GBI RACING

5 things we learned from day four of Royal Ascot

Colm O’Donoghue celebrates winning the Coronation Stakes on Alpha Centauri

Alpha domination

The Coronation Stakes promised to serve up a special treat with the English, Irish and French 1000 Guineas winners all locking horns and Alpha Centauri ensured it lived up to top billing.

There were questions marks over last year’s Albany runner-up having trained on following a lacklustre reappearance at Leopardstown, but after winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas last time out the daughter of Mastercraftsman showed that victory was no fluke in the Group One prize.

The Jessica Harrington-trained three-year-old looked a cut above her rivals when quickening away to claim victory in a course-record time of one minute 35.89 seconds, in a performance that marks her out as the best of her generation.

Classic candidate

Old Persian might be one for the St Leger
Old Persian might be one for the St Leger (John Walton/PA)

With one Classic already in the locker, trainer Charlie Appleby could land another before the season is out after Old Persian staked his claim as a St Leger candidate with victory in the King Edward VII Stakes.

Despite having his stamina to prove over the mile-and-a-half trip the son of Dubawi proved staying is very much his forte when forging on to glory in the Group Two contest.

Although the Newmarket handler has a couple of horses back at his Moulton Paddocks yard that could emerge as lively contenders for the world’s oldest Classic, on this evidence Old Persian is very much top of the pile.

Crowley hits headlines for right reasons

Plenty for Jim Crowley to smile about on Friday
Plenty for Jim Crowley to smile about on Friday (Nigel French/PA)

Jim Crowley received a much-needed boost following a recent weighing-room altercation at Goodwood as he claimed his first Group One winner of the season aboard Eqtidaar in the Commonwealth Cup.

After finishing second aboard the well-fancied Battaash earlier in the week, the former champion jockey gained his just rewards in the same colours as the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt made an impact at the top level in the six-furlong dash.

Walker tastes Royal glory for the first time

Ed Walker is now a Royal Ascot-winning trainer
Ed Walker is now a Royal Ascot-winning trainer (Nigel French/PA)

There are few feelings that beat saddling a winner at Royal Ascot and Ed Walker lived out that experience for the first time following the victory of Agrotera in the Sandringham Handicap.

As one of the sport’s newer faces, the Lambourn handler will be hoping the victory gained by the daughter of Mastercraftsman can be the beginning of many at a meeting he expects to be in attendance at for many years to come.

Elsworth rolls back the years

David Elsworth can still get the job done
David Elsworth can still get the job done (Nigel French/PA)

David Elsworth may now be in the twilight of his career as a trainer, but the veteran handler showed he can still produce a horse capable of mixing it on the big stage with Dash Of Spice doing the business in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes.

While not in possession of the numbers enjoyed in his heyday, Elsworth knows when he has a good one on his hands and Dash Of Spice looked to be a Group horse masquerading in a handicap when following up his recent Epsom success in the extended one-mile-three event.

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