O'Brien's 'best miler' Gleneagles proves star of Moore hat-trick
Published 17/06/2015 | 02:30
Dual Guineas hero Gleneagles turned in a dominant performance in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O'Brien's three-year-old was a brilliant winner at Newmarket in early May and although he was not as impressive at the Curragh, he was the 8/15 favourite for his latest Group One test.
Consort, taking a big step up in class, was sent straight to the lead by Frankie Dettori, closely pursued by Andre Fabre's French 2,000 Guineas winner Make Believe.
Ryan Moore positioned Gleneagles in fourth place before asking him to close down the leaders early in the straight and the response was emphatic.
The son of Galileo showed thrilling acceleration to pick up Consort and he passed the post two-and-a-half lengths clear under just hand driving. Outsider Latharnach came through to beat Consort to the runner-up spot, with Make Believe a long last of the five runners.
Moore said: "He's just a pleasure to ride and I think he's getting better. He wasn't stopping there, I wasn't getting serious with him, it was hands and heels, I was delighted with him.
"He could get a little further but he has plenty of pace and there's no real need, I'm sure plans will be made later on."
O'Brien added: "We're delighted, obviously, the lads and lasses at home all said he was the best he'd been. We trained him hard for Newmarket, were easy on him before the Curragh and they said yesterday this was the best he was.
"He reminds me of Giant's Causeway, but he's got more speed than him, he was a grinder while this lad quickens. He's the best in the yard at the minute and the best miler we've ever had."
The Ballydoyle handler completed a double in the closing Windsor Castle Stakes when Washington DC (5/1) battled gamely for Moore to hold off the fast-finishing Areen by a head.
This victory made it a hat-trick for Moore who earlier had shown off his superb talents when producing the Willie Mullins-trained Clondaw Warrior with a perfectly-timed challenge to land the Ascot Stakes.
Moore and Mullins combined to land the two-and-a-half-mile handicap with Simenon in 2012 and Clondaw Warrior was heavily supported into 5/1 favourite.
Clondaw Warrior had just a couple of rivals behind him rounding the home turn, but Moore brought him widest of all to challenge and he stayed on powerfully to get the better of Fun Mac by half a length.
Freddy Head's Solow (11/8) is likely to take on Gleneagles in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood after his gutsy, one-length victory over Esoterique in the opening Queen Anne Stakes.