Royal Ascot: Moore treble as Gleneagles proves class

GLENEAGLES surged to victory in the St James’s Palace Stakes, the feature race of the opening day of Royal Ascot, one of three wins for jockey Ryan Moore.

Ryan Moore and Gleneagles, second left, storm to the front in the St Jamess Palace Stakes. Picture: Getty

Moore was full of praise for the Aidan O’Brien-trained dual Guineas winner after his comfortable victory.

“This horse has a very good turn of foot,” Moore said.

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“He’s just a pleasure to ride and I think he is getting better. He is just about one of the best there is of his generation.”

Gleneagles, who won the English and Irish Guineas, found his stride with a furlong and a half to go and surged home to win from Latharnach in second and Consort, ridden by Frankie Dettori, seeking his 50th Royal Ascot winner, third.

Gleneagles’ triumph also handed O’Brien a record seventh victory in the race.

Moore was back in the saddle of another winner in the fifth race of the day when the favourite, Clondaw Warrior, took the Ascot Handicap, and he made it a treble in the final race with Washington DC in the Windsor Castle Stakes. It was also the second victory for trainer O’Brien.

Mark Johnston also had plenty to smile about yesterday as the Middleham-based Scot enjoyed his first two-year-old winner at Royal Ascot for 12 years when Buratino won the Coventry Stakes.

Since Attraction (Queen Mary), Pearl Of Love (Chesham) and Russian Valour (Norfolk) gave him a trio of juvenile successes in 2003, the trainer has won a host of other races with older horses, mainly at much longer distances.

Buratino was a reminder that Johnston is still adept at handling more precocious types.

Having made a winning debut on the first day of the Flat season, albeit on the all-weather at Chelmsford in March, the son of Exceed And Excel was the most experienced horse in the line-up with five runs.

Johnston felt that experience was much needed, and Buratino (6-1) followed up his Woodcote Stakes success at Epsom just 10 days earlier in style. Johnston added that stepping Buratino up to six furlongs was also beneficial.

In the opening race, the Queen Anne Stakes, Solow took his status to a new a level after showcasing his immense talents with a game victory.

The clash between the Freddy Head-trained five-year-old and Hong Kong superstar Able Friend had been billed as one of the clashes of the meeting.

Although the duel between the pair failed to materialise, the impressive winner of both the Dubai Turf and Prix d’Ispahan gained a host of new fans with his battling qualities to claim his third successive Group One prize.

Meanwhile, the King’s Stand Stakes was another feather in the cap of sprint specialist Robert Cowell as he gained a last-gasp triumph with Goldream.

It was just four years ago that Prohibit signalled Cowell’s presence as a trainer of speedsters with victory in this five-furlong Group One. Since then, the likes of Nunthorpe scorer Jwala, Kingsgate Native, Spirit Quartz and Monsieur Joe have all landed Group-race successes for the Newmarket handler.

Goldream himself had lifted the Group Three Palace House Stakes, but a below-par run on unusuitable ground in the Temple Stakes at Haydock resulted in him going off unfancied at 20-1.

Cowell did not lose faith, however, and, relishing the quick ground, Goldream nabbed the veteran, Medicean Man, by a short head on the line.

• In between the opening two races, the Queen unveiled a statue commemorating five-time Ascot winner Frankel. Frankel retired unbeaten after 14 races in October 2012 and is widely considered the greatest horse of the modern era.