Dubai: Team Godoplhin pulled off a sensational big-race double on day two at Royal Ascot 2021 with veteran handler Saeed Bin Surour landing the prestigious Royal Hunt Cup with 33/1 outsider Real World less than an hour after Chrlie Appleby sent out Kemari to win the Queen’s Vase.
By his own high standards, Bin Surour may have been having a quiet season but he stormed back into the international racing spotlight – following Real World’s emphatic victory under Italian apprentice Marco Ghiani.
“I always liked this horse so I wasn’t really surprised to see him win today,” said the Emirati handler.
“I told Marco that if he jumps well, get him into a good position and let him relax through the race. He followed the instructions to the tee and Real World did the rest.
“That was very impressive, we will look to step him up in class after we discuss it with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“It is always great to have a winner at Royal Ascot because the racing here is so competitive and of the highest class. I still enjoy winning at the meeting even after all these years.”
Meanwhile, Appleby had the Melbourne Cup at the back of his mind after Kemari’s impressive performance in the Queen’s Vase.
It is always great to have a winner at Royal Ascot because the racing here is so competitive and of the highest class. I still enjoy winning at the meeting even after all these years
– Saeed Bin Surour, Godolphin handler
William Buick rode a picture-perfect race aboard the lightly-raced son of Dubawi, tracking the frontrunner and stablemate Law Of The Sea, the mount of James Doyle, before letting him lose with two furlongs to run.
The response was eye-catching as Kemari, whose name is similar to the ancient ballgame played in Japan, comfortably held off 10/3 favourite Wordsworth to win in a length-and-a-half.
“It’s only his third run today,” Buick told ITV Racing. “He stays well, Charlie always thought this race would suit him and it was just a very good performance.
“He’s a horse we don’t really know a lot about but he did that very well. He gets in that lovely rhythm, which stayers need to do, it was a nice race to ride.”
Appleby tipped his hat to his jockey and said: “I have to give William a lot of credit there. He was very excited about him when he broke his maiden at Yarmouth.
Dettori in form
“He was very impressed with what he did at Yarmouth, visually you had to be impressed but I had question marks as to what level we would take him to at this stage in his career.
“All credit to him, he’s given him a great ride and it’s great to get a winner on the board at Royal Ascot.”
Appleby also mentioned the Melbourne Cup, a race that he won in 2018 with Cross Counter, as a possible long-term target for Kemari.
Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori’s long-standing romance with Ascot racecourse, where he rode all seven winners on the card on a historic Saturday in September, 1996, continued when he partnered Indie Angel to land the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes for the father-and-son training combination of John and Thady Gosden.
The 22/1 shock winner provided Dettori with a landmark 75th Royal Ascot winner.
Irish-trained Love returned to action to win a competitive renewal of the featured Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes under Ryan Moore while Quick Suzy denied favourite Twilight Gleaming to win the Queen Mary Stakes under apprentice hero Gary Carroll.