Mr Aviator Flies Home in Royal Hunt Cup
1st (8) Mr Aviator 25-1
Mr Aviator, a 25/1 chance, landed the big handicap of the day, the Royal Hunt Cup, by a neck from Docofthebay under Richard Hughes for trainer Richard Hannon.
Drawn in stall four, the winner was always in a prominent position close to the stands’ side rail in the mile contest up the straight course.
Richard Hannon said: “He is a good horse, although we always thought he was more of a mile and a quarter horse and had originally planned to run him over that trip tomorrow.
“However after he ran at Epsom last time, Richard (Hughes) suggested that we go for this race as he didn’t handle the bends and undulations very well there and he thought that the horse would be better up a straight course.
“With the weight he has won with today, he is probably up to winning at Listed level.
“The favourite (Bankable) beat a good horse of ours, Ordnance Row, very easily at Goodwood but when you looked at his form, he definitely does seem to prefer softer ground.
“Something always comes along to save those bookmakers!”
Richard Hughes added: “He is a good all-weather horse, as there are no lumps and bumps on that surface and the level surface helped him again today.
“I was drawn in stall four, so could either go up the middle or go to the rail. I decided to go to the rail and sit and suffer. Going up the middle would have helped the favourite. Favourites are there to be beaten and the favourite today was drawn high.
“I don’t think I have been as fast in my life with the speed they went in the early stages, and they were virtually walking in the final furlong.
“My horse is very genuine. When he went a neck up, I thought the line was never going to come.
“This was a great training performance from Richard. The horse came back very sore after Epsom and needed a lot of attention.
“I have always thought that he could be the sort of horse that could win a Winter Derby.”
SECOND FOR DOCOFTHEBAY
Royal Hunt Cup runner-up Docothebay could make a quick reappearance at Royal Ascot in the Buckingham Palace Stakes after losing out by a neck to Mr Aviator in today’s race.
“That was annoying,” said the second’s trainer Jamie Osborne. “He has run a solid race and if he’s OK he’ll take his chance on Friday - if he’s OK then why not. Like his owner (Paul Dixon) it is hard to get to the bottom of him.
“He has been ultra-consistent all the way through, he’s been second and third in some valuable races and his day will come - hopefully on Friday.”
Dandy Nicholls, trainer of third-placed Royal Power, added: “I thought when he went for home that he would have won but he’s run a blinder. The second and winner are good horses. I was going to run him in a claimer next week but I think we’ll swerve that now!”
Kavachi surprised Gary Moore by finishing fourth. “He’s an improving horse and ran the biggest race of his life and surprised me a bit. He likes to sit at the back and pick them off and will go for the big mile and mile and a quarter handicaps. He’s in the John Smith’s Cup at York although I am not sure whether he’d get in.”
The red-hot 13/8 favourite Bankable finished fifth and his rider Frankie Dettori blamed the draw. “We had a bad draw and it couldn’t be helped. Look at the first three - they were drawn one, four and five - and we were in 25. I was drawn badly, it was as simple as that,” said Dettori.
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