Profitable (far side) and Adam Kirby hold off Cotai Glory
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Nick Pulford 3:50PM 14 JUN 2016
Report: Royal Ascot, Tuesday
King’s Stand Stakes (Group 1) 5f, 3yo+
JOCKEY Adam Kirby added a Group 1 victory only hours after becoming a father as 4-1 shot Profitable held on bravely by a neck from Cotai Glory (33-1) with 50-1 chance Goken finishing fast to take third place.
The winner was a fifth at Royal Ascot for trainer Clive Cox, while for Kirby victory was more cause for celebration after his partner Megan gave birth to son Charlie only a couple of hours earlier.
A highly emotional Kirby, wiping away tears, said: “I know my mum’s watching and she’ll be so proud. All Dad wanted to do was see me ride a Group 1 winner and he’s missed them all.
“I’d like to thank my girlfriend. It’s a big day for her, she had a baby boy a couple of hours ago, so it’s good all round.”
Profitable has come up through the ranks with Group 3 and Group 2 wins this year, and was always travelling well on the heels of the leaders before striking for home a furlong out. Cotai Glory battled well after being headed but the winner kept on too strongly.
Goken burst through the chasing pack in the closing stages to finish a length back in third. Jungle Cat (14-1) was fourth and Waady (8-1) fifth.
Mecca’s Angel, the heavily backed 6-4 favourite, was never a factor and came home 16th of the 17 runners.
‘I don’t think you could get many better days’
The day belonged to Kirby, with Cox paying tribute to the jockey.
“I’m especially pleased for Adam, because he’s a proud father today as well, so there’s no better day,” the trainer said.
“With the new baby, it’s a very emotional day. To ride a Group 1 winner on the same day, I don’t think you could get many better days.”
Cox was delighted with the performance of Profitable in allaying any fears that the soft ground would blunt his speed.
“He’s special. You need a special horse to come here and do it. This is what we’re chasing all the time, this is why we want to be here,” Cox said.
“The ground at Haydock [last time] was a concern, which gave me more confidence for today, but every time it rained I was more concerned. He travelled so strongly and he dug in. He’s pretty damn good.”
Kirby added: “He’s the best five-furlong horse I’ve ever sat on. His cruising speed is phenomenal.”
Cox said Profitable was not entered for the Darley July Cup as he felt he had an out-and-out five furlong speedster on his hands, but the trainer said next month’s 6f Group 1 would now be considered.