Lady Aurelia Dazzles in Queen Mary

Frankie Dettori guided the American-based Lady Aurelia to a dominant score in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

Frankie Dettori guided the American-based Lady Aurelia to a dominant score in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

On Wednesday afternoon Stonestreet Stables Lady Aurelia stunned an excited Royal Ascot crowd and romped home the easiest of winners by seven lengths in the Queen Mary Stakes (GII). While not officially the feature race of the day it was certainly the performance of the day as the daughter Scat Daddy broke from the gate and never looked back, drawing away easily within the last quarter mile of the five-furlong race under jockey Frankie Dettori.

Despite the concerns about shipping, weather and soft course conditions, Lady Aurelia showed maturity beyond her two years. She also carried the confidence of her trainer Wesley Ward, who is no stranger to visiting the winner’s circle after the five-furlong Queen Mary, having done so twice previously.

“That was breathtaking from the top,” Dettori said. “To win by seven lengths at Royal Ascot was sensational and I’ve never seen or experienced anything like it especially for a two-year-old. I was going some very good splits but when I got to the furlong pole she found another gear it was unbelievable.”

Lady Aurelia, who broke her maiden at Keeneland in an impressive 7 1/2-length track record-setting performance in April, was the 2-1 favorite at post time with 9-2 chance Al Johrah second best. Longshot Clem Fandango was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third at odds of 16-1.

Ward said that Lady Aurelia will most likely race next in the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on July 27 or the Prix Morny at Deauville on August 21, rather than the Nunthorpe Stakes August 19 at York.

Paul and Clare Rooney’s My Dream Boat posted a stunning upset at odds of 16-1 in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes (GI) at Royal Ascot, just getting past the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) winner Found in the last few jumps. In doing so, the son of Lord Shanakill claimed a first Group 1 victory for himself and his owners, who have earned most of their success campaigning steeplechase runners.

At odds of 16-1, My Dream Boat crossed the wire in front of Found by a neck, while Western Hymn was another 3 ½ lengths back in third. The Grey Gatsby, Tryster and the favored A Shin Hikari completed the order of finish.

The Clive Cox-trained My Dream Boat was ridden to victory by Adam Kirby, who wasn’t sure his mount was up in time at the wire for the victory.

“I wasn’t confident and was nervous waiting for the result it was so tight. He got a bit lonely out on his own but I was pretty confident I would be in the first three on his run two starts ago and the race went perfectly for me.”

The connections of A Shin Hikari, who delivered a devastating performance to win the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly three weeks ago, were disappointed at the horse’s performance, putting blame squarely on the course.

“The jockey said it was the first time A Shin Hikari had gone round a corner that sharp and it was a surprise for him,” owner Hirotsuqu Hirai said. The horse is fine after the race. He is not upset, we are upset!”

Despite the narrow defeat, trainer Aidan O’Brien was thrilled with Found’s runner-up performance.

“She ran a great race, I am delighted with her,” O’Brien said. “She quickened very well but you are never home until they pass the post and he just came to get her, that’s racing. She will probably have a break now and come back for the autumn.”

The likely next stop for My Dream Boat is the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (GI) at Sandown next month.

Margaret Ransom
California native and lifelong horsewoman Margaret Ransom is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program. She got her start in racing working in the publicity departments at Calder Race Course and Hialeah Park, as well as in the racing office at Gulfstream Park in South Florida. She then spent six years in Lexington, KY, at, where she helped create and develop the company’s popular newsletters: Handicapper’s Edge and Bloodstock Journal.

After returning to California, she served six years as the Southern California news correspondent for BloodHorse, assisted in the publicity department at Santa Anita Park and was a contributor to many other racing publications, including HorsePlayer Magazine and Trainer Magazine. She then spent seven years at HRTV and in various roles as researcher, programming assistant, producer and social media and marketing manager.

She has also walked hots and groomed runners, worked the elite sales in Kentucky for top-class consignors and volunteers for several racehorse retirement organizations, including CARMA.

In 2016, Margaret was the recipient of the prestigious Stanley Bergstein Writing Award, sponsored by Team Valor, and was an Eclipse Award honorable mention for her story, “The Shocking Untold Story of Maria Borell,” which appeared on The article and subsequent stories helped save 43 abandoned and neglected Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and also helped create a new animal welfare law known as the “Borell Law.”

Margaret’s very first Breeders’ Cup was at Hollywood Park in 1984 and she has attended more than half of the Breeders’ Cups since. She counts Holy Bull and Arrogate as her favorite horses of all time. She lives in Pasadena with her longtime beau, Tony, two Australian Shepherds and one Golden Retriever.

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