Absent since last August, Love returns to win Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

June 16, 2021

The Coolmore partners owned Love (11/10f), not seen since her victory in the Yorkshire Oaks in August 2020, made a belated 2021 seasonal bow at Royal Ascot this afternoon, and the daughter of Galileo certainly did not disappoint.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly made all under rider Ryan Moore in the day’s highlight, the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

The four-year-old claimed a comfortable three-quarter length win over the 2020 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Audarya (10/1).

Love, winner of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, Cazoo Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks last season, gave Aidan O’Brien a 75th Royal Ascot win, with Coolmore enjoying a fourth win in the 1 mile 2 furlong race, having previously taken the Group 1 contest with Highland Reel, So You Think and Duke Of Marmalade.

The Coolmore homebred, out of a Pivotal mare called Pikaboo, was winning her seventh race from 11 career starts, and in the process handed rider Ryan Moore a 63rd Royal Ascot success. 

The winning handler’s immediate reaction post-race was that the filly would improve over the course of this season:

“Love is going to come on a lot for the run” stated O’Brien. “We’re over the moon with her. She’s very genuine and brave. Ryan Moore was trying to win and do the right thing for her. We obviously would have preferred to have a run, but that’s her first time over a mile and a quarter.”

 When asked to nominate the next target for the multiple Group 1-winning chestnut, the Ballydoyle conditioner offered:

“I think everything is open to her, the King George, the Eclipse, whatever the lads (the Coolmore partners) decide and whatever they want to do.”

Jumps trainer has Group 2 win

The Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes for two year-old fillies over five furlongs was won by an Irish handler more known as a jumps trainer as Gavin Cromwell took his first win at Royal Ascot with Quick Suzy.

The daughter of Profitable defeated the Wesley Ward-trained Twilight Gleaming (9/4f), a Belmont Park winner last month, by a length and a quarter, with outsider Cheerupsleepyjean (50/1) closing fast for third place.

When asked what type of performance he had expected from the two-year-old Gary Carroll-ridden filly, her conditioner Gavin Cromwell admitted:

“I was very confident Quick Suzy was going to run a big race, but where she lay with the English or the American horses, we didn’t know until we came here. I’m not a known as a trainer of two-year-olds or sprinters, so it was very hard to tell but I knew she was in great nick. This goes down to the staff at home and the big effort they have put in.”

The one mile six furlong Group 2 Queen’s Vase was won by the inexperienced Kemari (15/2) in the Godolphin colours. 

Ridden by William Buick for his 27th Royal Ascot winner, the Charlie Appleby-trained winner held off the Aidan O’Brien-handled betting market leader Wordsworth (10/3) by a length and a half, with Stowell (12/1) a further length and a quarter behind in third.

Appleby, winning handler in the recent Cazoo Derby at Epsom, outlined his long-term plans for today’s winner:

“I hope he will make up into a Cup horse for next year. This year – as we all know, in the past few years three-year-olds in the Melbourne Cup, they have produced the goods. Whether he gets to that level, we’ll see, but we’ll enjoy today and have the discussions with our principals and managers during the next few weeks and map the autumn out. He’s got a profile that is working in that direction, anyway.”

Apprentice jockey Laura Pearson took her first Royal Ascot win aboard Lola Showgirl (12/1) as she led home a one-two for trainer David Loughnane in the Kensington Palace Handicap restricted to older fillies and mares.

Lola Showgirl made every post a winning one as she held off her stable companion Ffion (10/1) by three-quarters of a length, with Waliyak (9/1) taking third place a neck further back. 

The County Galway, Ireland born Loughnane, was also celebrating his first Royal Ascot success, with Lola Showgirl’s victory over the round mile. The England-based trainer said of his maiden Royal Ascot triumph:

“David Loughnane Royal Ascot winning trainer sounds pretty unbelievable right now. Some kids dream of being footballers, singers and superheroes – this is my dream. To be living it is very surreal so quickly in my career. Myself and (my wife) Sarah are so grateful to our families, our owners, our staff. It might take a while to sink in, this.”

Italian Jockeys Victorious

Frankie Dettori was in the winner’s enclosure again when guiding Indie Angel (22/1) to victory in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.

It was a 75th career Royal Ascot success for the Italian rider, winning by two and a half lengths aboard the four-year-old. Lady Bowthorpe (7/2) took the runner-up spot, with Queen Power (11/4f) a short-head further back in third.

Indie Angel’s win was a third in two days for the father and son training partnership of John and Thady Gosden. 

Gosden Senior said of Indie Angel’s victory:

“Indie Angel won very well towards the backend of the season and I maybe just ran her too early in the spring. She had a complication in her last race and to say that she would win this by two and a half lengths would have been wishful thinking, but we were hopeful of a good run. She relaxed beautifully and looked like a different from her last run.”

Italian apprentice jockey Marco Ghiani was another one of the first-time Royal Ascot winners on day 2 as Real World (18/1) took the Royal Hunt Cup.

Ghiani, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, powered clear of the field in the dying stages of the race to score a highly impressive four and three-quarter length victory for owners Godolphin.

The runner-up position went to Astro King (11/2f), with Grove Ferry (12/1) and Ouzo (33/1) taking third and fourth.

Saeed bin Suroor was full of praise for his 37th Royal Ascot winner, stating:

“Real World is a good horse. This year he has been showing that he is a nice horse and he has just come right. This was Real Worl’’s first run on turf and even with the fast ground, he handled it well. Real World is a horse with Group class.”

Chipotle gave jockey Charles Bishop and trainer Eve Johnson Houghton a second Royal Ascot success in the five-furlong Listed Windsor Castle Stakes. Chipotle burst through the field to emerge victorious by two and a quarter lengths, with Dig Two (7/1) next home ahead of Boonie (18/1) a head further behind. 

Photo: Royal Ascot Day Two ( Megan Ridgwell Photo)

Contributing Authors

Breandán Ó hUallacháin

Breandán Ó hUallacháin lives in Ireland and writes specifically about Irish, British and French horseracing, both National Hunt and Flat. He has an interest in...

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