x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Spencer shines while the UAE win at last

It was not a smooth ride for Jamie Spencer in opening race yesterday at the Royal Ascot but it did give him the opportunity to show what a good horseman he is.

ASCOT // It wasn't a smooth ride for Jamie Spencer in opening race yesterday at the Royal Ascot but it did give him the opportunity to show what a good horseman he is. His ride, Radiohead, took a severe knock early in to the Group Two Norfolk Stakes when the American contender, Yogaroo with Johnny Velazquez in the irons, veered sharply into Monsieur Chavalier. The race favourite reacted by bumping into Spencer's runner, trained by Brian Meehan, on the rail.

Reignier finished second and Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid scored third on the Frankie Dettori-ridden Tawaab. The fact that the jockey was able to pick up his severely checked horse in the latter stages of the five furlong race and drive him strongly across the line for first is testament to his skill. The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid-owned Godolphin racing operation finally fired in the next race with their new filly, Flying Cloud, making victory look easy under Frankie Dettori in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes.

Dettori said he was hopeful of more wins for the boys in blue on the concluding two days of the Royal meet. With a buzz circulating the famous race course after Yeats' historic run in the Ascot Gold Cup, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's runner, Fareer, kept up the good form of UAE-owned horses in the next race with a win in the Group Two Brittania Stakes over a mile. Jockey Richard Hills and trainer Ed Dunlop had prepared the colt for the race all season. "This has been the plan all year," said Dunlop. "It's great to win here. It's like having 20 winners everywhere else."

Cosmic Sun, ridden by Paul Hanagan and trained by Richard Fahey, won the final race of the day, the King George V Stakes handicap. @Email:stregoning@thenational.ae