Ascot Stakes
Handicap, Ascot 17:00
£80,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 4f, Class 2    
Tuesday 16th June 2016

1 Jennies Jewel 6/1
2 Qewy 33/1
3 Mill Springs 25/1
4 Moscato 18/1
20 ran Distances: nk, 1¾l, 2¼l
TIME 4m 34.70s (slow by 14.70s)

Jennies Jewel just holds off the late charge of Qewy to win the Ascot Stakes

Jennies Jewel
© Caroline Norris
Jennies Jewel

Jarlath Fahey's first runner at Royal Ascot proved to be a winner, when Jennies Jewel, who led for most of the contest, stayed on impressively to fight of the late challenge of Qewy to win by a neck.

Fahey, 48, from County Kildare, is better known for his runners over obstacles, had only ever sent out one winner in Great Britain prior to today said: "It is unbelievable to come here with a nine-year-old Flemensfirth mare and a take a race at Royal Ascot. It's what dreams are made of.

"The dying strides were the only time I was worried because the runner-up was closing her down rapidly at the line. Ronan (Whelan) gave her a very good ride and just had enough up his sleeve."

Jennies Jewel, who is a Grade Three winner over hurdles, was last seen winning over two miles at the Curragh in May.

"She has done it the hard way in a normal career in Ireland and kept finding and improving. This year, for some reason or another, she has come into her own at nine years of age. You can't say she is a late developer but the step up to three miles over hurdles has done her confidence a lot of good. She seems to enjoy running back on the Flat."

Reflecting on the most high-profile win of his career, the Irish trainer continued: "It's hard to put into words what to say, she's a special mare and she was given a very special ride and I'd give all the credit to the mare. She's a mare that keeps coming back for more and every time she runs she just finds more. She doesn't know how to run a bad race and she definitely doesn't know how to give in."

Twenty three-year-old Ronan Whelan, who hails from Monasterevin in Co Kildare, recorded the first Royal Ascot winner of his career.

Whelan started his career in racing at the winning trainer's Jarlath Fahey's yard and has repaid that leg-up in spades coming home a neck to the good on the 6/1 chance after making all.

Whelan said: "What a tough mare she is - what a joy. I came here today and I knew she had a favourite's chance but I wasn't nervous at all coming to ride her she is so straightforward.

"If there was a bit of pace on, I would let it happen and if there wasn't I would make my own fractions. One thing I knew was that she would give her all and she did.

"If you watch her jump races she can just get a bit caught for toe so the plan was to gradually pick it up, pick it up and pick it up. There were a few question marks over a few of the others' stamina and I knew she would run to the line so I wanted to test them.

"As we came to the line, I could feel another one coming to me but to be fair my girl wasn't stropping.

"It means a lot to me - I am best friends with Jarlath's daughter Keira, we went to school together and his yard is where I first went to ride out. His dad and my dad were very close so I grew up with the Faheys.

"Keira and I came racing together today and I said to her look at us, we were children and we went to school together and here we are at Royal Ascot. We can't win today can we? But luckily dreams can come true.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet. It wont be until I get home that it really hits me.

"This is by far my biggest winner ever, I have had a couple of Group Three winners and I know this is only a handicap but nothing can top that."

Ascot Stakes Handicap
£80,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 4f, Class 2
20 ran
Going: Soft

Pos Dr D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (2) Jennies Jewel (IRE) 6/1 R P Whelan
J P Fahey 9
2nd (10) nk Qewy (IRE) 33/1 James McDonald
C Appleby 6
3rd (6) Mill Springs 25/1 L Dettori
J H M Gosden 4
4th (17) Moscato 18/1 L Morris
Sir Mark Prescott 5
5th (18) Montaly 33/1 David Probert
A M Balding 5
6th (7) Totalize 16/1 Callum Shepherd (5)
B Ellison 7
7th (9) ½ Pique Sous (FR) 15/2 R L Moore
W P Mullins 9
8th (20) Penglai Pavilion (USA) 16/1 James Doyle
C Appleby 6
9th (1) Galizzi (USA) (ex3) 8/1 W Buick
C Appleby 5
10th (14) Wolfcatcher (IRE) 25/1 A Kirby
C Appleby 4
11th (3) 6 Saved By The Bell (IRE) 66/1 D Nolan
D O'Meara 6
12th (19) ¾ Mirsaale 20/1 J Fanning
K Dalgleish 6
13th (16) Sempre Medici (FR) 8/1 M Harley
W P Mullins 6
14th (8) 14 No Heretic 12/1 J P Spencer
N J Henderson 8
15th (15) Chartbreaker (FR) 50/1 S Hitchcott
C Gordon 5
16th (5) 1 Silver Concorde 5/1f P J Smullen
D K Weld 8
17th (13) 9 Le Maitre Chat (USA) 14/1 P Hanagan
Ian Williams 5
18th (4) 10 Sunblazer (IRE) 66/1 William Twiston-Davies
K C Bailey 6
19th (11) 2 Eshtiaal (USA) 20/1 F M Berry
G Elliott 6
20th (12) 43 Hassle (IRE) 14/1 Oisin Murphy
Dr R D P Newland 7


Six-year-old Qewy could have been walking a sales ring at Cheltenham in April, as part of the Bloomfields dispersal following John Ferguson's decision to quit training and head up Godolphin's operation.

No fewer than 41 of Ferguson's string found new homes at that auction, but Qewy was among a group who joined either Charlie Appleby or Saeed bin Suroor to run on the Flat in Godolphin colours, and he proved that a wise decision when finishing runner-up in today's Ascot Handicap under joint top-weight of 9st 10lb. A 33/1 shot, he came with a good run but was a neck behind all-the-way winner Jennies Jewel at the line, and a length and three-quarters ahead of third placed Mill Springs.

Appleby was delighted with Qewy's effort - his first start on the Flat since October, 2014 when he was trained by John Oxx; he subsequently ran in nine races over hurdles for Ferguson - and he said: "He was worth persevering with. James [Doyle] said he got into a nice rhythm, and while he felt he could have been a bit closer to the pace, the horse was happy where he was.

"Two furlongs out he really started to pick up and thundered home, and it's great that we have something to go at for the rest of the season. We can map something out now. He would probably be better on this surface than on a quicker one, but to do what he did today off top-weight was a good performance. He's come off a break, so we'll see how he is and plan from there - we'll have to think of the Cup races."

John Gosden, who trains the third Mill Springs, said: "Thrilled with her - she's a Listed winner at this track over a mile and six furlongs. The winner was clearly the best, but it was a great run by our filly."

Mill Springs was beaten over a mile and a half last time, so today's trip was a mile further. Gosden said: "We felt she wanted a little more distance, and it worked out that way."