Love lands Prince Of Wales’s Stakes for Aidan O’Brien

Jockey Ryan Moore wins from the front at Royal Ascot

Love had to battle hard for a triumphant return in what proved to be an epic renewal of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien’s dual Classic heroine was back on a racecourse for the first time in 300 days, since completing a clean sweep of three 2020 victories when she added the Yorkshire Oaks to her 1,000 Guineas and Oaks successes.

In the absence of Lord North, who would have been her market rival but was pulled out of his attempt to defend his crown here because of fast ground, 11-10 favourite Love made all , but had a fight on her hands all the way up the straight as James Fanshawe’s Breeders’ Cup winner Audarya launched a persistent challenge.

But Love would not be denied and was on top at the line by three-quarters of a length from Audarya, who was also having her first run since last year, with O’Brien’s second-string Armory third.


Ryan Moore had the winner settled in front, with Audarya and My Oberon pulling hard behind, and Love's relaxed demeanour – on the fast ground which suits her so well – helped her keep enough in hand when she needed it in the final two furlongs.

“It was her first run of the year so we had to be very cautious with her,” O’Brien said.

“Ryan gave her a beautiful ride, she’ll come on a lot from the run, we’d obviously have preferred to have had a run [before].

“First time over a mile and a quarter and we were over the moon with her. She’s very genuine, very brave.

“We knew that her head was out and down and looking at Ryan’s body language, he hadn’t gone for everything, he was trying to let her win and give her as easy a time as he could.

“I’m delighted that the lads decided to do this and wait until the ground came right, that was a lovely place to start, in Royal Ascot, there’s nowhere better.”

Moore added: “First run since last August and she beat a Breeders’ Cup winner.

“I’m sure she’ll improve, but I’m delighted with her today. I’m sure she’ll come on for the run, she’s a very honest filly with a lot of ability, hopefully she’ll come on for it as the year goes on.”

Fanshawe said of Audarya: “We were absolutely thrilled with the way she ran. It was a very solid run and proves she’s progressed again.

“Love is a very good filly, but it looked at the furlong pole like we were going to give her a race. William [Buick] reported the pace wasn’t that strong. We may head for the Romanet or the Nassau, and keep her to her own sex.”

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column