Royal Hunt Cup
Heritage Handicap, Ascot 17:00
£175,000 guaranteed,
3yo plus,
7f 213y, Class 2   
Wednesday 15th June 2022


1 Dark Shift 13/2
2 Intellogent 40/1
3 Tempus 28/1
4 Astro King 17/2
29 ran NR: Rebel Territory Distances: ½l, 1¼l, 1½l
Time: 1m 39.13s (slow by 0.43s)

Long-time friends Charlie Hills and James McDonald teamed up to win the Royal Hunt Cup with the prolific Dark Shift, who landed the biggest prize of his career.
The improving son of Dark Angel was held up down the middle of the track by his crack Australian-based rider in the early stages. Having made rapid headway from three furlongs out, the pair were in front entering the final furlong and held on gamely to land the heritage handicap by half a length at odds of 13/2.
The winner held off 40/1 chance Intellogent, who ran a huge race in defeat for Jane Chapple-Hyam, with Tempus back in third. The well-fancied Astro King, who was runner-up last year, had every chance and kept on for fourth.
Hills said: “It was always the plan to go for the Victoria Cup. We ran there and got a terrible draw. We needed to then run him again to get into this race, so we ran him at Nottingham and he won there. It was a bit of a worry if we would get into the race two days ago. Anyway, it's great. 
"It is his fourth win here. We were keen to come here and we will keep him here as long as we can. Hopefully, he is a Group horse. The horse has a good turn of foot and it is a slow maturing family, so he could end up being smart.
“Me and James McDonald go back a long way. He came to spend the summer with us eight years ago and we have become good family friends. For connections to let him ride the horse means an awful lot. I'm very proud.
“James is so good. Not taking anything away from our boys, we've got some great ones in England, but we just seem to get on well. It's great to have James on our side."

Trainers Quotes

McDonald said: “I love Royal Ascot every year, but this one has been extra special. This has made my day. It's such a special win. Charlie is one of my greatest pals. He has been a fantastic trainer. What he has done for my career is unbelievable and I cannot thank him enough for his support every year. There are plenty of big-name jockeys who could have ridden this horse and I'm only riding him because of Charlie.
“When I was an 18-year-old kid, I came over with a suitcase and I lived with Charlie and Pip for six months. They gave me every opportunity to ride a massive amount of winners and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If it wasn't for them, I might not have enjoyed it as much. They could have easily put me in college. So for them to look after me is a testament to them. It is awesome.
“The race worked out brilliantly. We were dependant on pace and there was a lovely rhythm. He got into zone pretty quickly. It was just a matter of finding clear air. He is a lovely horse, I don't think he will stay much further, a mile is his friend. He loves it here and it is a good place to love!”

Jane Chapple-Hyam said of Intellogent: “That was excellent - look at him! We’re very pleased with him. We brought him down here six weeks ago for a practice; it was hard because he got put up in the weights, but Fiona [Carmichael, owner] and Amanda [Skiffington, bloodstock agent] believe in the horse and they gave me the opportunity to rekindle what has been lost over 18 months. We’re just all proud that he’s a happy horse, and he’s shown that today with that amount of weight.”


Royal Hunt Cup Heritage Handicap (Str)
£175,000 guaranteed, 3yo plus, 7f 213y, Class 2
29 ran
Going: Good to Firm

1 (15)     Dark Shift 4 9-1 5ex Charles Hills James McDonald 13/2
2 (4)
½ Intellogent 7 9-10 Jane Chapple-Hyam James Doyle 40/1
3 (16)
Tempus 6 9-6 Archie Watson Hollie Doyle 28/1
4 (9)
Astro King 5 9-7 Sir Michael Stoute Ryan Moore 17/2
5 (33)
nk Sinjaari 6 9-11 Harry & Roger Charlton Kieran Shoemark 14/1
6 (12)
½ Isla Kai 4 9-5 Nigel Tinkler Rowan Scott 33/1
7 (22)
1 Bless Him 8 9-6 David Simcock Jamie Spencer 20/1
8 (3)
¾ Bopedro 6 9-8 Mrs John Harrington Shane Foley 28/1
9 (17)
½ Totally Charming 4 9-1 5ex George Boughey Frankie Dettori 8/1
10 (24)
nk Aratus 4 9-6 Clive Cox Adam Kirby 22/1
11 (11)
nk Greatgadian 4 9-7 Roger Varian Ray Dawson 40/1
12 (5)
Escobar 8 9-12 David O'Meara Daniel Tudhope 28/1
13 (31)
¾ Percy's Lad 4 9-1 Daniel & Claire Kubler Richard Kingscote 33/1
14 (23)
nk Notre Belle Bete 4 9-3 Andrew Balding David Probert 40/1
15 (13)
½ Real Force 5 9-0 Gerard O'Leary Colin Keane 50/1
16 (16)
hd Via Serendipity 8 9-1 5ex Charlie Fellowes Stevie Donohoe 50/1
17 (27)
Etonian 4 9-5 Richard Hannon Pat Dobbs 40/1
18 (14)
½ San Andreas 6 9-9 Joseph O'Brien H J Horgan 66/1
19 (29)
nk Symbolize 67 5 9-9 Andrew Balding Harry Davies 9/1
20 (10)
½ Legend Of Dubai 4 9-1 Roger Varian Andrea Atzeni 7/2F
21 (26)
hd Magical Morning 5 10-1 5ex John & Thady Gosden Benoit De La Sayette 22/1
22 (28)
nk Hortzadar 7 9-0 David O'Meara Mark Winn 80/1
23 (18)
1 Cruyff Turn 5 9-5 Tim Easterby Tom Marquand 28/1
24 (25)
Excel Power 4 9-3 Archie Watson Luke Morris 66/1
25 (2)
1 What's The Story 8 9-2 Keith Dalgleish Silvestre De Sousa 40/1
26 (8)
¾ Lunar Space 4 9-5 Jamie Osborne Saffie Osborne 125/1
27 (30)
nk Humanitarian 6 9-8 Stuart Williams Daniel Muscutt 150/1
28 (6)
52 Desert Peace 5 9-5 Charlie Appleby William Buick 28/1
29 (21)
37 Fantastic Fox 4 9-3 Roger Varian David Egan 16/1
NR 22 (19) Rebel Territory 4 9-3 5ex Amanda Perrett NON RUNNER


