Thursday of Royal Ascot 2022 was Gold Cup Day with superstar Stradivarius bidding to emulate Yeats (2006–2009) by winning a fourth Gold Cup, the flagship race of the week.
Reports from the races of the day, with photographs by Ian Yates (www.eyewhy.co.uk).
2.30PM NORFOLK STAKES (GROUP 2)
The Ridler provides Fahey and Hanagan with a second Norfolk success
Richard Fahey landed his second successive Norfolk Stakes as The Ridler caused a 50/1 shock in the opening G2 sprint on day three of Royal Ascot.
The Ridler swept to the front in the final furlong having been drawn on the wing but caused significant interference as he veered left across rivals. His supporters needed to survive a stewards’ enquiry before the result was confirmed.
The speedy Brazen Beau colt came home a length-and-three-quarters clear of 7/4 favourite Walbank, who had every chance in second, with Crispy Cat (7/1) a neck further back in third.
Hanagan said immediately after the race: “The Ridler pricked his ears in front and I always felt he was clear. I don’t think they had to stop riding, so I think it will be fine.
“He is still very green and a baby. I put my stick down to get him straight, so I could not have done much more.
“There’s a lot of emotions going through me at the minute. I’m delighted to ride this winner for Richard Fahey and the owners – I’m going to enjoy the moment.”
Fahey said: “That was a bit of a surprise!
“He’s a good hardy horse. We had him in the Coventry, and had a long chat about it all, then decided to go here. You need a good six-furlong horse to win, especially the pace they went, so we’re delighted. It was a good performance.
“Coming here today, I thought if we were placed, I’d be delighted – I was very worried about the second horse. It’s a tough race to win and it’s nice to win it two years in a row.”
Winning owner Steve Bradley said: “50/1 and we bred him. We use the National Stud to breed most of our horses, along with Deauville and in Ireland. It is fantastic.
Of the horse’s name, he explained: “The Ridler has got a reverse question mark on his face, and The Riddler on every outfit has loads of question marks, including in reverse. As soon as he was born, it was a no-brainer. Weatherbys didn’t like it with two ‘d’s so we settled for one, and the rest is history. My son Leigh is a Batman fan more than me, but it’s been around for a long time, more than 60 years.
“Weatherbys were worried about the copyright – they didn’t want to take on whoever owns Marvel Comics these days and they got a sweat on about that. I think Marvel Comics have got more money than I have!”
2.30pm Norfolk Stakes (Group 2)
- The Ridler (Steve Bradley) Richard Fahey 2-9-03 Paul Hanagan 50/1
- Walbank (Amo Racing Limited) David Loughnane 2-9-03 Rossa Ryan 7/4F
- Crispy Cat (Amo Racing Limited) Michael O’Callaghan IRE 2-9-03 Silvestre de Sousa 7/1
- Richard Fahey – 9th Royal Ascot winner
- Paul Hanagan – 6th Royal Ascot winner
3.05PM KING GEORGE V STAKES (HERITAGE HANDICAP)
Secret State hangs tough to win King George V Stakes for Godolphin
A progressive three-year-old is normally required to win the King George V Stakes and that certainly looks the case with 2022 winner Secret State, who justified joint-favouritism in gutsy fashion on his handicap debut.
The well-bred son of Dubawi brought some strong novice form to the table as he dug deep in the home straight to see off a whole host of unexposed rivals.
Sent off a 4/1 joint-favourite, Secret State was made to work hard for his victory by runner-up Deauville Legend (14/1), who went down by a diminishing head, with Israr (11/2) back in third. Savvy Knight was fourth at 18/1.
Secret State’s success was a third of the week for rider William Buick and a second for Charlie Appleby, who is the first trainer to double up this week.
Appleby said: “I am very pleased. He is a horse going the right way.
“It is an exciting race to win as well – my first Royal Ascot winner was a King George V – it is a race I always like to target.”
Buick said: “In a race like this over a competitive trip, they either stay or they don’t.
