GBI RACING

Baghdad bags George glory for Mark Johnston at Ascot

Baghdad (centre) wins the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot

Baghdad claimed a narrow victory after a thrilling climax to the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The three-year-old was one of six runners for trainer Mark Johnston in an 18-strong field and was a 9-1 shot under Andrea Atzeni to follow up his victory at York last month.

Baghdad hit the front racing inside the final two furlongs before being strongly pressed by Corgi on the run to the line.

First Eleven then flew home against the far rail to set up a three-way finish, but Johnston’s charge clung on by a neck.

Corgi beat First Eleven to second by a nose, with Cross Counter a couple of lengths further back in fourth.

Johnston said: “I had six good horses in it and I couldn’t really separate them. And throughout the race I couldn’t separate them either because five of the six were travelling really well and I couldn’t say which one it would be.

“I said to the owner beforehand that I wasn’t absolutely sure about him because he’s not the biggest for a mile and a half horse and we didn’t know how much he was progressing, but he’s tough and stayed every inch of the trip.”

Atzeni added: “We didn’t have a very good draw in 16 and I had to use him to get a good position and I ended up getting a good spot.

“He travelled beautifully and he’s very tough.

“I was always holding the horse on my left (Corgi) and then I felt Frankie on my inside, but I thought I’d just held on. It’s great to get another winner.”

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