it can be done safely.”
The return of crowds at major events is, of course, high on the agenda for millions, and Henderson added: “We have learnt from Covid-19 that human beings are basically social creatures, and we need these events to help us open up.
“This week has felt like coming out of hibernation for most of us – and it has been absolutely wonderful.
“We aimed to deliver what I would call an ‘authentic little Royal Ascot’, and I hope everybody enjoyed it.”
The Queen did not attend each day of the meeting as she previously has. But the Royal Family were still represented throughout the week, and the Royal colours collected two placings courtesy of Reach For The Moon and King’s Lynn on Saturday.
Henderson said: “It has been wonderful for us that so many senior members of the Royal Family and their guests have been with us this week, including Her Majesty The Queen, who had a second and a third on the track.
“There has been fantastic racing, some in perfect conditions and some in adverse conditions.
“There have been exciting finishes, which is what we like, and both the leading jockey and trainer awards went down to the wire.
“Congratulations to Oisin Murphy and John and Thady Gosden as well as Godolphin, who were the leading owners.”
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Punters claimed victory on the fifth and final day of Royal Ascot.
The Queen was on track for the first time this week to watch her runners and she had a couple of near-misses with Reach For The Moon and King’s Lynn both placed.
Reach For The Moon was beaten in the Chesham by the heavily-backed Point Lonsdale (10-11 favourite), while King’s Lynn was third to Rohaan (8-1) in the Wokingham.
Dream Of Dreams made it third time lucky as 3-1 favourite in the Diamond Jubilee, Creative Force beat fellow 5-1 joint-favourite in the Jersey Stakes and super filly Wonderful Tonight (5-1) had plenty of supporters in the Hardwicke.
The closing victory of Stratum (4-1) for Ryan Moore and Willie Mullins was also a hit for the books.
Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: “It’s a day we would rather forget, with punters well and truly getting revenge this afternoon.
“The worst result of the day was Dream Of Dreams, while Creative Force and Point Lonsdale were also big losers. I suppose we should just be grateful that King’s Lynn did us a favour, as that would have been a nightmare.”
The defeat of Frankie Dettori’s mount Falcon Eight in the finale saved Paddy Power from an even bigger hit.
Spokesman Paul Binfield said: “Punters rounded off the week with another fine day, but as on Friday it could have been so much worse and the bookies were bailed out with good results in the last two races, especially getting the furiously-backed Falcon Eight beaten in the ‘lucky’ last which was a particularly big outcome for us.
“Overall it’s probably a case of around level between backers and layers over the whole extravaganza with the former fighting back marvellously over the last couple of days.”
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A single victory on the final day helped Oisin Murphy secure top jockey honours for the first time at Royal Ascot.
Five winners were enough to seal the accolade for the 25-year-old champion jockey, who clinched the coveted prize aboard Foxes Tales for King Power Racing and trainer Andrew Balding.
“I wouldn’t have expected to get it – if you had asked me on Tuesday morning if I would be leading jockey I’d have said ‘of course not’,” said Murphy.
“It normally belongs to Ryan (Moore) and Frankie (Dettori), but they gave me a turn this week and thanks very much to the fast horses this week.
“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be top jockey here. I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible.”
He added: “It’s special because as I’ve got older I’ve appreciated these days even more. I know I’m only 25, but life is precious. It’s a huge buzz.”
Asked for his highlight, Murphy nominated Friday’s Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free, whose victory came just after Murphy had been demoted from first place aboard Dragon Symbol in the Commonwealth Cup.
He said: “My best moment of the week was Alcohol Free. She came along at a very important time in my career last year – I was under a lot of pressure and I managed to nail a Group One (in the Cheveley Park Stakes) – and yesterday was a similar scenario. The pressure was on.”
Murphy was 4-9 favourite at the start of day five after doing the hard work earlier in the week and he had a full book of seven rides.
