Review of the action from the final day of Royal Ascot

Racing
Merchant Navy edges out City Light in a thriller
Merchant Navy edges out City Light in a thriller

A review of the action from Royal Ascot on Saturday where Merchant Navy won a dramatic Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

Navy lands dramatic feature

Merchant Navy (4/1) came out on top in a dramatic Diamond Jubilee Stakes in which favourite Harry Angel became upset in the stalls and was very slowly away.

He was never to land a blow and it was left to American raider Bound For Nowhere to blaze a trail down the Ascot straight.

He was still in front a furlong out but began to hang to his left towards the eventual winner who was beginning his charge.

However no sooner had Ryan Moore mastered that rival aboard Merchant Navy then he was immediately pressed by City Light (12/1) and at the line only had a short-head to spare.

Bound For Nowhere (12/1) was third, three-quarters-of-a-length away.

Moore told ITV Racing: "I can't repeat what I was thinking when we hit the line. He's a remarkable horse. He's hasn't been up here long, he's won both his starts here and he's beat a high-class field today.

"I thought he would win easier, but the American horse leaned into me, we got very tight and he just lost his rhythm for a second. If he'd have got beat I'd have felt he would have been unlucky. I'm delighted with him and it's a pleasure to ride these sort of horses."

Clive Cox said of the vanquished Harry Angel: "His leg was still in the stall when it opened. He's not straightforward in the stalls, as you can see. It's a shame it's happened and it obviously affected the whole day.

"He's got a nasty puncture wound, which we're concerned enough about. He wasn't sound behind when he came in. Not dreadful, but he wasn't sound. I'm just sorry for everyone and it's a shame, but I hope he'll be fine."

Bacchus thwarts monster gamble

33/1 outsider Bacchus came to the rescue of the bookmakers as he reeled in 2/1 favourite Dreamfield to win the Wokingham.

The runner-up was the subject of a monster ante-post gamble and led the field a merry dance down the far side of the track.

He was still in front a furlong out but began to hang to his left as the eventual winner threw down a determined challenge which took him to the front close home for a neck success.

Major Jumbo (22/1) was third with Tis Marvellous (20/1) fourth. Sky Bet were paying seven places and Silent Echo (20/1), George Bowen (20/1) and Gilgamesh (10/1) were the next three home.

Winning trainer Brian Meehan said: " I'm delighted. He's a stunning horse and a real yard favourite. He's not that young, but he's got a huge future ahead of him. It was a terrible spring and we had a rough time with our horses. He took a long time to come to hand and he needed that extra time like a lot of them. It's been tough.

"I said to the owners the spring didn't go well. I won't run him, I'll go straight to the Wokingham with him. We've been talking about the Ayr Gold Cup and races like that as well. He's tailor-made for the job."

Bacchus breaks punters' hearts in the Wokingham
Bacchus breaks punters' hearts in the Wokingham

Stoute claims 11th Hardwicke

Crystal Ocean provided Sir Michael Stoute with a remarkable 11th win in the Hardwicke Stakes with an impressive display under Ryan Moore.

The 4/7 favourite tracked market rival Idaho through the early stages of the contest and went to the front two furlongs out.

As the pacesetter began to backtrack, 33/1 outsider Red Verdon emerged as the main threat but he could never land a telling blow and the winner surged to the line, scoring by two-and-a-half lengths.

Sky Bet cut the winner to 9/4 favourite from 4/1 for the King George back here next month and halved him in price to 10/1 for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Racing PR Manager Michael Shinners said: "It looked a straightforward task for Crystal Ocean but it was a taking performance and he looks set to make a big impact in the Group One races over a mile-and-a-half from now on."

Stoute - who on Wednesday set a new best for career winners at the showpiece fixture - said: "He's really continued to progress with his racing. He's got a lovely temperament and he's a joy to train.

"It was straightforward. He is so uncomplicated you can do what you like with him. He is a relaxed horse. It is so far, so good.

"We will take him home and look at him for a little while, but I expect that (King George) is likely. We will take it step by step. I think we will get brave now. The King George is likely, but we will get home and think about it."

Dame Helen Mirren hands out the Hardwicke gongs
Dame Helen Mirren hands out the Hardwicke gongs

Castle falls to Soldier's Call

Soldier's Call was a 12/1 winner of the Windsor Castle Stakes for Archie Watson and Danny Tudhope.

The winner was in front two furlongs out and fended off the late thrust of Richard Fahey's Sabre (12/1) to score by a length as runners in the stands' side group dominated the finish.

Dom Carlos (16/1) was another to finish with a flourish and was a further length-and-three-quarters adrift in third.

It was a first Royal Ascot success for Watson who said: "This is only our second year training and our second year with runners here. After Nate's run I thought I might have to wait a bit longer than an hour for that first winner!

"This horse means a lot to us. The owners have all put a lot of faith in me as a second-season trainer and sent me a lot of kit. I'm just delighted that I can repay their faith. Danny is a world-class jockey and I'm very lucky to have him ride my horses. It means a lot to the whole team."

Soldier's Call beats Sabre in the Windsor Castle
Soldier's Call beats Sabre in the Windsor Castle

Kitt claims emotional success

Arthur Kitt claimed a fairytale success in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Tom Dascombe's charge is a son of the yard's 2012 Queen Mary Stakes heroine Ceiling Kitty, who died after giving birth to this Camelot colt.

It did not look great for his supporters of the 13/2 winner for much of the seven-furlong journey, with the two-year-old having to be niggled along by Richard Kingscote from the halfway stage. However, to his credit, Arthur Kitt responded to his riders urgings and as the front-runners fell away, the youngster battled his way to the lead and held off Nate The Great by a neck.