“When he got a spin on the rail, I took it. He was in front half a furlong too soon, but he battled really well.
3.05pm King George V Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
- Secret State (Godolphin) Charlie Appleby 3-9-06 William Buick 4/1JF
- Deauville Legend (K K Ho) James Ferguson 3-9-02 Daniel Muscutt 14/1
- Israr (Shadwell Estate Co Ltd) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-08 Jim Crowley 11/2
- Savvy Knight (Julian Hui) Sean Woods 3-9-03 James Doyle 18/1
19 ran 4/1JF Post Impressionist (15th)
- Charlie Appleby – 13th Royal Ascot winner
- William Buick – 31st Royal Ascot winner
3.40PM RIBBLESDALE STAKES (GROUP 2)
Magical Lagoon pulls unlikely victory out of the fire in Ribblesdale Stakes
Magical Lagoon turned what looked a sure-fire defeat into an unlikely victory when she dug deep to get back past Sea Silk Road in a thrilling renewal of the G2 Ribblesdale Stakes.
Sea Silk Road (15/8F) appeared to have put the race to bed when hitting the front entering the final furlong. However, Tom Marquand’s mount drifted to her left, allowing the gutsy Magical Lagoon (11/4) to battle back under a strong Shane Foley drive. The winning margin was half a length at the line, with almost three lengths back to History in third.
Winning trainer Jessica Harrington said: “Magical Lagoon won a Group 3 as a maiden last year and she battled in that. I always knew that if she got into a battle, she’d be really tough. She’s a beautiful, powerful filly, she really is. She loves that quick ground – she really enjoys it.
“It is absolutely fantastic to get another Royal Ascot winner, it really is.
Foley, enjoying his first Royal Ascot winner, said: “Mrs Harrington – what a trainer. Gold Cups, Champion Hurdles, Royal Ascot it doesn’t matter. A big mention to the owner Mr Zhang who has supported me for a long time and I’m just so happy to be able to repay him with a good winner.
“Magical Lagoon is a very good filly. She stays very well and only goes through the motions. I’m over the moon.”
3.40pm Ribblesdale Stakes (Group 2)
- Magical Lagoon (Zhang Yuesheng) Jessica Harrington IRE 3-9-02 Shane Foley 11/4
- Sea Silk Road (Sunderland Holding Inc) William Haggas 3-9-02 Tom Marquand 15/8F
- History (M Tabor, D Smith, S Magnier, Westerberg) Aidan O’Brien 3-9-02 Ryan Moore 13/2
- Jessica Harrington – 3rd Royal Ascot winner
- Shane Foley – 1st Royal Ascot winner
4.20PM GOLD CUP (GROUP 1) (BRITISH CHAMPIONS SERIES)
Kyprios the new kid on the block after landing Gold Cup for record-breaking O’Brien
Kyprios is the new star of the staying division after winning a tactical but dramatic renewal of the 2022 G1 Gold Cup for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
Sent off the well-backed 13/8 favourite after two impressive wins in Ireland, Kyprios was kept wide by Ryan Moore, who was determined to ensure his mount got a clear shot at the staying showpiece in the home straight. The four-year-old picked up well when asked to go and win his race off the turn, digging in bravely to hold off Mojo Star (15/2) by half a length at the line.
It all went wrong for three-time Gold Cup winner Stradivarius (2/1). Trapped in behind a wall of horses when the pace lifted in the straight, Frankie Dettori was forced to switch his mount to the outside and, although the gallant eight-year-old stayed on, he just couldn’t reel in his younger rivals.
Runner-up Mojo Star ran a mighty race in defeat on his first start of the season. The four-year-old has now finished second in a Derby, St Leger and a Gold Cup.
It was a record eighth Gold Cup victory for Aidan O’Brien, who said: “Ryan gave Kyprios a great ride. He saved him, held him and controlled the race. I am delighted for everyone. It’s brilliant. The horse was very brave.
