Soviet Song hits right note at Royal Ascot
GOOD things come to those who wait, and Soviet Song's perseverance was finally rewarded yesterday when James Fanshawe's popular mare swept to the Royal Ascot success she so richly deserved.
Having been found wanting on three previous visits to the meeting, the six-year-old's victory in the Windsor Castle Stakes didn't only delight her throng of owners in the Elite Racing Club but also the thousands who welcomed her back into Ascot's new winners' enclosure.
Indeed, it's rumoured Soviet Song's triumph went down so well with the crowd that they really entered into the spirit of things and celebrated it with a gutsy rendition of The Internationale at the community singing that always follows the last race.
No, I don't believe it either.
Jamie Spencer was always going supremely well on the 11-8 favourite and after bringing his mount to the wide outside to make his challenge, Spencer's willing partner bounded clear. The champion jockey went on to complete a treble aboard Cesare and Red Evie but this was an afternoon when Ladies' Day arrived at Ascot 24 hours early.
If Soviet Song's win began to raise the roof, another famous mare, Ouija Board, completed the job when landing the Prince Of Wales's Stakes, perhaps announcing the return to form of Godolphin.
Frankie Dettori tried to make all on the boys in blue's Electrocutionist but although the latter stuck to his guns and bravely won the battle for second place, he had no answer to the turn of foot shown by an Olivier Peslier-ridden winner, who was supposed to better at longer distances than this ten furlongs.
"Fantastic," said trainer Ed Dunlop following the far travelled Ouija Board's fifth Group 1 triumph. "To win here with her is amazing, I've lost my voice. I watched her drift in the betting but I've never backed her before and I wasn't going to start today.
"Winning a first Classic with her was important to me but coming to a high-profile meeting and winning one of the biggest races is very rewarding. This was probably the best run of her life."
The spotlight today falls on the Gold Cup, and while the mighty Westerner would surely have had no complaints when hearing he was being packed off to stud, someone else who wouldn't have been heartbroken at the news is Distinction.
Forced to settle for second place behind Westerner last year, Sir Michael Stoute's charge now has the ideal opportunity to go one better.
The opening Norfolk Stakes features a host of youngsters who have already shown us how talented they are, but it may be worth taking them on with the unraced Take To The Skies.
Kieren Fallon boasts a healthy strike rate when he teams up with trainer Alan Jarvis and if there's any market support for his mount, double whatever it was you were going to put on.
Fallon is also entrusted with steering the nap, Scottish Stage, home in the Ribblesdale. Some quibbled with the best bet's performance when scoring at Newbury last time out, but with the step up to a mile and a half expected to suit, the filly can make the doubters eat their words.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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