• Royal Ascot, Day Three

Dettori claims Gold Cup aboard Colour Vision

ESPN staff
June 21, 2012 « Ferrer storms into UNICEF Open semis | Chartbeat test »
Adam Kirby did well to lead Reckless Abandon to victory in the Northern Stakes © Getty Images
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Colour Vision was forced to dig deep to hold off Opinion Poll and win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Frankie Dettori caused a stir when he opted to ride Colour Vision instead of Godolphin's more established stayer, but his decision was justified as Colour Vision stayed the course to beat his stablemate.

Although there was no doubt over who was first past the post, a stewards' inquiry was called after replays showed Dettori's mount twice bumped his rival as they fought for position. However, there was no protest from Mickael Barzalona, who rode Opinion Poll, after Dettori explained his account of what happened, and consequently the placings stood.

Saddler's Rock was third, Gulf of Naples finished fourth, while last year's winner Fame and Glory finished well down the field.

"It was great. This was my best chance of the week," Dettori said. "I had to make a very hard decision (to ride Colour Vision over Opinion Poll. They are both great horses and warriors and I finished up the best, but only by a short margin.

"I'm delighted for the team and myself as well. It's been a very hard week and I'm glad this one came up.

"It was great, we have a great team, and first and second is a great result."

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was thrilled to celebrate a Gold Cup one-two, saying: "To bring the horses here and finish first and second is a great thing. The horses have down very, very well. They are both going to improve."

In the first race on Ladies' Day, Adam Kirby grabbed his first win at Ascot after riding Reckless Abandon to glory in the Northern Stakes. In a dramatic finish, Reckless Abandon veered alarmingly to the left, hugging the rails out on his own to edge past Gale Force Ten at the post. Ian's Dream came home in third.

Kirby said: "I knew what he would do - I felt him going. I went to click him to bring him over to the right and keep him away from the crowd on the left. But as soon as I went for him he ran left straight away. He's very special. He gives away a lot of ground when he does it, but he will be sorted."

Winning trainer Clive Cox added: "I'm over the moon - it's been a great team effort to have the horse in this sort of order. I'm really thrilled. He's very talented and Adam Kirby has done a great job."

Princess Highway cruised to a six-length victory in the Ribbersdale Stakes over a mile and a half. John Gosden's filly, who won a Group 3 at Naas over 1m2f, reeled in Shirocco Star before pulling away in the closing stages for an impressive win. The much-fancied The Fugue had a lot of work to do after being boxed in, eventually claiming second place, with Shirocco Star taking third, while the Queen's horse, Momentary, was never in contention.

Trainer Dermot Weld was delighted to celebrate his 15th winner. He said: "It's nice to come back and win the same race. She's a backward filly but has done well over the winter. We really had to improve to win today and she's gone and done it. She's a late developing filly - the Epsom came a little too soon for her. I think she's proved she's the best one-and-a-half-mile, three-year-old filly of her generation."

Fast Or Free vindicated his favourites' tag as Ryan Moore claimed his second win of the week in the Britannia Stakes. After the field had merged having raced as two separate groups, the William Haggas-trained gelding pulled clear with over a furlong to run to win by a length and a quarter. Mister Music crossed in second, ahead of 20/1 shot Bronze Angel.

The German-trained Energizer won by three-and-a-half lengths from Stipulate in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes. Coming from the back of the group on the outside, Energizer showed exceptional strength to hunt down the leaders and win by a clear margin in the end. Rewarded had to make do with third place.

In the final race of the day, the King George V Stakes, 12/1 shot Fennell Bay claimed victory ahead of Handsome Man and Rougemont.

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