Big Group 1 Performances At Eventful Royal Ascot

There’s no getting away from the fact that this year’s Royal Ascot was a bitter-sweet experience for all of us at Saxon Gate Stables.

The well-documented demotion in the stewards’ room of DRAGON SYMBOL after he was first post the post in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup was a crushing blow, but he at least confirmed himself a genuine top class sprinter who has an exciting career ahead.

Despite that setback, our stable star GLEN SHIEL quickly put the smile back on our faces with a magnificent performance in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes just 24 hours later, rallying for regular rider Hollie Doyle to finish a gallant second to his old adversary Dream Of Dreams and offer hope of another victory at the highest level for Hambleton Racing.

Archie was also delighted with two-year-old SWEEPING’S run in the Listed Chesham Stakes, finishing fourth to Aidan O’Brien’s highly regarded favourite Point Lonsdale. It was only the second career start for Ben and Sir Martyn Arbib’s colt, who was also partnered by Hollie.

Pattern success did come our way early in the month when PARENT’S PRAYER won the Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes for owners Ecurie Ama.Zingteam and champion Oisin Murphy at Epsom’s Cazoo Derby meeting, just a day after Hambleton’s MEHMENTO dominated the Listed Surrey Stakes on Cazoo Oaks Day. A report of both performances can be found on this site.

There was more Listed joy at the end of the month as the ever-consistent OUTBOX gave Hambleton’s shareholders another memorable day out, beating 2019 St Leger winner Logician in the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket. He held on gamely for Hollie to fuel hopes of another big performance in The Ebor Handicap at York in August. You can also read more about Outbox’s Newmarket win on this site.

Hambleton Racing were celebrating again on 23rd June when the versatile ARCTIC EMPEROR supplemented his heavy ground win on handicap debut at Haydock Park in May by winning another over a mile at Bath, this time on firm going. Luke Morris got him home by two and a quarter-lengths to elevate his official rating another 5lb to 82 – yet another success story for Tom Biggs of Blandford Bloodstock.

It was thrilling, too, to train a winner for prominent owner Imad Alsagar when his filly NAZANIN completed an across-the-card double for us at Newbury the previous day. It was a perfect start to her racing career as she comfortably held her rivals in a fillies’ novice race over six furlongs with Hollie in the saddle. She may take her chance in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot in late July.

Meanwhile, it was up at Beverley where the double was initiated, thanks to Joanna Mason’s exploits on our Dandy Man three-year-old JUST FOR YUSE in an extended mile maiden. The gelding carried the colours of our own Brodie Hampson’s mother Jan and was winning at the third attempt after showing promise at Wolverhampton and Nottingham.

Ontoawinner, whose tough sprinter Corinthia Knight continues to put shareholders in the winner’s enclosure, struck again when their filly AMOR DE MI VIDA won a five-furlong handicap at Haydock during Royal Ascot weekend. Ridden by Sean Levey, she stayed on powerfully to add to her win under Hollie at Salisbury at the end of May.

Another winner during Royal Ascot week was our Clipper Logistics-owned SOUTHERN VOYAGE, who was courageous to say the least in battling back under Paul Mulrennan to win a mile and a quarter novice stakes at Redcar. He’s a son of Wootton Bassett out of a Galileo mare, so middle-distance handicaps will beckon now.

It was written in the stars when SAGITTARIUS landed a five-furlong maiden at Lingfield early in the month under Luke Morris for owner Jonny Allison on only his second career start, while Siyouni filly ELVIC made a winning start for us in a Leicester handicap to initiate another across-the-card double. Hollie made all on Athena Thoroughbred Racing’s three-year-old, who was previously trained by Roger Charlton.

By Simon Mapletoft