Tepin powers past Belardo to confirm her superstar status in Queen Anne Stakes win at Royal Ascot

“It is amazing, it was emotional and she showed his greatness today,” trainer Mark Casse said.

Teppin under Julien Leparoux on their way to winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. Charlie Crowhurst / Getty Images
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ROYAL ASCOT, ENGLAND // Moments after superstar American mare Tepin had powered past Godolphin's Belardo in the Queen Anne Stakes on Tuesday under Julien Leparoux trainer Mark Casse revealed he had nearly endured a heart attack.

With typical American bonhomie he was only jesting, but such was the magnitude of Tepin’s victory in the opening race of the five-day meeting that it should have huge repercussions around the world.

“It is amazing, it was emotional and she showed his greatness today,” Casse said. “I’m always nervous but this was the first time I didn’t sleep the night before a big race.

“I was jumping up and down screaming for the wire. I think I pulled a muscle in my right side, which is lucky because if it was in my left side I would have thought I was having a heart attack.”

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Wesley Ward has acted as the pathfinder here for Americans over the past seven years, but his well-muscled juvenile speedballs were a world away from Tepin, a five-year-old mare who was winning her seventh successive race. She is the reigning female US champion turf horse after her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and confirmed she was a match with any miler on the planet.

And Casse did not rule out taking on all comers again, either. Tepin will now return to the US, where she is likely to be trained for the Woodbine Mile in Canada in September before she is prepared for a defence of her Breeders’ Cup tiara at Santa Anita. From there, discussions will take place with owner Robert Masterton, whose idea it was to come to England in the first place, as to whether Meydan might be on the agenda in 2017.

Tepin’s greatness is now undisputed. She faced a huge challenge after 9mm of rain has lashed Ascot since Monday night to leave the ground at its softest since 1971. It was her first test over a straight mile and Leparoux’s first ride in Europe since he left to seize his fortune in America as a young man. The fact she beat Belardo, the Locking Stakes winner, without her customary nasal strip and the anti-bleeding drug Lasix, was not lost on Masterson.

“People say Americans have to have drugs in their horses but she had no drugs, no nasal strip and nothing that everybody was worried about in the papers here,” he said. “She just performed magnificently and this is a great message to send back home.”

Another undisputed champion was forged almost two hours later when English Guineas winner Galileo Gold added the St James’s Palace Stakes under Frankie Dettori at the expense of The Gurkha, the French Guineas winner. Awtaad, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid’s runner, was third.

Profitable was an impressive winner of the King’s Stand Stakes, the sprint over 1,000 metres in between those two races to show he is a coming force in the European sprinting division.

Wednesday’s action is dominated by the presence of A Shin Hikari, who bids to become the first horse trained in Japan to win at Royal Ascot when he lines up in the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes.

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