Frankie Dettori was at his vintage best as he rode Crystal Ocean to victory for Sir Michael Stoute in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, at Royal Ascot on Wednesday (June 19).
Crystal Ocean won by 1 1/4 lengths from favourite Magical, ridden by Ryan Moore. French raider Waldgeist was just over three lengths back in third. The win was the first Group 1 success for Crystal Ocean.
Crystal Ocean (above, right) had finished second at the highest level twice last term, but he finally came good as he outbattled Magical in the 10-furlong showpiece, which was run in pouring rain. Given a masterful ride by Dettori, Crystal Ocean (3-1) raced on the heels of pace-setter Hunting Horn until the race began in earnest turning for home. Dettori committed early and moved out to the middle of the track as Magical struggled to go with him, before he just started to drift back to the far rail. Ryan Moore switched Magical to the inside for a second run, but Crystal Ocean was not for passing and Dettori stood up in his irons before the line, coming home a length-and-a-quarter winner.
Waldgeist made up late ground to take third, while Sea Of Class was fifth of the eight runners on her seasonal bow.
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute (above), enjoying his 80th winner at Royal Ascot, the all time leading trainer for the meeting, was delighted with his charge : “He’s been very consistent. If you look at his record, it’s quite amazing. It’s great for the Southcourt stud to have a Group One horse. I thought he ran very well in the Champion Stakes last year. He ran better than I thought. He may be better at a mile and a half, but he’s certainly a pretty good horse at a mile and a quarter and he’s proved that today.”
Crystal Ocean has yet to finish outside the first three in 15 races, and his record now reads eight wins, five seconds and two thirds. He is another example of Sir Michael’s superb achievements with older horses. Whilst, for his part, the seemingly ageless Frankie Dettori claimed his 62nd winner at Royal Ascot meetings – again, like the trainer he had just ridden for, the winning-most jockey.
2019 PRINCE OF WALES’S STAKES – FULL RESULT
- Crystal Ocean – L Dettori – 3/1
- Magical – R Moore – 13/8f
- Waldgeist – P Boudot – 4/1
- Hunting Horn – D O’Brien – 25/1
- Sea of Class – J Doyle – 5/1
- Deirdre – Y Take – 33/1
- Zabeel Prince – A Atzeni – 9/1
- Desert Encounter – J Crowley – 66/1