Sunday 25 February 2018

Mullins strikes with Sous

Pique Sous gallops to victory under Ryan Moore
Pique Sous gallops to victory under Ryan Moore

Pique Sous gave Willie Mullins his second victory in the last three renewals of the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot with a smart display under Ryan Moore.

Ireland's champion National Hunt trainer saddled Simenon to win the two-and-three-quarter-mile contest two years ago and Pique Sous, who nearly lost his life last October due to colic, was a heavily backed 11-4 chance to repeat the trick.

They versatile grey was a little keen early on and Moore dropped him out towards the rear of the field, but he began to make headway heading down the back straight and was hot on the heels of the leaders rounding the home bend, where he appeared to be travelling much the best. He quashed stamina doubts as he posted a determined length-and-a-half victory.

Another Irish challenger, the Aidan O'Brien-trained El Salvador, made considerable headway late in the day to finish second, with Brass Ring another neck away in third.

The victory confirmed Moore's place as leading jockey for the week with his sixth winner of the meeting and his third on the card.

Moore said: "It was a very messy race, they only went steady. He travelled beautifully into the race and picked up well. It was a long way, the last furlong, but I got the gaps when they came. When you ride for Willie, it makes it a bit easier."

Mullins added: "Having a Royal Ascot winner is always fantastic. When Ryan hit the front I didn't think anyone could catch him.

"It's great for the Supreme Horse Racing Club (owners). I picked this horse out for them as he had a lovely pedigree. It's a been a dream for the racing club to be here and enjoying this.

"He's in the Northumberland Plate, so we'll see how he comes out of that. I'm not sure what penalty he gets for winning this, but we will have a look at that. I'd like to dedicate the victory to one of my members of staff who had a brain haemorrhage and who is quite ill in hospital."

Tiger Cliff, who was sent off the 5-2 favourite, collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack.

Press Association

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