Coronation Stakes (Group 1)
VETERAN trainer Dermot Weld showed that age is no barrier to Group 1 success by saddling Tahiyra (Chris Hayes) to land the Coronation Stakes at odds of 8/13.
The Irish 1000 Guineas winner was always travelling well in rear before being produced to tackle old rival Meditate in the straight. The latter could not rally and fell back, and it was Remarquee (Ralph Beckett/Rob Hornby) who threw down the biggest challenge, albeit unable to get close that the length she was beaten at the finish; Sounds Of Heaven finished a further head back in third.
This was Hayes’s first Royal Ascot win.
Tahiyra did come across the runner-up as she came with her challenge, but the result was quickly confirmed after a short stewards’ inquiry.
“It still kind of hasn’t sunk in,” said the winning jockey. “It went wrong early, because she kind of lost her hind feet out of the gates, and plan A went out the window because she was a bit too keen. I had to make a decision after going a furlong and a half just to take her out of it and get her to switch off, because I knew she had the best turn of foot in it.
“I thought it was a hell of a performance, to do all that off a slow pace – Ryan was dictating in front and when he started to step up, I had to be making ground while he was doing it, and for her to win with the ease she did, it was just brilliant.
“The boss just filled me up with confidence. We had a good chat this morning after I walked the course, I told him what I thought might happen and what might not happen. He said to me, ‘just do what you always do’.
“So that was a nice little pat on the back going out and that just gave me the confidence to do the right thing by the filly and take her out of it. Sometimes you have to live by the sword and die by the sword, so if it went wrong, I would have had to have taken the flak, but she was by far the best today.”