Settle For Bay runs away with Royal Hunt Cup for David Marnane

Billy Lee celebrates with Settle For Bay

Settle For Bay scorched clear to give David Marnane a famous victory in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot.

A four-time winner on the all-weather at Dundalk in the winter, the 16-1 chance made a pleasing comeback when fourth at Leopardstown in May.

Another Irish runner, Saltonstall, cruised to the front on the far side of the track and looked sure to play a part in the finish before fading out of the places.

Towards the centre of the track having raced with near side group, Settle For Bay quickened impressively under Billy Lee and provided Marnane with a second Royal winner after Dandy Boy’s success in the 2012 Wokingham.

Afaak stayed on well to take second for Charlie Hills, with 100-1 shot Circus Couture third and What’s The Story fourth at 33-1.

Marnane said: “We knew three-quarters of the way through last year he was this sort of class, as he progressed all along.

“It is one thing to have it, but another to get him here. He broke his pelvis last year, so he has done remarkably well to do what he has done.

“Thankfully the vets did a great job. They are not here today, but they would have been watching.

“It’s a tough game in our country, but we’ve won a Wokingham and a Hunt Cup.

“We will keep our feet on the ground and see where we go. I’d like to come back here on King George day for the valuable handicap, but we will have to see what the handicapper does.”

Lee said: “This horse was just cruising. I got there half a furlong too soon, but he was going so well.

“David Marnane always had a lot of faith in him, so I was delighted to get the call.

“He looked like a horse that could step up to Listed and Group class and he showed there that he can.”