Past results

2021-WINNER-REAL WORLD Saeed bin Suroor Marco Ghiani Godolphin 4 8-09 18/1

2020-WINNER-DARK VISION Mark Johnston William Buick Godolphin 4-9-01 15/2

2019-WINNER-AFAAK Charlie Hills Jim Crowley Hamdan Al Maktoum 5-9-03 20/1

2018-WINNER-SETTLE FOR BAY David Marnane IRE Billy Lee McGettigans Management JLT/M Casey 4-9-01 16/1

2017-WINNER-ZHU FENG 4-9-00 Owner-John Connolly & Odile Griffith; Trainer-Amanda Perrett; Jockey-Martin Dwyer; SP-25/1
2ND-Blair House 4-8-11 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Charlie Appleby; Jockey-Mickael Barzalona; SP-16/1
3RD-Tashweeq 4-9-06 Owner-Hamdan Al Maktoum; Trainer-John Gosden; Jockey-Dane O’Neill; SP-66/1
4TH-Ballet Concerto 4-9-02 Owner-Saeed Suhail; Trainer-Sir Michael Stoute; Jockey-Ryan Moore; SP-20/1
29 ran; Time-1m 37.82s; Dist-½, nk, 1¾ 13/2 Fav Abe Lincoln (15th)

2016-WINNER-PORTAGE 4-9-05 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Michael Halford IRE; Jockey-James Doyle; SP-10/1
2ND-Librisa Breeze 4-8-11 Owner-Tony Bloom; Trainer-Dean Ivory; Jockey-Robert Winston; SP-8/1
3RD-Mitchum Swagger 4-9-08 Owner- Paul Dean & the Mitchum Swagger P’Ship; Trainer-David Lanigan; Jockey-George Baker; SP- 14/1
4TH-Azraff 4-8-13 Owner-Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar; Trainer-Marco Botti; Jockey-Andrea Atzeni; SP-20/1
28 ran; Time-1m 43.01s; Dist-11⁄4, nk, 1⁄2 13/2 Fav Convey (22nd)

2015-WINNER-GM HOPKINS 4-9-03 Owner-Robin Geffen; Trainer-John Gosden; Jockey-Ryan Moore; SP-8/1
2ND-Temptress 4-8-12 Owner-The Pyoneers; Trainer-Roger Charlton; Jockey-James Doyle; SP-9/1
3RD-Chil The Kite 6-9-08 Owner-Hazel Lawrence & Graham Doyle; Trainer-Hughe Morrison; Jockey-George Baker; SP-16/1
4TH-Balty Boys 4-8-12 Owner-Koo’s Racing Club, Carr & Jacobs; Trainer-Brian Ellison; Jockey-Silvestre de Sousa; SP-25/1 30 ran; Time-1m 40.30s; Dist-nk, 11⁄2, 1⁄2 7/1 Fav Ayaar (9th)

2014-WINNER-FIELD OF DREAM 7-9-01 Owner-N Jackson; Trainer-Jamie Osborne; Jockey-Adam Kirby; SP-20/1
2ND-Chil The Kite 5-9-09 Owner-Hazel Lawrence & Graham Doyle; Trainer-Hughie Morrison; Jockey-George Baker; SP-14/1
3RD-Steeler 4-9-06 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Charlie Appleby; Jockey-Silvestre de Sousa; SP-33/1
4TH-Sea Shanty 4-8-12 Owner-The Queen; Trainer-Richard Hannon; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-14/1
28 ran; Time-1m 37.88s; Dist-11⁄4, 11⁄4, sh 7/2 Fav Abseil (8th)

