Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 July 2020

More success for Emirati owners at Royal Ascot while Stradivarius completes Gold Cup hat-trick

Double for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid as Molatham wins Group 3 Jersey Stakes while Khaloosy takes Britannia Stakes

Frankie Dettori wins the Group 1 Gold Cup on-board Stradivarius at Royal Ascot. Reuters
Frankie Dettori wins the Group 1 Gold Cup on-board Stradivarius at Royal Ascot. Reuters

Stradivarius grabbed the spotlight on Day 3 of Royal Ascot by completing a hat-trick of Gold Cup wins while Emirati owners continued to enjoy more success.

There was some concern surrounding Stradivarius’ bid after the underfoot conditions turned from good to soft following an overnight downpour.

But the John Gosden-trained six-year-old son of Sea The Stars, ridden by Frankie Dettori, brushed aside all those doubts to romp to victory in the day’s feature race.

“It's an amazing achievement,” Dettori said. “The rain this morning was against him but he did it well.

“I'm very proud of the horse and he took off in the straight. I've ridden some great horses and he's one of the great stayers."

Dettori, who was also on-board for Stradivarius' first two Gold Cup wins, had him well-placed in the middle of the eight-horse field for most of the two-mile-four-furlong trip.

Dettori was still on the bridle as they turned for home and it was all over once Stradivarius hit the front.

“I was surprised at the four-furlong marker, when I looked under my shoulders, that everybody was in trouble," Dettori added.

“When the ground is like this, sometimes the horses die in your hands. Until I pressed the button, I wasn’t counting my chickens. But then when I asked him to quicken, he really took off and it was sheer joy.”

Nayef, in the silks of Dubai businessman Mohamed Obaid, took second spot ahead of Godolphin’s 2018 Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter.

Emirati owners won seven of the 14 prizes over the first two days of the royal meet. They added three more to that tally on Thursday.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and his retained jockey Jim Crowley continued their dream run with a double to take their tally to six winners.

Molatham bagged the Group 3 Jersey Stakes and Khaloosy came home ahead of the field in the Britannia Stakes to complete a double for trainer Roger Varian.

Molatham got to the front in the last few strides to collar Aidan O’Brien’s Monarch Of Egypt under Ryan Moore by half-a-length in the third race.

“He stuck it out well, he got headed but in fairness to him he came back,” said Crowley, who followed up his treble on Day 1 on Tuesday with another win on Wednesday.

Khaloosy burst through the pack to win with plenty in hand from another Varian runner, Finest Sound, in the silks of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed Obaid.

Ziad Galadari’s Mountain Angel took the Listed Wolferton Stakes for another success for Emirati owners.

On Friday, the feature prize is the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup in which Godolphin runs the lightly-raced Royal Crusade.

The son of Shamardal won on his racecourse debut and was twice runner-up in in his next two starts, all of which were over seven furlongs.

“I am looking forward to him dropping back in distance to six furlongs,” his trainer Charlie Appleby said.

“He is a typical Shamardal in that he has got stronger and quicker as he has got older. This could be an ideal target for him as it is a stiff six furlongs at Ascot, and we know he gets seven. He has a big chance.”

Updated: June 18, 2020 08:16 PM

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