Ask Wins Investec Coronation Cup
1 (1) Ask 5/1
2 (7) Youmzain 2/1 (F)
3 (8) Look Here 9/2
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Ask prevailed in a three-way photo to the Investec Derby when beating Youmzain by a nose with last year’s Investec Oaks heroine Look Here the same distance behind in third.
"Things just went wrong last year - he never got the rub of the green. This wouldn’t be his ideal track but we felt that we had to take a chance," said Stoute.
"From my angle, I thought that we had won but we have been beaten a few times by these noses with Conduit and Spanish Moon so thank God it went our way this time.
"It’s ground dependent where we go now. He’s well entered but he doesn’t want the ground too quick. They do a great job here and it was fine for him today. Don’t forget he’s very effective at a mile and a quarter as well.
"His feet have been his biggest difficulty but we felt he had a great chance today."
Jockey Ryan Moore added: "I thought we were either first or third, I thought Look Here had won, but I am delighted that he has won because he deserves a Group One. He has been knocking on the door for a long time and the steady pace didn’t really suit him.
"He was very game up the straight - twice he was beaten and he battled back really well. He really deserves it.
"He stays well but he has to settle well. He just switched off in behind and it worked out very well. Thank God he won."
Owner Pat Fahey, who originally bought Ask through racing manager Simon Christian as a jumping prospect, reported that this is likely to be the six-year-old’s final season racing.
"Jumping was the plan but Sir Michael Stoute changed our minds immediately after we bought him," recalled Fahey. "Sir Michael said he had plans for the horse and when I asked if he thought this could be a Group horse he said yes. It was not a hard decision to change our plans, when someone like Sir Michael tells you that you have a nice horse it’s music to your ears.
"To be honest I thought we were on the wrong end of a photo again today. It happened to us when we were beaten a nose in the Canadian International and things went right for us today. But with half a furlong to go I thought the filly was going to win.
"He’s stayed every yard and if anything they didn’t go fast enough. He’ll go to the Irish St Leger and then bow out in the Arc at Lonchamp. I think that will be it, he’s six now so I don’t think he’ll keep going next year.
"We’ll see what Sir Michael thinks about the King George but he definitely wouldn’t go to Ascot if the ground was too fast.
"I have a few potential mares in training, some are in Ireland and others with Sir Michael and Richard Hannon, so hopefully Ask might cover one or two of them in the future."
YOUMZAIN HAS TO SETTLE FOR SECOND AGAIN
He’s twice been runner-up in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and now Youmzain has been second two years running in the Investec Coronation Cup after being nosed out by Ask, with last year’s Oaks winner Look Here another nose back in third in what was one of the most thrilling finishes to a Group One contest in memory.
Trainer Mick Channon watched in agony as his dual Group One winner went down by the narrowest of margins, running second in a Group One race for the fifth time.
Visibly emotional, Channon said: “He’s run his race and got beat, that’s all. He does nothing wrong and he keeps trying but I hope we get lucky one day.”
MORE MICK CHANNON REACTION ON YOUMZAIN
Mick Channon gave some further reaction after Youmzain finished runner-up in the Investec Coronation Cup for the second successive year, this time going down to Ask by the minimum distance of a nose.
The trainer said: "That’s Youmzain, isn’t it? In a perfect world we could have done with a lot more pace in the race but no complaints, we got beaten fair and square and we have to move on.
"The great thing about this horse is that it doesn’t matter where you run him, he makes it hard for himself.
“He can win a Group One, unfortunately it wasn’t today but he won in France last year and we still have a few races to have a go at this season.
"Jaber (Abdullah, owner) wants to go for the top Group One races and that’s the plan we have laid out for him - the same as last year.
“He’s run a good race and I am very pleased. It’s obviously disappointing to get beat and the filly has run a blinder. It was a very good race and that is what horse racing is about.”
TWO NOSES TOO FAR FOR LOOK HERE
In only her second race since winning the Investec Oaks on this track a year ago, Look Here acquitted herself brilliantly in a sensational finish to the Investec Coronation Cup.
The four-year-old filly was beaten into third behind Ask and Youmzain. The distance was just two noses, the filly having appeared to be in the lead 50 metres out, though trainer Ralph Beckett was unconvinced.
“The jockey [Seb Sanders] thought perhaps she had hit the front. But at the line she still looks in front, and she’s clearly not. I don’t think she did. I think it’s just the camera angle,” said the trainer.
“She’s run a peach and we will go for the Eclipse or the King George and it will be either, or both maybe.
“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was only the fifth race of her life and she’s up against seasoned campaigners and we’re in a photo and not even been beaten a short head,” said Beckett