Royal Ascot, Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" marks weekend horse racing

By Robert Kieckhefer, UPI Racing Writer
Lightly raced Unmatched Wisdom wins easily Saturday at Aqueduct and might join in the wide-open battle of the 3-year-olds. Cognianese Photography, courtesy of NYRA
1 of 3 | Lightly raced Unmatched Wisdom wins easily Saturday at Aqueduct and might join in the wide-open battle of the 3-year-olds. Cognianese Photography, courtesy of NYRA

June 24 (UPI) -- Royal Ascot 2024 went into the books as another triumph for Ireland's Coolmore team, with not only big wins, but lots of promise for the rest of the year and beyond.

In the final days, Friday and Saturday, Aidan O'Brien saddled and Ryan Moore rode two exciting 2-year-old fillies to cap off a Royal meeting that found both trainer and jockey meet-toppers.


Fairy Godmother took Friday's Group 3 Albany Stakes and Bedtime Story put her rivals to sleep with a 9 1/2-length display in Saturday's Chesham Stakes.

The Coolmore lads did come up short in Friday's co-featured Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Porta Fortuna, trained by Aidan O'Brien's son, Donnacha O'Brien, edged the elder O'Brien's Opera Singer in the 1-mile test on the Round Course.

Inisherin landed the other Group 1 on the penultimate day, the 6-furlong Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-olds, reporting 1 length in front of Lake Forest.


Oisin Murphy partnered Khaadem to a repeat win in Saturday's Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, defeating Swingalong by 1/2 length after weaving through some traffic late in the 6 furlongs.

Coolmore's title-winning prowess, including Kyprios' victory in the Group 1 Gold Cup and Auguste Rodin's triumph in the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes, stole the limelight.

But Wathnan Racing, the creature of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar, served notice in just its second Royal meeting with a roster of runners largely cobbled together through recent purchases.

The organization sent out four winners and a flock of placings, most in the secondary fixtures.

The weather cooperated. The king and queen graced the racecourse with their personal attention, and it all was over far too quickly. See you next year.

Four Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races were decided in the early days of Royal Ascot and three more were contested around the globe during the weekend. Thus:


Blow the Horn got not only his first Grade 1 victory with an impressive performance in Sunday's Takarazuka Kinen at Kyoto Racecourse, but also a "Win and You're In" spot in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf and/or the Cox Plate in Australia.


The 5-year-old son of Epiphaneia, with Akira Sugawara up, trailed most of the field in the 2,200-meters race, went widest of all into the stretch and won going away. Sol Oriens was second, followed by Bellagio Opera.


Boudica took the lead at mid-stretch in Sunday's Group 1 Gran Premio Pamplona and ran on to win by 1 length over Macanuda in the Gran Premio Pamplona (G1) at Hipodromo de Monterrico in Lima, Peru.

The 3-year-old filly by The Lieutenant won for the third time in 11 starts and earned a "Win and You're In" spot in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar.


Obataye, with world traveling jockey Joao Moreira aboard, emerged from a pack of four horses through the final furlongs to win Sunday's Group 1 Grande Premio Brasil by 1 1/4 lengths and earn a "Win and You're In" ticket to the Turf.

Meanwhile, back in the USA:

The 3-year-olds

Batten Down jumped out to a big lead in Saturday's $500,000 Grade III Ohio Derby at Thistledown and wasn't caught, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over Gould's Gold. Copper Tax was third and the odds-on favorite, Catching Freedom, was fourth, beaten by 3 lengths, after finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby and third in the Preakness.


Batten Down, a cleverly named Juddmonte homebred colt by Tapit, out of the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Close Hatches, ran 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:50.20. Bill Mott trains.

"He's got the talent. He's just got to put it all together," jockey Junior Alvarado told Daily Racing Form after a training spin on Batten Down earlier in the month at Saratoga. He did just that Saturday and the division title still remains ripe for the plucking

Meanwhile, keep an eye on Unmatched Wisdom. The Cairo Prince colt, trained by Chad Brown, drew off to a 5 1/2-length victory in a conditioned allowance race Saturday at Aqueduct, finishing 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:49.78 in a hand ride by Flavien Prat.

It was his second start, following a 6 1/4-length triumph on debut that earned huge speed figures. As noted, the division is wide open.


Misty Veil charged to the lead turning for home in Saturday's $250,000 Lady Jacqueline Stakes for fillies and mares at Thistledown and ran on to win by 8 1/2 lengths from Red Hot Lass. The favorite, Corningstone, was another 1 length back in third.


Filly & Mare Turf / Turf Mile

Oversubscribed started next-last of seven in Saturday's $150,000 Wild Applause Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, closed steadily through the stretch and was in command at the sixteenth pole.

At the finish, the British-bred daughter of Too Darn Hot was out front by 3 1/4 lengths with Vino Rouge best of the rest.

Turf / Turf Mile

Carson's Run came five-wide into the stretch in Sunday's $106,000 Tale of the Cat Stakes for 3-year-olds at Monmouth Park, rallied sharply past the leaders and got clear to win by 3 lengths. Full Nelson was second and the favorite, Abrumar, finished third.

Turf Sprint

There's symmetry or poetry or something about Beauty of the Sea defeating Queen of the Mud by 1 1/4 lengths in Saturday's $106,000 Goldwood Stakes at Monmouth Park but darned if we can figure out what it is.

Anyway, Beauty of the Sea, a 4-year-old Bucchero filly trained by Joe Orseno, came with a late run to post the victory, with pacesetter Bosserati a neck farther back in third.

Dancing Duchess was always prominent in Saturday's $120,000 (Canadian) Alywow Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine, gained the lead for good by the three-eighths pole and eased away from her rivals to score by 1 1/2 lengths.


Filly & Mare Sprint

Vahva, the odds-on favorite, stalked the pace in Saturday's $250,000 Grade III Chicago Stakes at Churchill Downs, took the lead when prompted by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. and won by 1 1/4 lengths.

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