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Quiet Reflection powers to Commonwealth glory  

     Commonwealth Cup (Group 1) 6f, 3yo

QUIET REFLECTION provided former jump jockey Dougie Costello with a first Group 1 winner on the Flat and trainer Karl Burke with a first Group 1 winner in Britain with another display of blistering speed.

The filly stormed to the head of the market for the second renewal of this Group 1 contest with a devastating win at Haydock in May and was sent off the 7-4 favourite.

She sent her owners, the Ontoawinner syndicate among them, into raptures as she ran down 14-1 shot Kachy, who hung markedly left, with Washington DC taking third at 8-1.

Burke admitted the plan had not been to race in the pack as Quiet Reflection did but paid tribute to her speed, saying: "She`s very good. It wasn`t the plan to be stuck in the middle like that but she`s got a great turn of foot and it`s got her out of trouble again."

`You want every ride to be like that`

Costello said Quiet Reflection`s nature makes her a straightforward ride, as he fought back the tears as the crowd applauded him and the filly on their way back to the winner`s enclosure.

"They went a nice pace but she`s such an honest mare," he said. "She jumps, wherever you want to go, she goes. She switches off. She really picked up on the ground today and her courage has taken her all the way as well as her class.

"You want every ride to be like that. I gave her two and I probably didn`t even need to, I probably just panicked. I`m just so lucky.

"I owe Karl Burke a lot. Anybody would have won on her today and the last day. It`s been a long road."

July Cup unlikely

BetVictor responded to the win by trimming Quiet Reflection to 7-1 (from 10) to emulate last year`s winner Muhaarar and go on to take the July Cup at Newmarket.

Burke appeared to pour cold water on that suggestion, with a break now seemingly on the agenda.

"This was the main plan but now we`ve got to take on our elders," he said. "We`re in the July Cup but I`d be a bit afraid of that if it came up fast ground with the undulations.

"Maybe the clever thing to do is give her a little break and aim her at the Sprint Cup at Haydock, then Champions Day back here."

Dascombe at a loss

Trainer Tom Dascombe was unable to explain Kachy`s hanging towards the grandstand but was quick to congratulate Burke.

He said: "I don`t know why he`s done it but second in a Group 1 is still second in a Group 1. Obviously we all want to win but I`m thrilled for Karl Burke. He`s one of my best mates and if we`re going to lose to anybody, I`d rather lose to him.

"For all I could see, we were the winner all the way but I don`t want to take anything away from the winner. I don`t know what to say, dropping back to five furlongs with a pair of blinkers is probably the answer."


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St George puts O'Brien in seventh heaven at Ascot  

     Gold Cup In Honour of The Queen`s 90th Birthday (Group 1) 2m4f, 4yo+

ORDER OF ST GEORGE delivered trainer Aidan O`Brien a seventh Gold Cup success, answering any stamina doubts in definitive fashion in a messy running of the prestigious contest.

Still on a high after registering his 50th Royal Ascot victory in the previous race with Even Song, O`Brien was celebrating again after the 10-11 favourite overcame a troubled passage in a stop-start race under Ryan Moore.

A post-war record field of 18 left the gates but Mille Et Mille and jockey Thierry Thulliez grabbed the attention by setting a searching pace throughout much of the marathon trip.

Thulliez applied the brakes on the tearaway front-runner down the back straight and on the approach to the final bend the majority of the field in behind were stacked up and short of room.

In command - once gaps came

At this point, Moore had a wall of horses in front of him but he angled out his mount and swinging for home the gaps came.

Once he had a clear run, Order Of St George charged up the home straight and was well on top at the line.

Sagaro Stakes winner Mizzou (10-1) finished strongly in second with Sheikhzayedroad (40-1) third and the enterprisingly ridden Mille Et Mille fourth at 33-1.

Order Of St George announced himself as a potential star stayer with an 11-length rout in last season`s Irish St Leger and much to the delight of his rider he handled the six-furlong step up in trip with aplomb.

`He`s just class`

“He`s a very exciting horse,” said Moore. “He has lots of class and it was a very messy race with 18 runners in there. He`s just a class animal.”

O`Brien, who won four Gold Cups in a row with the mighty Yeats, said: “It was a little bit messy and rough and because he had never run over the trip before, Ryan had to put him to sleep. He`s a horse that loves racing.”

William Hill rate Order Of St George a 5-2 chance to successfully defend his Gold Cup crown in 2017, while in the short term O`Brien mentioned a return for the Irish St Leger and possibly the Prix de l`Arc de Triomphe later in the year.

Placed horses

Andrea Atzeni, rider of runner-up Mizzou, said: “He ran a blinder. He jumped well, got a nice enough position, and when we hit the rising ground he picked up well, but Ryan Moore on my outside was picking up just a little better than me. He`s tough and consistent and he goes on any ground. We just bumped into one.”

David Simcock was equally thrilled with Sheikhzayedroad in third. He said: “He`s a very brave, game horse, very honest and a lot of fun. He makes a lot of money too. I think the owner fancies Australia and remember he`s not a slow horse, although Order Of St George made him look quite slow today.”


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Royal Ascot: Dream win for Cox and Kirby  

     Prince Of Wales`s Stakes (Group 1), 1m2f, 4yo+

MY DREAM BOAT, 16-1 outsider of the six-strong field, ended the run of winning favourites at Royal Ascot on Wednesday and downed Japanese superstar A Shin Hikari who finished last.

