Three Cheers For Adaptability
British financier Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild’s homebred Crystal Ocean by Sea the Stars has had a privileged start. The sliver spoon influence continued with trainer Sir Micheal Stoute who engaged the services of champion jockey Frankie Dettori for his Royal Ascot run.
The experienced jockey made use of his mounts stamina to deliver a clear win in the Gr.1 Prince of Wales Stakes’ at Royal Ascot.
Sea The Stars’s progeny have an average winning distance of 11 furlongs. The Prince of Wales is a 10 furlong race, giving Crystal Ocean all the reason to take this race with ease.
The soft ground was always going to be a problem for William Haggas’ charge.
Crystal Ocean’s dam Crystal Star represented his connections when she won the listed Reading Evening Post Radley Stakes at 2 and took second in the Gr.3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at 3.
Crystal Ocean’s broodmare sire, the 2000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II S. winner Mark of Esteem, is another top-class miler with a fine record with Sea The Stars.
Crystal Ocean also has Royal Ascot heritage on the distaff side of his pedigree.
It is a first Group One win for the five-year old and an 80th Royal Ascot success for trainer Sir Michael Stoute
"He's a high-class horse. I'm delighted to have won a Group One with him now. He's a very admirable," said Stoute.
Earlier on Wednesday Dettori rode Raffle Prize to victory success in the Queen Mary Stakes.
Oisin Murphy scored his first winner at this year's Royal Ascot as Dashing Willoughby landed a gamble in Wednesday's Queen's Vase.
Trainer Andrew Balding was quite distraught over the weekend, when his charge Dashing Willoughby showed signs of lameness which worsened making him "very lame" on June 15. He had a blood blister in his foot. However, overnight work from Kingsclere’s farrier and head lad ensured he was right as rain twelve hours later.
He rewarded their efforts by landing the Queen’s Vase under Oisin Murphy who scored his first win at Royal Ascot.
After a failed breeding attempt, William Haggas was delighted to have Move Swiftly back in his stables.
Move Swiftly was restrained out of the barrier by Danny Tudhope as Nyaleti set the early speed. The daughter of Time To Explode came from last early to land Gr.2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes by coming through between mares to get up late. Nyaleti’s stamina wained towards the end.
"I'm thrilled to bits with this filly and she enjoyed the ground. We took a few to Newbury to work and she worked nicely," Haggas said.
Afaak prefers a firm ground, so his trainer Charlie Hills naturally had some concerns about the soft ground. But it seems it was a day for adaptable horses. Afaak was second time lucky in the Royal Hunt Cup, in which he was runner-up in 2018 behind Settle For Bay.
The Oasis Dream gelding was absent from racing for 263-days but made up for it all when he won the mile contest.
Despite being pressed hard late on by the David Barron-trained Clon Coulis, the winner stuck his neck out in game fashion to hang on by a nose as the pair crossed the wire.
“Angus (Gold, racing manager for owner Sheikh Hamdan) and I have thought a mile and a quarter could be in his compass, so that is why we rode him pretty handy.” Said Hills.
The 2YO son of Gleneagles, Southern Hills ran strongly in the five-furlong especially towards the end, to take his first Royal Ascot race. It was a day for firsts for the connections Southern Hills is the first stakes scorer sired by Gleneagles, who stands at Coolmore in 2019 at a fee of €30,000. The £90,000 Listed Windsor Castle Stakes is Southern Hills’ first career race and gave Aidan O’Brien, Ryan Moore and the Coolmore partners their only victory on day two of the Royal meeting.
The colt, named after a golf country club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, denied Godolphin’s Platinum Star to win by a half-length, giving his trainer a 68th Royal Ascot success and the winning jockey, Ryan Moore, his 56th.
The now retired multi-Group winning racehorse, Gleneagles has also won at Royal Ascot. He took the Gr.1 St. James's Palace Stakes as a 3YO.
Owned and bred by the Coolmore partners of John Magnier, Micheal Tabor, and Derrick Smith, Southern Hills is the second foal out of Remember You, a daughter of Invincible Spirit who joined the Coolmore fold when she was purchased as a yearling by Demi O'Byrne for US$504,788.