Royal Ascot: Dream of Dreams wins Diamond Jubilee Stakes as Oisin Murphy takes top jockey – as it happenedSunday 20 June 2021
The Irishman finished on five winners for the week as the Michael Stoute-trained Dream of Dreams won at the third time of asking
So farewell to another Royal Ascot, the 2021 version an infinite improvement in terms of atmosphere on the ‘behind-closed-doors’ version last year. This year the midsummer Flat highlight was refreshing for the diversity of winners from a variety of stables but after his rollercoaster day on Friday, Oisin Murphy went on today to cement his position as leading jockey for the week and was the first winner other than Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moore and Johnny Murtagh to grab the riding glory at the Royal meeting since 2007. After landing the jockeys’ championship last season it looks as if we are seeing a changing of the guard ... see you all next year.
1 Stratum (R L Moore) 4-1
2 Calling The Wind (David Egan) 40-1
3 The Grand Visir (R Kingscote) 17-2
Also: 7-4 Fav Falcon Eight, 9-2 Stag Horn 4th
Non Runners: 1,2,10,11,13
And they’re off ... Barbados and Stag Horn among the leaders early with favourite Falcon Eight in midfield ... Green Book is just behind the leaders ... Stag Horn takes it up from Green Book with Who Dares Wins in third ... a circuit to go and well strung out in this marathon test ... Calling The Wind is in fourth with Barbados also still up there among the leaders ... Morando is in fifth with The Grand Visir just behind and Falcon Eight is second last ... Stag Horn has lead all the way ... and they have six furlongs to go ... Falcon Eight makes his move ... Stag Horn and Green Book are at the front ... Falcon Eight has a lot to do ... Calling The Wind is challenged by Stratum who begins to power clear and Ryan Moore will end the week on a winner with Stratum, a convincing winner.
The Queen Alexandra Stakes – the longest Flat race in the calendar - has been the odd-one-out at the Royal meeting for years, and the track even tried to ease it off the schedule a quarter of a century or so ago, prompting a concerted, and ultimately successful, campaign to preserve it. But like the two-and-a-half mile Ascot Stakes Handicap on Tuesday, it has taken on a new lease of life in recent years as a result of the growing strength of the jumping game, in Ireland in particular.
Nicky Henderson, Alan King, Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are among the jumps-oriented trainers to have saddle the winner in recent years, and Mullins (Stratum) and King (Who Dares Wins) both have fancied runners today. The favourite, though, is Dermot Weld’s Falcon Eight, bidding to give the trainer his 18th Royal Ascot winner, no less than 48 years after his first success here with Klairvimy in the King Edward VII Stakes in 1973. Frankie Dettori keeps the ride on Falcon Eight after a riding masterclass to win the Chester Cup in May, and while this is an even sterner test of his stamina, Falcon Eight’s class may well be enough to pull him through.
Congratulation to Oisin Murphy on his triumph as leading jockey at Royal Ascot
Indeed! For those who don’t remember Ile de Chypre veering across the track like Foxes Tales here you go
Thought we were going to have another Ile de Chypre moment there…
1 Foxes Tales (Oisin Murphy) 13-2
2 Visualisation (D P McDonogh) 16-1
3 Irish Legend (C T Keane) 22-1
Also: 4-1 Fav King Frankel 4th
Non Runners: 1,5,16
Lest is be forgotten that’s another winner for Greg Wood our tipster who has had an excellent week.
And they’re off ... King Frankel gets out fast with Stay Well ... Foxes Tales is last ... Fantastic Fox is free in the lead ... King Frankel challenges ... Foxes Tales now burst through, veers left but wins with ease. Oisin Murphy celebrates ... knowing he will now be leading jockey at Royal Ascot.
The July Cup at Newmarket promises the be quite some race next month
The 34th of the 35 races at Royal Ascot is never likely to be one of the highlights and there are several non-runners too on account of the ground, but this is still a competitive heat with no fewer than five of the runners vying for favouritism at around 6-1. That includes the mounts of Frankie Dettori (King Frankel) and Oisin Murphy (Foxes Tales) and so this race could yet prove to be a pivotal moment in the race for the top jockey prize.
