Royal Ascot 2014
Friday, 13 June 2014
As the flat racing world looks forward to Royal Ascot next week. We take a quick look at some of Ireland’s leading hopes who have learned their trade here at Tipperary Racecourse.
On Tuesday, the Aidan O’Brien trained colt The Great War runs for only the third time as favourite in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes. After making USD $1million at the sales, the two year old made an impressive debut here in April with an easy 2½ length win (30/100F) and followed this up with an equally impressive performance at the Curragh less than two weeks later to win by 3 lengths (1/9F). He is currently 4/1 favourite.
On Thursday, we have another O’Brien favourite as Leading Light is the short-priced favourite (7/4) for the prestigious Gold Cup. The four year old had his first win here at Tipperary winning by 1½ lengths (1/1F) over 1m1f in heavy conditions. Since then, he has added 5 more victories to his name across both Ireland and the UK, including at Royal Ascot 12 months ago. Winning 6 out of his 8 races, he has been a consistent type for O’Brien’s yard and is sure to give him a big chance in one of Ascot’s most famous races.
On Saturday, Tom Hogan’s Gordon Lord Byron takes his chance in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. After finishing fourth in this race last year, he has won 4 times in the last 12 months, including when beating this year’s favourite, Slade Power, at Haydock in September. He won at Tipperary in May 2012 over 5furlongs which was only his third win. He has since travelled the world, winning a Group 1 in Australia just 3 months ago, and most recently was 7th in a Group 1 in Hong Kong. He goes to Ascot as 10/1 third favourite, behind Slade Power and Aljamaaheer.
Also on Saturday, Harry Trotter from the David Marnane stable runs in the Wokingham Stakes. His last two runs have been at Tipperary, winning here in April and finishing fourth last time out just two weeks ago. Finishing in the top four in 16 out of his 28 runs, he has been a consistent horse with almost €60,000 in career earnings.
Others who will feature at Royal Ascot with previous runs at Tipperary are Aidan O’Brien’s Fountain of Youth and Orchestra (both winners), Edward Lynam’s Sole Power in the King’s Stand Stakes, Tommy Stack’s Great Minds in the Wokingham Stakes, and Dermot Weld’s impressive recent Tipperary winner Edelmira may go in the Ribblesdale Stakes.
*UPDATE: The Great War now declared in Thursday's Norfolk Stakes.