Crystal Ocean leaves Prince of Wales’s Stakes rivals out of depth
19 Jun 2019
Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori combined to land the £750,000 feature on day two of Royal Ascot.
Crystal Ocean with Sir Michael Stoute after The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com
The Royal Ascot dream team of Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori combined to land the £750,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes with the marvellously consistent Crystal Ocean.
Carrying the colours of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, Crystal Ocean (3/1) showed utmost gameness in the home straight, seeing off pace-maker Hunting Horn, who finished fourth, and then that horse’s stablemate, the favourite Magical (13/8).
Magical seemed likely to pick off Crystal Ocean as they approached the furlong pole, but he would not yield, and was pulling clear of the filly as they reached the line in the QIPCO British Champions Series contest
He scored by one and a quarter lengths, while third-placed Waldgeist (4/1) was three and a quarter lengths adrift of Magical.
“Crystal Ocean is a high-class horse and I am delighted to have won a Group One with him now. He is just a very admirable racehorse. It’s marvellous to train a Group One horse like this,” Stoute said.
“I thought he ran very well in the QIPCO Champion Stakes last year [over today’s course and distance] and better than it appeared [when six-lengths second to Cracksman]. He may be better over a mile and a half, but I felt he was a pretty good horse over 10 furlongs, and he proved that today.
Crystal Ocean has yet to finish outside the first three in 15 races, and his record now reads eight wins, five seconds and two thirds.
He is another example of Stoute’s superb achievements with older horses. The trainer’s record as Royal Ascot’s most successful handler has now been extended to 80 victories, while Dettori, the meeting’s winning-most jockey, has now reached 62 winners.
“I knew Crystal Ocean stayed really well, so I kicked on early and did not hear anything coming. The rest is history,” Dettori said. “As soon as I knew Enable was going for the Eclipse, I rang Sir Michael’s office and said I was available. He was quick to react and called me in the afternoon to say I’d got the ride and I was delighted.
“He’s an ultra-consistent horse, he’s a heavyweight of the sport, never runs a bad race.”
Moore said of the runner-up: “Magical ran a cracker. The ground got bad, but she ran well.”
Andre Fabre, trainer of Waldgeist, said: “He ran well. The ground was not an issue as he has won on soft. The King George could be a possible.”
William Haggas regretted running Sea Of Class, who finished fifth, because of the ground but her jockey James Doyle said: “We learnt a lot about her today, mainly the fact that she doesn’t like the deep ground that she encountered out there today.
“She felt in great nick and travelled really well. We were a bit too far back, but the main thing was just to get a run into her and start her off – we’re very happy with her.”