Leading Light: cut for St Leger after Queen's Vase winPICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
Leading Light lands Queen's Vase for O'Brien
Report: Royal Ascot, Friday
Queen's Vase (In Memory of Sir Henry Cecil) (Group 3) 2m, 3yo
THE Queen's Vase was run this year in memory of Sir Henry Cecil, the leading light among trainers of his generation and it was Aidan O'Brien who claimed the race with the aptly-named Leading Light.
O'Brien, the dominant trainer of his generation, paid a fitting tribute the legendary Cecil. "When I started out we used to love going to the sales and getting cast offs, but the one trainer I could never improve a horse from was Sir Henry. He always got the absolute most from his horses," he said.
Settled just behind the leaders, O'Brien travelled into the race strongly, but looked like he was going to be swamped Feel Like Dancing inside the final furlong as Ryan Moore came with a powerful late charge down the outside.
But as soon as Feel Like Dancing came to Leading Light he picked up again, rallying well and seeing off the challenge comfortably by the line to win by a length and a half, with Boite claiming third.
"I was a bit worried about the trip," said winning rider Joseph O'Brien. "He's very relaxed and has a great attitude, when you get stuck into him he fights. He's very idle and was always just doing enough. It's been a great week so far."
BetVictor cut Leading Light to 6-1 (from 12) for the Ladbrokes St Leger after his impressive staying performance. "We're delighted. He hadn't gone further than a mile and a quarter and Joseph wanted to be prominent but not commit too soon. He got him to settle well," said the winning jockey.
Also on Friday
Buckingham Palace Stakes, 7f, 3yo+
NEIL CALLAN loves the Buckingham Palace Stakes and a 25-1 strike on Lightning Cloud gave him a fourth career win at Royal Ascot - and a third in the race he is threatening to make his own.
The Newmarket-based rider became only the second at this week's meeting to steer home a winner up the stands' side having broken from stall 32 hard against the rail.
The winner, trained in Yorkshire by Kevin Ryan for Hambleton Racing Ltd XVIII, was chased home by Dream Tune from stall 30 and Shamaal Nibras from stall 24.
Callan was following up his victory on Eton Forever in the 2012 Buckingham Palace Stakes which he also won in 2006 on Uhoomagoo.