Coltrane collects Sagaro top honours once again

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Coltrane collects Sagaro top honours once again

Coltrane battled gamely to get his head in front of Caius Chorister and successfully defend his Longines Sagaro Stakes crown at Ascot.

Coltrane battled gamely to get his head in front of Caius Chorister and successfully defend his Longines Sagaro Stakes crown at Ascot.

The Andrew Balding-trained gelding won by four and three-quarter lengths in the 2023 edition, but was made to work all the way to fend off Sweet William and then Caius Chorister for this success.

The seven-year-old sat in behind early leader Quickthorn, but he hit the front with two furlongs to go as he contended with Sweet William.

Oisin Murphy ensured he got Coltrane’s nose in front as he and Sweet William fought for the lead.

Coltrane (7-2) showed plenty of heart as Sweet William’s challenge faded inside the final furlong, but Caius Chorister was powering home on the outside.

It looked as though the David Menuisier mare, who had a clash of heads with Trueshan at the start, was going to nick victory on the line, but Coltrane continued valiantly to win by a head.

Balding believes another tilt at next month’s Gold Cup is in order for his charge, who finished second in the race last year.

“I think there was a concern whether the fire was still there, but I think it certainly was,” he said.

“I think he was in front longer than Oisin probably wanted to be but he was really brave there at the end.

“He’s a fighter and a star really. We train horses so we can come across one like him and he keeps producing.

Clive Washbourn, owner of runner-up Caius Chorister, hopes to fulfil his “dream” of his horse running in the Gold Cup next month.

“David’s a genius, what a run that was! We gave it to them. We’ve got to have a crack at the Gold Cup now,” he said.

“When we won the Prix Belle de Nuit at Saint-Cloud, I was a bit embarrassed after I said the King is going to have to get used to my celebrations. But I will say one thing now, he might have to.

“That was amazing and everyone says little fillies can’t beat geldings. I bred this horse and I’m so proud. It’s nothing to do with money, it’s the sheer pride of pulling it off. I’m blown away.”

Jasour stakes Commonwealth claim with smooth success

Jasour showcased his incredible turn of foot to power to victory in the Commonwealth Cup Trial Stakes at Ascot.

The Clive Cox-trained colt kept his cool at the back of the field before surging through a gap with just over a furlong remaining to join Purosangue at the front.

Adaay In Devon was challenging on the inside rail, but jockey Jim Crowley gave his three-year-old the nudge he needed to click into another gear and lead outright.

Jasour flies home at Ascot

Image: Jasour flies home at Ascot

The 9-1 shot drifted over to the inside but was still stretching his advantage in a dominant performance, securing a one-and-a-three-quarter-length success over Adaay In Devon.

Jasour was cut to 12-1 from 33s by Paddy Power for the Commonwealth Cup at next month’s Royal meeting.

“He was class last year in the July Stakes and then in the Prix Morny they split and he was left in the middle and he just got a bit free,” said Cox.

“I think he got a bit frightened as a juvenile and he pulled far too hard in the Middle Park. We’ve worked and we’ve worked, and he enjoyed some precious turnout time up until Christmas at home. The whole team has worked really hard to make sure we’ve kept him this way.

“He’s an individual personality and quite his own person, but today has been so rewarding to see him do that. It’s very special.

Cox added: “The Commonwealth Cup absolutely has to be the target and we were worried about the weather today and how he would cope. After today I will sleep a lot easier and I don’t think I will be watching so many weather forecasts so many times before his next run I would say.

“Sheikh Sultan has been an absolute gentleman and fully on board with our plan to try and what we’ve been doing to try to engineer Jasour’s confidence. He wasn’t here today, but hopefully he will next time.

Quddwah puts down Queen Anne marker

Quddwah finished with a flourish to maintain his unbeaten record and claim the Bet With Ascot Donation Scheme Paradise Stakes at Ascot.

The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained four-year-old was making only his third start against more experienced horses, but jockey William Buick timed his charge for the line with perfection to pass Docklands inside the final 50 yards and win by a neck.

Quddwah bypasses Docklands en route to victory

Image: Quddwah bypasses Docklands en route to victory

He was comfortable behind the leaders with Docklands taking the early running before Maljoom moved in front with five furlongs remaining.

The leading pair powered ahead and went for home from the two-furlong marker in what appeared to be a two-horse race as Docklands squeezed in front of Maljoom, who did not have a lot of room on the inside rail. However, Quddwah was tracking just behind and continued to improve, finding enough to get in front with post in sight to claim his third straight victory.

Ed Crisford said: “He’s a very big horse who has been off for 11 months and we did as much as we could at home, we never took him away. I thought he would get a bit tired, but there was not much pace on and he got a lovely tow into the race – it was a lovely ride.

“He won at Newmarket nicely and we were due to run him at the July meeting in a Listed race, but just before he got a little issue and we had to put him away. However, he’d always shown he was a horse on the up.

“He’s a very immature horse still as you saw when he was going in the stalls, he’s only had two runs and he will come on a bundle for this, he’s a big baby. I was really impressed how he battled at the end.

“We put him in the Queen Anne and we’ll speak to Sheikh Ahmed and there’s the Diomed Stakes at Epsom along the way as an option. He’s a horse with ability who is learning his trade and hopefully a fun horse to have.”

Enchanting performance sparks Royal Ascot dreams

Enchanting Empress booked her ticket to Royal Ascot as owners Amo Racing won the Royal Ascot Two-Year-Old Trial EBF Conditions Stakes for the second year running.

Alice Haynes’ Maximum Impact obliged as an evens favourite 12 months ago, but this time Dominic Ffrench Davis’ daughter of Sergei Prokofiev – the only filly in the field – was sent off an 11/2 chance in the hands of David Egan.

A professional winner on debut at Wolverhampton 21 days ago, she showed plenty of heart to see off the Murphy-trained Rock Hunter by a neck.

This victory came over five furlongs, but Ffrench Davis is now eyeing a move up to six furlongs for the Albany Stakes at the big meeting later in the summer.

He said: “I think she’s done enough to come back to Ascot, but I think she is more of an Albany filly than a Queen Mary filly.

“She will definitely get six and will probably go further in time. It’s a fast pedigree, but she was behind the bridle at Wolverhampton and she was behind the bridle a little bit again today.

“She’s as tough as old boots and she answered when David asked her, so I think the Albany is probably her target.”

Her rider concurred that six furlongs is Elegant Empress’ trip, with Egan adding: “If she does come back to Ascot I’d say six furlongs would be the more obvious trip.”

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