Reshoun repels M C Muldoon in Ascot Stakes
Reshoun just held off the late lunge of Ryan Moore and M C Muldoon to give Ian Williams his second victory in three years in the Ascot Stakes.
Given the race is over two and a half miles it normally falls to a National Hunt trainer, but Williams is one of the most adept dual-purpose handlers in the land and proved it yet again.
Sent off an unconsidered 66-1 shot in a field of 19, Reshoun only hit the front deep inside the final furlong after Frankie Dettori had made what looked a race-winning move on Golden Rules.
Ryan Moore began to fly from the clouds on Willie Mullins’ M C Muldoon, but the line came just in time for Reshoun and William Buick and they held on by a short head.
Rachael Blackmore finished fifth on Cape Gentleman, on what was her first Royal Ascot ride.
Williams said: “The current form of my horses is good. He ran a big race in the Chester Cup and I said to William the important thing is to get him out today as he’d been slack at the start.
“The boys at home had been working with him and I could not actually believe how sharp he was out of the gate. He was in front early, but then it was a case of if he stayed.
“He got taken off his feet a bit taken in. I actually thought he wasn’t staying, so I turned my attentions to Mancini and next time I looked for him he was plugging away and stayed strongly to the line.
“This horse has done Marwan (Koukash, owner) proud. He’d be wishing it was at Chester. He’s done me proud me, too!
“It’s tough to win any race here and the competitiveness of the whole meeting is only second to Cheltenham.
“He’ll probably going back to Chester. Marwan will be keen for him to go back there.”
Juan Elcano came with a rousing late run to win for the first time since his debut in the Wolferton Stakes.
Always highly regarded by Kevin Ryan, he finished fifth of 15 in Kameko’s 2000 Guineas but had seemingly failed to progress.
However, racing for the first time since a wind operation the son of Frankel once again showed what he was made of.
Sent off at 14-1, Juan Elcano looked to face a stiff task with two furlongs to run as there was still a wall of horses in front of him.
Tom Marquand had kicked clear by then on Joseph O’Brien’s Patrick Sarsfield and having had the run of the race he looked sure to oblige, only for Juan Elcano to sprout wings once in the clear.
Andrea Atzeni pushed him out with hands and heels to win by half a length, with Solid Stone, the 4-1 joint-favourite along with Patrick Sarsfield, back in third.
Ryan said: “We’ve always held him in the highest regard and he ran in some nice races as a three-year-old.
“This year I thought we had him back, but he disappointed first time out so we decided to tweak his wind – obviously it’s done the trick.
“He quickened up nicely today, he likes a nice pace to run at and got that today.”