1st (1) Lucarno 6-1
Last year’s Ladbrokes St Leger winner Lucarno bounced back to form with a length and a quarter success in the highlight of Lanson Ladies’ Day, the £100,000 Group Two Princess of Wales’s WBX.COM Stakes over a mile and a half.
Given a fine ride from the front by Jimmy Fourtune, the four-year-old made all and stayed on well to see off the challenge from last year’s winner and the 2/1 favourite, Papal Bull.
Winning trainer John Gosden said: “That was a good performance on dead ground.
“He has just taken time to come right this year and has needed his racing. You have to remember he won the Leger on September 15 last year and the ground didn’t suit him on his seasonal reappearance at Sandown (when 11th in the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes on May 29).
“We then went to France (when sixth in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud on June 29) and he took on the two pacemakers which obviously didn’t meant he didn’t do himself justice.
“He is just now starting to find his way back.
“The plan for this season was always to keep him for the second half of the season and look at races like the Arc and Japan Cup. That is why he started the season as late as he did.
“I had to leave him in the King George, as the latest forfeit stage was on Tuesday before we ran here. We will now have a look at the race and see where we go from here. That horse Duke Of Marmalade (the King George favourite) has gears, more gears and overdrive!”
Bookmakers rate Lucarno rate at 12/1 (Coral), 14/1 (Ladbrokes, totesport) and 16/1 (Paddy Power, Victor Chandler) for the Ascot Group One on Saturday, August 26. Coral and Paddy Power make Lucarno a 33/1 shot for the Arc de Triomphe (Longchamp, Sunday, October 5).
Referring to the ground on The July Course, Gosden added: “The ground has dried out remarkably well since yesterday.
“The summer wind at Newmarket always dries the ground out really well.
“Lucarno would not have run had the ground been like it was yesterday.”
Winning rider Jimmy Fortune added: "It worked out ideally. It's great with a small field and there was never going to be much pace so we got our way out in front.
He's taken a long time to come together this year. You've got to remember that this horse had a lot of racing last year and it was about his fourth or fifth run last year before he showed his real class."
BULL REMAINS ON COURSE FOR KING GEORGE
Connections of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Papal Bull weren’t too disappointed with their five-year-old’s second place finish in the Group One Princess of Wales’s WBX.COM, the feature of day two of the Ritz Club July Festival.
Gary Patchett, spokesman for the Papal Bull Syndicate, said: “The race didn’t go to our plan. We are disappointed that he didn’t win but the race didn’t work out for us so there’s always the next day.
“Frankie (Dettori) got us a little bit boxed in about two, two and a half furlongs out and Ryan (Moore) felt that if he got him going 50 yards earlier he would have got there.
“We’re still going to go for the King George according to Sir Michael.”
Papal Bull remains a general 12/1 chance for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on July 26.
BIG RACE IN PETARA ACCORDING TO MILLS
Terry Mills, trainer of the third-placed Petara Bay, said: “We’re pleased. That’s the way that he has to be ridden - covered up and brought late. It was worth coming for.
“It’s taken a long time for him to come into himself but there’s definitely a big race in him. We’re going to go everywhere because he will win a big one.”
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