Kiyoshi Flies to Albany Stakes Victory
1 Kiyoshi 8/1
Trainer Charlie Hills, who took over from his father Barry in mid-2011, saddled his first Royal Ascot winner when Kiyoshi landed the Albany Stakes.
The daughter of Dubawi, an 80,000gns purchase by David Redvers as a yearling, was ridden by Jamie Spencer in the colours of Qatar Racing, a partnership involving the Al Thani brothers Sheikhs Hamad, Fahad and Suhaim.
Hills said of Kiyoshi, who scored at 8/1: “She was pretty smart there – Jamie gave her a lovely patient ride and there was plenty of pace. He gave her a little squeeze and she took off, almost getting there too soon.”
Kiyoshi hung right in the final furlong, but Hills excused the move, saying: “It’s pretty daunting for a two-year-old having only her third start. It was just greeness more than anything.
“Her draw wasn’t ideal, but they had three and a half furlongs to sort themselves out and she’s a very uncomplicated ride.
“If she comes out of this okay we’ll have a look at the Cherry Hinton Stakes [now known as the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes] at Newmarket and Lowther Stakes at York.
“It’s fantastic getting a first Royal Ascot winner – it’s been a long week up to now, but the shortest-priced horse we’ve had [before Kiyoshi] has been about 20/1. It’s not easy here.”
Sheikh Fahad said: “It means a lot to have a winner, but especially at this place. It draws the best horses and you cannot get any better than that. I was in the middle of the crowd and it was difficult to see the finish – I just saw Jamie flash by.
“We are just so lucky to have these horses. David Redvers and others put a lot of work into the job 24 hours a day. We were very lucky with Charlie to win our first Classic [with Just The Judge, a runner in today’s Coronation Stakes and recent winner of the Irish 1000 Guineas].
Kiyoshi veered across the track in the closing stages of the Albany Stakes to the surprise of jockey Jamie Spencer but still proved much too good for her opposition.
“Kiyoshi has always been a very good filly. We have taken our time with her- spacing out her races – and she only ran in April because she is good,” said Spencer. “We came here thinking she wants seven furlongs or a mile and hopefully she has a bright future ahead of her.
“I hope her hanging across the track was down to greenness because she didn’t do it at Goodwood. There are a lot of people in the stands and maybe she was having a little look at them. It’s not in her character, she’s normally just straight down the line.
“Everything else went very smoothly throughout the race, from three out I thought I was going to win.
“For sure she could be a 1000 Guineas filly, but it is a long way away and we don’t like to make too many predictions. I’m just happy for the boss.”
Albany Stakes (Fillies' Group 3)
The well-backed 7/4 favourite Sandiva could only finish a three-and-a-quarter length second behind 8/1 winner Kiyoshi in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot this afternoon and trainer Richard Fahey was quick to blame the ground for his filly’s defeat.
“She’s run very well but the ground is very quick out there,” said Fahey.
“She doesn’t go that well on fast ground and it’s certainly quick. Half the field didn’t seem to go on that ground and I just hope she comes back sound after that. We’ll give her a break now and see how she is but I’d have thought we’ll step her up to seven furlongs after we bring her back.”
Connections of the third-placed Joyeuse, a half-sister to Frankel, were delighted with her run and she is another that could step up in trip sooner rather than later.
“We’re very happy with that run as she’s settled nicely,” said Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khalid Abdullah.
“She probably wasn’t in the right place when the race started in earnest but she’s run on really well and has shown that she is Group class.
“I’m not really sure where she will go from here. We could stay at six furlongs for the time being and the likes of the July meeting at Newmarket would then have to come into calculations. However, she’ll get further in time and I wouldn’t be against stepping her up to seven furlongs.
“We’ll see how she comes out of the race and take things from there.”
Grimthorpe also had news of Riposte following her victory in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes on Thursday.
“She seems to have come out of the race well and we’ll have to look at the big Group One races now. She’s not in the Irish Oaks but there’s a possibility that we could supplement her there as she clearly stays the mile-and-a-half well.
“However, if that race came too soon then we’d be more than happy to wait and something like the Yorkshire Oaks at York could be her aim.”
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