“We always thought he was courageous, although you never know what will happen when you go past two miles. He had the same tenacity that he showed all the other times and Ryan was very strong on him. When he wanted him to go, he did. It was great Stradivarius was here. It makes these races even more special and incredible. I’m delighted for all the lads and the team.
Moore said: “It wasn’t a nice race to ride. I didn’t like the position I was in. I knew I had Frankie on my inside and they were going slow up front. I had to move him to the outside and I don’t like doing that, but I felt I had to keep Kyprios going.
“He’s got there and Mojo Star has come to us, but this fella kicked in then and it was comfortable at the line. It wasn’t a true test today. I don’t think we saw the best of him. I am glad he has come over here and won – and there are plenty more good days to be had with him. It was a more complicated race than it should have been. I think he was much the best.
“He is a lovely horse, who has been very good in his starts this year. I was quite confident about staying the distance. He has got a lot of quality and is from a great family. There is more to come from him.”
Stradivarius’ jockey Frankie Dettori said: “The younger horses had more legs than me at the end. I had every chance to get them, but they were stronger than me. He’s been a great hero and came out flying. I had to pull out wide and the only place I could go was the outside and everything was getting tight.
“When I’ve pulled him out plenty of times, usually he’s got the electric turn of foot, but he’s not four anymore, he’s eight. I laboured a bit at the end and I was never going to get them.
“He has been a star. You have to pass on the baton to the younger ones. He did his best and we’re very proud of him.”
4.20pm Gold Cup (Group 1) (British Champions Series)
- Kyprios (Moyglare, Magnier, Tabor, Smith, Westerberg) Aidan O’Brien IRE 4-9-03 Ryan Moore 13/8F
- Mojo Star (Amo Racing Limited) Richard Hannon 4-9-03 Rossa Ryan 15/2
- Stradivarius (Bjorn Nielsen) John Gosden 8-9-04 Frankie Dettori 2/1
- Aidan O’Brien – 78th Royal Ascot winner
- Ryan Moore – 68th Royal Ascot winner
5.00PM BRITANNIA STAKES (HERITAGE HANDICAP)
Thesis opens account on biggest stage under in-form Ryan Moore
Not many maidens win Royal Ascot handicaps but Thesis proved that it’s not impossible when landing the Britannia Stakes at odds of 14/1.
With a handicap mark of 90 after four placed efforts, the son of Kingman quickened well to lead before repelling the fast-finishing Saga (12/1), in the colours of Her Majesty The Queen, by a head. Jimi Hendrix (20/1) was a length and a quarter further back in third while Whoputfiftyinyou (6/1) filled fourth.
The success capped a fantastic 40 minutes for jockey Ryan Moore, while also providing a first Royal Ascot victory for Harry Charlton in partnership with his father Roger.
Roger Charlton said: “It’s a competitive race. You have 30 horses with an equal chance. I thought the ground might be a bit quick, but it was fine. He was well-suited by a fast-run race.”
Moore said: “Thesis is a very talented horse.
“He needed a big field – he travelled beautifully and quickened up well. He is still a bit babyish. That was his first win today. I think mentally more than anything, he is still learning with what he needs to do. He will continue to get better and win some more.”
5.00pm Britannia Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
- Thesis (Juddmonte) Harry & Roger Charlton 3-8-11 Ryan Moore 14/1
- Saga (Her Majesty The Queen) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-04 Frankie Dettori 12/1
- Jim Hendrix (Chelsea Thoroughbreds – Purple Haze) Ralph Beckett 3-8-08 Rob Hornby 20/1)
- Whoputfiftyinyou (Paul & Clare Rooney) Clive Cox 3-9-05 Adam Kirby 6/1
30 ran 4/1F King Of Time (17th)
- Harry & Roger Charlton – 1st Royal Ascot winner in partnership
*Roger Charlton trained 10 Royal Ascot winners under his own name
- Ryan Moore – 69th Royal Ascot winner
5.35PM HAMPTON COURT STAKES (GROUP 3)
Claymore spoils party by eclipsing Moon in Hampton Court Stakes
The G3 Hampton Court Stakes was supposed to be a coronation for The Queen’s Reach For The Moon but Claymore wasn’t having any of it and proved too strong for the red-hot 2/5 favourite.