However, his first three mounts were unplaced and his luck appeared to be out when Starman was withdrawn from the Diamond Jubilee Stakes because of the soft ground.
Murphy was sill able to get a ride in the six-furlong Group One when he was allowed to switch to the Andrew Balding-trained Happy Power at the expense of Jim Crowley, and managed to finish fourth.
Murphy could be excused getting a little twitchy as the big prize went to Moore on Dream Of Dreams for Sir Michael Stoute.
It was Moore’s second of the day, and third of the meeting, after he struck first blood to give himself a sporting chance when taking the Chesham Stakes on Point Lonsdale.
The son of Australia, giving Aidan O’Brien a record sixth winner in the Listed contest, foiled Frankie Dettori on John and Thady Gosden’s Reach For The Moon, owned by the Queen.
Moore won the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes on Stratum for Willie Mullins, but it was not enough for him to catch Murphy.
William Buick also briefly had hope as he went to three with a superb victory on David Menuisier’s wonder filly Wonderful Tonight in the Hardwicke Stakes. But there was ultimately no stopping Murphy.
Despite the success of Foxes Tales, Balding was edged out by John and Thady Gosden for top trainer honours on countback, with both outfits finishing on four winners.
Gosden senior said: “First of all, we had the most glorious weather for three days – cool on Thursday, stunningly hot and summer on Tuesday and Wednesday, and great racing under those conditions. It was wonderful to see people back in here; 10,000 people, all socially distanced, tests taken.
“There is no doubt with the rain that came heavily here on the Friday, the Ascot executive and all the ground staff did a magnificent job in changing some of the railing, organising to get away from some of the places that were a little bit waterlogged, and we raced right through yesterday and right through today.
“Fabulous racing and horses seemed in great order, and I think it’s a testament to willpower that it’s been pulled off with Government blessing to go ahead, and I think it’s a very safe environment. Of course, we are in big, open spaces, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, but it was very safe at the same time.
“The first race on the first day, Palace Pier, was wonderful for us. The Gold Cup – we didn’t have the best trip (with Stradivarius), but I thought the winner (Subjectivist) was the best horse, and I think he won in great style.
“We had a great meeting with some fillies winning Group Two races, and it was a good atmosphere here – safe, sensible and people actually coming out and living their lives again.”
A one-two for trainer Charlie Appleby with Creative Force and Naval Crown in the Jersey Stakes ensured Godolphin were leading owners with three winners.
Godolphin managing director Hugh Anderson said: “I am delighted for everyone at Godolphin and of course His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. This has already been a memorable season for Godolphin with Derby success and to be crowned Royal Ascot Leading Owner once again is very special.
“We hope for more success throughout the rest of the year.”
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Ryan Moore teamed up with Willie Mullins to win the Queen Alexandra Stakes yet again – this time with Stratum.
Following on from the victories of Simenon in 2012 and Pique Sous in 2014, Ireland’s champion National Hunt trainer yet again called upon the services of Moore and he delivered on the 4-1 shot.
Stratum had been placed in the 2018 Ascot Stakes as well as winning the 2019 Cesarewitch, and looked well suited by the conditions of the race.
Stratum still looked to have a fair bit of ground to make up when Richard Hughes’ Calling The Wind hit the front, seemingly travelling best.
However, once Moore gets down into the drive position there are few – if any – who do it better, and Stratum came with a run from which he was not to be denied.
He ended up pulling three and a quarter lengths clear and was a ready winner in the end. The Grand Visir was third, while the pace-setting Stag Horn was fourth.
Mullins said: “It’s just a huge advantage having Ryan riding horses for you and I’m delighted.
“I thought Paul Roche had the horse looking in superb order and he subsequently told me he won the best turned out. I’ve never seen the horse look as well and he ran liked he looked.
“Even though the ground wouldn’t have suited him he probably handled it better than most horses.”
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Environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion appeared to unfurl a banner reading ‘Racing To Extinction’ at Royal Ascot on Saturday that was intended to be seen by the Queen.
