By Richard Rosenblatt
With 2 furlongs to go in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee on the final day of the Royal Ascot meeting, trainer Sir Michael Stoute believed Dream of Dreams was right where he needed to be.
“I was pretty hopeful from two out,” Stoute said.
Hope turned into Stoute’s record-extending 82nd victory at one of the world’s most prestigious race meets as Dream of Dreams caught the leaders with about a furlong to go and won by a length over a game Glen Shiel. Art Power was third in the 14-horse field.
Twice before, Dream of Dreams was denied victory in photo finishes in the Diamond Jubilee – to Blue Point in 2019 and to Hello Youmzain in 2020. Third time was a charm.
“The horse really deserved it,’’ Stoute said Saturday. “He’s a top-class sprinter and the previous two years one more stride and he wins, but that is not what it’s about. You’ve got to get there first. I’m really happy for him today.”
With the victory, the 7-year-old chestnut gelding earned an expenses-paid berth into the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6 as part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series.
“He’s been a great horse, he’s got better every year but a stiff six furlongs with cut in the ground is perfect,’’ winning jockey Ryan Moore said.
Stoute said the July Cup could be next for Dream of Dreams, but “he didn’t go there last year as the ground was too quick. I don’t like running him on fast ground.”
Dream of Dreams, who went off as the 3-1 favorite, improved his record to 21-9-8-2 for earnings of $1,262,554.
Glen Shiel (7-1), who was ridden by Hollie Doyle, looks to be in good form again after a fourth in the Greenland Stakes (G1) at the Curragh in May. To end 2020, the now 7-year-old gelding ran second to Dream of Dreams in the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock and then won the British Champion Sprint Stakes (G1) at Ascot.
“That was a pleasing run (today),’’ she said, “and shows the horse is back to his best.”
Starman, expected to be among the favorites, and Emaraaty Ana were “non-runners.”
With a victory aboard Foxes Tales in the Golden Gates Stakes on Saturday, Oisin Murphy finished with five winners for the meet – taking top jockey honors for the first time.
“It’s beyond my wildest dreams to be top jockey here,’’ the 25-year-old jockey said. “I watched this meeting with my parents and never thought this armband belonged with me. The last few days have been incredible.”
“It normally belongs to Ryan (Moore) and Frankie (Dettori), but they gave me a turn this week and thanks very much to the fast horses this week.”
Murphy said his highlight win came aboard Alcohol Free in Friday’s Coronation Stakes. The win came one race after he finished first aboard Dragon Symbol in the Commonwealth Cup but was disqualified by the stewards and Campanelle was declared the official winner.
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.