Ballydoyle Celebrate Royal Ascot Success
Royal Ascot week began on a high for Ballydoyle, as Arizona (No Nay Never) captured the Group 2 Coventry Stakes under Ryan Moore, beating impressive maiden winner Threat (Footstepsinthesand) by half a length.
Aidan O’Brien afterwards hinted that the best may be yet to come from the handsome bay, saying, “I was delighted with Arizona. Ryan gave him a great ride and he's a lovely horse who will stay further. He has loads of speed, but we always thought he'd have no problems getting seven furlongs; he's a fine big horse for next year.”
Just over an hour later, Circus Maximus (Galileo) justified his supplementary entry in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, ridden to victory by Ryan Moore, who partnered Gleneagles (Galileo) to success in 2015.
The winning trainer later commented, “I was delighted with that. Circus Maximus is a relaxed horse and he just needed to learn a little bit, it was lovely to come here. Ryan was very impressed with him, he felt that there was an awful lot in there.”
The following day, Southern Hills (Gleneagles) broke his maiden in spectacular fashion when taking the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes and was once again ridden to victory by Ryan Moore. O’Brien was quick to praise the winners sire, commenting, “Southern Hills is a fast horse. These Gleneagles are fast and brave, those are the two traits his stock seem to have.”
Ballydoyle made their mark on Day 3 as they filled the first three places in the King George V Stakes, as South Pacific (Galileo) held Constantinople (Galileo) by a neck), with a further length and three quarters back to Eminence in third. Seamie Heffernan was the winning partner on this occasion and the winning trainer commented, “South Pacific is a lovely horse who is progressing all the time. Seamus gave him a lovely ride and he was very happy going a mile and a half. He is progressing with every run and I think he will get further than a mile and a half in time.”
Later that evening at Leopardstown, Ballydoyle also dominated the two-year-old maiden over a mile, as Toronto (Galileo) justified favoritism under Emmet McNamara. He scored comfortably, beating stablemate Arthur’s Kingdom (Camelot) by a length, the front pair finishing three and a half lengths clear of the third.
Bringing Ballydoyles Ascot tally to five was Japan (Galileo), who charged home an impressive four and a half length winner of the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, as Bangkok (Australia) did his best to rein him in. Ryan Moore commented on the winner, “Japan is more than a St Leger horse, no disrespect to the race. This is a good horse and he will be a very effective mile and-a-half horse going forward.” A return to Group 1 company may now be on the cards, with Japan having finished a close third in the Epsom Derby last time out.
Meanwhile, at Limerick the same day, the well-bred Heaven On Earth (Galileo) built on a promising second start to take the mile and a half maiden under Michael Hussey. A full-sister to top-class filly Minding, the three-year-old is out of Lillie Langtry, a dual Group 1 winner over a mile.
Rounding up a successful week was Kangaroo Valley (Australia), who made all of the running in the mile and a half maiden at Tipperary, which he won by all of eight lengths. He was ridden to victory by Donnach O’Brien, who commented after the race, “He gave me a nice feel today and he did it well.”