Three very familiar names: Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Godolphin, wrapped up their respective titles as Royal Ascot wrapped up its 2022 meet Saturday.
Godolphin’s successful defense of its owner title came after the Saudi monolith tied Coolmore with five wins each. But Godolphin notched three runners-up to Coolmore’s one. Second-place finishes are the tiebreaker.
One of Godolphin’s key wins came courtesy of 33/1 Naval Crown nipping Creative Force in the £1 million Platinum Jubilee Stakes. That gave Godolphin and trainer Charlie Appleby a 1-2 finish in the meet’s richest race.
“One thing that Naval Crown had coming into the race was that he was still learning the sprinting game,” Appleby said after the race. “He’d only sprinted once in his life and that was in the Al Quoz (Group 1). When I took him to Saudi and he hit the lid so quick (unplaced in the Group 3 Turf Sprint Cup), it was all a bit of a mess, unfortunately, although we saw there his natural pace.
“This is a stiff six furlongs and we knew there would be plenty of pace. I said just hang onto the coattails of them if you can. I’m not saying we’re not good enough to beat the Australians, but I said he will finish, because this horse has won over seven (furlongs). He was fourth in a Guineas, so he’s a rock-solid horse.”
Naval Crown sank an international fleet of rivals
Along with avenging last year’s loss to Creative Force in the Jersey Stakes, Naval Crown did beat the Australian tandem of Home Affairs and Artorius. The Godolphin charge also beat Wesley Ward’s American Campanelle, who lost her first Royal Ascot race in her third start. Campanelle and Artorius dead-heated for third, finishing less than a length behind Naval Crown.
“The race went just as we hoped,” Ward said afterward. “She jumped well and those on the speed have been doing well because of the weather conditions here. She would have preferred the going a little softer. She was out in front, she ran a beautiful race, and there are no excuses.”
Ward leaves Royal Ascot empty-handed
Ward went 0-for-5 with his Royal Ascot charges.
Moore captured his ninth Royal Ascot jockey title, winning seven races to runner-up William Buick’s five. Danny Tudhope won a personal best four, including three in a row.
“It has been a good week,” Moore said. “The horses have run well and it’s satisfying when the ones you think will win do so. This is a great meeting and it has been good to have the crowds back.”
Courtesy of Broome’s victory in the Hardwicke Stakes, O’Brien seized his 11th Royal Ascot training title. He saddled five winners, edging Appleby by one.