Royal Ascot week nearly got off to the perfect start with Eagle Hunter going down narrowly under Ryan Moore, a rare booking for the yard, after having looked all over the winner one furlong out. Shortly afterwards Roystonia stayed on strongly to get up on the line and win by a nose at Chepstow.

Things got even better on Saturday with Encrypted winning the feature race at York, a £100,000 handicap, under the ever reliable Josephine Gordon. Despite encouraging comments by Hugo in the morning paper he went off at the rewarding odds of 25-1.

Monday and the winners continue to come. Power to Exceed won a fillies’ Novice at Carlisle under Ben Curtis.

Stable favourite Gifted Master was the stable’s only runner on the first day of the Royal Meeting. Sadly he found himself run off his feet by the blazing pace set by two superstar sprinters and was never able to get near the front.

Day two saw two runners – Unforgetable Filly faded after briefly showing in a challenging position but Arbalet far outran his 100-1 starting price finishing a highly creditable fifth in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes. Given the competitive nature of all races at the meeting this was a terrific run.

Day three started with slightly disappointing runs from both Silver Quartz and Fajjaj in the Hampton Court Stakes. By contrast the stable’s two runners in the Britannia Stakes both ran really well. Curiosity came out of the pack with a strong run to finish second for James McDonald and Corrosive under Josephine Gordonran well to finish tenth of a full field of thirty. Dukhan faded after reaching a challenging position in the final race of the day.

Friday and Saturday’s racing will be covered in the next report.

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