Godolphin wins Leading Owner Award at Royal Ascot

Naval Crown makes it five wins for Dubai racing operation by claiming Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes on final day

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Godolphin won the Leading Owner Award at Royal Ascot for a second successive year following five wins at the five-day meeting.

The Royal Blues opened their campaign with two wins on the opening day: 2000 Guineas hero Coroebus grabbing the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes and Dubai Future scored in the Listed Wolferton Stakes.

Secret State then won the King George V Handicap while Godolphin Noble Truth took the Group 3 Jersey Stakes and Naval Crown edged out stablemate Creative Force in a thrilling Group 1 Platinum Jubilee Stakes on Saturday's final day.

“I am delighted to have received the Leading Owner trophy on behalf of Godolphin and our principal His Highness Sheikh Mohammed,” Hugh Anderson, Godolphin managing director (UK and Dubai), told godolphin.com.

“It has been a fantastic week for our whole team, from Godolphin Stables to Moulton Paddocks and our breeding operation and stallions. Winning this trophy is testament to the hard work of the entire team, all of whom deserve congratulation.”

Naval Crown edged out Creative Force in a sensational renewal of the Platinum Jubilee Stakes as the two sons of Dubawi dominated the finish of a Royal Ascot race for a second time.

The Charlie Appleby-trained duo were first and second in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes 12 months earlier but were taking on some of the world’s best sprinters this time in the meet’s premier six-furlong sprint.

Naval Crown under James Doyle was quickly into his stride and soon tracked this season’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes winner Home Affairs.

Creative Force, in contrast, was held up towards the rear in a larger group of runners that came up the centre of the course.

He travelled powerfully into the race for William Buick, quickening between horses on the far side to hold every chance entering the final furlong.

They then flashed passed the post together, with Naval Crown prevailing by a neck to become the 50th individual Group 1 winner for his sire.

“Both horses were in great nick,” Appleby said. “One thing that Naval Crown had coming into the race was that he was still learning the sprinting game.

“He’d only sprinted once in his life, and that was in the Al Quoz. When I took him to Saudi and he hit the lid so quick - it was all a bit of a mess unfortunately, although we saw there his natural pace.

“This is a stiff six furlongs and we knew there would be plenty of pace. I said just hang on to the coat tails of them if you can. I’m not saying we’re not good enough to beat the Australians, but I said Naval Crown will finish, because this horse has won over seven. He was fourth in a Guineas, so he’s a rock-solid horse.

“Creative Force ran a blinder. From that draw, it was always away from him, but Will gave him a fantastic ride, and it was just like the Jersey last year – they were ding-donging away with themselves in the end. They are two fantastic Dubawis.

“I see no reason why we shouldn’t be going to the July Cup now on what we’ve seen today.

“We hadn’t really planned beyond this – we thought we’d just be following the Australians home to be fair. It was a great ride by James.

“He said that at halfway that he knew he had to get over to that rail, keep hanging away there, and he knew he’d be in the hunt.

“Full credit to all the team. I am lucky enough to stand here, but the team do all the work at home. The horses have been in rude health since the spring, and it’s hard to try to maintain it as the year goes on, but touch wood, they’re staying there.”

Updated: June 19, 2022, 11:48 AM
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