Highland Reel gave Coolmore their long-awaited first win of the week with a gutsy performance in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
It was a disappointing day one for the ballydoyle battalion with dual Guineas winner Churchill overhauled by Barney Roy in the St James Palace Stakes.
But globetrotting Highland Reel struck one back for ‘the lads’, showing all his determination and grit to fend off his rivals and score by a length-and-a-quarter.
Decorated Knight ran a huge race to hold on for second whilst Sir Michael Stoute’s wait for a record-breaking 76th Royal Ascot winner goes on as Ulysses could only manage third.
Highland Reel had looked in a trouble a furlong from home as the challengers loomed upsides but the Breeders Cup winner stayed on strongly under Ryan Moore to register his sixth success at the highest level.
2/1 favourite Jack Hobbs disappointed and trailed home in last under William Buick.
Le Brivido needed every yard of the seven furlongs when nailing Spirit Of Valour late on to win the opening race of the day, the Jersey Stakes.
The horses down the stand side appeared to have a three length advantage heading into the final two furlongs, with 66/1 shot Spirit of Valour looking all over the winner.
But Andre Fabre’s well backed 2/1 favourite Le Brivido ate up the ground down the centre of the track under a strong Pierre-Charles Boudot drive to win by a neck.
Mubtasim made eye-catching late headway to snatch third ahead of Parfait back in fourth.
Heartache gave the bookies something to cheer about when sprinting clear of the field to win the Queen Mary Stakes.
Clive Cox has built up a reputation of being a dab hand with sprinters, and this filly looks to be one of real promise, bursting out of the pack under Adam Kirby and stretching away to score by two-and-a-half-lengths.
Punters has smashed into Wesley Ward’s Happy Like A Fool after her trainer earmarked the filly as his best chance of the week, but the 10/11 favourite couldn’t live with Heartache’s devastating turn of foot and could only manage second.
Out Of The Flames made good late headway to finish third after getting slightly outpaced with Joseph O’Brien’s Now You’re Talking a head further behind in fourth.
Qemah followed up last year’s Coronation Stakes victory with an impressive display in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
John Claude Rouget’s four-year-old took up the running from long-time leader Smart Call a furlong out and kept responding for Gregory Benoist to fend off the late challenge of 40/1 outsider Aljazzi
The hard luck story of the race came in the form of Andre Fabre’s Usherette, who had a troubled passage up the rail before staying on strongly once the gap opened to finish a close third.
It was a welcome winner for trainer Jean Claude Rouget after a virus spread through his yard and killed two of his horses earlier this year.
The big betting heat of the day went the way of the bookies as Zhui Feng made all under an opportunist ride from Martin Dwyer to win the Royal Hunt Cup.
The 25-1 shot broke well on the stands side but looked a sitting duck two furlongs out as the cavalry loomed up to challenge across the course.
But Amanda Perrett’s four-year-old wasn’t for passing under Martin Dwyer and repelled the late thrusts of Blair House and Tashweeq to win by half a length.
Those three pulled clear of the fourth home Ballet Concerto, himself a length-and-a-quarter ahead of the well backed Tabarrak who ran on to claim fifth.
It was a second win of the week for America and that man Wesley Ward as Con Te Partiro took the closing Sandringham Handicap under a textbook Jamie Spencer Ride.
Ward, best known for speedsters such as yesterday’s King’s Stand winner Lady Aurelia, proved he was no one trick pony as Con Te Partiro sat dead last in the early stages with Cheval Blanche setting a decent early gallop.
The well backed Rain Goddess looked set to give Aidan O’Brien a double on the day when she took it up half a furlong from home, but the 20/1 daughter of Scat Daddy burst down the stands side under Spencer and stretched impressively to win by a length-and-a-quarter.
6/1 favourite Gymnaste never landed a blow under Josephine Gordon whilst Paco’s Angel and Henry Candy’s Queen Of Time filled the placings.