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Sioux Nation strikes in Norfolk for Aidan O'Brien


Sioux Nation lands the Norfolk

Sioux Nation lands the Norfolk

Sioux Nation lands the Norfolk

Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore struck gold as Sioux Nation ran out a game winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Sent off a 14-1 chance, Sioux Nation was one of a small group to race on the far side as the majority of the field, headed by American raider McErin, opted to come up the stands side.

A furlong out, there were a handful of horses still in contention but Sioux Nation had just poked his head in front and dug sufficiently deep as the Declan Carroll-trained Santry was flying in the final strides.

Despite being separated by the width of the track, Sioux Nation just held on, with Cardsharp following home 13-2 joint-favourite Santry in third.

Moore said: "To be fair, the ground is probably even everywhere. I wouldn't read too much into the track or the draw, it's just where the pace was on the first couple of days. The pace was the other side today and that's the difference.

"This is a very good colt. When I rode him first time - you can see how big he is - he just needed the run. He's had ground go against him since and on good, fast ground today, he always travelled like the winner. He needs fast ground.

"He was a bit lonely there on his own, but he's a very good colt."

O'Brien said: "He's a massive, powerful horse. To be doing this at this time of his career is incredible really.

"Ryan looked very comfortable and he was travelling very well. He gave him a marvellous ride and paced it brilliantly. He's a horse everyone always loved."

Carroll was proud of the performance of Santry after going down by just half a length.

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He said: "He won his race on his side and has probably not seen the other horse on the other side of the track. We're very proud of him and he's a great horse.

"He handled the quicker conditions well. We were confident he would.

"He might get an entry in the Nunthorpe (York), but we'll go back and have a chat with Jim (Crowley, jockey).

"He will go further - he's not just a five-furlong horse. He might be a Middle Park horse later in the season."

The Mark Johnston-trained Cardsharp was doing his best work at the finish in third.

The trainer's son and assistant, Charlie, said: "He ran a super race. After he got beat here on his second start, we thought after that he definitely wanted six furlongs.

"But he showed so much speed when he won at Beverley, we decided to re-route him and drop him back to five. Watching that now, maybe we should have run him over six in the Coventry on Tuesday, but he ran a great race.

"He got a little bit outpaced from halfway and got a bump from the American horse, but then he stayed on grand to the line.

"He's got plenty of options going forward. The July Stakes (Newmarket) would have to come under consideration, but there's also the Molecomb at Goodwood."

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