Well Sharp Pounces in Ascot Stakes
1 Well Sharp 9/1
An English stable finally grabbed a winner at Royal Ascot 2013, but the victory of Well Sharp in the Ascot Stakes was master-minded by a group of Irishmen.
The five-year-old is trained by Gloucestershire-based Jonjo O’Neill, he runs in the colours of J P McManus and was ridden by Fran Berry. A ready winner by two and a half lengths from runner-up Tiger Cliff, Well Sharp could be back at Ascot on Saturday to tackle the Queen Alexandra Stakes, the Royal meeting’s longest contest.
Berry reckons that event over two miles, six furlongs, another quarter of a mile further than today’s event, will be no bother to the horse, who was bought by McManus to go jumping – this was an unexpected bonus.
The winning jockey said: “If he comes out of today’s race okay why shouldn’t he run again on Saturday? He enjoyed going a longer distance today and another two furlongs shouldn’t be a problem. Today’s race was a bit stop-start, but Graham Lee gave me a nice lead [on third-placed Lieutenant Miller] and my fellow picked up well and ran to the line in good style.
“Horses can back up in this race and again on Saturday, so why not? He stretched good off a stop-start pace and that’s a good sign. This is a meeting you want to be involved in.”
O’Neill said: “That’s my second Royal Ascot winner [Gipsy Fiddler in the 1990 Windsor Castle Stakes was his first] which is great. I must do this a bit more often.
“He’s a lovely horse but he has had his problems and he doesn’t really like jumping as much as the Flat. The team at home have done a great job, but whether we come back again Saturday will depend on how he comes out of the race. We won’t rush him.”
Ascot Stakes (Handicap)
Lady Jane Cecil, widow of Sir Henry Cecil, came close to saddling her first Royal winner with her first runner.
Tiger Cliff, ridden by Tom Queally, finished second to Well Sharp, two and a half lengths adrift at the line after the two and a half miles of the Ascot Handicap.
She said: “He got the trip well and we are delighted with his performance.
“We have Chigun (Duke Of Cambridge Stakes) tomorrow and he is in great form.
“There is Riposte in the Ribblesdale (Thursday) and we could not be more pleased with her.
“To have one winner would be lovely. All the lads are pulling together – I could not have asked for any more.”
Tiger Cliff is owned by a Henry Ponsonby Syndicate as is the third Lieutenant Miller, trained by Nicky Henderson.
Ponsonby said: “It was great thrill with two wonderful horses.
“To be able to get two to run in this race was amazing in itself and then have them run so well.”
|home | associations | bloodstock agents | bookmakers | links | information | jockeys | portals | racecourses | race horse trainers | sales | studs | syndicates | submit site|
|© racingbetter.co.uk • 91 Tribune Drive • Carlisle • CA3 0LE|