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Royal Ascot day three: Mountain Angel flies home to land Wolferton Stakes

Thu 18 Jun 2020

All the news from day three at Royal Ascot, where Roger Varian enjoyed a treble and Jim Crowley's brilliant week continued.

Roger Varian and James Doyle teamed up to win the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot in fine style with Mountain Angel.

Fifth in the race to subsequent Group One hero Addeybb 12 months ago, Mountain Angel enjoyed a dream run up the inside to win in clear-cut fashion.

Prince Eiji – a stablemate of the 8-1 winner – appeared to have them all on the stretch at one stage, but Doyle waited for a gap to appear on the rail and when he did he took full advantage

Ryan Moore came with a late charge on 15-8 favourite Sir Dragonet and was making ground hand over fist in the closing stages, but found the line coming too soo.

Mountain Angel was given quotes around the 20-1 mark for the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown next month.

Varian said: “He had everything in his favour. He’s a good horse fresh, he’s showed that over the years. He gets the trip well, he loves a bit of dig in the ground and he’s trained well at home.

“He ran very well in the race last year when he got shuffled back early on from stall one. It was probably a slightly stronger renewal last year so we thought he’d run well today.

“He doesn’t need over-racing. We took him to Bahrain on a fact-finding mission in the autumn to see if he’d be an international horse, but he didn’t like that firm ground, so I think we’ll bide our time with him.

“He ran well in a couple of Group races in France last year, so he’ll deliver when he’s got things in his favour.

“He is not just about first time out. He is a horse that when conditions suit he is pretty smart – if the trainer runs him on ground too fast he is probably not going to give you the same performance.

“He was placed in the Prix Dollar last year and a Group Three at Deauville. On the back of that he has got a Group race in him.”

Doyle, riding his third winner of the week, said: “It worked out perfectly for him and he loved the ground.

“I travelled really good, I could have done with them going a bit quicker but he just carted me into it.

“I pulled my goggles down and when we turned in I couldn’t believe how much room we had. I didn’t want to get to the front too soon, but he knuckled down well.”

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Molatham gave Jim Crowley a fifth winner at Royal Ascot this week when rallying to beat Monarch Of Egypt in the Jersey Stakes.

The pair dominated the business end of the race, with Molatham edging out Aidan O’Brien’s runner in the dying strides.

Monarch Of Egypt was last early, but was delivered by Ryan Moore to hit the front and look the likely winner in the final furlong.

However, he veered off a straight line, letting in Molatham (11-2) to get the verdict by half a length for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, giving trainer Roger Varian a double after Mountain Angel in the Wolferton Stakes.

Symbolize was three and a quarter lengths away in third, just edging the gallant maiden Ropey Guest.

Khaloosy ran out an emphatic winner of the Britannia Handicap to make it six for Crowley and owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, as well as complete the treble on the day for Varian.

Overwrite took the 22 runners along until Andrea Atzeni brought the strongly-fancied Finest Sound to lead – but he was immediately challenged by Khaloosy (9-2).

The 11-4 favourite was quickly brushed aside as Khaloosy swept clear to score by four and a half lengths. Cherokee Trail was another four lengths back in third, with Enemy a head away in fourth.

The beautifully-bred Battleground stuck to his guns to take Listed honours in the Chesham Stakes.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained War Front colt out of the brilliant racemare Found showed he had benefited from the experience of his debut at Naas last week with a professional display.

Ryan Moore had him just off the pace set by the Mark Johnson pair of Golden Flame and March Law before he set sail for home.

March Law made a fight of it, but Battleground (11-4 favourite) was just too strong, scoring by two and a half lengths. Seattle Rock was a length and three-quarter lengths away in third, despite drifting over to the far side of the course.

Jockey Hayley Turner and trainer Charlie Fellowes sprang a 33-1 surprise in the Sandringham Stakes for the second year running when Onassis delivered the goods.

Thanks Be supplied the shock 12 months ago and the same combination served up another stunner in this handicap for three-year-old fillies.

Turner produced Onassis from stall one on the previously unfavoured part of the track to hit the front and land a cosy triumph by a length and a quarter from Waliyak.

Turner was only the second female rider to win at the Royal meeting when successful last year, to emulate Gay Kelleway in 1987.

Highland Chief came from way off the pace to give Paul and Oliver Cole a landmark success in the opening Golden Gates Handicap.

The Coles were the first to register a victory with a dual licence when racing resumed – and are now the first to be jointly credited with a winner at the Royal meeting.

Carrying top-weight, Highland Chief (20-1) only had two behind him turning into the straight, but fairly took off down the centre of the track.

Grand Rock, under Cieren Fallon, made a bold bid from the front, but was running on empty entering the final furlong as Tritonic took over and briefly looked the winner.

Highland Chief though, who finished third to Pinatubo in the Chesham 12 months ago, defied a drift to the left to provide Rossa Ryan with his first Royal winner, too.

Oliver Cole said: “Dad couldn’t be here as he’s gone to his best friend’s funeral.

“The horse has always been very good. He didn’t show anything at Newmarket and we were all scratching our heads.

“Rossa has been coming in to ride him twice a week and has ridden him in all his work. The last two weeks the horse has been switched on and come to himself. He’s a bit of a tricky character, but he’s a happy horse.

“He won on soft ground at Newbury and it could be an advantage to him.”

Owner Jim Hay is reportedly now planning a tilt at the Investec Derby with the winner.

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