Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
|Group 2, Ascot 15:40
1m, Class 1
|Wednesday 15th June 2016|
1 Usherette 9/4f
2 Furia Cruzada 20/1
3 Always Smile 9/2
14 ran Distances: 2¼l, shd, 1l
TIME 1m 43.33s (slow by 4.53s)
Another favourite goes in as Usherette shows her rivals a clean pair of heels
Usherette came home a easy two-and-a-quarter lengths winner to give Godolphin another success following Ribchester in the first and a 25/1 double.
Her jockey Mickael Barzalona praised his mount: "She has all the good points, she is strong she has good stamina and has good speed as well as a good temperament.
"She was very relaxed in the race and when I asked her to go she picked up nicely.
"I went quite early because I wanted to give her a clear run and she did the job.
"It is great to be here on a big day like this and ride a horse like Usherette.
"I think she is really good. She is a top-class filly and deserved to win today. She travelled well. I did not think the ground suited her and she will be much better on good ground.
"It is great to be here and have a winner for Godolphin."
Usherette holds an entry in the Group One Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.
"She has a great chance in all the group one races like the Falmouth." added Barzalona.
John Ferguson, Chief Executive and Racing Manager for owner Godolphin, said after the race: "Both jockeys on Usherette and Always Smile reported that their fillies hated the ground, and yet they still finished first and third. I think that is the mark of a really classy filly and Mickael said that Usherette gave him a lovely feel considering the ground.
"One can wax lyrical about Andre Fabre all day long because is a master of his profession. He has made no secret of his love for this filly. It's wonderful to see her win like this at Royal Ascot in front of Sheikh Mohammed and the whole team.
"Andre has a very clear view of how good his horses are. He has a really good understanding and therefore, if he has an opinion, he will share it. He is a master of what he does.
"I think the better the ground, the better the filly. She can win a race like this on soft ground but I think we will ultimately see a better filly on better ground.
"I am thrilled with Always Smile because James said she really hated the ground. She is game and James said, given better ground, she would take on the best."
Duke Of Cambridge Stakes
(Fillies' Group 2) (Formerly the Windsor Forest Stakes) (Str)
£175,000 added, 4yo plus, 1m, Class 1
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(10)||Usherette (IRE) 9/4f||M Barzalona
|2nd||(7)||2¼||Furia Cruzada (CHI) 20/1||P J Smullen
|J H M Gosden||5|
|3rd||(13)||s.h||Always Smile (IRE) 9/2||James Doyle
|S bin Suroor||4|
|4th||(9)||1||Miss Temple City (USA) 12/1||R L Moore
|5th||(2)||s.h||Jazzi Top 7/1||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||4|
|6th||(8)||½||Lucida (IRE) 10/1||K J Manning
|J S Bolger||4|
|7th||(1)||¾||Black Cherry 50/1||P J Dobbs
|8th||(6)||1½||Excilly 100/1||R Kingscote
|9th||(5)||nk||Maimara (FR) 12/1||G Benoist
|10th||(14)||hd||Devonshire (IRE) 8/1||W Buick
|11th||(3)||1¼||Blond Me (IRE) 11/1||David Probert
|A M Balding||4|
|12th||(12)||3¼||Bint Dandy (IRE) 100/1||F Tylicki
|C A Dwyer||5|
|13th||(4)||2||Spangled 20/1||Andrea Atzeni
|14th||(11)||17||Volunteer Point (IRE) 50/1||S De Sousa
|M R Channon||4|
Furia Cruzada, a dual Grade One winner on dirt in her native Chile, proved she could be a northern hemisphere force when taking second in today's Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes.
It was her third run for the stable of trainer John Gosden since arriving from Chile, and her best performance to date, even though she will almost certainly improve for a step up in trip. She was beaten two and a quarter lengths by winner Usherette, and was a short-head in front of Always Smile, who took third.
Jockey Pat Smullen who rode the runner-up said: "She handled the ground very well which was important, but I think a little more distance would have suited her."
Gosden said: "She's been with us since last July, and has taken a bit of time to come to herself - it can take nearly a year when they come from the southern hemisphere. She's run a lovely race, but needed a little further and we knew that - it was a really solid race.
"I ran her at Lingfield in February just to click her in, and then she ran well at Newmarket in May [when fifth, beaten six and a quarter lengths by Usherette], and I think we are now getting where we want to be. The winner of today's race is brilliant, and we got closer to her today - she's not easy to get close to."
SMILE NOT HAPPY ON GROUND
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor was happy with the performance of Always Smile, who finished two and a quarter lengths and a short head behind the winner Usherette and runner-up Furia Cruzada respectively.
The 9/2 shot was never really travelling for jockey James Doyle as the field reached the halfway point but she stayed on strongly in the closing stages to almost collar Furia Cruzada for second place.
Bin Suroor revealed that he will look at a similar race for her next time out.
"She has come home really strongly to finish third," said the trainer.
"She ran a big race. She has the class to run in the big races and we're happy with the way she finished her race.
"We will keep our options open with her and will look for a Group One or a Group Two with her - she has the class to run in those races."
Doyle felt that the ground was to blame for Always Smile's inability to travel kindly in the early part of the race.
"She hated the ground," said Doyle.
"We didn't go a yard in the early stages and we were both swimming from halfway. I'm surprised she ran on so well in the closing stages to be honest."