Stradivarius advertised his St Leger credentials with victory in the new look Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot. Check out our race report, reaction from connections and free video replay.
1700 Royal Ascot - Queen's Vase result
1st Stradivarius 11/2
2nd Count Octave 8/1
3rd Secret Advisor 10/1
4th Belgravia 5/1 favourite
Stradivarius advertised his St Leger credentials with victory in the new look Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot.
Formerly a Listed race run over two miles, the Queen's Vase was being run over one miles six furlongs as a Group Two for the first time and went to a rapidly progressive three-year-old.
Mark Johnston's pair, Time To Study and Mister Manduro, cut out the early running in a fairly rough start to the contest with the field bunched up in behind.
Wisconsin cocked his jaw, veering left-handed in the early stages, before rejoining the pack after Swinley Bottom but was soon found wanting as the pace quickened towards the home turn.
Challengers came thick and fast as the field spread out in the search for racing room but Count Octave was the first to make a real bid for top honours.
No sooner had he hit the front than he was reeled in by the John Gosden-trained winner who ran on strongly to score by a neck to provide Andrea Atzeni with a first Royal Ascot winner of the week.
Secret Advisor came from off the pace to finish third, two lengths adrift of the principals.
Sky Bet introduced the winner at 12/1 for the St Leger at Doncaster in September.
Andrea Atzeni: "Mr Gosden was keen for me to get a good position and I got one on the rails. He's a horse that is still learning but he was very brave to go through the gap, when he got through he picked up really well.
"It was fairly messy at that first bend, but I was lucky my horse travelled into it and I could get a good position. It's great to have a winner here, I've waited two years (since first one) and I've had good chances all week."
John Gosden: "He's improving, we planned the race for some time after Chester.
"Andrea has ridden him beautifully from an outside draw, he's saved ground all the way, slipped here, slipped there, wriggle wriggle and he's won it in good style.
"He's a St Leger-type of horse, improving all the time, he's got a great attitude and it's great for Andrea, I think that's only his second Ascot winner. I feel sorry for Frankie (Dettori, who is injured), that's another winner he's missed.
"I thank Frankie for getting them all ready, I'm just sorry you weren't here my friend."
The placed horses could also be aimed at the St Leger.
Andrew Balding said of Count Octave: "I'm delighted as that was only his fourth run and he's still learning. He's a horse for the future. I'm delighted with how he travelled and he looks a stayer for the future.
"He might be a St Leger horse but he would not want the ground too soft. I think York would suit him very well so the Great Voltigeur is a possibility and I'll discuss that with Sheikh Fahad."
Charlie Appleby said of the third: "He's got a stout pedigree and he's done what he's bred to do, which is stay. He's got a nice future ahead of him and that was only the fourth run of his life. I'm not saying there's bags of improvement in him, but he is a Dubawi and they get better with racing.
"It's not out of the realms to say he's a St Leger horse."
Investigation after beer incident
A report will be forwarded to the British Horseracing Authority after an incident involving a racegoer apparently throwing a pint of beer towards jockey Andrea Atzeni before the last race at Royal Ascot on Friday.
Atzeni, who had won the preceding contest aboard Stradivarius, reported to the stewards an object had been thrown at him on the way to post. The rider was interviewed by the stewards, as was the clerk of the course Chris Stickels and a representative of the managing executive.
The stewards' report said having heard their evidence and viewed a recording of the incident "which showed a plastic glass being thrown from within the vicinity of the half-furlong marker on the stands side", they noted the explanation of Stickels that Ascot would try to establish during their post-race debrief with security staff whether they can identify who threw the object, and that more staff would be deployed to the area.
Nick Smith, Ascot's director of racing and communications, told Press Association Sport: "We are aware of the incident which is very unfortunate and is not acceptable. We are having an operations review of the area and will steward the area accordingly tomorrow.
"From what we have seen they were impossible to identify. The only footage we have seen is the RaceTech footage on the track and all you can see is this plastic glass coming across.
"At this stage I don't know if they identified the person, but we will obviously look at our CCTV.
"If we can identify him we will identify him, but at the moment we've not got the footage to do that."