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Ballydoyle's Light shines but Battle is lost for Marengo

It was another day of mixed fortunes for team Ballydoyle yesterday at Royal Ascot.

Leading Light won the Queen's Vase In Memory Of Sir Henry Cecil just a couple of hours after Battle Of Marengo had to settle for second in the King Edward VII Stakes.

Leading Light was extremely well backed to win the marathon two-mile Group Three event in which the Jane Cecil-trained Disclaimer was also well fancied. However, Leading Light loomed approaching the straight and stayed the trip gamely all the way to the line to hold Feel Like Dancing by a length and a half.

Winning rider Joseph O'Brien said: "We were a little worried about the trip beforehand, but he toughed it out. He's very relaxed and has a great attitude.

"He is idle, but when you get stuck into him he fights and that's what he has done today.

"When you get to him, you don't get by him."

Despite being a stone clear on official ratings, and the subject of a £100,000 bet at even money in the betting ring and a number of other sizeable wagers, Aidan O'Brien's Battle Of Marengo could only manage second in the King Edward VII Stakes.

The Epsom Derby fourth became the latest to disappoint in this race and was headed late on by the Ryan Moore-ridden Hillstar.

Joseph O'Brien looked to have made a decisive move on the always prominent Battle Of Marengo when taking a couple of lengths out of the field shortly after the turn into the straight, however Michael Stoute's Hillstar came from last to first to win the 1m4f Group Two contest.

O'Brien said afterwards: "He ran very well, but the winner came and caught him.

"Maybe a shorter trip would suit – he was lobbing away and had a nice position, then went clear and wasn't stopping.

"But the winner was too good."


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