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.