Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
|Group 2, Ascot 15:40
1m, Class 1
|Wednesday 17th June 2015|
1 Amazing Maria 25/1
2 Rizeena 7/1
3 Cladocera 8/1
NR: Euro Charline, Evita Peron
6 ran Distances: 2l, 2l, 2½l
TIME 1m 42.60s (slow by 3.80s)
A Royal Ascot winner for David O'Meara and James Doyle as Amazing Maria lands the Duke of Cambridge at 25/1!
Ridden by James Doyle in the colours of Sir Robert Ogden, Amazing Maria became her trainer's second Royal Ascot winner after Louis The Pious's victory in last year's Buckingham Palace Handicap. Today's victory for the four-year-old Amazing Maria was on a higher level, and came on her third start for O'Meara, who took on responsibility for training her from Ed Dunlop's yard earlier this year.
O'Meara said: "We brought her here for a fillies' handicap on her first run for me, and she travelled well and arrived a little too soon, then she ran in Ireland [in a Group Two race at the Curragh] and didn't get much cover but finished off well, so we thought we would have another chance up this straight mile.
"If you hold her up she finishes well as long as she doesn't get to the front too soon. When she was sent to me we thought she was a really good filly and she ran a good race first time for us when we didn't really know her that well. James [Doyle] has given her a great ride today.
"It was special last year to have our first Royal Ascot winner and it's great to get another one on the board."
Asked about his secret in rekindling or finding fires in racehorses, he said: "We just deal with them when they arrive, and some of them come and some of them don't, and she was just one that did. She's won today and that was the only plan."
O'Meara, who trains three horses for Sir Robert, ran G Force, another success story with a Group One Betfred Sprint Cup win at Haydock to his name, in yesterday's King's Stand Stakes, but he finished last. The trainer said: "We've brought him to Ascot twice now and he's produced the two worst runs of his career. I don't why that is, but we'll take him back to a flat track."
Rizeena, winner of the 2013 Queen Mary Stakes and the 2014 Coronation Stakes, finished runner-up to Amazing Maria by two lengths.
Bruce Raymond, racing manager for Rizeena's owner Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum, said: "She seems to run better here than anywhere else. There wasn't much pace in the race so she took it up early enough, and has gone and won her race and then that [Amazing Maria] has come out of the pack - I couldn't believe it could keep going. I thought, what's that?
"But we're happy that she's back on song. I thought she looked a million dollars before the race, quite calm for her. Obviously she'll go back to Newmarket for the Falmouth Stakes [in which she finished second to Integral last year], but she's better here."
Jockey William Buick said: "She's run great, much better than at Newmarket [she could only finish seventh in the Dahlia Stakes on May 3, her first outing of the season]. She loves it here, doesn't she?"
French filly Cladocera finished third. Her trainer Alain de Royer Dupre said: "She just lacked a little bit of stamina but that was her first run back after a break. I'm very pleased with her and third place is a great place to finish in a race of this nature. She is also in season, but that didn't bother her.
"She may go for the Beverley D Stakes in America, but I'm not sure whether that race is over nine or 10 furlongs. If it is over nine furlongs she will go for that; if not we will look elsewhere."
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
(Fillies' Group 2) (Formerly the Windsor Forest Stakes) (Str)
£135,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m, Class 1
Going: Good to Firm, Firm in places
|Pos||Draw||Dist||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(1)||Amazing Maria (IRE) 25/1||James Doyle
|2nd||(8)||2||Rizeena (IRE) 7/1||W Buick
|C E Brittain||4|
|3rd||(3)||2||Cladocera (GER) 8/1||C Soumillon
|A Royer De Dupre||4|
|4th||(2)||2½||Bragging (USA) 9/1||P J Smullen
|Sir Michael Stoute||4|
|5th||(7)||1¼||Integral 8/11f||R L Moore
|Sir Michael Stoute||5|
|6th||(5)||10||Lightning Thunder 33/1||Andrea Atzeni
|WN||(6)||Euro Charline 6/1||L Dettori
|NR||(4)||Evita Peron 20/1||R Kingscote
|R M Beckett||4|