2013-WINNER-BELGIAN BILL 5-8-11 Owner-PJL Racing, Byrne, Baker; Trainer-George Baker; Jockey-James Doyle; SP-33/1
2ND-Premio Loco 9-9-09 Owner-Bernard Westley; Trainer-Chris Wall; Jockey-George Baker; SP- 40/1
3RD-Arsaadi 4-8-12 Owner-Sultan Ali; Trainer-William Haggas; Jockey-Liam Jones; SP-50/1
4TH-Don’t Call Me 6-9-05 Owner-Matt & Lauren Morgan; Trainer-David Nicholls; Jockey-Pat Dobbs; SP-25/1
28 ran; Time-1m 38.68s; Dist-3⁄4, 1⁄2, 1⁄2 10/1 Co Favs Two For Two (12th), Fury (18th), Stirring Ballad (22nd)

2012-WINNER-PRINCE OF JOHANNE 6-9-03 Owner-David Storey; Trainer-Tom Tate; Jockey-John Fahy; SP-16/1
2ND-Excellent Guest 5-8-11 Owner-John Guest Racing; Trainer-George Margarson; Jockey-Tom Queally; SP-33/1
3RD-Don’t Call Me 5-8-08 Owner-Matt & Lauren Morgan; Trainer-David Nicholls; Jockey-Sam Hitchcott; SP-50/1
4TH-Field Of Dream 5-9-00 Owner-Ken Gundlach; Trainer-Jamie Osborne; Jockey-Jamie Spencer; SP-66/1
30 ran; Time-1m 38.24s; Dist-1⁄2, 3⁄4, nk 9/2 Fav Dimension (8th)

2011-WINNER-JULIENAS 4-8-08 Owner-Peter Harris; Trainer-Walter Swinburn; Jockey-Eddie Ahern; SP-12/1
2ND-Dance And Dance 5-9-03 Owner-Mohammed Rashid; Trainer-Ed Vaughan; Jockey-Ryan Moore; SP-7/1 Fav
3RD-Invisible Man 5-9-06 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Saeed bin Suroor; Jockey-Frankie Dettori; SP-20/1
4TH-Pendragon 8-8-04 Owner-Dan Gilbert & Kristian Strangeway; Trainer-Brian Ellison; Jockey-Jimmy Quinn; SP-33/1
28 ran; Time-1m 38.53s; Dist-1⁄2, 2, ns

2010-WINNER-INVISIBLE MAN 4-8-09 Owner-Godolphin; Trainer-Saeed bin Suroor; Jockey-Frankie Dettori; SP-28/1
2ND-Riggins 6-9-00 Owner-Dubai Thoroughbred Racing; Trainer-Andrew Balding; Jockey-Jimmy Fortune; SP-12/1 3RD-St Moritz 4-8-07 Owner-Renata Jacobs; Trainer-Mark Johnston; Jockey-Joe Fanning; SP-12/1
4TH-Tryst 5-8-05 Owner-Ms L A Morgan; Trainer-John Hammond FR; Jockey-Hayley Turner; SP-12/1
29 ran; Time-1m 37.16s; Dist-1⁄2, 1, 1 8/1 Fav Dandy Boy (21st)

2009-WINNER-FORGOTTEN VOICE 4-9-01 Owner-Susan Roy; Trainer-Jeremy Noseda; Jockey-Johnny Murtagh; SP-4/1 Fav
2ND-Huzzah 4-8-10 Owner-J Gale, J Finch, D Cole, Robin Dollar, David Powell; Trainer-Barry Hills; Jockey-Michael Hills; SP-25/1
3RD-Mia’s Boy 5-9-03 Owner-Iraj Parvizi; Trainer-Chris Dwyer; Jockey-Ryan Moore; SP-9/1
4TH-Nanton 7-8-06 Owner-Stuart Morrison; Trainer-Jim Goldie; Jockey-Daniel Tudhope; SP-16/1
25 ran; Time-1m 40.41s; Dist-21⁄4, 3⁄4, 11⁄2

2008-WINNER-MR AVIATOR 4-9-05 Owner-Sue Brendish; Trainer-Richard Hannon snr; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-25/1
2ND-Docofthebay 4-9-06 Owner-Paul Dixon; Trainer-Jamie Osborne; Jockey-Shane Kelly; SP-10/1
3RD-Royal Power 5-8-12 Owner-David Nicholls; Trainer-David Nicholls; Jockey-Adrian Nicholls; SP-25/1
4TH-Kavachi 5-8-04 Owner-Bryan Pennick & Roy Martin; Trainer-Gary Moore; Jockey-Franny Norton 33/1
29 ran, Time-1m 39.63s, Dist-nk, nk, 3⁄4 13/8 Fav Bankable (5th)