- Royal Ascot, Day Two
Al Kazeem sinks Camelot in Prince of Wales's Stakes
Al Kazeem stole the show in a thrilling finish to the Prince of Wales's Stakes, getting up late to grasp victory from Mukhadram and give young jockey James Doyle his first Royal Ascot winner.
Paul Hanagan led from the front on Mukhadram, before the Rodger Charlton-trained Al Kazeem closed down with a furlong remaining to finish first at 11/4.
The Fugue held on for third, while well-backed favourite Camelot, who lost out to Al Kazeem at the Curragh in the Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, struggled to make an impact on the home stretch and had to settle for fourth.
It was not an ideal start for the Aidan O'Brien-trained 5/2 shot, as intended pacemaker Windsor Palace missed the break out of the stalls. Camelot, under O'Brien's son Joseph, was left with too much to do as Hanagan pulled clear of the chasing pack two furlongs out from the post.
However, Doyle pinpointed his move on the runaway leader to perfection and let the reins loose on his charge to take victory by a nose.
"I thought for an awful minute that we weren't going to get there, but James [Doyle] said he was always confident," winning trainer Charlton told Channel Four. "For a young guy, who hasn't ridden that many good horses, I'm so pleased for him. We've put a lot of weight on his shoulders but he's delivered and he's going to go on from this."
Doyle added: "Paul Hanagan gave Mukhadram a fantastic ride. Al Kazeem dug deep - he's a tough horse. It's magical to get a Royal Ascot winner. It leaves you speechless. It's what it's all about. It's worth those mornings and going to the meetings in the evenings ."
It proved a good start for the Irish for the second day running, as the well-backed favourite Gale Force Ten edged victory from Montridge in the Jersey Stakes to give the O'Brien pair their third winner of this year's Royal Ascot.
The Ballydoyle team won the opening race of the meet with Declaration of War, and it was the same story on Wednesday as the colt saw off the late challenge the Richard Hannon-trained Montridge.
Gale Force Ten seemed to be idling with a furlong to go, but the French and Irish Guineas runner got up to clinch victory by a head when challenged. Tawhid finished third for Godolphin at a 25/1 shot as second favourite Garswood took fourth.
"He fought back well. He's a hardy horse, a strong horse and loves that fast ground," O'Brien Sr said. "Joseph said in an ideal world he would not want to be in front as long as that. He could step up to a mile or go back to six furlongs, which is unusual. Over six furlongs he would not want to be in front as long as that."
Duntle continued the Irish domination, putting in a tough performance to claim the Duke of Cambridge Stakes for David Wachman. Under the stewardship of Wayne Lordan, Duntle saw off Lady's First, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Dank and 33/1 shot Beatrice Aurore in a tight finish where any of the four could have clinched it at the post.
George Baker's Belgian Bill ran out a surprise 33/1 winner in the Royal Hunt Cup, capping a fairytale quickfire double for young jockey James Doyle in his second winning ride of the day.
Doyle opted to stay on the far side from the break, and it was a decision that paid off as he narrowly pipped Premio Loco to the post and give the Barton Yard trainer his first ever Royal Ascot winner. 50/1 oustider Arsaadi held on for third, ahead of Don't Call Me.
And it got even better for Doyle as he saddled 6/1 shot Rizeena first past the post in the Queen Mary Stakes, giving the rider his third win of the day and also providing veteran trainer Clive Brittain with his first Royal Ascot winner since 2010.
Rizeena stormed clear within the final furlong and finished well ahead of second placed Sweet Emma Rose, while 66/1 outsider One Chance completed the top three.
Annecdote landed the Sandringham Handicap for trainer Jonathan Portman in the final race of the day, finishing ahead of the chasing trio Auction, Woodland Aria and Nargys.