In another day of firsts on Wednesday, French trainer Eric Libuad prepared his initial winner with the first horse he saddled up at Royal Ascot.
Libuad’s 2008 French Derby winner Vision D’etat (Chichiscastenango) grabbed another Group 1 when he came from the rear to edge out Tartan Bearer (Spectrum) in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes.
The French last won the Prince of Wales in 2007 when the Andre Fabre trained Manduro defeated Dylan Thomas by a length.
“Of all the winners I’ve had in the world this is the best one,” Libaud said. “I knew it was going to being to be difficult to come from last but I could see the horse was going well and Olivier (Peslier) had told me the straight at Ascot is long, so I was quietly confident.”
“He is a better horse this year and has grown into himself,” Libuad added. “The Arc was always going to be his target this year and he must go to the Arc with a very good chance.”
Vision D’etat is now as short as 10-1 for the Arc with English bookies. He is the best performer by the former French-based sire Chichicastenango, who was sold to stand at Shadai Farm late last year. He is by Smadoun (Kaldoun) and was a winner of the Grand Prix de Paris.
American trainer Wesley Ward struck again at Royal Ascot on Wednesday when Jealous Again (Trippi) won the Queen Mary Stakes (G2) by five lengths. The filly was coming off second spot in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Ward had prepared Strike the Tiger (Tiger Ridge) to win the Windsor Castle Stakes (LR) on Tuesday.
“Jealous Again ran brilliantly,” Ward exclaimed. “We train for speed and I thought I’d get a jump on the other trainers over here. English horses are bred to go longer and ours are bred for speed. Everything went just like we thought.”
Ward has more juvenile firepower for the remainder of the Royal meeting. Yogaroo (Bring the Heat) will run in Thursday’s Norfolk Stakes (G2), Aegean (Northern Afleet) will be one of the favourites in Friday’s Albany Stakes (G3) and Honor in Peace (Peace Rules) is set for Saturday’s Chesham Stakes (LR).
Cheveley Park Stud owners David and Patricia Thompson dominated the Windsor Forest Stakes (G2) when Spacious (Nayef) defeated Heaven Sent (Pivotal) in the 1600m event for fillies and mares.
Spacious had disappointed since running second in the 2008 English 1000 Guineas (G1) while Heaven Sent was coming off a second consecutive victory in Dahlia Stakes (G3) at Newmarket. The runner-up was also second home to Sabana Perdida (Cape Cross) in the 2008 Windsor Forest.
Spacious is the third stakes winner bred this season by Cheveley Park Stud following Heaven Sent and Lockinge Stakes hero Virtual.
The Windsor Forest winner is a rangy daughter of Nayef out of the Green Desert winner Palatial who is a half-sister to Listed winners Ice Palace and Portal.
Sheikh Hamdan opened Wednesday’s program with a G3 triumph in the Jersey Stakes (G3) courtesy of Ouqba.
The Red Ransom colt overcame a poor start to record an authoritative half-length decision. He had won the European Free Hcp (LR) at Newmarket in April but was never a chance in the English 2000 Guineas (G1) last time out on May 2.
Ouqba was the fifth most expensive yearling (140,000gns) at the 2007 Doncaster Bloodstock St Leger Sale. He was bred by Highclere Stud and is out of Dancing Mirage (Machiavellian), a half-sister to the dam of English Derby fourth Housemater.