Royal Ascot Review

Day One 14-6-22

Baaeed ensured Royal Ascot 2022 started with a bang as he produced another dominant display in the curtain-raising Queen Anne Stakes. Unbeaten in seven previous starts and so impressive on his seasonal reappearance in the Lockinge at Newbury last month, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old was sent off the 1-6 favourite under Jim Crowley. Always travelling powerfully over the straight mile, the Sea The Stars colt quickened smartly two furlongs out and soon stamped his authority on the Group One contest as he kicked comfortably clear. Baaeed only had to be pushed out hands and heels in the closing stages to score by a length and three-quarters, with the front-running Real World a clear second, just as he was in the Lockinge.

Hollie Doyle steered Bradsell to a decisive victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. A relatively cheap breeze-up purchase at £47,000, Archie Watson's youngster made a big impression on his racecourse debut at York when winning by nine lengths with his head in his chest. The son of Tasleet had significantly more on his plate stepping up to Group Two level, but proved more than up to the task under his record-breaking rider. Always positioned wide from his low draw in stall two, 8-1 shot Bradsell moved smoothly towards the front end with two furlongs to go when Doyle made a bold bid for home. It proved the right move as her mount soon found top gear to take a couple of lengths out of the field and from that point he never really looked in any danger of being reeled in. The well-fancied Persian Force did best of the closing pack to fill the runner-up spot, but was a length and a half behind at the line.

Andrew Balding's Coltrane (14-1) provided apprentice jockey Callum Hutchinson with his first taste of Royal Ascot success with a battling display in the Ascot Stakes. A field of 19 runners went to post for the two-and-a-half-mile handicap, with Bring On The Night the favourite to provide Willie Mullins with a fifth victory in the race in the last decade. A neck runner-up to Cleveland in last month's Chester Cup, Coltrane was guided to the lead inside the final two furlongs by his 5lb claimer, who punched the air as he saw off the challenge of Bring On The Night and Ryan Moore by three-quarters of a length. Arcadian Sunrise made late gains to finish the same distance further back in third, with Going Gone fourth and last year’s winner Reshoun in fifth.

Saeed bin Suroor and Danny Tudhope combined to win the Wolferton Stakes with Dubai Future (20-1). Fourth behind leading Prince of Wales’s Stakes contender Bay Bridge in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Sandown last month, the six-year-old looked far more comfortable stepping down to Listed class. He loomed up travelling strongly early in the home straight before kicking clear, with favourite Cadillac – who changed hands for £500,000 at the Goffs London sale on Monday evening – beaten three lengths into second place. Tudhope completed a quickfire double in the concluding Copper Horse Stakes aboard the David O’Meara-trained Get Shirty (16-1).

Coroebus was made to pull out all the stops to supplement his 2000 Guineas triumph with victory in a thrilling renewal of the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Dubawi colt narrowly denied esteemed stablemate Native Trail when providing trainer Charlie Appleby with a first victory in the colts’ Classic on the Rowley Mile. And with Native Trail having since bounced back to winning ways in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, Coroebus was unsurprisingly cramped odds to double his tally for the season as the 10-11 favourite.

Drawn low in stall two, the fear beforehand was whether the three-year-old would get boxed in behind the pacemakers – and turning in his supporters would have been sweating for a moment. But the gap came for William Buick’s mount against the far rail with a furlong and a half to run, at which stage it looked like he would pick up and win comfortably. However, Lusail refused to go down without a fight and My Prospero and Mighty Ulysses were both in there pitching to set up a grandstand finish. In the end, Coroebus found just enough for pressure to hold on by a head from Lusail, with My Prospero third and Maljoom coming from the clouds to finish a close-up fourth after being denied a clear run.

Australian raider Nature Strip ran out an emphatic winner of the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. A multiple Group One winner in his homeland for Chris Waller, best known as the trainer of the great racemare Winx, Nature Strip was the 9-4 second-favourite for a much-anticipated international clash with Wesley Ward’s American challenger and dual Breeders’ Cup winner Golden Pal. The writing was on the wall for supporters of the latter soon after the gates opened, however, with the usually rapid starter completely missing the break, from which point it was all about the Australian runner. After initially taking a lead, Nature Strip – with the loose Khaadem for company – moved to the front two furlongs from home still full of running and found another gear once popped the question by James McDonald. The rest of the field was left trailing in his wake as the seven-year-old engaged overdrive and passed the post with four and a half lengths in hand over Twilight Calls, with Acklam Express and Mooneista close up in third and fourth respectively.

Day Two  15-6-22

Joseph O'Brien secured his first Royal Ascot winner as a trainer as State Of Rest led from pillar-to-post in the Prince of Wales's Stakes. Already a Group One winner in America, Australia and France, the Starspangledbanner colt was last seen finishing a close-up third when bidding to bag a first top-level prize on European soil in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. With the fast-improving Bay Bridge, Japanese raider Shahryar and a previous winner of the race in Lord North in opposition, State Of Rest was a 5-1 shot and proved his class under Shane Crosse. Ryan Moore delivered 10-11 favourite Bay Bridge with what looked like a well-timed run, but try as he might, he could never quite get on terms with State Of Rest who found plenty in front to prevail by a length. O'Brien won the Prince of Wales's Stakes as a jockey 10 years ago aboard So You Think, trained by his father Aidan.

