Ryan Moore roared into the history books on the penultimate day of Royal Ascot as he became the first jockey since the war to ride nine winners at the showpiece meeting.
Lester Piggott set the previous post-war best of eight winners in 1965 before repeating the feat a decade later, while Pat Eddery matched that total in 1989.
Those numbers were achieved when Royal Ascot was a four-day meeting rather than the current five, but Moore, 31, still managed to pass that figure with a day to spare.
And with six rides to come today, it is possible Moore could go on to break the great Fred Archer’s overall record of 12 Royal Ascot winners, which dates back to 1878.
— Channel 4 Racing (@Channel4Racing) June 20, 2015
Aidan O’Brien has provided Moore with five of his winners this week, including the historic ninth as 5-2 favourite Aloft clinched Friday’s finale, the Queen’s Vase.
“What can I say about Ryan? He’s a marvellous jockey, probably the greatest jockey I’ve ever seen. He’s a total professional and fully committed. He has great feel about a horse and great feel about a race,” said the trainer.
“He’s an absolute gentleman to work with and always has been. We’ve worked with him very closely for the last three years and we’re privileged he’s riding for us.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin’s Lucida finished strongly to be a close third in the Group One Coronation Stakes behind winner Ervedya and runner-up Found, who was ridden by Moore.
Lucida, the three-year-old filly, trained by Jim Bolger in Ireland, didn’t get off to the best start and was in last place as the field took shape.
But, still at the rear of the field with quarter of a mile to race, she was switched out wide by Kevin Manning and began to power forwards with intent.
Lucida ran on strongly to take third in the closing stages but could not make up the ground on Ervedya and Found, to go down by a neck and half a length of a length.
John Ferguson, bloodstock advisor to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, commented: “Lucida was second in a Guineas and has been beaten half a length in a Coronation Stakes.
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 20, 2015
“A mile is her distance and the form is there to see, and she’ll have her day.”
Other Godolphin runners in the Coronation were sixth-placed Sperry, who has been a rapid improver of late and UAE Oaks winner Local Time, who was eighth.
The UAE stable started the day by watching the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Azhar beaten into second place by Ashadihan in the Albany Stakes.
The first running of the Commonwealth Cup, a new Group One race on the card, and the unfancied Muhaarar dominated under Dane O’Neill.
Godolphin’s Jungle Cat was 18th.
Mark Johnston’s Derby day winner Buratino gave Godolphin an early success by landing the Coventry Stakes in some style.
The son of Exceed and Excel routed the opposition in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom just 11 days ago and was a 6-1 shot stepped up to Grade Two company in Berkshire.
William Buick buried the youngster in the middle of the pack for much of the six-furlong journey, before switching him towards the stands side to launch his challenge.
— Ascot Racecourse (@Ascot) June 16, 2015
Buratino showed off his gears as he quickened up to the lead and only had to be pushed in the last 100 yards to beat Aidan O’Brien’s Air Force Blue by two lengths. Eltezam was third ahead of two of the winner’s stablemates, Beaverbrook and Ode To Evening, in fourth and fifth respectively.
Round Two was the favourite for Jim Bolger, but having raced close to the pace he weakened and was ultimately disappointing. Buick said: “He travelled so well. I had a lot of belief in him after the Woodcote, but fair play to Mark Johnston as he’s come on for every run.
“It’s a huge thing to get a win on the board early, I’m very pleased to do it for my boss (HH Sheikh Mohammed in Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and the ruler of Dubai).
— Mark Johnston Racing (@MJR_MiddlehamUK) June 16, 2015
“He’s very exciting, he’s the best two-year-old around at the moment. I see no reason why he wouldn’t stay seven furlongs, but there’s no need to go that far yet.”
Johnston said: “I kept my feet on the ground with him. You just had to look at the bare form. He got beat at Ascot and again at Sandown, but stepping him up in trip has obviously been the key.
“William has now ridden him three times and the horse has got better in his estimation and given him a better feel.
“When he won on the first day of the season Simon Crisford (former Godolphin racing manager) said put him away for Ascot, but I think they need experience and when Attraction won the Queen Mary she’d run a few times. When you go to Ascot you need experience under your belt.”
The much-heralded challenge from beyond Europe came to nothing on opening day at Royal Ascot, where a sea of familiar faces again came to the fore.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien teamed up with jockey Ryan Moore to win the St James’s Palace Stakes with Gleneagles, who made his opponents look pedestrian in triumphing by two-and-a-half lengths.
It was O’Brien’s seventh victory in the race, which saw him eclipse the record set by trainer Matt Dawson in the 19th Century. Gleneagles’s triumph confirmed his status as the best three-year-old miler (1600 metres) in Europe after earlier victories in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Irish equivalent.
Moore barely moved a muscle as Gleneagles made effortless inroads into Consort’s advantage halfway down the home straight. When he asked his mount for effort, the response was instant and decisive. Gleneagles accelerated in a heartbeat to overhaul Consort, who then yielded when pressed late on by Latharnack for second place.
— Channel 4 Racing (@Channel4Racing) June 16, 2015
“He’s got a very good turn of foot,” Moore said. “He is a pleasure to ride and I think he is getting better.”
Gleneagles is closely related to Giant’s Causeway, the iconic, O’Brien-trained horse whose triumph in this race 15 years ago kickstarted his sequence of five consecutive Group 1 triumphs.
O’Brien and Moore later teamed up to win the Windsor Castle Stakes with Washington DC 45 minutes after Moore had won the Ascot Stakes aboard the Willie Muillinstrained Clondaw Warrior on a day when he emphasised why he is often described as the best jockey in the world.
Gleneagles is owned by the Coolmore syndicate, the dominant entity among owners in Europe. And another prominent set of patrons, the Wertheimer brothers, came to the fore when Dubai Turf winner Solow carried their bluecolours to victory in the opening Queen Anne Stakes over 1600m.
— Adam Fearon (@MaybeSoYouThink) June 16, 2015
Solow was expected to encounter stiff competition from Night Of Thunder and the Hong Kong champion, Able Friend. However, Night Of Thunder finished fifth, one place ahead of Able Friend, who was unable to reproduce his domestic form at a venue 8,000km from home.
Solow, for his part, seized the advantage 300m from the finish and fended off a spate of challenges, the last one from his French compatriot, Esoteric, to win by one length.
“He is a great warrior who can do anything,” trainer Freddy Head said of his horse, who might lock horns with Gleneagles at Goodwood.
Shamal Wind, Australia’s representative in the King’s Stand Stakes over 1000m, was expected to figure prominently in a race won four times by Australian horses. But the mare broke slowly and never recovered the lost ground in finishing 13th of 18 runners.
The race was won by Goldream, who sprang a surprise in a four-way photo-finish involving Medicean Man, Muthmir and Pearl Secret.