1 Flying Cloud 5/1
Godolphin Flying Again
After a quiet season, Godolphin and jockey Frankie Dettori bounced back with a four-length success from the unbeaten Flying Cloud in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “She was a Group 3 winner in France and working well before the race which gave us the confidence to run her here.
“She’s a very honest, tough filly with a good turn of foot and I think she is still progressing so she’d possibly go for the Irish Oaks now, we’ll keep our options open.
“She joined us (from Andre Fabre in France) after her last win and has been with us in Newmarket for six weeks.”
Reflecting on the season, bin Suroor added: “It’s very hard to win races at Royal Ascot, the key is to have the right horses, and that is why our stable is sometimes quiet.
“The horses we have been running in Classics and Group 1s have proved not really good enough but things will get changed and they will run in races that they will hopefully be able to win.”
Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford added: “We were not so hopeful beforehand because we thought the ground might be a bit quick and the French form was hard to weigh up.
“So we were not overly confident but she’s proved to be a nice progressive filly who is going the right way.”
After performing his trademark flying dismount, Frankie Dettori added: “The first two days of Royal Ascot were a bit frustrating - Alexandros was unfortunately a little bit lame - but my best rides are on Friday and Saturday. This is a real tonic for the whole team.
“The whole weighing room had been giving me a lot of stick this week, especially Jamie Spencer, and even my driver told me that we would need an estate car tomorrow because my lip was getting bigger.
“I can’t stress enough how lucky Ascot has been to me and I’m delighted this win means I join Michael Kinane on 41 winners at Royal Ascot.
“This filly has shown a great turn of foot and is very gutsy, she’s won three from three and is going from strength to strength.
"She actually surprised me and she should be a candidate for the Darley Irish Oaks. I think that a mile and half is spot on for her now and I think that she wouldn’t want the ground any quicker than this - a bit of rain would help her.
"She’s small, gutsy, determined and showed a great turn of foot. She’s won by four lengths and is a very good filly.”
Godolphin’s founder Sheikh Mohammed added: “Royal Ascot is always great racing with all of these nice people here and it is great to have a winner here.
"Flying Cloud won twice for Andre Fabre and we thought that she was good enough to join Godolphin. I think the Darley Irish Oaks could be the race for her now."
Flying Cloud was quoted at 3/1 for the Darley Irish Oaks by Cashmans.
CECIL ‘DELIGHTED IN DEFEAT’
Flame of Gibraltar could not reel in the winner Flying Cloud but nevertheless posted a performance to please her trainer Henry Cecil when finishing second by four lengths in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
“She’s still a baby and she had a bad curb (a spur of bone on the back of the hindleg below the hock) last year but she’s improving all the time,” said Cecil.
“Touch wood, she’ll go on improving. She’s a nice filly. I would have been delighted if she’d finished anywhere in the first four today. It’s a big step up. She had this very bad curb last year and normally when they have a curb they don’t go lame but she was so lame with it for months and she’s only just coming to herself now.
“So, I’m delighted - delighted in defeat.”
William Knight, trainer of the third-placed Uvinza, said: “Being realistic, the plan was just to try to get some black type and that’s what we’ve done. She’s stepped up to a mile and a half and has definitely improved.
“She’s a big filly and I think she will be even stronger next year. I’m sure her owners, who also bred her, are game, so I’m sure they’d want to keep her in training.”
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