Trainer Kevin Ryan and jockey Kevin Stott recorded a quickfire 94/1 sprint double when Hey Jonesy (18/1) landed Wokingham Heritage Handicap, following on from Hello Youmzain’s victory in the preceding G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Taking the lead after the first furlong, Hey Jonesy held on gamely to score by the minimum distance of a nose from the fast-finishing Summerghand.
Adam Ryan, son of Kevin Ryan, said: “It has been a great 30 minutes.
“For whatever reason, in the last six months we haven’t been able to find the key to Hey Jonesy. He came back safe and sound on Tuesday (22nd of 23 in the Buckingham Palace Handicap) and we had to figure something out to spark a bit of a bounce-back for him. The blinkers seemed to work, and Kevin was very positive on him.
“Even from the replay, I wasn’t sure if he had won. He has always been a tough horse when gets there. He had some high-class form and we just had to recapture that – he has certainly done that today.
“All the credit has to go to the staff. Without any racing it has been tough for everyone. There are no complaints, everyone has worked hard and the horses have been running brilliantly. This is down to them – it is a real big, team effort.
“We have been setting off at 4.00am to get down here at the moment. The logistics have been fairly tricky, but thankfully it has worked.
“I have only come down today, so I’ve picked the right day. We will enjoy the drive home and I am sure my dad is delighted.
“We have always had full faith in Kevin Stott. He is a very talented jockey, who is getting better and better. He is very strong in the saddle and that puts a lot of confidence in the horses. The owners are happy to have him there, he is an integral part of the team and thankfully the results are paying off for him.”
Kevin Stott said: “I never rode a winner at Ascot, let alone Royal Ascot, before today.
“Getting jocked off Hello Youmzain after winning two Group Twos on him – it obviously happens in racing quite a bit; James Doyle is amazing, such a good rider – it hurt, but it was the owner’s decision. Sometimes that happens, but I was very fortunate to get back on him. The owners said to Kevin he could choose the jockeys and he put me back on him. I am so delighted; to have my first Royal Ascot winner and then to have another one.
“It is very emotional. It means so much, and to my family at home in Denmark as well watching it. They aren’t here, I can’t fly out to see them, they can’t fly over here – it means a lot that they are watching at home.
“It has been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what to say really – I can’t find the words. An hour ago I didn’t think this would ever happen, and now I’m standing here with two Royal Ascot winners, things that you could never dream of. My first Group One as well. I am speechless.
“As a two-year-old we had such high expectations of Hey Jonesy; he ran such a good race in the sales race at York when he was by himself on the far side. He lost his way a bit as a three-year-old, even though he finished a very nice fifth here in the Commonwealth Cup. We tried him over a few different trips and stuff. He ran here on Tuesday; he just wasn’t happy. He just needed a bit of encouraging, which the blinkers did. I am so delighted for the owners, who have been so patient with him. I can’t describe it.
“I’m 25, 26 in July. I was born in Denmark, raised in Denmark, Mum is Danish and Dad English. I went to school over there. I said to Dad when I was 16 that I wanted to ride horses, and within a week he had flown me over here and dropped me off at Kevin Ryan’s yard, and I have been there ever since really. I have been in England nine years. My family at home are all horsey people; my Dad used to ride a lot in Scandinavia and went to India, Africa, places like that. One brother trains, the other rides around Scandinavia.
“We all appreciate the NHS staff so much, for us to donate all our riding fees today, it is literally just one day’s work of a month, the NHS staff are so amazing. They do some much more than just look after us so for us to donate all our riding fees and helping out to the true heroes.”
4.10pmWokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
- Hey Jonesy [drawn 10] Kevin Ryan 5-9-03 Kevin Stott 18/1
- Summerghand  David O’Meara 6-9-05 James Doyle 15/2
- Spanish City  Roger Varian 7-9-02 Andrea Atzeni 16/1
- Gulliver  David O’Meara 6-9-06 Ryan Moore 12/1
7th Royal Ascot win for trainer Kevin Ryan
2nd Royal Ascot win for jockey Kevin Stott