Given a perfectly judged front-running ride by Adam Kirby, 7/1 chance Claymore answered his rider’s every call in the straight. Reach For The Moon briefly drew level under Frankie Dettori but Kirby’s mount found plenty to run out a convincing near two-length winner.
Claymore’s success caps a fine week for trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam, who has now sent out two winners and a second at this year’s Royal Meeting.
Chapple-Hyam said: “It was the plan to go out in front. Claymore is in his comfort zone when he is up there bowling along in front. He has got a huge stride.”
Kirby said: “There wasn’t any obvious front runner, so we were quite happy to mosey along and do our own thing in front. He goes well from the front in the mornings. Everything went very smooth and he was in a lovely rhythm.”
Winning owner Mary Slack said: “I am really thrilled and delighted. We thought he would run well in the French Guineas but he was hopeless from a terrible draw. This was the return. I hardly watched really. I couldn’t be more excited and thanks to Jane who has been brilliant. She has had a great week. I’ve mainly had horses in South Africa, but I’ve been in racing for a long time. I have never been to these heights before.”
5.35pm Hampton Court Stakes (Group 3)
- Claymore (Mary Slack) Jane Chapple-Hyam 3-9-02 Adam Kirby 7/1
- Reach For The Moon (Her Majesty The Queen) John & Thady Gosden 3-9-02 Frankie Dettori 2/5F
- Kingmax (Amo Racing Limited) David Loughnane 3-9-02 Rossa Ryan 16/1
- Jane Chapple-Hyam – 3rd Royal Ascot winner
- Adam Kirby – 10th Royal Ascot winner
6.10PM BUCKINGHAM PALACE HANDICAP
Inver Park gives Boughey first Royal Ascot winner with Buckingham Palace victory
Inver Park continued an excellent year for George Boughey’s Newmarket team when landing the Buckingham Palace Handicap, providing his trainer with a first Royal Ascot victory.
The action unfolded towards the far side of the track and 12/1 chance Inver Park, who came out of stall 2, was smuggled into the race by Ben Curtis. Inver Park’s challenge was timed to perfection and, having hit the front well inside the final furlong, he saw his race out well to hold off runner-up Ropey Guest (40/1) by a length. Rhoscolyn (33/1) was a short-head further back in third while Chiefofchiefs (16/1) came from the back of the field to grab fourth.
It has been a season to remember for Boughey, who landed his first Classic with Cachet in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas.
Boughey said: “It’s been good! Inver Park is a horse who we thought had a little bit left in him, and the ground was a big question mark – it’s very fast out there, and he showed his guts there to dig deep late on.
“We are very pleased to have a winner here and it just reflects what we’re doing at home. I’m very lucky to stand here and pick up the trophy.
“It was a huge moment, and great for Ben Curtis to ride it, too. I think he’s ridden 14 winners for us already this year and he’s a huge part of the team. It is a very special day.”
Photo courtesy of Megan Ridgwell.
6.10pm Buckingham Palace Handicap
- Inver Park (The Inver Park Partnership) George Boughey 4-9-01 Ben Curtis 12/1
- Ropey Guest (John Guest Racing) George Margarson 5-8-13 Tom Queally 40/1
- Rhoscolyn (The Horse Watchers) David O’Meara 4-9-10 Danny Tudhope 33/1
- Chiefofchiefs (Mervyn Ayers) Charlie Fellowes 9-9-03 Jamie Spencer 16/1
29 ran 5/2 fav Montassib (5th)
- George Boughey – 1st Royal Ascot winner
- Ben Curtis – 2nd Royal Ascot winner
Karen can usually be found glued to her computer or at the stables. Having edited several national magazines she co-founded Eclipse Magazine in 2008 after realising that many of her friends were nervous about going racing due to lack of information – what to wear, how to bet etc.
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