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The Commonwealth Cup

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History

2015 saw the first ever running of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot – and one of the brightest stars to don the QIPCO British Champions Series emerged from it.

Muhaarar, trained by Charlie Hills, eased clear of his rivals to demonstrate his ability with ease at the Royal meeting before going on to win the Darley July Cup and bowing out on QICO British Champions Day a sprinting hero.

The Group 1 contest was won by another star, Quiet Reflection, in 2017 and Caravaggio won a superb renewal in 2018 at the principal expense of Harry Angel.

Previous winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Prize money

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Advertise is Commonwealth Cup cracker for Meade

 

Advertise got his career back on track with a superb victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Martyn Meade’s colt was one of the star performers in the juvenile division last season – winning three of his five starts and finishing second in the Coventry Stakes and in the Dewhurst.

However, he never threatened to land a telling blow on his return to action in last month’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and as a result, blinkers were fitted for the first time as he dropped back to six furlongs for this Group One QIPCO British Champions Series contest.

With man of the moment Frankie Dettori in the saddle, Advertise raced in midfield for much of the way before hitting the front racing inside the final furlong.

The one to get closest to the Phoenix Thoroughbreds-owned Advertise was Forever In My Dreams – who was bought by the Phoenix Ladies Syndicate at Monday’s Goffs sale for £430,000.

In the end, though, the former was a comfortable winner by a length and a half.

The Kevin Ryan-trained Hello Youmzain was a head away in third, with Aidan O’Brien’s even-money favourite Ten Sovereigns a shade disappointing in fourth.

Meade said: “I think we have to put the Guineas behind us. He wasn’t quite right on that day, clearly, and we wanted to see if he got the mile, but we never found out as he never ran any sort of race.

“I thought we would go back where we he is now over six furlongs, where he was pretty special last year. I trained him for a mile, getting him switched off, and I suddenly thought, ‘how do I jazz him up again?’ – so we put the blinds on and luckily that did the job today.

“He jumped and clearly that demonstrates that is his distance. If we can step him up a little bit we clearly will.

“It was just lucky that Frankie was able to ride him as that made a huge difference.

“I think that (sprinting) is clearly his area, but I would maybe like to go to France for the six-and-a-half-furlong race there (Maurice de Gheest) and maybe he ought to go for the Foret later on. You can’t write off the mile, but I don’t think it is for him.

“The July Cup is not out the question and he is in it, but the Maurice de Gheest is quite an attractive proposition.”

Dettori, equalling his best ever total of Royal Ascot winners in a week with seven, said: “I’m so pleased for Martyn as he has been having a tough time.

“He ran a stinker in the Guineas and he decided to close his stable for a month as he knew his horses weren’t right and it paid dividends.”

Aidan Fogarty said of second-placed Forever In Dreams: “It’s a great result for Phoenix with the first and second.

“Con (Marnane) bred her. She won twice in France for Matthieu Palussiere and she came over here and was only beaten less than two lengths in the Queen Mary.

“I don’t know if she’ll stay with me. It’s up to the ladies. I’d love to keep her.”

Bruce Raymond, racing manager for Jaber Abdullah, owner of Hello Youmzain, said: “He’s a good horse. We feel he’s going to mature again. We won’t over-race him this year.

“I think it’s possible he’ll go for Group One races like the Haydock Sprint and maybe something in France. He’s better on soft ground. He just wants taking care of.”

Despite defeat, O’Brien was upbeat on the run of Ten Sovereigns, saying: “Delighted with his run. First time back at six (furlongs) since running in the 2000 Guineas.

“I think we’ll keep him at six. We’ll see how he is. The July Cup is one of the races we’ll be thinking of.”

Results

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The Course

British horseracing can lay claim to plenty of blue-blooded connections, but none rival those of Ascot. The Berkshire racecourse’s roots go back 300 years to Queen Anne, who recognised the potential of a stretch of heath land while out riding just a few miles from Windsor Castle.

The royal link has endured ever since. Today, Queen Elizabeth II and members of the Royal Family attend the world-famous ‘Royal Ascot’ meeting each year, arriving in a horse drawn carriage. Royal Ascot, meanwhile, has earned iconic status as a centrepiece of the social calendar, when the world’s best thoroughbreds face fierce competition from the world’s most extravagant fashion designs.

Ascot, which underwent a £200 million redevelopment between 2004-6, also hosts the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes sponsored by QIPCO in July, the most prestigious open-age Flat race staged in Britain.

It will also host the inaugural QIPCO British Champions Day in October which will be the richest raceday ever staged in Britain with over £4.2m in prize money and the climax to the QIPCO British Champions Series.  Including the five category finales on QIPCO British Champions Day, Ascot stages no less than 13 of the 35 QIPCO British Champions Series races.

What sort of horses like Ascot? Horses that like right-handed courses. And what sort of people? People who like champagne and scones, apparently. During the five-day Royal Ascot meeting in 2010, 60,000 bottles of champagne and 40,000 scones were consumed. Lobsters, meanwhile, don’t like Royal Ascot – 1,500 of them were eaten over that same period.

Getting there

Ascot
Berkshire
SL5 7JX

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