A year after winning the Listed Sandringham Handicap, Duntle (4f Danehill Dancer-Lady Angola, by Lord At War) returned to Royal Ascot on Wednesday to capture the G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes in great style.
The Danehill Dancer filly, who had scored in G3 company on her seasonal comeback, finished first in last year’s G1 Matron Stakes before being disqualified and placed second, and will now look to step up to G1 company again.
David Wachman, who trains the Airlie Stud-bred filly for the Niarchos family, commented: “She did it well and Wayne (Lordan) gave her a very good ride. The filly doesn’t want to hit the front too soon and they didn’t go a great gallop which didn’t help. He was going very easily while trying to hang onto her, and while he got to the front soon enough he still had plenty up his sleeve.
“She’s a tough filly who won’t win by far. She’s a Group One winner, although they took it off her in the stewards’ room, and she’ll be heading back that way again. There is a good programme for fillies and mares and plenty of options, but the race at Deauville – the G1 Prix Jacques Le Marois – which Maria Niarchos sponsors will be on the agenda. I train three for Maria, but a few more as good as this one would be all right.”
Lordan added: “The placed horses wouldn’t go away, but this filly doesn’t do much when she hits the front. Because we went so slowly I hit the front a little earlier than planned and she idled a bit, but when the fillies came around her she picked up.
“It was tight, but I always knew I was going to the line safe enough. Hopefully this year she will have a change of luck and win that Group 1.”