Prince Of Lir storms to give Luke Morris a breakthrough Royal Ascot win
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Scott Burton 2:32PM 16 JUN 2016
Report: Royal Ascot, Thursday
Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5f, 2yo
Prince Of Lir held off The Last Lion in a repeat of the finish to Beverley’s Continental Trophy.
The son of Kodiac provided a first royal meeting winner for jockey Luke Morris, while trainer Robert Cowell celebrated a third success at the meeting but the first with a juvenile.
Morris, who was due to head off to Chelmsford and then Lingfield for the rest of the day, was in no doubt as to the importance of his success on the big stage.
Morris said: “It is a great buzz. You work hard and spend your mornings getting up early and it is days like this you work for really.”
Hard going at the finish
Prince Of Lir looked to be under pressure at the two furlong marker but, on ground that appeared to have gone a bit dead, fought bravely to get to the front before holding off his old adversary in a finish which unfolded up the stands’ side rail.
“He has only had one start and he is a little bit inexperienced,” said Morris. “Once he met the rising ground and got rolling he put the race to bed. I thought it was somewhere in between good to soft and soft. It has definitely dried out a bit.”
Cowell hails “pocket rocket”
The son of Kodiac was a £170,000 purchase at the Goffs Doncaster Breeze-Up sale and provided Cowell a Norfolk Stakes to alongside two previous wins in the King’s Stand Stakes at the meeting.
“He is an absolute pocket rocket,” said Cowell. “He is not very big but he is very well formed, very mature and has shown a brilliant attitude in the little time we’ve had him. He has been brilliantly prepared by the vendors who sold him to us.”
Also on Thursday
Royal Ascot: Tercentenary Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f, 3yo
Godolphin landed a one-two in the Tercentenary Stakes when Hawkbill fended off Prize Money, to give the operation their fourth royal winner of the week.
Ballydoyle’s Long Island Sound Sound finished third.
Fellow Godolphin contender Race Day cut out the early running, and when he faded entering the straight the always-prominent Hawkbill picked up the baton and stayed on tenaciously.
The 4-1 joint-favourite Prize Money could make no impression in the straight while the other 4-1 joint-favourite, Abdon, was disappointing, making no impression after being held up.
The winning time was 2mins 09.59sec, nearly two seconds faster than Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes over the same trip, which suggests the ground is drying out.
Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said: “He’s done a lot of travelling this horse and he couldn’t really handle it but he went to Dubai and did great over there.”
“We didn’t know how good he was until he went to Newmarket and since then he’s thrived. It was a great ride from William and a great win for the team.”