Alfaadhel, whose trainer, Roger Varian, has been very quiet so far this week, and his stable companion Fantastic Fox have obvious chances too while Ben Curtis has a fair chance of getting off the mark for the meeting on Seasett, but Foxes Tales will do for me with Murphy taking the reins after Silvestre de Sousa opted for Fantastic Fox. He was eight lengths in front of Alfaadhel in a maiden at Newbury in April, and while Alfaadhel has since improved markedly on that debut run, he is giving 5lb to Foxes Tales here.
1 Rohaan (S W Kelly) 8-1
2 Fresh (K Shoemark) 15-2
3 King’s Lynn (R L Moore) 3-1 Fav
4 Chiefofchiefs (J P Spencer) 14-1
Non Runners: 2,8,10,19,23,25,26,28,29
Trainer David Evans, who has been around forever, and has his first Royal Ascot winner, has a glint in his eye and is being cheeky when he says to Rishi Persad that “he’s six out of ten in terms of excitement”. Evans said: “It’s hard to believe it’s happened. I couldn’t really see till the last 100 yards. It’s a stupid rule [he couldn’t race in the Commonwealth Cup]. The July Cup would be the plan.”
And they’re off ... Air Raid and Desert Safari are away fast ... Punchbowl Flyer is there ... Hey Jonesy running well ... Rohaan arrives late to win well. King’s Lynn, the Queen’s horse, got into all sorts of trouble again but the winner deserved that coming from last to first and winning in style.
King’s Lynn, not surprisingly if you’ve been following these jottings all week, is being very well backed to give the Queen a winner in the Wokingham Stakes next.
The Wokingham is never a race to approach with anything but an expectation that you will end up wondering why you bothered, but a soft-ground Wokingham on turf that may have started to dry out a little – always the worst kind at this track – is about as trappy as it gets. But that will not stop any of us trying to find the winner, and all eyes will be on King’s Lynn, in the royal colours, not least now that the Queen herself has made her first visit of the week. Many punters will see this as her way of tipping the regal wink to her loyal subjects that King’s Lynn is “expected”, as they say, and having run exceptionally well to finish seventh, less than three lengths behind the winner Oxted, in the King’s Stand Stakes here on Tuesday, he certainly looks like a blot on the handicap. On very different ground, though, and just four days after such a huge effort at Group One level, a price of around 4-1 seems ridiculous against a field with its typical mix of hardened handicappers and progressive youngster, several of whom could ultimately prove to be every bit as “thrown in” as the favourite.
On that basis, I’m quite keen on the claims of Fresh (he’s by Bated Breath out of Kendal Mint), from the James Fanshawe yard. He was a course-and-distance winner last time out despite having to weave his way through from an unpromising position, has plenty of scope for improvement after just nine starts and his trainer knows just what it takes to win at this track and trip, having landed both the Wokingham and Diamond Jubilee (twice) in the last 10 years.
1 Dream Of Dreams (R L Moore) 3-1 Fav
2 Glen Shiel (Hollie Doyle) 7-1
3 Art Power (S De Sousa) 7-2
Also: 20-1 Happy Power 4th
Non Runners: 3,10
And they’re off ... Dream Of Dreams very quickly away with Glen Shiel ... Art Power is also prominent ... Final Song is there and Glen Shiel is being pushed along ... Dream of Dreams is gaining ... Dream of Dreams finally gets there to win after two seconds in the race.
“Any winner here is a great thrill,” says Sir Michael Stoute, an outstanding trainer renowned for giving very little away after a race. Dream of Dreams is now 5-1 favourite for the July Cup at Newmarket.
Climate change protesters disrupted racing at Royal Ascot on Saturday after chaining themselves to the running rail by the winning post after the opening contest.
The final Group One of the meeting and what may well be the final chance for Dream Of Dreams to get this race on his cv, having finished a close second in the last two runnings. It won’t do anything for his stud value as he has long since been a gelding, but it would be very satisfying for Ryan Moore, who arrived a split-second too late behind Hello Youmzain 12 months ago. That form gives him an obvious chance on ground that should not be an issue, but he has run some stinkers over this course and distance too, including when setting off as the 3-1 favourite for the Sprint on Champions Day last year.
