Thursday 21 September 2017

Bless Him and Atty Persse the Irish winners on Day Three of Royal Ascot

Kieron Shoemark on Atty Persse wins the King George V Stakes on Day Three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Kieron Shoemark on Atty Persse wins the King George V Stakes on Day Three of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 22, 2017 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Sioux Nation powered home in the Norfolk Stakes to deny Santry, giving Aidan O'Brien a 57th Royal Ascot winner.

In contrast to the first two days, Ryan Moore's mount had the advantage on the far side of the track, with 13-2 joint-favourite Santry on the opposite side. The pair were split by just half a length at the line.

Moore said of the 14-1 winner: "To be fair, the ground is probably even everywhere. I wouldn't read too much into the track or the draw, it's just where the pace was on the first couple of days. The pace was the other side today and that's the difference."

Benbatl (9-2) clung on to hold the fast-finishing Orderofthegarter and bag the Hampton Court Stakes for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

The Dubawi colt ran a fine race to be fifth in the Derby and showed no ill effects in repelling the O'Brien runner by half a length under Oisin Murphy, with Mirage Dancer in third.

Bin Suroor said: "It's brilliant to win at Royal Ascot. This is a hard race to win, but finally we found the right horse.

"We'll maybe take him to Goodwood for a Group Two, give him a break and later maybe the Champion Stakes."

Bin Suroor also mentioned the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York in August as a possible target.

An astonishing renewal of the Gold Cup saw the Michael Bell-trained Big Orange make most of the running and just have enough left to cling on from defending champion Order Of St George by a short head.

It was a fantastic ride by James Doyle, who was standing in for the injured Frankie Dettori, as the pair proved just a short head too good for the 5-6 favourite at odds of 5-1. Last year's St Leger winner Harbour Law ran a big race in third.

Doyle said: "Blimey, he's as tough as they get!

"Full credit to everyone. It was great to get the call-up. Unfortunately Frankie couldn't have got the injury at a worse time.

"Frankie's a real star. He called me a couple of nights ago and I was probably on the phone for about 20 minutes getting instructions and him telling me all about the horse. He was spot on."

Bell added: "It was an epic race. I can't describe the feeling of pride I have in my horse.

"I was just praying for the line and begging for the line to come.

"The horse is a superstar - he's a warrior."

Bell and owner Bill Gredley were denied a notable double in the wake of Big Orange's Gold Cup victory as Ronald R could not quite catch Bless Him in the Britannia Handicap.

The 25-1 winner, who prevailed by half a length, was trained by David Simcock and ridden by Jamie Spencer.

Mori and Mirage Dancer carried big hopes of being a first Royal Ascot winner for Frankel as a stallion, but that honour went to the Roger Charlton-trained Atty Persse, who sported the Godolphin blue in the King George V Stakes and was well ridden by Kieran Shoemark

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport