Reel on high at Royal Ascot

Ridden by William Buick for trainer Richard Fahey, based in Yorkshire, the 4-year-old son of Iffraaj has never been worse than third in his career, and the Queen Anne was his second G1 victory in a row. It was a tough performance at Epsom [to win the Coronation Cup] and he has come back after not that long a break.

Through a combination of pounds, euros, US, Hong Kong and Aussie dollars as well as dirhams, the well-travelled five-year-old was already Coolmore's highest earner before taking his prize-money to just shy of £6m yesterday.

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Mocked by some at last year's Royal meeting for his weak finishing effort when bested by the royal runner Dartmouth, Highland Reel showed bravery and resolution here.

Given Churchill's odds were even shorter than Ribchester's starting price of 11-10 favourite, it is understandable that Fahey, 51, has endured sleepless nights in the build-up to the big race.

Opening the second day of the Royal meeting, France triumphed in the Jersey Stakes (G3) for 3-year-olds at 7 furlongs as Le Brivido outfinished Kentucky-bred Spirit of Valor (War Front) to win by a neck.

O'Brien said: "He was a Group Two victor as a two-year-old on hard ground at Goodwood. He has pace, courage, tactical speed", said O'Brien.

Her victory was a great reward for the 75-strong Hot to Trot syndicate who put up just £2000 to get a share in the seven horses that make up their roster. For me that's soul destroying as it's the most important week of the year.

Perhaps it was that subpar run that left many British bettors thinking Lady Aurelia had peaked very early in her career, but she hardly could have won the Giant's Causeway Stakes in April at Keeneland more easily, and had earned nothing but praise from Ward for her subsequent work for the King's Stand.

"The atmosphere is gonna be one I'll remember forever", she said.

"I was 100 per cent confident that we would pass the American filly; she was beat from halfway", said Kirby, who was riding his seventh Royal Ascot victor.

"This lad has been everywhere but he keeps coming back".

The big disappointment in the race was the John Gosden-trained favourite Jack Hobbs.

He's come through a very similar preparation this time around, winning the Listed Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown first-up, exactly as he did 12 months prior.

Harry Herbert, racing manager to the winning owners Al Shaqab Racing: "I thought that physically looking at her in the pre-parade ring, she looked as well as I have ever seen her".

  • Salvatore Jensen