That race was won by Glen Shiel, famously giving Hollie Doyle her first win at Group One level, and Archie Watson’s gelding will definitely appreciate the rain as he attempts to give the trainer a decent consolation prize after losing the Commonwealth Cup in the stewards’ room on Friday. Starman, who would have surely started favourite had the rain not arrived, is a non-runner, but Nahaarr and Art Power are also live contenders for a very open renewal.
1 Wonderful Tonight (W Buick) 5-1
2 Broome (R L Moore) 9-4 Fav
3 Hukum (Jim Crowley) 8-1
Also: 40-1 Thunderous 4th
Winning trainer David Menuisier said of his impressive winner: “She’s only 85% fit today and to have my first Royal Ascot winner is a thrill. She will go where the ground is the softest with the ultimate aim the Arc.” Wonderful Tonight is 12-1 from 20-1 for the King George back at Ascot.
And they’re off ... Albaflora and Wonderful Tonight are out fast ... Broome is in midfield ... Deja and Highest ground at the rear ... Sir Ron Priestley now takes the lead ... Thunderous and Hukum are just behind ... Wonderful Tonight and Broome just behind ... Wonderful Tonight has taken off and shot into the lead ... and powers home for an impressive win.
John Gosden scratched Logician, the 2019 St Leger winner, this morning while the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mogul and Tiger Moth were both taken out on Friday, but Ballydoyle still has two fancied runners in this in the shape of Broome and Japan. The latter is a Group One winner while Broome has always come up short at the highest level, but he was only a short-head away from a maiden Group One win at the Curragh last time and looks more likely to be suited by today’s testing ground.
Wonderful Tonight, who gave David Menuisier his first Group One success in the Fillies’ & Mares’ race on Champions Day, is another very live contender, while Ilaraab, the winner of handicaps off 84, 90, 95 and 104 on his last four starts, is another up-and-comer with possibilities if he handles the ground.
Some news about this year’s Derby winner from the Charlie Appleby camp after their victory in the Jersey Stakes there:
Charlie Appleby confirms to ITV that Derby winner Adayar remains on course for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at @Ascot next month.
1 Creative Force (James Doyle) 5-1 Jt Fav
2 Naval Crown (W Buick) 5-1 Jt Fav
3 Vadream (J P Spencer) 28-1
Non Runner: 3
Trainer Charlie Appleby, who trained the first two home, said: “I worked them together [recently]and I don’t want to doing that again - they are both so genuine. [Stable jockey] William Buick [who chose the second-placed runner] had a hard choice. The Prix Maurice de Gheest for the pair of them would be on the menu and then head to the Saudi Sprint in the winter.”
And they’re off ...Naval Crown and Memento lead in one group ... Creative Force and Mutasaabeq and Storm Damage in the other group ... Creative Force and Naval Crown are fighting it out with Rhythm Master fighting hard but Creative Force wins.
A fairly typical renewal of the Jersey Stakes, with beaten horses from the 2,000 Guineas dropping back in trip to tackle some lightly-raced types that skirted around the Classics. Mutasaabeq, who lost his unbeaten record when only seventh at Newmarket, did not settle there and should be suited by this stiff seven, but for all that he won his novice on heavy ground, his last two starts have been on good-to-firm and the deep stuff at Ascot tends to be a different test entirely.
Creative Force, who progressed from handicapping to win a Listed race at Newbury in May, has also yet to see ground this testing, though it is a sign of his standing at the Charlie Appleby stable that he was sent to the Royal meeting for the Coventry Stakes last year. Khartoum, who started the season with entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the Irish Derby but ended up winning a handicap at Naas in mid-May, is Aidan O’Brien’s only runner, while Naval Crown, another Appleby runner, is also unproven on the ground.
1 Point Lonsdale (R L Moore) 10-11 Fav
2 Reach For The Moon (L Dettori) 11-1
3 Great Max (James Doyle) 15-2
Also: 16-1 Sweeping 4th
Trainer Aidan O’Brien said of the wining colt, who is a best-priced 20-1 for the 2,000 Guineas with Paddy Power and Betfair: “He’s very brave. He’s typical of a colt by Australia – he keeps his head low. He’s very smart – for a horse bred to be a middle-distance horse he has always shown a lot of speed. He’ll come back to the Curragh for something like the Futurity [and is in all big two-year-old races].”
