Norfolk Stakes
Group 2, Ascot 14:30
£80,000 added,
2yo only,
5f, Class 1  
Thursday 18th June 2015


1 Waterloo Bridge 12/1
2 Log Out Island 13/8
3 King Of Rooks 11/8F
NR: Aragon Knight, Zebstar (IRE)
10 ran Distances: ½l, ½l, ½l
TIME 59.98s (slow by 0.68s)

Waterloo Bridge causes an upset and beats Log Out Island and King Of Rooks

Waterloo Bridge
© Caroline Norris
Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge - an appropriate winner on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo - won the first race of the third day by half a length from Log Out Island. The son of Zoffany was having his fifth run, having broken his maiden at Tipperary on June 4.

Waterloo Bridge, sent off at odds of 12/1, was a third winner of the meeting for trainer Aidan O'Brien, and a sixth for jockey Ryan Moore.

O'Brien said: "He's a very fast horse. He loves a really fast-run race on fast ground and this is the first time he's got that.

"When he won at Tipperary he was very impressive and came there cantering. He just swerved a bit and we spoke about it and Joseph [O'Brien] said maybe leave the hood off, and that's what we did today.

"He wants a fast pace, like all those Zoffanys. Fast horses go on fast ground. He might go to Goodwood or something like that."

When asked about Ryan Moore, O'Brien said: "I don't have to speak about Ryan - everyone knows he's a great rider. We're lucky to have him."

Royal Ascot expanded to five days in 2002, from four days previously. Since then, the best total by a jockey has been six, achieved by Frankie Dettori (2004), Michael Kinane (2005) and Johnny Murtagh (2008) as well as Moore.

Post-war, the highest total for the four days of Royal Ascot has been eight, gained by Pat Eddery in 1989 and Lester Piggott in both 1975 and 1965. But the highest totals by riders at Royal Ascot were achieved in the nineteenth century, with Fred Archer enjoying 12 successes in 1878 and Nat Flatman 11 in 1847.

Ryan Moore said after partnering Waterloo Bridge to success in the Norfolk Stakes: "To be fair to this horse, he has probably never run on quick ground before. He has been running on soft ground and not enjoying it. This horse looked magnificent and every one of Aidan's horses this week has run great - you can never discount them.

"Waterloo Bridge is a good horse. He travelled the whole way, he picked up and then he had a little look when he got to the front. It's a big crowd, a big stand and things - he has never seen that before. He looks great and has been produced in terrific shape.

"I had confidence. It speaks a lot about Aidan's knowledge of his horses, what an unbelievable trainer he is. This horse travelled like the best horse in the race and when I asked him to go and win, he did it really well."

Aidan O'Brien, speaking at the press conference after the race, said: "Ryan gave Waterloo Bridge a great ride today. When Waterloo Bridge got there, Ryan made his mind up and sent him forward.

"Ryan is an unbelievable rider - everyone knows he is probably the greatest rider we have seen for a long, long time. We are delighted and privileged to have him working with us - first of all he is an absolute gentleman, he is 100 per cent straight and genuine and a great judge of pace. He is fully committed - a real professional in every way."

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Trainer Richard Hannon suffered the agony of watching two strongly-fancied colts from his yard finish second and third.

Log Out Island, a 13/8 chance ridden by William Buick for Godolphin, and 11/8 favourite King Of Rooks, the mount of Frankie Dettori in the colours of Al Shaqab Racing, chased home winner Waterloo Bridge in that order.

They were beaten half a length and the same after vying for the lead, ahead the 10-strong field, at the furlong marker. At that point Log Out Island was narrowly holding his stablemate, but neither horse could hold the late challenge of the winner, who had the benefit of greater experience and was taking part in his fifth race.

William Buick, who rode the runner-up, said: "I thought he ran great. He has only had one run in his life, and it is very tough coming here off that, so I'm very happy with his performance."

Log Out Island finished strongly and continued galloping after the race, delaying his return to the winner's enclosure, but Buick said: "He got lit up by the other two [winner and third] chasing him all the way and took a while to pull up."

That willingness to keep going at the end of a high-class race suggests a longer trip will suit Log Out Island, and Hannon confirmed that will next on the colt's agenda.

Hannon said: "I think Log Out Island will definitely go six furlongs in future, while the other horse [King Of Rooks] is quick, and probably went too quick, which set it up for the winner."


Norfolk Stakes
£80,000 added, 2yo only, 5f, Class 1
10 ran
Good to Firm

  Dr Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (8) Waterloo Bridge (IRE) 12/1 R L Moore
A P O'Brien 2
2nd (2) ½ Log Out Island (IRE) 13/8 W Buick
R Hannon 2
3rd (3) ½ King Of Rooks 11/8f L Dettori
R Hannon 2
4th (7) ½ Riflescope (IRE) 33/1 James Doyle
M Johnston 2
5th (6) 1 Rogues' Gallery (IRE) 25/1 S De Sousa
M Johnston 2
6th (1) nk French Encore 33/1 Liam Jones
J S Moore 2
7th (10) nk Ajaya 12/1 P Cosgrave
W J Haggas 2
8th (11) Jazz Legend (USA) 16/1 T Eaves
J G Given 2
9th (12) Ocean Eleven 66/1 David Probert
J Ryan 2
10th (5) ½ Shanghai Glory (IRE) 16/1 James McDonald
C Hills 2
NR (9) Aragon Knight 50/1 Non Runner
Mrs H Main 2
NR (4) Zebstar (IRE) 14/1 J F Egan
Miss Gay Kelleway 2

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