Saeed Suhail’s Dream of Dreams put the agony of two previous near-misses behind him to capture the 6-furlong US$975,000 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and earned an automatic berth into this year’s US$1million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 84 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which will be held at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 5-6.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Dream of Dreams to start in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which will be run at 5 furlongs at Del Mar. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Dream of Dreams, a chestnut gelding by Dream Ahead out of the Dansili (GB) mare Vasilia (GB), and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, had experienced two defeats by a head in the Diamond Jubilee in the last two years. In 2019 he fell narrowly short of catching Blue Point (IRE) and in 2020 finished just too late to catch Hello Youmzain (FR).
After last year’s Royal Ascot defeat, Dream of Dreams won three of his next four starts, which included his Group 1 breakthrough in the Betfair Sprint Cup (G1). Today, he doubled his Group 1-winning record, and made it four wins out of the last five, when mastering the frontrunning Glen Shiel (GB) inside the final furlong to win by a length, under jockey Ryan Moore.
Dream Of Dreams completed the 6 furlongs in 1:14.87 on a course listed as soft. Art Power (IRE) finished third. Prerace favorite Starman (GB) was a non-runner because of the ground conditions.
Dream of Dreams Wins Diamond Jubilee Stakes
“Michael has been great to me throughout my whole career,” said Moore. “He’s got this horse, who is 7 now, to perform three times in a row here. It’s great that he’s able to win today. He’s been a great horse. He’s got better every year. A stiff six with cut in the ground is perfect for him.”
Stoute gained his only other success in the race with Dafayna (GB) in 1985 when it was a Group 3 race known as the Cork And Orrery Stakes. His second triumph with Dream Of Dreams was the 82nd Royal Ascot victory for the meeting’s winningest trainer. Dream Of Dreams also became one of only two 7-year-olds to win the race since 1946, and the joint oldest.
“The horse really deserves it,” said Stoute. “He’s a top-class sprinter. In the previous two years one more stride and he wins, but that’s not what it’s about, you’ve got to get there first. I am really happy for him today. He’s a very untypical sprinter. He goes down so relaxed; he is almost pulling up. It’s a great thrill.
“I was pretty hopeful from 2 furlongs out because he finishes well. He’s actually a very effective horse over 7 furlongs as well. He won a Group 1 last year and he’s won Group races but it’s been very frustrating he’s been beaten so narrowly.
“As he’s got older and more mature, he has relaxed more and got better. The team has done a great job with him. He has been pretty consistent, getting beaten a head two years running. He doesn’t run too many below par races.”
Royal Ascot Day Five Highlights
Dream Of Dreams left Archie Watson, trainer of Glen Shiel, standing in the runner-up spot for a second day after a Royal Ascot Group 1.
On Friday, Watson’s Dragon Symbol (GB) had been demoted to second after being found to have caused interference to the U.S. challenger Campanelle (IRE), trained by Wesley Ward, when finishing first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup (G1).
“Glen Shiel has probably put in a career best performance today,” he said. “He got closer to the winner than he did at Haydock last year. I’m delighted he has backed up his Group 1 win [in the British Champions Sprint (G1)] with another very solid run at this level. He’s shown that that wasn’t a one-off and he can now go through the rest of the year in these 6-furlong Group 1s and we can be confident he’ll run well in them.”
Dream Of Dreams joins Casa Creed, winner of the Jackpocket Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 5, as the first two runners to earn automatic starting positions into this year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.