The Queen was making her first visit of the week to the showpiece meeting, but was nowhere near the incident.
A number of protestors attempted to disrupt racing by chaining themselves to the far rail after the first race, the Chesham Stakes, in which the Queen’s horse Reach For The Moon was a close second under Frankie Dettori.
A screen was erected near the winning post while the protestors were removed.
A spokesperson for Ascot said: “The incident was quickly dealt with without delay to racing.”
The Queen could not hide her delight at being back at the famous Berkshire meeting for the time since 2019, although there was no royal procession this week.
The monarch was not seen in the royal box during the race, opting to watch it privately, but had the chance to inspect the colt in the parade ring beforehand, beaming as she met Dettori and trainer John Gosden.
It was so close to a famous victory, too, with hot favourite Point Lonsdale proving just half a length too good under Ryan Moore, who gave the Queen her biggest success when guiding Estimate to victory in the Gold Cup of 2013.
The Queen had briefly spoken with Moore ahead of the run of King’s Lynn in the Wokingham, where he was third.
She was later seen smiling and chatting as she was driven out of the racecourse.
The Queen had arrived at the racecourse to applause and cheers in a beige car at 2pm wearing an Angela Kelly outfit, including a pleated mint coat and matching hat, with a pink and mint floral dress.
Punters like to bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat, and this year bookmakers had said the most popular predictions were blue and green due to the change in weather.
Nicola McGeady, of Ladbrokes, said: “Punters could finally enjoy a flutter on the colour of the Queen’s hat after waiting patiently for her arrival all week.
“Green was the colour that attracted the majority of bets, so plenty of punters have got the day off to a great start.”
The Queen’s eldest grandson Peter Phillips was also seen arriving earlier in the day.
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Oisin Murphy sealed the top jockey crown for the week when steering Foxes Tales from last to first in the Golden Gates Stakes.
Down the field in a Derby trial at Chester, he was having just his fourth career outing in the red-hot atmosphere.
As the field were taken along at a breakneck pace by Fantastic Fox, also owned by King Power Racing and the choice of their retained rider Silvestre de Sousa, Murphy was plum last in the early stages.
When Fantastic Fox drifted away from the rail a huge gap appeared and Murphy was able to guide his mount, who quickened impressively, to the front.
However, just as it appeared the race was over the inexperience of Foxes Tales came to the fore and he began to drift markedly to his left.
Thankfully for his supporters the 13-2 chance had enough in hand to win by two and a quarter lengths from Visualisation, with Irish Legend third.
It was a fifth winner of the meeting for Murphy and a fourth for Balding.
Murphy said: “It was an interesting race. He jumped well, but wouldn’t go and I was last. I decided to follow James Doyle and got a lovely run down the fence. Then he wandered across the track dramatically.
“It’s great for King Power Racing, they put so much into the game.
“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be top jockey here. I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible.”
Balding said: “Four winners has been fabulous, but I’m so pleased to get a winner for King Power, they have been great supporters of ours so I’m delighted for them.”
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Rohaan’s dream season continued apace when he flew home to claim the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot.
David Evans has worked wonders with the three-year-old, who can surely now lay claim to being one of the best sprinters in training.
Dropped out in last by Shane Kelly, he weaved his way through before quickening impressively to beat Fresh by a neck, with the Queen’s King’s Lynn a fine third given he ran in the King’s Stand on Tuesday.
Rohaan (8-1) would have been running in the Commonwealth Cup, Friday’s Group One for three-year-olds, but for the fact he is a gelding.
Having beaten Dragon Symbol at Haydock last time out, who was subsequently first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup, the form now looks red-hot.
He started his progression winning on the all-weather at Newcastle off a handicap mark of 55 and defied a rating of 112 on this occasion.
Rohaan was providing both Evans and Kelly with their first Royal Ascot winner.
Evans said: “I was stood in the stands watching on the big screen and it felt good when I saw his white face coming there.