In the process Clive Cox and Adam Kirby made it back-to-back Group 1 winners after striking with Profitable in the King`s Stand Stakes on Tuesday.

Paul and Clare Rooney, better known for their jumpers, were ecstatic after their first Group 1 winneron the Flat.

Favourite disappointing

A Shin Hikari made the running shadowed by Western Hymn with Kirby switching off My Dream Boat in last.

The writing was on the wall for the world`s top-rated racehorse as soon as Ryan Moore unleashed Breeders` Cup winner Found inside the last two furlongs.

Kirby was finding room for My Dream Boat wider midtrack and his mount hung further left but answered all his calls to catch Found, who hugged the inside rail, in the last strides although Kirby admitted: “I wasn`t confident and was nervous waiting for the result it was so tight.

“He got a bit lonely out on his own but I was pretty confident I would be in the first three on his run two starts ago and the race went perfectly for me.”

That was not the case for odds-on A Shin Hikari, who weakened to finish last, and his owner Hirotsuqu Hirai reported: "The jockey said it was the first time A Shin Hikari had gone round a corner that sharp and it was a surprise for him.

"The horse is fine after the race. He is not upset, we are upset!"

Aidan O`Brien said of Found: "She ran a great race, I am delighted with her. She quickened very well but you are never home until they pass the post and he just came to get her, that`s racing. She will probably have a break now and come back for the autumn."

Bookmakers reacted to My Dream Boat`s win by shortening him dramatically for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown next month. He is now best-priced with 14-1 (from 25) with Boylesports.


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Lady Aurelia stuns Ascot with Queen Mary romp  

     Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2), 5f, 2yo

LADY AURELIA put up one of the most devastating displays seen in modern times at Royal Ascot when blitzing to a seven-length win in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes.

The US raider did not see any of her 16 rivals when making all in the hands of Frankie Dettori to give Wesley Ward a third win in the 5f juvenile fillies feature.

Despite doubts about the draw and the ground, Lady Aurelia travelled strongly throughout and had the race in the bag even before kicking in the turbo at the furlong pole to streak away from French runner Al Jahrah.

The success was the second in two days for Lady Aurelia`s sire Scat Daddy who was also responsible for Caravaggio, winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes.

Previously, the winner had scored by seven and half lengths on her debut on the dirt at Keeneland in April when she had also made the running.

Dettori said: "That was breathtaking from the top. To win by seven lengths at Royal Ascot was sensational and I`ve never seen or experienced anything like it especially for a two-year-old."

He added: "I was going some very good splits but when I got to the furlong pole she found another gear it was unbelievable. "

Bookies were initially quoting Lady Aurelia for the Nunthorpe at York, the route taken by Ward`s Acapulco last year, but the trainer said afterwards that the Molecomb Stakes or the Prix Morny were more likely targets.


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Galileo Gold wins battle of Guineas winners  

     St James`s Palace Stakes (Group 1) 1m, 3yo

IN WHAT was billed as the clash of the 2,000 Guineas winners, Galileo Gold came out on top under Frankie Dettori to stamp his authority on Classic generation with a dazzling performance.

The Newmarket Classic winner, trained by Hugo Palmer, travelled like a dream and kicked away from his rivals inside the final two furlongs to score at 6-1, with the 4-5 favourite and French Guineas winner The Gurkha in second, and the Irish Guineas conqueror Awtaad in third.

`A magnificent ride`

It was an inspired ride from Dettori, who managed to grab the rail despite having the widest draw as he settled in second place behind the pacemaker Cymric throughout the early stages of the contest, and Palmer was full of praise for his rider.

"It was a tough challenge, he got the most magnificent ride from the widest draw," said the trainer. "It`s fair to say he`s the best three-year-old colt in Europe."

The Gurkha and Awtaad were slightly slow out of the stalls. In contrast, Galileo Gold was very slick, allowing Dettori to guide his mount over which meant he had first run on his rivals and the jockey admitted: "Everything went to plan - I managed to get first run on the other two."

Palmer added: "He ran a huge race in Ireland but he wasn`t able to use his stride there. At Newmarket and here today the horse`s stride was never broken. Frankie managed to get him into the most magnificent rhythm and then the horse just galloped and galloped and galloped.

"It shows you why at this level you need everything to go right. One tiny thing went wrong in Ireland and we finished second. Everything went right today and we won. He`s a remarkable colt and we`re very lucky to have him.

"It went very well for us today and I`d say they have to come and beat us now in the Sussex Stakes. Since the owner sponsors it I`d imagine that`s where we go."

`I`ve no doubt he is better than that`

Awtaad was the first to chase home Galileo Gold but after trying to get on terms without dealing a blow, he tired in the final furlong and relinquished second place to The Gurkha, and connections were not convinced he liked the ground.

Angus Gold, representative for owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: "My own feeling is that I`m not convinced the horse wants the ground this soft. The fact he had the better of The Gurkha and then The Gurkha came and got him at the end and he stopped in his run.

"Watching the horse`s action, I don`t think he needs really soft ground. I think he was struggling in the ground a bit. There will be no point trying to go further yet and I`ve no doubt he`s better than we saw today. He was never winging like he was in Ireland."


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