Day Five Roundup
DAY FIVE ROUNDUP - SATURDAY 24TH JUNE
CHAMPLAIN FIRST WINNER OF THE WEEK FOR JARVIS AND ROBINSON
Champlain gave trainer Michael Jarvis and jockey Philip Robinson their first winner of the week when the Sheikh Mohammed-owned colt came home two lengths clear of Country Song in the Chesham Stakes, the first race on the final day of Royal Ascot 2006.
The 7/2 chance travelled well throughout and quickened up nicely inside the final quarter mile of the seven-furlong contest to record a convincing victory.
Michael Jarvis commented: “This horse screams and is very vocal. He makes a lot of noise on the heath every morning. He is not really misbehaving and is very professional on the racecourse.
“But he is not really very colty, he just makes a lot of noise - like a lot of men I know!
“This horse is a natural two-year-old. He’s not very big but is mature and strong for his size.
“He stayed the seven furlongs well today. His dam won over a mile
and his sire, Seeking The Gold, tends to get horses that stay a mile
and quarter so I thought the trip wouldn’t be a problem for him.
“I need to speak to the boss before deciding where we go next but I would think something like the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting would be an option for him now.”
Successful jockey Philip Robinson added: “He still showed a little immaturity today but was much better than first time out.
“From when he went into the stalls he was very professional.
“He kept finding a bit more for more and quickened up well.”
2.30pm CHESHAM STAKES (LISTED)
1 CHAMPLAIN (Sheikh Mohammed) Michael Jarvis 2-9-03 Philip Robinson
MARAAHEL HEADS STOUTE 1-2
Last year’s runner-up Maraahel landed the biggest race of his career when coming out best from stablemate Mountain High to take the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes.
Winning rider Richard Hills said: “It’s not that easy to get his head in front because he only has one short run. I wanted that run to be a winning one and probably got there a tad soon today but he stuck his head out and is a brave horse.
“He was unlucky in the John Porter this season when I gave him a very ordinary ride but I put it right today. There was a good pace and I was able to travel.
“He deserved this because he’s put in some good efforts in Group 1s but not quite come up to the mark but came right today.
“My wife Jackie rides him out and she said he’s the best he’s ever been and in fact he threw her off on Monday so she has not been able to come today - she trotted out badly this morning!”
Winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute added: “He deserves a big day and has threatened for a while. He was only just beaten in the International at York last year, ran well in the Champion and again in the Hong Kong Cup. He’s had two Group wins at Chester and it’s nice to have one now in an arena like this.
“He has a short run and Richard gave him a great ride. I think he has a Group 1 in him but I don’t know where.”
Stoute was especially pleased with Mountain High’s run and added: “That was his best performance by a long way and he’s really going in the right direction. He’s really progressing and going to have a good year.
“But Hard Top pulled too hard going round Swinley Bottom and you can’t do that here - I think it was a one-off though.”
3.05pm HARDWICKE STAKES (GROUP TWO)
1 MARAAHEL (IRE) (Hamdan Al Maktoum) Sir Michael Stoute 5-9-00 Richard
Hills  9/2
LES ARCS SKIS IN FOR PITT AND McKAY
Les Arcs, who finished last in a maiden hurdle at Cartmel just under two years ago, landed one of Europe’s premier sprint races on the final day of Royal Ascot. In a finish dominated by outsiders Les Arcs at 33-1 defeated 50-1 shot Balthazaar’s Gift to win the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Gr.1).
The John Egan-ridden winner was saddled by first-season trainer Tim Pitt for owner Willie McKay, who placed £2,000 each-way on his horse with Ladbrokes just before the off. Pitt is based at Bawtry in South Yorkshire at a 40-box yard owned by McKay - the latter is a former bookmaker-turned-football agent, who includes Joey Barton, Lauren Robert and Alain Boumsong among his 25-strong squad of players.
McKay’s horse could finish only 11th to Takeover Target in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes, but the winning owner said: “Tim and John were talking about that race this morning and decided the horse was rushed a bit in the King’s Stand. Today John took his time and gave the horse a fantastic ride and Tim Pitt is a great young trainer who is going places.”
Pitt said: “I felt slightly disappointed after the King’s Stand, but when I looked at the replays again he was third at the furlong pole and only beaten just over two lengths by the winner. It had always been the plan to come for this race and he came out of Tuesday’s contest bucking and squealing so we thought we’d take a chance.
“I think six is his better trip. Five is okay if they go a good pace and he can sit and relax and that was the key today. John was able to take his time today, whereas on Tuesday it was hammer from the word go and he was caught off his feet a little.
“After Tuesday we were thinking about going abroad with him or down the handicap route because he had dropped to 110, but now the July Cup would be the obvious place.”
3.45pm GOLDEN JUBILEE STAKES (GROUP ONE)
1 LES ARCS (USA) (Willie McKay) Tim Pitt 6-9-04 John Egan  33/1
BALTIC ANOTHER FOR HANDICAP KING MORRISON
“He was obviously not fit enough in the King’s Stand,” joked winning trainer Hughie Morrison. “This race was always my preferred target and when he’s on song he’s a very good horse - he’s right up there with the best of them.
