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Morgan in pink on Ladies' Day

Irish celebrations weren't as vivid on day three of Royal Ascot but the term 'Ladies' Day' was never more appropriate as the sole Irish winner came courtesy of Joanna Morgan,

Jane Cecil trained a poignant winner from the yard of the late Henry Cecil and the queen became the first monarch in centuries to win the week's feature Ascot Gold Cup.

Fittingly, before the drama even unfolded, it was already Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot yesterday, but more importantly it was Gold Cup Day, a race that has been harvested mainly by Irish-trained horses in the past decade or so.

The raiding party had to settle for second place in the 2013 renewal, however, as the queen's Estimate held on by a neck under Ryan Moore to deny Simenon.

Willie Mullins' charge was twice a winner at this meeting last year but had to settle for minor honours on this occasion, as the relatively new roof on the plush grandstand nearly came off its beams as the queen's filly became the first filly since Enzeli in 1999 to win the feature race.

For Mullins (pictured), it was a case of so close, yet so far, and after the brave showing in the marathon contest, the six-year-old Simenon will now take on another major challenge by heading for the Melbourne Cup.

"I'll start making plans when I get home – it's going to make November a little busy," said Ireland's champion jumps trainer.

He added: "He has run a career best, which I said he might have to and we're very pleased. It's probably a fantastic result for racing.

"I would have loved to have won and I'll probably never be in this position again – hopefully one day."

Dermot Weld's well fancied Rite Of Passage was denied the chance to win back the race he won in 2011 as the forecasted rain never came and he was a late withdrawal.

The story of Roca Tumu, a first Royal Ascot success for both Joanna Morgan and red-hot jockey Billy Lee, is one we are not about to hear the end of as the Roca Tumu syndicate had previously turned down some tempting offers to buy the colt and are likely to have a few more propositions placed in front of them now.

Sent off a 20/1 shot for the Britannia Stakes, last month's Curragh winner was prominent throughout under Lee and held on gamely to give the winning connections a day to never forget.

"It is fantastic – unbelievable to win a race at Royal Ascot," Meath-based Morgan said afterwards.


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