My Dream Boat stuns Ascot to take Prince of Wales’s Stakes
Adam Kirby partners 16-1 outsider to victory as Japanese favourite A Shin Hikari flops
My Dream Boat (R) pips Aidan O’Brien’s Found on the line to take the Prince of Wales’s stakes. Photograph: Reuters
Beaten a long way by Japanese superstar A Shin Hikari in France last time out, he was sent off the outsider of the seven-runner field at 16-1.
Following on from the King’s Stand victory of Profitable, after which Kirby was reduced to tears on announcing that his girlfriend had given birth just hours before, the jockey will never forget this week.
Odds-on favourite A Shin Hikari — the highest-rated Flat horse in the world — set out to make all the running but failed to get away from the field turning into the straight and Yutaka Take was soon sending out distress signals.
Ryan Moore then produced Found and looked sure to give Aidan O’Brien his 50th Royal Ascot winner, but Kirby was just starting his run on My Dream Boat.
Cox’s four-year-old even defied a drift into the centre of the track to beat Found by a neck.
Kirby said: “I was pretty confident he’d be in the first three. The race went perfect.
“He gave me a real good feel when he won two starts ago but he was bit free last time and didn’t get home.
“Full credit to the horse, he stayed at it. It was a very gutsy performance.”
My Dream Boat sports of the colours of owners Paul and Clare Rooney, more familiar in jumping circles and owners of Grand National runner-up The Last Samuri.
Clare Rooney said: “I’m full of emotion. It’s just amazing.
“The ground suited our horse better and I’m just delighted.”
Cox said: “He looked special when he won the Gordon Richards (at Sandown), but when we took him to France he was tracked back in the field and things didn’t go quite right.
“He got into a nice rhythm and I’m very proud of him.
“Adam’s riding out of his skin at the minute. Professionally and personally he’s on a high.
“The horses are running amazingly, it feels like a dream.”
Connections of A Shin Hikari were deflated after the Japanese horse finished last.
Hirotsugu Hirai, spokesman for owners Eishindo Co Ltd, said: “We knew it was not going to be easy.
“It was his first time round a bend this sharp and it was a surprise to him.
“Also, the turf was very soft — like a luxurious carpet — and that didn’t suit him.
“After the race the horse was fine, but we are upset.”
O’Brien said of runner-up Found: “She ran very well. Ryan was very happy with the filly.
“Our filly quickened well, but that’s racing.”
John Gosden said Western Hymn, who was third, could run in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, after which the Clarehaven handler would consider stepping the colt up to a mile and a half.
Earleir class rose to the top in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes as Andre Fabre’s Usherette justified favouritism with ease.
A winner at Newmarket earlier this season, Fabre had compared her with some of the best fillies he has trained in his long and illustrious career and the next step is surely a Group One.
Sent off the 9-4 favourite, Mikael Barzalona was happy to drop her in off just a steady pace set by Spangled.
A furlong and a half out the race began to develop with Barzalona hitting the front and taking two lengths out of the opposition.
John Gosden’s Furia Cruzada, an import from Chile, outran her 20-1 starting price to finish second, two and a quarter lengths away, just holding off the-fast finishing Always Smile, to give Godolphin a one-three.
It was Fabre’s eighth Royal winner, but a first for Barzalona, who said: “I think she’s really good and she travelled well.
“The ground didn’t suit her and I think she’s much, much better on good ground.
“She’s a lovely filly and she has a good character — she’s very tough.”
Ward, who broke new ground by bringing his speedier juveniles to the meeting in 2009, had told everyone who would listen the filly was the best he had run at the showpiece fixture to date.
Mark Johnston’s Camargue matched strides coming out of the stalls, but after half a furlong Frankie Dettori was in front on the US raider and the race never looked in doubt.
By halfway her rivals were in trouble and when Dettori pressed the button the Scat Daddy filly took off again.
She passed the line seven lengths ahead of the French-trained Al Johrah with Clem Fandango third.
Ward won the race 12 months ago with Acapulco, who went on to finish second in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
Dettori said: “It was breathtaking form the top
“To win a sprint by seven lengths at Royal Ascot, I’ve never seen anything like that — especially from a two-year-old.
“I was throwing some very good splits and when I got to the furlong and a half (pole) I asked her to go and she found another gear. I was completely shocked.
“Unbelievable, she’s a lovely filly. Well done to Wesley, he’s a master of the sprinters.”
In the day’s opening race Ribchester ran out an easy winner of the Jersey Stakes to give Godolphin their first winner of the meeting.
Richard Fahey’s colt was carrying a penalty for his win in the Mill Reef last year, but had the best form heading into the race, having finished third in the Qipco 2000 Guineas.
With that form franked by winner Galileo Gold on Tuesday, he took full of advantage of a drop in class.
Having tracked the pace-setter Gifted Master, William Buick never had an anxious moment, powering away to score by two and a quarter lengths from Thikriyaat.
Forge kept on gallantly for third, but the favourite Castle Harbour, previously unbeaten, could never get on terms.
Buick said of the 7-1 winner: “He ran very well in the Guineas and he might have done a little bit better had things worked out differently.
“He doesn’t mind that ground and it was real good performance.
“Richard said beforehand, ‘Just get the job done’.”