Golden Horde was an emphatic winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Cup, giving both trainer Clive Cox and jockey Adam Kirby an eighth Royal Ascot victory.
Always travelling well, the son of Lethal Force held a clear advantage a furlong from home and was never threatened as he scored by a length and a half from American challenger Kimari (Wesley Ward/Frankie Dettori).
Cox said: “Golden Horde was Group 1 placed twice last year and was great in [winning] the Richmond Stakes. We always believed this year he would be able to take a step up physically. He was a big horse last year, but he has really grown into that frame this year.
“I am very proud of him. We have got a great team at home and to win a G1 first time out with any horse is difficult, but given the way things are this year, it’s the same for a lot of people, but I am really proud. He is a horse to go forward with – I really hope and pray he has got a longer journey to go ahead of him.
“Golden Horde is just top-class. He has got a lovely temperament, is great to deal with and that ability to go on any type of ground is very special as well.
“He is out of a Pivotal mare [Entreat] by Lethal Force who we enjoyed such a wonderful day with when winning the Diamond Jubilee in 2013 – it is very special.”
“We had an away day at Kempton with him. Jerry McGrath, who rides out for me in the summer, had a sit on him.
He added: “When we took the rugs off him today, I was delighted with what I saw and I am pleased the performance has backed that up.
“The great thing about Lethal Force was he kept progressing with age. He was a better four-year-old than he was three-year-old. There is always that hope when you know they’ve got that ability and the size and stature to carry it out.
“Adam is rock solid and we have enjoyed lots of good days here, this really takes the biscuit. I am really pleased for Sheikh Sultan. It’s shame there are no owners here, but I am really grateful for his support.”
Kirby said: “Golden Horde is a proper horse. When he had his first run at Newbury last season, we knew he was pretty decent, but he’s done nothing but improve. He has strengthened up very well over the winter. He is just like his dad, Lethal Force, and will improve as time goes on.
“He jumped away, travelled good – he has a very high cruising speed. He is just like his dad, just a different colour. We won’t be coming in back in trip or going any further. He is very quick, but he is very strong over six and I don’t think there’s any reason to change. He is quite a special horse.
“Clive [Cox] is like a second father to me. We have always had a good relationship, and long may it last. We have been together a long time; he knows me and I know him, and we are very honest with each other. That’ s why we get on so well together. It is straightforward.
“I have been a very lucky boy and ridden a lot of very good sprinters, but this lad [Golden Horde] is right up there. He is extremely talented.
“I kept it uncomplicated, although the race went a bit back to front. I thought the Wesley Ward horse would give me a lead to half-way but he didn’t jump. Golden Horde has a great natural cruising speed, and it was all very easy. Full credit to Clive, he has done a great job.”