Day Three 16-6-22

Kyprios held off Mojo Star and Stradivarius to claim the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore. Having gone a slow pace there were plenty in with chances turning into the straight, as the mare Princess Zoe just about hit the front a furlong out looking to go one better than 12 months ago. She was soon headed by Kyprios but Mojo Star, second in the Derby and St Leger last year, and eventually Stradivarius, having had to be switched for a run, threw down their challenge. But it was not to be, as the 13-8 favourite held on for a famous win by half a length with another three-quarter of a length back to Frankie Dettori and Stradivarius, who was bidding to join the O’Brien-trained Yeats as a four-time winner.

Day Four 17-6-22

Meditate maintained her unbeaten record with a clear-cut victory in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Previously successful on her Curragh debut and in a Group Three at Naas, the daughter of No Nay Never was a 5-2 chance to complete her hat-trick in the hands of the Ryan Moore. Always travelling strongly, Aidan O'Brien’s filly picked up quickly once asked to go about her business and was ultimately well on top as she passed the post a length and three-quarters clear of favourite Mawj.  Tom Marquand opened his account for Royal Ascot 2022 as the long-absent Candleford (11-2) ran away with the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes. Trained by William Haggas, the four-year-old had not been seen in competitive action since winning at Kempton in November, but was nevertheless prominent in the market. For a moment early in the straight it looked as though Kim Bailey's Ajero had slipped the field, but Candleford joined him approaching the final furlong before rocketing clear.

Aidan O'Brien celebrated his 80th Royal Ascot winner when Changingoftheguard (11-10F) made every yard of the running in the King Edward VII Stakes. Having attempted to make all in the Derby last time out before fading into fifth, he was out again quickly and this time Ryan Moore was back on board with the same tactics adopted. Moore was hard at work from a long way out and while all the runners threw down some sort of a challenge, it was the Charlie Fellowes-trained Grand Alliance who came widest and latest of all. There was little in it at the line and they were far apart on the track, but the favourite got the verdict by a short head.

Perfect Power finished with a flourish to claim top honours in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. A dual Group One winner over six furlongs last term, Richard Fahey's stable star won the Greenham over seven on his reappearance, which prompted connections to have a crack at the 2000 Guineas. Having seemingly had his stamina limitations exposed on the Rowley Mile, the Ardad colt reverted to six furlongs in Berkshire and galloped home on the far side of the track under a power-packed ride from Christophe Soumillon to oblige as a 7-2 joint-favourite. Flaming Rib and Flotus finished second and third respectively.

Inspiral belied her lengthy absence with a scintillating display in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. The daughter of Frankel was the undoubted star juvenile filly of last season, winning each of her four starts including a Group One triumph in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. However, following a troubled spring, John and Thady Gosden’s charge was ruled out of last month’s 1000 Guineas and as a result made her first competitive appearance in eight months in Berkshire. Given a confident ride by Frankie Dettori, 15-8 favourite Inspiral was still well back in the field turning for home, but sprouted wings in the straight to mow down the pacesetters and the found another gear to pull four and three-quarter lengths clear of American raider Spendarella.

Day Five 18-6-22

Holloway Boy powered home on his racecourse debut under Danny Tudhope to take the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Karl Burke. The strapping Ulysses colt took apart his 13 rivals in what looked a strong renewal, the 40-1 chance cruising in behind early pacesetters Alzahir and Aidan O’Brien-trained Alfred Munnings, yet he had a bit to find when Pearling Path (80-1) eased to the front approaching a furlong out. Tudhope had every move covered on the Nick White and Elaine Burke-owned colt, however, and he went on to score by a length, with Lakota Sioux (33-1) a further length and a half back in third. Alfred Munnings was uneasy in the market beforehand and having had every chance, he dropped away rather tamely.

Broome swept trainer Aidan O'Brien to a remarkable 900th Group/Graded winner under both codes with an awesome display of front-running in the hands of Ryan Moore to take the Hardwicke Stakes. Though last season’s Irish Derby and St Leger winner Hurricane Lane was sent off the odds-on favourite for the mile-and-a-half Group Two feature at Royal Ascot, he appeared to be carrying a little condition for his first run of the season on ground quicker than ideal and Moore’s aggressive tactics from a wide draw worked to perfection, as he took the sting out of Charlie Appleby’s runner. The 6-1 chance, who landed the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in July last year, kept grinding and as Hurricane Lane wilted. Mostahdaf and Jim Crowley gave chase, but found the winner three and a quarter lengths superior.

Naval Crown had to settle for second-best behind his Charlie Appleby-trained stablemate Creative Force in last season's Jersey Stakes – but he avenged that defeat in style as he powered up the stands' rail at odds of 33-1 to claim the Platinum Jubilee Stakes. Separated by the width of the Ascot track, James Doyle’s mount, who had been running over further than the six furlongs throughout his career until a fourth-placed effort in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, got the better of the William Buick-ridden Creative Force by a neck, despite losing his off-hind shoe. While free-going Australian raider Home Affairs was sent off favourite, he had run his race by the furlong pole and the Godolphin pair were followed home by a blanket of horses, with America’s Campanelle sticking to her guns to dead-heat with Australia’s Artorius.