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Royal Ascot 2005

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Class One, Group One, £350,000 Guaranteed. For 4yo+, 1m 2f. Weights: colts & geldings 9st; fillies 8st 11lb (southern hemisphere allowance - 4yo 4lb). Penalty Values: 1st: £203,000; 2nd: £77,000; 3rd: £38,500; 4th: £17,500; 5th: £8,750; 6th: £5,250

1 AZAMOUR (H H Aga Khan) John Oxx IRE 4-9-00 Michael Kinane [3] 11/8 Fav
2 ACE (Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor, Mrs Harry McCalmont) Aidan O'Brien IRE 4-9-00 Kieren Fallon [6] 7/1
3 ELVSTROEM (Elvstroem Syndicate) Tony Vasil AUS 5-9-00 Nash Rawiller [5] 11/1
4 TOUCH OF LAND (Gary Tanaka) Alex Pantall FR 5-9-00 Christophe Lemaire [4]
5 WARRSAN (Saeed Manana) Clive Brittain 7-9-00 Darryll Holland [8]
6 NORSE DANCER (Jeff Smith) David Elsworth 5-9-00 John Egan [1]
7 OUIJA BOARD (Lord Derby) Ed Dunlop 4-8-11 Jamie Spencer [2]
8 HAZYVIEW (Tom Mohan and Neville Callaghan) Neville Callaghan 4-9-00 Eddie Ahern [7]

All 8 ran
Time: 2 min 8.15 sec Distances: 1 1/2, 5, 4, 5, 5, 9, 1 1/4
Breeder: H H The Aga Khan’s Studs S C Breeding: b c Night Shift (USA) - Asmara (USA) (Lear Fan (USA))

Horses were slipping and sliding on the rain-softened ground in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, but the Aga Khan’s Azamour kept his feet and dug deep to wear down fellow Irish raider Ace and take his third Group 1 with an authorative length and a half success.

Lauded to the skies by his owner-breeder - “we kept him in training at four because his three-year-old career was not a true reflection on his ability, and we thought there was more improvement to come” - Azamour took time to find full throttle but was ultimately well on top at the end.

Winning trainer John Oxx said: “Azamour did not look that happy early on, but the ground has become chopped up near the far rail, so Johnny (Murtagh) brought him up the centre, where it is less worn.

“We know that Azamour stays and that he always runs to the line in his races, and Johnny was always confident that he would pick up the leader.

“He had a nice target to aim at, but he was pricking his ears at the winning post and won handy enough in the end.

“The Eclipse is only 17 days away and would come too quick, but we are keen to try Azamour over a mile and a half this year, and it is a question of whether we ask him the question in the King George at Newbury or wait for the Arc.”

Azamour was chopped from 10-1 to 6-1 for the King George by Paddy Power - Motivator is their 7-4 favourite - and the same firm slashed his odds for the Arc from 16-1 to 10-1.

Michael Kinane completed a Royal Ascot at York Wednesday double on Azamour after success on Peeress in the Windsor Forest Stakes.

He said: “I knew either Hazy View or Elvstroem were going to lead and it was a question of what sort of pace they were going to go.

“Azamour was a bit uptight in the gates and sort of charged them so I missed the break just a shade but I was happy that they were going a decent enough pace.

“He was not really enjoying the ground but he won the race really nicely. He found it hard to get hold of the ground. Horses are finding it difficult to get a footing - some act on it and others do not.

“It is unusual ground out there - it is moving around under them. It took Azamour a little bit of time to get into a rhythm he was comfortable in but then he was always going sweet. He is a very good horse - a pleasure to ride.”

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