Jockey Ryan Moore suffered a blood nose leaving the stalls and Hong Kong sprinter Wellington had to settle for 10th in an incident-packed Group One Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes (1,200m) at Royal Ascot on Saturday.
After appearing to rear slightly and throw his head back on beginning, Wellington failed to take to Ascot’s undulating straight 1,200m course and finished five and three-quarter lengths off knockout winner Khaadem.
There was no fairy-tail result for trainer Richard Gibson, who will leave Hong Kong at the end of the season and was hoping to go one better in the Ascot feature after finishing a narrow second in the contest with Gold-Fun in 2016.
“The jockey said the horse didn’t suit the straight 1,200m. He ran a clean race but we weren’t good enough today. Poor Ryan smashed his nose coming out the gates,” said Gibson.
After $4.7 chance Wellington travelled near the back of the field following his mishap at the beginning, Moore directed him up the outside rail but the four-time Group One winner didn’t unleash like his jockey hoped, with the Englishman ruing the incident early in proceedings.
“I’m OK,” Moore said. “The filly [Highfield Princess] played up in the next stall and it happened coming out of the gates. It’s just one of those things – a bit unfortunate.”
Charlie Hills-trained winner Khaadem paid $74, Sacred was runner-up for William Haggas and
favoured local runner Highfield Princess secured a second Group One placing of the week
after her second in Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes (1,000m).
Artorius, third in this race last year and winner of the Group One Canterbury Stakes (1,300m) under Zac Purton in March, was sent off third favourite but could only manage fourth.
Hong Kong owner Marc Chan provided legendary jockey Frankie Dettori with his final ride in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes ahead of the Italian’s planned retirement at the end of the year, with the Ralph Beckett-trained Kinross running seventh.
Charlie Appleby’s Al Suhail – who beat Hong Kong’s Sight Success and Duke Wai home when third in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint (1,200m) on Dubai World Cup night in March – finished sixth.
Second in that race was Australian sprinter The Astrologist and the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained six-year-old was a nice fifth on Saturday, while fellow Australian Cannonball lost rider Daniel Tudhope at the start.
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