“The ground was actually slower today than on Tuesday and then suited him - he’s six now and quite heavy-topped.
“After a furlong I turned to my wife and said that he was last but because they went so fast early there were very few hard-luck stories.
“But it was Intrepid Jack, my other runner, with whom we’d really waited for this race. But the two worked very well last week and I said to James Stafford (racing manager to owners Thurloe Thoroughbreds) that the race we’d win with Baltic King was the Wokingham.
“You don’t win any race at Ascot carrying nearly top weight without being nearly a Group race. I wish I’d put him in the July Cup now but it costs a lot for smaller owners to keep spending £2,500 to put horses in Group 1s.”
Jockey Jimmy Fortune added: “It’s very rare to get a run through like that in the Wokingham and I think the six furlongs suited him better than five, he was just run off his feet a bit on Tuesday.
“It was a great training feat and the trainer told me to drop him in and take our time.
“Taking nothing away from the winner but the Golden Jubilee didn’t ride like a very strong race and I’m sure this horse would have run well. There’s no real top sprinters around at the moment and I think if you ran today’s Group 1 again you’d get three or four different winners.”
4.25pm WOKINGHAM STAKES (HERITAGE HANDICAP)
1 BALTIC KING (Thurloe Thoroughbreds VIII) Hughie Morrison 6-9-10t Jimmy
Fortune  10/1
YOUNG MICK FIRST ROYAL ASCOT WINNER FOR MARGARSON
Young Mick was the game winner of the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap to give Newmarket trainer George Margarson his first Royal Ascot winner.
The winner took up the running entering the final furlong and the 28/1 shot held on well to deny the 4/1 favourite Glistening by a head under jockey Richard Quinn.
A delighted Margarson said: “I thought he was going to get caught but I don’t think he would have dared get beaten the way I was shouting!
“”I thought Richard may have gone a bit soon but as it turns out he went at the right time.
“I would have been confident had this race been run at Yarmouth but you can only dream of a winner at Royal Ascot. We’ve had two-year-olds run well here before for my main owner, Mr (John) Guest, but those races are always very difficult and you have more chance of a winner in the handicaps.
“On all known form lines though, he was 3lb better in with Wild Savannah who finished an unlucky second in the Wolferton Handicap on their earlier running at Newmarket and I had considered running Young Mick in that race.
“Unlike many horses in this race, he’s used to the hustle and bustle of a big field.
“It’s not bad going from winning a banded race to a handicap at Royal Ascot in six months!
“His dam is a sister to Young Ern and if you saw him work over seven furlongs you would think he was a sprinter. But we have worked out how to ride him and he is best over further.”
Looking ahead, Margarson said: “He’s in the John Smith’s Cup but the Ebor is the race I’ve always really wanted to win as a Yorkshire lad.
“I think he will stay two miles in time.”
4.55pm DUKE OF EDINBURGH STAKES (HERITAGE HANDICAP)
1 YOUNG MICK (M Kentish) George Margarson 4-8-08v Richard Quinn 
BADDAM STAYS AHEAD OF THE REST TO WIN TWICE AT ROYAL MEETING
He had to gallop a total of five miles and two furlongs, but that effort paid off today for the Mick Channon-trained Baddam, who completed a Royal Ascot 2006 double.
On Tuesday he won the Ascot Stakes over two and a half miles and today he won Britain’s longest flat race open to professional jockeys, the Queen Alexandra Stakes over two and three-quarter miles.
Baddam’s double was most recently achieved in 1978, when trainer Bill Watts and jockey John Lowe teamed up with Mountain Cross. The latest double marathon winner is owned by Noel Martin and was ridden each time by Ian Mongan, who described Baddam as “the toughest horse I’ve ever ridden”.
Channon took on Baddam this year from John Dunlop. Arundel-based Dunlop recommended the move to wheelchair-bound Martin who lives nearer Channon’s Berkshire yard and now has three horses at West Ilsley.
Channon said: “I’m absolutely delighted - he’s a horse I’ll remember for a very long time. He’s quite an amazing horse with quite an amazing owner.
“He’s a smashing horse to have about and Noel has always had faith in him - I think we’ve found his ideal distance almost by default, which is probably a bit like Les Arcs who won the big race here today. These things happen in racing and when they do it’s great, but to have two winners in a week at Royal Ascot with the same horse is amazing - especially over staying distances; to do it with a sprinter would be one thing, but with a stayer is very special.
“I’ve got echoes of Bill Wightman in my ear. Bill [the late trainer] was one of my mentors and he always said ‘in this game what you want is extremes - you want five-furlong horses, not five-and-a-half-furlong horses, and you want two-mile plus horses’. Then you’ve got a chance, and we’ve got one here.”
5.30pm QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES
1 BADDAM (Noel Martin) Mick Channon 4-9-00 Ian Mongan  11/2
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