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Royal Ascot Round-up: A one-two for the boys in blue

by Aidan Elder | June 21, 2012
Frankie Dettori

FLYING HIGH – Frankie guided Colour Vision to Ascot Gold Cup glory

Aidan O’Brien was in fine form at Royal Ascot yesterday but Godolphin made the headlines with Colour Vision and Opinion Poll coming first and second in the prestigious Gold Cup.

Aidan O’Brien’s yard are in red-hot form and almost took the opener with Gale Force Ten. Instead it was Clive Cox’s unbeaten two-year-old Reckless Abandon who took the Norfolk Stakes at odds of 4/1. The colt certainly took a reckless route on the way to victory, hanging dramatically left and covering considerably more ground than the rest of the field.

It was another upset in the Ribblesdale Stakes as the well-backed Fugue was beaten six lengths by Princess Highway. The Dermot Weld trained horse was a convincing winner at 17/2 to delight the bookmakers. The Queen’s horse Momentary was ridden by Hayley Turner but never got involved and finished twelfth.

It got worse for punters in the Group 1 Gold Cup as the odds on favourite Fame and Glory was turned over. The Godolphin pair of Colour Vision and Opinion Poll had a fair old bumpy run in but came first and second. It was the old master of Ascot, Frankie Dettori on Colour Vision who won by half a length at odds of 6/1.

Thankfully by the time the Britannia stakes had finished the bookies had to empty their pockets. The well-backed 6/1 favourite Fast or Free came out on top of the 29-runner field to jubilant celebrations from the Grand Stand.

The Irish horses have been in good form at Ascot but it was a German who got his nose in front. Energizer romped home by a couple of lengths at odds of 15/2 to upset punters once again. The three-year-old colt bolting up quicker than a German running for a sun-lounger.

They saved the most exciting to last as the King George Stakes provided a thrilling finish. At the two furlong marker, upwards six runners were still well and truly in the frame for glory and by the time the winning post came, that number had only been halved. Handsome Man and Rougemont ran all the way to the line, but they were both narrowly pipped by the Mark Johnston trained Fennell Bay. With a neck and another neck separating them, you could throw a tablecloth over the trio, but it mattered little to punters who had backed the successful 12/1.

It was a mixed day for the tipsters, but BBC and Paddy Power pundit, John Parrott came out on top. He correctly identified Princess Highway as the main danger to Fugue in the Ribblesdale and was spot on with Fast Or Free – a double that returned 65/1 if you were lucky enough to back the pair.

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