x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Clean sweep for Stoute but day belongs to UAE

Sir Michael Stoute wins not only his fourth King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but claims the second and third spots too.

Conduit, ridden by Ryan Moore, left, finished ahead of Tartan Bearer and Ask, to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Conduit, ridden by Ryan Moore, left, finished ahead of Tartan Bearer and Ask, to win the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Sir Michael Stoute was wreathed in smiles yesterday as he not only won his fourth King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but claimed the second and third spots too for good measure. The trainer, who first claimed the prestigious 1m 2f race in 1982 with the great Shergar, made history yesterday by saddling the winner Conduit, ridden by champion jockey Ryan Moore, and second-placed Tartan Bearer with Mick Kinane on board.

He is also the brain behind the preparation of third-placed Ask, ridden by Olivier Peslier to complete a historic King George VI treble. Representing the three-year-old generation, Alwaary, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and trained by John Gosden, finished a smart fourth. It was a slightly messy finish, but Conduit had the pace to get the better of his stablemates in the home stretch. "I'll be able to enjoy it one day,' said Sir Michael, renowned for being his own toughest critic.

"They couldn't have run any better, could they? Everyone was talking about Conduit and Tartan Bearer before the race, but to be honest I couldn't have separated the two." And Stoute wasn't the only happy trainer on a day that easily belonged to the UAE. At 74, Clive Brittain is considered a veteran handler but he looked sprightly enough, performing a victory jig in the paddock when the outside chance, Al Muheer, owned by the UAE's double race-winning Saeed Manana, won the Abu Dhabi International Stakes under Seb Sanders.

A long delay at the start while the colt was re-shod didn't seem to affect him and, as his trainer joked, it may have given the son of Diktat a rest before his big effort. Al Muheer beat Sheikh Marwan al Maktoum's second-placed Secret Society, ridden by Hayley Turner, and Redford, trained by Michael Bell and ridden by Richard Hughes. The Emirati owner, Jaber Abdullah, enjoyed success in the Princess Margaret Abu Dhabi Stakes as his filly, Lady of the Desert redeemed herself after her disappointing 11-length sixth place finish at the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

Looking a different filly, the daughter of Rahy, was accompanied by a pony to the start. She finished in convincing style under Martin Dwyer to give the trainer Brian Meehan victory ahead of the well-represented Richard Hannon's Full Mandate, ridden by Richard Hughes, and Godolphin's Sand Vixen with Ted Durcan in the irons. And there was a greater Godolphin success, a few hundred miles north of Ascot yesterday, when Kirklees stepped back up in class to become the convincing winner of the Group Two, 1m 2f York Stakes.

A previous winner over 10 furlongs, the five-year-old son of Jade Robbery was ridden by Frankie Dettori. stregoning@thenational.ae