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The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes

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My Dream Boat
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History

Run at Ascot over 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,000 metres), the Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the third middle-distance race in the QIPCO British Champions Series calendar, following the Investec Coronation Cup and Investec Derby. The race, established in 1862, failed to reappear when racing resumed after World War II. The reason? There was no Prince of Wales at the time. With Prince Charles’s investiture imminent, however, it reappeared in 1968.

In 2000 the race was restricted to four-year-olds or older (prior to that, three-year-olds had been eligible to run) and upgraded to Group 1 status. In that very first running of the race as a top level contest, it was won by a true superstar, Dubai Millennium.

Sheikh Mohammed, the colt’s owner, renamed him once his potential on the training grounds became clear and he lived up to all the hype with a performance of searing brilliance.  He came home 8 lengths clear of his nearest pursuer, but rather like Harbinger following his similarly devastating victory in the 2010 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair), injury prevented Dubai Millennium from ever running again.

The French have an excellent recent record in the race, having sent over Byword (2010), Vision D’Etat (2008) and Manduro (2007), while jockey Joseph O’Brien celebrated a first Royal Ascot winner in 2012 as So You Think avenged his narrow defeat to Rewilding in the same race 12 months earlier.

Al Kazeem won in 2013, while The Fugue registered her third QIPCO British Champions Series victory in 2014.

Current leading jockeys: Frankie Dettori, 3 wins (2001, 2002, 2011)

Current leading trainer: Saeed bin Suroor, 4 wins (1998, 2000-2)

Previous winners

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My Dream Boat sails home for Cox and Kirby

Clive Cox and Adam Kirby were in dreamland as My Dream Boat, the outsider of the party, won the Group One Prince of Wales’s Stakes, the feature race on day two of Royal Ascot this afternoon.

Having finished a well-beaten fifth behind today’s warm favourite, the Japanese raider A Shin Hikari in the Prix d’Isaphan at Chantilly last month, Cox’s charge dramatically reversed placings this time around.

The victory gave the trainer his sixth victory at Royal Ascot and his second Group One winner in 24 hours following Profitable’s success in the King’s Stand Stakes yesterday. Both races form part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Off an even gallop set by A Shin Hikari, Adam Kirby settled My Dream Boat out the back of the field. However, in the home straight, the son of Lord Shanakill made steady progress racing near the stands’ side rail and thundered home inside the final furlong to catch Aidan O’Brien’s Found and get up on the line to register a neck success.

“I’m absolutely blown away,” Cox said. “It has been an amazing week, the horses have been running so well. I had admiration for A Shin Hikari when we ran against him in France but I knew we hadn’t quite run our race.

“He found a perfect rhythm today and really found for Adam when he asked him to stretch. I wasn’t quite sure if he had won as they were poles apart but I was so pleased that we got the victory.

“Any horse who comes back from a race, you just try and nurture them back to that confidence you hope they are carrying into every race. Stuart Shilston (ex-jockey), rides him out every morning and he loves him to bits. You see this horse go to the start today, he was absolutely bucking so in spite of things not going right in France, he was in pretty good nick. I’m delighted.”

Next month’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown is a possible destination for the four-year-old, who will also be aimed at QIPCO British Champions Day in October.

“We will also look to come back to Ascot in October for Champions Day as he has showed his liking for the track,” Cox confirmed.

Kirby, whose partner Megan gave birth to a son, Charlie, yesterday morning, was clearly on cloud nine following the race.

“I’m chuffed to bits with him,” he said. “I thought he was a good horse and, deep in my heart, I thought I had every chance of being in the first three. To pull it out of the bag like that and for him to put everything he had into today’s race is indescribable really.

The luckless Found was finishing second in a QIPCO British Champions Series race for a fourth time. She has yet to win one.

“I can’t believe we got beaten.” was jockey Ryan Moore’s reaction after the race while Aidan O’Brien, the Galileo fillies’ trainer, added: “That is racing. She quickened very well. I think she will probably have a break now and then maybe America again.”

Japanese superstar A Shin Hikari finished last, albeit only four and three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

Jockey Yutaka Take confined his views to a short: “He felt good, but was a little too keen.”

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.

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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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@davereversRP That's Vibrant Chords! Unfortunately every time the camera went near Limato he darted back inside his box.