“I was confident, but you never know what the draw’s going to do and this is Royal Ascot.
“He’s just improved himself physically and takes his work well in the morning. I’ve only known the owner a few months, and if he hadn’t sent him to me he would now be with someone else.
“In truth today wasn’t the ideal race and we were in two minds whether to run. But now I’m glad we did. It really hasn’t sunk in, but I think all being well he will be supplemented into the July Cup.”
He added: “I think the rule to bar geldings from the Commonwealth Cup is stupid, whoever made it up. The form was there for all to see too, we beat Dragon Symbol.”
Kelly said: “I’m delighted for his new owner and for David Evans.
“I was worried how far detached I was after 50 yards, but that’s his style, he’s just lazy early.
“After a furlong and a half he’d come back on the bridle. He’s a horse that comes alive when you need him and he did that today.”
Of landing his first winner at the showpiece fixture, he added: “I’m overdue, I probably should have one before now, but that is history.
“It goes without saying, but Dave is brilliant. I got lucky with David, had a few winners and the rest is history.”
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Dream Of Dreams finally won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes after two previous near-misses in the final day feature of Royal Ascot.
Sir Michael Stoute – who has trained more winners at the meeting than anyone else – was recording his 82nd success at the fixture and having been beaten in two photo-finishes in the past two runnings, he will be delighted to have won with the chestnut.
Blue Point edged him out in 2019, while 12 months ago it was Hello Youmzain, and he was sent off the 3-1 favourite to make amends.
Tim Easterby’s Art Power – a winner 12 months ago in handicap company – set out to make it a real test and by halfway had most of his rivals in trouble.
They included Glen Shiel – successful on Champions Day last season for Hollie Doyle – but to his credit, he battled all the way to the line.
As Art Power’s stride began to shorten Ryan Moore sensed the time was right to attack on Dream Of Dreams, and despite having two lengths to make up when he started his challenge with a furlong to run he was almost on terms.
Glen Shiel did not go down with a fight, and Art Power stuck on gamely, but with Moore in full cry and a willing partner there was only going to be one outcome as the seven-year-old prevailed by a length, with three-quarters back to the third.
For Glen Shiel’s trainer Archie Watson it was a second agonising reverse of the week having had Dragon Symbol lose the Commonwealth Cup in the stewards’ room on Friday.
Stoute said: “The horse really deserved it. He’s a top-class sprinter and the previous two years one more stride and he wins, but that is not what it’s about. You’ve got to get there first. I’m really happy for him today.
“I was pretty hopeful from two out. He finishes well and he’s very effective at seven furlongs as well.
“He won a Group One last year at Haydock and he’s won Group races, but it has been frustrating because he has been beaten so narrowly in the past.
“He’s such a good racehorse and as he’s got older and mature, he’s relaxed more and got better.
“The team have done a great job, as have the two that ride him out, and he’s not run many below-par races but he is probably a little bit better now. That is because he is more relaxed.
“He was my last chance of the meeting. Group Ones have never been easy and it’s probably a little harder now and experience often gets beaten by these young pups.
“I don’t know where he’ll go next. He’s in the July Cup, but he didn’t go there last year as the ground was too quick. I don’t like running him on fast ground.”
Moore said: “Any winner here is important, but especially a prestigious race like this.
“(Sir) Michael has been great to me my whole career, but he’s got this horse to perform in this race three times in a row so fair play to him.
“He’s been a great horse, he’s got better every year but a stiff six furlongs with cut in the ground is perfect.”
Doyle was pleased with Glen Shiel, who was returning to his best having been fourth on his reappearance in Ireland.
She said: “That was a pleasing run and shows the horse is back to his best.”
Easterby said of Art Power: “It was a cracking run, he was out on his own and just got a bit tired in the last half a furlong. He ran to the line.
“I wouldn’t be against bringing him back to five for the King George at Goodwood.”
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