Ribblesdale Stakes
Group 2, Ascot 15:40
£200,000 added,
3yo only,
1m 4f, Class 1   
Thursday 16th June 2016


1 Even Song 15/8f
2 Ajman Princess 33/1
3 The Black Princess 8/1
14 ran Distances: 1½l, 1l, nk
TIME 2m 39.74s (slow by 11.14s)

Even Song wins and gives trainer Aidan O’Brien his 50th winner at the meeting

Even Song
© Caroline Norris
Even Song

Aidan O'Brien reached a significant milestone after Even Song gave the trainer his 50th Royal Ascot winner when running out the impressive one and a half length winner of the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes this afternoon.

The 15/8 favourite was always travelling kindly for jockey Ryan Moore and stayed on strongly in the closing stages when asked for her effort.

O'Brien was quick to praise all of his staff following the 12-furlong race.

"She's a lovely filly," said O'Brien.

"Everyone does a great job with her. Ryan rode her in Newmarket when she was third in the Pretty Polly and felt she could be the second best staying filly. We decided to leave her and come here rather than go to Epsom and it has worked out great. We felt she would get a mile and a half well and handle an ease in the ground. It is great when it works out and she is a well-bred filly too which is great.

"Ryan has given her a lovely ride and she's come there when she wanted to - I imagine he is very happy. She always been a professional filly but I was worried that she'd still be a little bit green and this is only her second run this year. It's worked out great. We were thinking that if everything went well today that we'd go to the Irish Oaks (at the Curragh) so I think that's what we might think of. She's a very well-bred filly and a half-sister to last year's St Leger winner (Simple Verse). She's a big mare as well so you'd imagine she'd improve and could be even better next year.

"It's great to get 50 Royal Ascot winners but I'm a small part of a very big team and everyone works very hard. I'm very happy for everyone. From the conception, to foaling, to bringing these horses along, everyone works very hard at Coolmore and Ballydoyle and I'm very grateful to them all."

Ryan Moore was also happy to have ridden his second Royal Ascot winner of the week.

"Even Song quickened up very well and showed a good turn of foot," said the jockey.

"They went slow and she relaxed very well in tight quarters. She is a very good filly. Architecture had a tough trip and was backing up from the Oaks, whereas Aidan trained this filly with this race in mind and it has worked out. We went very slow but she is a high class filly. Aidan trained her with the race in mind and it all went according to plan."


Ribblesdale Stakes (Fillies' Group 2)
£200,000 added, 3yo only, 1m 4f, Class 1
14 ran
Going: Soft

Pos Dr Dist Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st (5) Even Song (IRE) 15/8f R L Moore
A P O'Brien 3
2nd (4) Ajman Princess (IRE) 33/1 Andrea Atzeni
R Varian 3
3rd (11) 1 The Black Princess (FR) 8/1 W Buick
J H M Gosden 3
4th (10) nk Queen's Trust 12/1 O Peslier
Sir Michael Stoute 3
5th (12) hd Shall We (IRE) 25/1 T E Durcan
Sir Michael Stoute 3
6th (6) hd We Are Ninety (IRE) 16/1 Jim Crowley
H Palmer 3
7th (7) Sovereign Parade (IRE) 7/1 R Havlin
J H M Gosden 3
8th (13) s.h Architecture (IRE) 3/1 L Dettori
H Palmer 3
9th (3) Chicadoro 12/1 F M Berry
R M Beckett 3
10th (2) &frac12 Olala (GER) 25/1 A Hamelin
M Figge 3
11th (14) ¾ Capricious Cantor (IRE) 50/1 S De Sousa
E A L Dunlop 3
12th (1) hd Dessertoflife (IRE) 50/1 J Fanning
M Johnston 3
13th (9) nk Beauly 25/1 J P Spencer
C Hills 3
14th (8) nk Rocaverde (IRE) 33/1 P J Smullen
R M Beckett 3



Roger Varian was delighted with the performance of Ajman Princess (33/1), who finished an excellent one and a half-length second to Even Song.

Having travelled up near the lead throughout, the three-year-old filly stuck on resolutely for Andrea Atzeni to fill second for the fourth time in four career starts.

With her first three starts all being in maiden company, the daughter of Teofilo excelled for the step up to Group Two company and benefitted from the fitting of a hood.

Varian said: "She has run really well. I really like this filly and I've been disappointed that we hadn't broken her maiden because she had good maiden form here at Ascot on her second start where she split two Listed winners [Abingdon and Skiffle].

"It was a messy race last time at Leicester. There was no gallop and she was keen in behind. That is why I put the hood on her today. I always thought she would run better in a better race and they went a good gallop.

"As you find at Royal Ascot, you don't get many falsely run races. Off a genuine pace, Andrea got position A, she picked up and just met a better one on the day. I thought she was capable of something like that.

"We have had her well entered all year and just been disappointed we haven't made her a winner yet but I'm sure that won't be far off happening on the back of this."

For the future, the Newmarket handler suggested a maiden victory was a short-term target. Varian remarked: "At some point we need to win a maiden. I think she is a filly who will improve with racing and age. She might even stay further.

"I'll speak to the owner and see whether we come back a level and make her a winner or we stay ambitious. One day she is definitely going to be a very nice filly, probably the priority is to make her a winner first."

Jockey Andrea Atzeni commented: "We've always liked her. She is a filly who is a slow-learner. Her first couple of races she was pretty keen and with the hood on today and the ringbit she was a lot more settled. The winner [Even Song] went by me a bit quick but she run well and she stays well. She is a filly who will get better with time."

John Gosden, trainer of the third The Black Princess (8/1), who finished one length adrift of the second, said: "It was a great run from a horrible draw on the outside. We had to go very much the long way round and considering that she ran a lovely race."

William Buick, who was aboard the daughter of Iffraaj, added: "I was stuck out a bit wide and then I got bumped into the middle of the track up the straight which didn't help. She's run one hell of a race. She's a really lovely filly."