And they’re off ... Withering slowly away with Sweeping leading early ... Reach For The Moon and Masakela are on the far side alone ... Reach For The Moon is challenged by New Science with Point Lonsdale trying to get there ... Point Lonsdale may have got there. He has ... by a neck or so from the Queen’s runner.
Point Lonsdale just edges ahead of Reach For The Moon to win the Chesham Stakes
A great battle to the line but the royal runner was denied
https://t.co/fJXuj4d6h6#ITVRacing #RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/18orTXodKk
1 Green 3-1 fav
It’s the Queen’s Hat Stakes imminently ... they’re in the stalls ...
The amazing story of Nando Parrado, one of the 16 survivors of the Andes mountains in 1972, was recounted on ITV. The horse named after him runs in the Jersey Stakes at 3.05pm.
"I haven't stopped laughing in the last 48 years, I shouldn't be here"
The story of how a 150-1 Coventry Stakes winner got his name, told by the man who lent it to him - Nando Parrado
https://t.co/fJXuj4d6h6#ITVRacing #RoyalAscot pic.twitter.com/pQfYFk0ZEh
More non-runners with the ground changing since declaration time 48 hours ago
3.05 Jersey Stakes (Group 3)
No 3 Ace Aussie
5.35 Golden Gates Handicap
No 1 Isle of Sark
No 16 Dingle
Aidan O’Brien’s cat will be arranging to leave the country for a few weeks if Point Lonsdale fails to justify favouritism here. The son of Australia is around 6-4 to follow up his effortless success in a maiden at the Curragh 16 days ago and give his trainer only his second winner at the meeting. His chance is obvious, and O’Brien has run some very useful sorts in this Listed event over the years, including the subsequent Group One winners Churchill and Maybe, but there are enough opponents that have shown a similar level of form in their limited careers to date to pass him over at such short odds.
New Science, an easy winner on good-to-soft ground at Yarmouth on debut, is an obvious contender, and so too Masekela, another colt with one run and one win on the board. Unlike the other two, he is stepping up to seven furlongs for the first time here but he is bred to get at least this far – and significantly further next year – and represents an operation in blinding form in Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy.
James Knight, trading director at Coral, is lively on Twitter and even though it might be a case of “off with his head” he asks a very pertinent question concerning Her Majesty
I'm sure there is a reason involving the Queen coming and going or something, but why can't Royal Ascot start earlier each day? The revised seven race cards and programme have been brilliant, but no-one wants a 6.10pm finish every day?
The Queen is back at Ascot today and the traditional betting markets have opened for the colour of her headwear. Ladbrokes, William Hill, Coral and bet365 are reportedly all offering odds. Pink, blue and green have all opened up as favourite with different firms, report BestofBets.com. If you want a form guide they tell me the monarch has worn blue and pink numbers an impressive 57% of times on the first day of Royal Ascot since 2005 and this will be her first appearance this week. Get your money on for the ‘opening’ event.
Here’s the horses who have decided the squelchy stuff underfoot is not for them or have reported in sick
Non-runners list (and it’s long)
It’s going to be pretty demanding out there on the track this afternoon but at least this should be a quieter day for Chris Stickels, the clerk of the course at Ascot after yesterday’s drama with an unexpected lunchtime inspection.
The going for day five of Royal Ascot is ‘Soft, Heavy in places’. Stickels reported: “We had 44mm of rain yesterday, but it has been dry since 10pm last night. It is going to be a generally dry but overcast day. We may get a possible occasional shower later.”
By my reckoning – and it’s been known to go awry – it is 18 years since Aidan O’Brien reached the final day of Royal Ascot with so little to celebrate. In 2003, he blanked at the entire meeting, but in every year since, he has had at least two wins on the board before the final afternoon. But not this year, when Love’s win in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on Wednesday is all that Ballydoyle has to show for its considerable efforts this week.
O’Brien has some fair chances at the top of today’s card but this has not been a meeting to remember either for the master of Ballydoyle or Ryan Moore, his No 1 rider, who has also just the win on Love to his name.Continue reading...