STATE Of Rest was a tenacious winner of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes as Shane Cross judged his front running ride to perfection providing Joseph O’Brien with an inaugural Royal Ascot success.
The time-figure was the slowest of the day and far removed from what would be expected for a Group 1, with the race effectively a sprint from the three-furlong marker.
State Of Rest (102+), by design, was best placed when the sprint began with his closing sectional of 35.19secs making him impossible to catch as he already held a length lead over Bay Bridge (101+).
Sir Michael Stoute’s colt covered the same ground in 35.06secs as the gap remained the same to the line.
As the sectional times portray, track position was the difference on the day and as such, it would be evens each of two in my view if they were to clash again. I have no doubt the winner could have gone faster earlier if required, which would also have suited Bay Bridge.
Grand Glory (98+) was further adrift at the three-furlong marker, before posting a similarly fast closing sectional of 35.19secs. The daughter of Olympic Glory will be much more at home on the softer ground she normally encounters in France.
The formative stages were more dramatic than the finish with Lord North (97+) missing the break as the stalls blindfold snagged in the bridle, costing John and Thady Gosden’s gelding many lengths. However, as the early pace was so slow, I would not be of the opinion his winning chance was as compromised as much as the margin of defeat.
The comparable closing sectionals on the round track were Eldar Eldarov (110+) 36.46secs and Rising Star (100) 37.60secs. However, in comparison to the feature event both races were strongly run making the performance of Roger Varian’s Queen’s Vase winner the most notable.
The son of Dubawi needed every inch of the one-mile–six-furlong journey to overhaul Zechariah (108), who also impressed through the closing stages in stopping the clock at 37.02secs, comprising of an 11.98secs furlong on route to the two-furlong marker, which proved to be the fastest of the race.
Haafit (108) is also worth a mention as he closed off his race in 36.67secs, with the first-time cheekpieces a likely factor in the improved showing.
The pace collapsed late in the Kensington Palace Stakes with Rising Star best placed to pick up the pieces. I will highlight the run of Random Harvest (100) as Ed Walker’s filly was the only filly in the front rank turning for home to see out the race to any effect.
DRAMATISED (111+) was a decisive winner of the Queen Mary and is quite obviously an exceptionally good filly. The straightforwardness of the ride from Danny Tudhope was a clear illustration of the faith he has in his mount as he rode from his draw to the line with no concern about track position.
The daughter of Showcasing covered the ground from the three-furlong marker in a rapid 34.74secs, during which her rider dropped his whip, but it made little or no difference to her superiority.
The comparison on the straight course saw Little Big Bear home in 35.17secs when winning the Windsor Castle Stakes and probably more significantly Saffron Beach stopped the clock at 35.16secs to land the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes.
Back in the Queen Mary, Maylandsea (105) emerged the best on the far side as David Egan seized the gaps when they opened to deliver a late challenge, the daughter of Havana Grey finishing her race off 34.81secs.
The first four home pulled clear of their field so credit must also go to Maria Branwell (100) and Love Reigns (100), while the run of Omniqueen (96+) can be upgraded as she clipped heels when well-placed and was also short of room when trying to recover her position.
Staying with the juveniles, the first two home were also nicely clear of their field in the Windsor Castle Stakes, despite the width of the track separating them at the start. The well-supported Little Big Bear (106+) was a decisive winner at the line with his final furlong of 12.40secs confirming his superiority over Rocket Rodney (104) whose final furlong of 12.50secs made up his finishing effort of 35.33secs.
The Royal Hunt Cup went the way of Dark Shift (106+) who finished off best of those held up in the far side group. The son of Dark Angel recorded the same time figure as Dramatised when adjusted for distance, with his closing effort the slowest of the straight track races at 36.51secs.
Of those who raced stands’ side, Sinjaari (108+) fared best although the son of Camelot could not overcome the disadvantage of racing away from the stronger pace. A closing sectional of 36.93secs comprised a final furlong of 12.68secs, which was quicker than Dark Shift who covered the same ground in 12.82secs and he remains of interest when stepping up to 10 furlongs, perhaps at York.