Article Date: 23-June-2012
Victories for Dandy Boy and Simenon on Saturday brought the number of Irish-trained Royal Ascot 2012 wins to eight, equalling the record set in 2008.
Dandy Boy (pictured) provided trainer David Marnane and jockey Pat Dobbs with their first Royal Ascot successes when powering clear to win Saturday's Wokingham Handicap by one and a quarter lengths from the fast finishing Waffle.
The 33/1 winner had not scored since Meydan in January 2011, when he broke the seven-furlong track record and, despite some disappointing efforts since, he warmed up for this with a solid second behind Glor Na Mara in a mile handicap at the Curragh on May 26th.
Marnane said: “Dandy Boy has always been a horse with plenty of speed and we ran him over a mile last time so he would switch off out the back. He came here in the best form we have had him in for a long long time.
“He broke the track record at Meydan over seven furlongs and then he picked up injury so it has taken a while to get him back again. I’m delighted for the horse and his owner because he is a big supporter of mine.
Dobbs said: “The plan was to drop him in and take my time as he can be a bit keen if you are too far forward, but he settled good and went through the field very well.
“I even got there a little bit too soon but I would have been cut off if I didn’t go when I did. There were plenty of horses on the inside and there would have probably been traffic problems.
“I have been looking forward to having a winner here for a long time and it’s nice to get one.”
Fran Berry, who rode the consistent Waffle into second place for the second year running in the Wokingham Handicap, reflected afterwards: “ It is very unfortunate (to be second again) he’s run a super race, Mr Barron (rainer) said he is in equally as good form this year as last. He travelled strongly all the way, with the plan to come late. We came through and won the race on our side but not the race overall. But what can you do, he’s just unlucky as he is genuine but needs cover through the race.”
Jim Goldie, who trained third home Hawkeyethenoo, said: “I’m delighted with him, it is tough race. I suppose we will come back here with him next month.”
Peter Makin’s charge, Morachee Music, came fourth. The trainer said: “It was a good run and for a second I thought we might get second but it wasn’t to be. He has run twice in a week now but he is a tough cookie and we will see how he comes out of the race.”
Simenon, trained by Willie Mullins, completed a rare Royal Ascot double in the same week when adding the Queen Alexandra Stakes to his Tuesday victory in the Ascot Handicap.
It was a Royal Meeting double last achieved by Baddam in 2006.
Ryan Moore, wearing the colours of Wicklow Bloodstock Ltd, was again in the saddle, and, after powering home by six lengths on Tuesday, the pair today put seven lengths between themselves and runner-up Shahwardi.
Mullins, who had not trained a Royal Ascot winner before the 2012 meeting, said: “It’s been extraordinary. You always hope to get a winner, but to get two at this meeting in one week is fantastic.
“Jack Madden, who looks after the horse, has been instrumental because he minds him so well and has been great at getting him to eat and drink - and producing him in such good form.
“The horse settled a lot better today compared to Tuesday and that was crucial. He was very free with Ryan the other day, so I said ‘just get him settled and after that ride him any way you like’. It’s funny, because he didn’t travel to Cheltenham [for the Festival] very well, but he has handled this fine. He’ll stay Flat racing for now.”
Simenon's success meant that Ryan Moore was the meeting's top jockey.
Moore and William Buick both rode five winners but was decided on the number of thirds.
“Ruby (Walsh) told me at the start of the week that Simenon was a little aeroplane,” said Moore. “He travels and is able to go wherever you want to put him - he is a really talented little horse.
“It’s lucky just to have winners here and I was really pleased with the way our own horses have run this week. This horse has gifted me two winners this week, so I have been very fortunate to get on him.
“Sir Michael (Stoute) only ran seven horses here but they all ran really well. Sea Moon was very impressive when he won the Great Voltigeur and I am glad that he has put in another performance like that today.
“Any winner here is good and to ride one for the Queen (Estimate on Friday) is extra special. I’d prefer it if it had been Carlton House but we will keep trying.”
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