Wednesday 17 January 2018

Stevens crowned King of the Castle

Tom Peacock and Chris Wilson

Extortionist provided rookie trainer Olly Stevens with a Royal Ascot winner in his first season with a licence as he rattled home to claim the Windsor Castle Stakes.

A winner at Nottingham on his debut before finishing fourth in a York novice event, the Qatar Racing-owned juvenile was a 16-1 shot for a wide-open five-furlong Listed event.


Johnny Murtagh, successful earlier in the day aboard Sole Power in the King's Stand, bided his time aboard the two-year-old, but he lengthened smartly when asked the question and got up late home to take the prize by a neck.


Supplicant (20-1) and 4-1 favourite Anticipated were second and third respectively.


Murtagh, who has recently taken out a licence to trained in his native Ireland, said: "Special days happen here. I just love the place. You get to ride nice horses and I love to perform.


"People keep saying you're coming into this business (as a trainer) especially in Ireland taking on Bolger and O'Brien, but I feel I want to be competing against the best and I'm sure Olly Stevens feels the same.


"You have to savour these days because they not might happen that often


"The line came just in time. It was good, fast ground. He got relaxed and got into a lovely rhythm. He was always going to win. He dug deep and fair play to the team, they had him spot on for the day."


Stevens said: "More than anything this is a testament to Sheikh Fahad and all the tream. I'm so glad we've been able to repay his generosity with a winner in our first year.


"He wasn't himself last time. He had a shin problem and was four lengths below his best.


"He's a fast horse and we'll probably go for the July Stakes now."

Press Association

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