After a slow start, Ryan Moore is now in poll position to claim top riding honours at Royal Ascot this year after his mount Meditate made all the running to land the G3 Albany Stakes.
With the field once again congregating towards the far side of the track, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Meditate (5/2) took full advantage of her low draw by breaking smartly and taking the field along.
The daughter of No Nay Never kept finding and was ultimately in no danger in the final furlong as she stretched away for a near two-length success. It was a 70th Royal Ascot winner for Moore and his fourth of the week.
The 2/1 favourite Mawj kept on well from midfield to grab second, a neck in front of 66/1 outsider Ivory Madonna, who took a big step forward from her debut third.
Moore said: “Meditate is professional. Aidan could not have had her any better today. She did everything beautifully. She was out ahead of everything else, and we didn’t expect to be in front as she was waiting for something every time she was there.
“She kept finding a bit more. She has a relaxed way of going. She is a lovely filly who has a bit of class. You need class when you are making the running here over six furlongs.
“Meditate can carry on improving. She has a nice attitude. She did that professionally and comfortably.”
O’Brien said: “Meditate had a lovely run first and second time. She is a lovely filly with a great mind – she looks to have all the right things: she’s mature, she’s got a lovely mind, and physically she’s a big girl. She just looks a very smart filly.
“She did it all the way herself – I don’t think she ever got a tow. She looks like a filly for the Moyglare [Stud Stakes]. She might have a run between now and then, but she doesn’t have to. She looks very smart.
“We had Statuette in this race as well, but we didn’t want to run the two of them, so Statuette is going to the Curragh next week.”
Part-owner Michael Tabor said: “We did expect that, very much so. I spoke to Aidan a couple of times and he said Meditate had improved from her first couple of runs. Everybody in the yard seemed to fancy her, so I wasn’t surprised at all.
“She is obviously a very easy filly to ride. You saw her leave the gates – she strode out well and really, it’s easy to say it after the race, but she never looked in danger.
“For me – I can only speak for myself – I still get an enormous thrill [from winning races like this]. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”
Mawj’s rider Ray Dawson said: “I tracked the winner, but she had just a little more natural speed and a bit more experience. My filly is still learning and could probably do with stepping up a furlong or two. She has run well.”
Richard Spencer said of the third: “We think a lot of Ivory Madonna. Hollie [Doyle] has done a lot of work with this filly at home and into her first run at Goodwood. Unfortunately, she could not ride her there and had to go to ride for Archie Watson in Ireland.
“We expected a nice run first time. Jim Crowley gave her a lovely intro and taught her a lot. Today the greenness was still there. She is actually a breeze-up filly and is totally the opposite [of what you might expect]. The guys at Yeomanstown Stud have done a great job with her and she is not a breeze-up filly that was wired and ready to run for its life.
“She is a filly for next year, so whatever we do this year will be a bonus. We had a lot of confidence coming here today. She has plenty of size and scope, and she is still a little bit weak. Hopefully, we can go and win a maiden and then go and see what the rest of the season does, but next year will be her year. She will get further – the further she goes, the better she goes in her home work. She has got the greatest of minds. It is very exciting.”
Royal Ascot News Release
Meditate wins the Albany Stakes (credit: Megan Ridgwell)