Natalie's Joy, the heavily backed 5-4 favourite, was disappointing.

Andrew Black, of winning owners Chasemore Farm, told ITV Racing: "This is so special. I've been more emotionally attached to this horse than any horse I've ever had.

"The night he was born was such an incredibly difficult, painful night. We put the mare down within literally seconds of having the problem and then we had problems getting the foal out. He had a twisted leg at that point and it took a long time for that to heal.

"We had to go and find a foster mare with him straight away, we put the call out and managed to get one and we've still got her today. When they're brought up by a foster mare they're kind of different and have different personalities. He was much more friendly than your average horse.

"I always hoped he would be special and we always felt this was the race. I thought we would win the Chesham and that would make it right somehow. I'm massively emotional."

Richard Kingscote celebrates the victory of Arthur Kitt
Richard Kingscote celebrates the victory of Arthur Kitt

Spencer peerless on Pallasator

Pallasator (11-2) rolled back the years when comfortably landing the Queen Alexandra Stakes, the final race of this year's Royal Ascot meeting.

A high-class stayer when trained by Sir Mark Prescott earlier in his career, the nine-year-old has been rejuvenated since moving to Gordon Elliott's yard in Ireland, winning a couple of times over hurdles before been laid out for a return to the Royal meeting.

Ridden with customary confidence by Jamie Spencer, Pallastator watched on in the early exchanges but began to make relentless progress as they turned for home and picked up the running approaching the final furlong.

Despite veering markedly left once in the clear, Spencer kept his cool to straighten up his mount who pulled away again to see off Renneti by a length and a half.

Hot-favourite Thomas Hobson endured a luckless run round, being badly hampered when trying to close on the final bend, and he finished out of the money.

Elliott was enjoying his second Royal Ascot success, having saddled Commissioned to win this prize in 2016.

He said: "It's the first time I've been here. I didn't come the last time for my winner.

"Jamie gave him a great ride and fair play to Sheikh Fahad for sending him to me. Sir Mark Prescott recommended he had a change of scenery, so he came to me and he's here today and that's great.

"He's been grand since he came to us. We'll have plenty of fun with him now.

"He's won today. I'll talk to the owners and see what they want to do. I'd love to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup one day."

Related links

Most Read Racing

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action1

Wednesday's racing preview

Nick Robson feels Gabr can take advantage of a drop in class on Wednesday - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Horse-by-horse guide to the bet365 Cambridgeshire2

Cambridgeshire preview and tips

David Ord has a horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's bet365 Cambridgeshire and takes Roger Varian to land the cavalry charge.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing3

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

The easy ground at Goodwood will play to the strengths of Harlequin Striker on Wednesday, according to Matt Brocklebank.

The Willie Mullins-trained Whiskey Sour4

Antepost Angle: Mine's a Whiskey

Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to the Cesarewitch at Newmarket on October 13 and identifies a Willie Mullins-trained 20/1 chance as the best bet.

Double Ross: The old boy is back at Perth5

Wednesday Talking Points

Ben Linfoot pinpoints four things to look out for on Wednesday, with popular veteran Double Ross back in action at Perth and Jason Watson rocketing towards losing his claim.

Most Read Racing

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action1

Wednesday's racing preview

Nick Robson feels Gabr can take advantage of a drop in class on Wednesday - he has a tip for every race on every card.

Horse-by-horse guide to the bet365 Cambridgeshire2

Cambridgeshire preview and tips

David Ord has a horse-by-horse guide to Saturday's bet365 Cambridgeshire and takes Roger Varian to land the cavalry charge.

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing3

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

The easy ground at Goodwood will play to the strengths of Harlequin Striker on Wednesday, according to Matt Brocklebank.

The Willie Mullins-trained Whiskey Sour4

Antepost Angle: Mine's a Whiskey

Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to the Cesarewitch at Newmarket on October 13 and identifies a Willie Mullins-trained 20/1 chance as the best bet.

Double Ross: The old boy is back at Perth5

Wednesday Talking Points

Ben Linfoot pinpoints four things to look out for on Wednesday, with popular veteran Double Ross back in action at Perth and Jason Watson rocketing towards losing his claim.

Next Race Off
10:00 Mysore
9
(14)
Kruger Park
J: Chethan Gowda
8
(7)
Little Brown Jug
J: P Kiran Rai
14
(4)
My Valentine
J: Anil Baandal
13
(9)
Classic Jewel
J: Amyn Merchant
12
(3)
Mother Ewa
J: C Umesh
11
(6)
Green Meadow
J: P P Dhebe
10
(12)
Repsol
J: Irvan Singh
3
(13)
Able Master
J: Darshan R N
7
(11)
Music Divine
J: Antony Raj S
6
(2)
Wonderlust
J: Anjar Alam
5
(8)
Reverberating
J: Shobhan Babu
4
(10)
Dancing Princess
J: T S Jodha
2
(1)
Aleef
J: K Sai Kiran
1
(5)
Run To Win
J: Mohammed Mushraf

Racing Tips

Find out who our team are backing ahead of today's racing

Sporting Life: Daily Nap

The easy ground at Goodwood will play to the strengths of Harlequin Striker on Wednesday, according to Matt Brocklebank.

The Willie Mullins-trained Whiskey Sour

Antepost Angle: Mine's a Whiskey

Matt Brocklebank looks ahead to the Cesarewitch at Newmarket on October 13 and identifies a Willie Mullins-trained 20/1 chance as the best bet.

Check out our free horse racing selections and preview for today's action

Wednesday's racing preview

Nick Robson feels Gabr can take advantage of a drop in class on Wednesday - he has a tip for every race on every card.