A winner for Her Majesty The Queen capped another afternoon of thrilling racing, as day two of Royal Ascot played out on Wednesday in front of millions of TV viewers across the globe.
James Doyle rode Tactical to victory in The Windsor Castle Stakes to give Her Majesty The Queen her 24th Royal Ascot winner, 67 years after Choir Boy became her first by winning the 1953 Royal Hunt Cup shortly after her Coronation.
The feature race of the day, the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, saw Lord North go from last to first in the home straight to defeat a strong field that featured three previous Royal Ascot winners, who were also all Group 1 winners. Following a double on day one, Lord North provided trainer John Gosden with his third winner of Royal Ascot 2020 so far.
Lord North secured an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 6-7.
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As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for Lord North to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Prince of Wales’s Replay
Godolphin-bred Lord North, making his Group 1 debut, was the lowest-rated runner in the seven-horse field. One of two John Gosden-trained starters, Lord North was given up by stable jockey Frankie Dettori in favor of the filly Mehdaayih (GB).
Displaying great potential last year when he won the ultra-competitive Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket, Lord North took another step forward when he captured the Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) at Haydock 10 days prior to the Prince of Wales’s. There was even more to come.
Outsider Bangkok (IRE) set a searching gallop, leading the way until a furlong out and though Addeybb (IRE) and Japan (GB), the 6-4 favorite who had to be pushed into contention after being slow out of the stalls, threw down challenges, they were no match for Lord North. A bay gelding by Dubawi (IRE), Lord North responded impressively for jockey James Doyle and drew away for a 3 3/4-length victory. Addeybb kept on for second with Barney Roy (GB) taking third, ahead of Japan.
They were followed in order by Bangkok, Mehdaayih and Headman (GB).
Tactical Wins First Juvenile Race of Meeting
In what was the first race of the meeting for two year olds, Tactical prevailed over challengers from the UK, Ireland and the United States to win by a length-and-a-quarter from the fast-finishing Yazaman.
“It is obviously a huge thrill for all of us to have a Royal winner at the Royal meeting. I feel very lucky,” said Tactical’s trainer, Andrew Balding.
“Dad was lucky enough to have a Royal winner here, and my uncle William had a couple, so it is nice to keep up with them.”
Earlier on the card another Royal runner finished a close second in The Hampton Court Stakes. First Receiver led inside the final furlong before being passed close home by the Aidan O’Brien trained First Emperor, who showed impressive acceleration to supply jockey Ryan Moore with his 60th Royal Ascot winner and his second of the meeting after Circus Maximus won Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes.
One of the most historic and prestigious handicaps of the week, The Royal Hunt Cup, was as competitive as ever. Godolphin’s Dark Vision, a horse who showed huge promise as a juvenile, came home strongest to defeat 22 rivals for trainer Mark Johnston and jockey William Buick.
Elsewhere there was a fourth winner of the meeting for jockey Jim Crowley, and a first Royal Ascot winner for trainer Owen Burrows, courtesy of Hukum’s win in The King George V Stakes, while the day was bookended by impressive handicap wins for Sir Busker and Fujaira Prince.