Joseph O’Brien described his first Royal Ascot winner as a trainer as “special” following State Of Rest’s victory in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes on day two of the prestigious Flat meeting.
All of the talk ahead of the Group 1 contest was whether Sir Michael Stoute’s Bay Bridge could preserve his unbeaten record, but he had to settle for second place under Ryan Moore after failing to catch the impressive winner State Of Rest.
Under the guidance of Shane Crosse, the four-year-old raced into the lead straight out of the stalls and never gave up that position over the 1m 1f 212y trip, making all to hand O’Brien his first Royal Ascot winner since becoming a trainer.
Speaking after the victory, O’Brien said: “Brilliant ride, very tough horse. We had a good chat with Shane and decided to make the running and it couldn’t have worked out better.
“It’s very special, it’s been a long time coming; it’s very special to get a winner here. A great team of owners and a special horse. I think he’s proved himself a high class horse and he’s very versatile.
“We knew coming here that we had a live chance to win the race and I’m delighted he’s proved himself.”
Royal Ascot Betting Odds
In the opening race of the day, the Karl Burke-trained Dramatised claimed the spoils in the Queen Mary Stakes, finishing nearly two lengths clear of Maylandsea in second, while the Queen’s Vase went the way of Eldar Eldarov for Roger Varian.
The Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at 16:20 was won by Saffron Beach, while Dark Shift triumphed in the Royal Hunt Cup at 17:00 and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Little Big Bear took the Windsor Castle Stakes at 17:35.
In the final race of the day – the Kensington Palace Stakes at 18:10 – Rising Star produced a superb performance to cross the finishing line first at big odds.
Thursday marks day three of Royal Ascot and there are another seven races to get stuck into, starting with the 14:30 and concluding with the 18:10.
The Group 1 Gold Cup at 16:20 is the feature race of the day and Kyprios, for trainer Aidan O’Brien, is 13/8 to make it three wins in a row, while stiff competition could come from the likes of 5/2 Stradivarius and 11/2 Trueshan.
Today’s Horse Racing Odds