Royal Ascot Success For Wootton Bassett
The Aidan O’Brien-trained River Tiber (Wootton Bassett) justified his lofty reputation running out a game winner of the Gr.2 Coventry Stakes under Ryan Moore at Royal Ascot yesterday afternoon. The son of Wootton Bassett won his two previous starts at Navan and Naas by a cumulative 12½ lengths and justified market favouritism to remain unbeaten in the juvenile feature of the Royal meeting.
The talented son of Wootton Bassett broke smartly from the gates and raced on the far side of the track as the large field split into two groups. After travelling comfortably into the race, River Tiber was gently coaxed forward by Moore passing the furlong pole and showed a good attitude as he quickened to hold off the late challenge of Army Ethos. Another son of Wootton Bassett, Bucanero Fuerte, stayed on well to finish third in this six-furlong contest.
River Tiber provided Aidan O’Brien with a record-extending tenth win in the Gr.2 Coventry Stakes, just over an hour prior to him becoming the winning-most trainer in Royal Ascot history.
Reflecting on his past winners of the race, O’Brien stated that River Tiber could probably be the best of them. “He always looked very good”, he said. “He was never disappointing in any of his work and the stronger the work got, the stronger he became. His last piece of work he was almost doing too well. We knew when he went over five last time that he was going to get six and seven comfortably. We always thought he was a Guineas horse. If you think you have a Coventry horse, you almost know you have”.
Ryan Moore has partnered River Tiber on each of his three starts to date and commended the colt’s tenacious attitude and exceptional professionalism after guiding the imposing son of Wootton Bassett to Royal Ascot glory. “I think we had a bit more to give and we've always loved him. He's got plenty of speed, but I would have thought he's going to be a Dewhurst horse,” enthused Moore. “We got to the start for a 22-runner race and he stood over all of them. He's different class."
River Tiber, owned by the Coolmore partners, Westerberg and Peter Brant was a 480,000gns yearling purchase by MV Magnier and White Birch Farm when he was offered by his breeders Brendan and Ger Morrin of Pier House Stud at Tattersalls Book 1 last October. The February-foaled bay is one of eight two-year-old winners from just twelve starters for his sire this year, whose biggest and best-bred crops are in the pipeline.
Wootton Bassett is a proven world-class sire with the ability to significantly upgrade his mares. River Tiber is the 22nd Group winner for his sire, all of whom were conceived at fees ranging from €4,000 to €40,000.