Ryan Moore steers Clondaw Warrior to Ascot win for Willie Mullins
Jumps trainer seals Ascot Stakes after Moore produces masterclass en route to 54-1 treble
Ryan Moore produced an inspired ride on Clondaw Warrior to win the Ascot Stakes for Willie Mullins. Photograph: Reuters
Moore and Mullins combined to land the two-and-a-half-mile handicap with Simenon in 2012 and Clondaw Warrior was heavily supported as the 5-1 favourite for what was his first start on the Flat since winning Leopardstown’s November Handicap last autumn.
After breaking from his wide stall, the eight-year-old was quickly brought across the track by Moore, who was seemingly keen to play his cards as late as possible.
Clondaw Warrior had just a couple of rivals behind him rounding the home turn, but Moore brought him widest of all to challenge and he stayed on powerfully to get the better of Fun Mac by half a length.
Elishpour and Noble Silk finished third and fourth respectively.
Moore said: “I don’t think it was a sedate pace, I was chatting to (Richard) Hughesie and I was flat out the whole way.
“Credit to Willie Mullins, his horses always stay so well and that makes the difference.
“I was never going well but when we turned in they started coming back to me, it wasn’t comfortable.
“He enjoyed the quick ground and I’d say Willie has trained him for the race for a long time.”
Ruby Walsh’s wife Gillian is a part-owner and the jockey said: “I’m not even the work rider, David Casey rides him, I’m very little to do with it.
“It’s brilliant, it’s hard to believe Willie got him beat off 52 at Roscommon.
“That’s half the plan, the other half is the Galway Hurdle!”
Mullins said: “Well now I’ve got my instructions I know what to do!
“I thought Ryan gave him a fantastic ride. I took my binoculars off him with a mile to go, I thought he had too much to do.
“We didn’t give him any orders, I wouldn’t dare give him any round here, the only thing I told him was that he’d have one burst of speed and when Fun Mac came at him I thought that was it.
“This was the plan, the girls really wanted a runner but when the conditions of the race changed we wondered if we’d get in so we decided to take our chance and it worked.”