19 June 2024

Prince of Wales’s stamina test proves too much for Inspiral on the day

19 June 2024

John Gosden felt that tackling a stiff 10 furlongs off a fast pace proved too much for Inspiral to cope with after she could only manage sixth place behind Auguste Rodin in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

The five-year-old mare was making her third trip to Royal Ascot, having won the 2022 Coronation Stakes before going down by just a neck when second in last season’s Queen Anne, both over a mile.

With Inspiral subsequently claiming victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf over an extra two furlongs at Santa Anita in November, connections opted to try their luck at that trip again, but what was a brave move to be applauded ultimately backfired.

Gosden told Sky Sports Racing: “She was pretty slowly away, sitting at the back of the field. They’ve gone very, very hard and I think, quite frankly, over the (stiff) mile and a quarter here, she’s just been caught out for stamina.

“She’s won Group Ones over a mile and over a very easy mile and a quarter at Santa Anita and I think stamina-wise, she just got caught today. She came with a run and the last furlong was too far for her.

“A Derby winner has won it, he’s got the trip well and shown a lot of grit at the end.”

With Inspiral faltering, it was left to French raiders Zarakem and Horizon Dore to ensure Auguste Rodin had to pull out all the stops.

Zarakem kept on well to finish second at 33-1, losing out by three-quarters of a length, and his handler Jerome Reynier was more than pleased with that performance.

He said: “I am very happy with him. On his reappearance this year, he won a Group Two on heavy ground, and today he’s been second in a very hot race at Royal Ascot in a Group One on firm ground, so he can do everything.

“He’s a very complete athlete; he’s improving with age, mentally and physically. He’s entered in the Arc at the end of the year, because he does Longchamp so well and he seems to have plenty of stamina, because he ran on today and he’s been chasing up Auguste Rodin to the post.

“For Zarakem, this was his first time abroad and a very interesting first time out of France, so it opens many, many doors, and we’ll see if we’ll be back for the King George in a few weeks’ time. We will see – we don’t want to rush him and we can keep the Arc as a final target for the year.

“You see the improvement in him month after month – he’s really improving mentally and I think that was the right time to test him outside of France in a very hot race like that.”

Horizon Dore followed up his third-place finish in last year’s Champion Stakes at Ascot by picking up another bronze medal.

Patrice Cottier said: “We are very pleased with the performance. He showed again he is a Group One horse and we are very happy.

“We will see the plan for the second half of the season, but maybe it will be the Champion Stakes. He’s an easy horse, more and more macho with age – he’s a super horse.”

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