Trainers Sharon and Simon Miller dominated the second half of the Ascot card today, capturing a combination of opportunistic and crushing victories.
Troy Turner must have thought all his Christmas’s had come at once, saluting in both the Listed TJ Smith Trophy for the 3yo colts and gelding over 1600m, and the 1000 Guineas feature for the 3yo fillies over 1800m aboard the Sharon Miller trained hopes – but it wasn’t without an ounce of luck.
Piloting the Choisir gelding Sireeze ($4.00) in the TJ Smith, Turners mount shot into outright favouritism in the seconds prior to release, when raging public elect Express Service reared in the barrier and was subsequently scratched. Turner made the most of the favourite’s late exit, charging Sireeze forward at the top of the turn from a handy position, to career away for an impressive three length win. In a head-bobbing finish for the minors, Western Blaze ($6.00) got the nod for second, a whisker ahead of Saturday Skies ($18.00) in third.
The second leg of the Troy Turner/Sharon Miller double wasn’t going to be that clear cut.
With only one career win to date, the More Than Ready 3yo filly Moreish ($26.00) was considered nothing more than a “filler” in the 1000 Guineas. Deserved favourite Antique Belle ($2.60) had done everything but win in its previous start, and despite travelling wide throughout in today’s race, seemed to have done enough entering the final furlong. But from near last came Moreish with a brilliantly timed run to collect Antique Belle on the line – the margin a mere short neck. Kim China ($13.00) worked home well from eighth on the turn to finish a further 1 ½ lengths away in third.
Aquanita trainer Simon Miller had it much easier – simply dominating the final two races for the day.
The exciting 4yo Helter Skelter mare Mia China Doll ($1.85 fav) continued its stunning form, bringing up win number five in its seventh start in the Budget Bus Rentals Sprint 1200m. Hoop Pat Carbery shot the favourite to the lead upon barrier rise, and dictated terms throughout to cruise to the line for an untouched one length salute. Fighters Second ($10.00) lived up to its name – working home well from fifth on the turn to finish runner-up, while Catlantic ($15.00) clung to third – a further one length adrift.
And if that win wasn’t special enough, the finale was going to blow you away.
The resurrected career of the 4yo Mosayter gelding Roman Knows ($3.20 fav) soldiered on in the Budget Rent A Car Sprint 1200m. Given a dream run in transit by jockey William Pike, Roman Knows (with 58kgs on its back) pulled out around the early leaders at the top of the straight and smashed its rivals in the run home, producing a crushing four length hiding. Born To Excel ($4.60) and True Gold ($8.00) could only watch in disbelieve as they limped to the line in second and third respectively.
The final race result had produced yet another double – the win awarding Pike with two winning rides for the day having earlier saluted aboard Red Mercedes.