FIVE years ago, My Dream Boat sprang a surprise in one of the feature races at Royal Ascot, a performance that all but guaranteed him a future stallion career.

He had shown plenty of talent before that day – he would not have been in the line-up had he not – but he was one of two pattern winners taking on a quartet of Group 1 stars, so a career-best effort would be required, possibly even just to sneak into the frame. The soft ground may not have been ideal for all of his rivals, and it is fair to say that The Grey Gatsby, Tryster and A Shin Hikari did not perform at their best on the day: they filled the last three places.