Norfolk hero Reckless Abandon "just a big baby" - winning rider Adam KirbyPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Reckless Abandon wins Norfolk in erratic style
Report: Royal Ascot, Thursday
Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 5f, 2yo colts and geldings
DESPITE swerving violently left across the track in the final furlong, Reckless Abandon (Clive Cox/Adam Kirby) took his career record to two victories in as many starts in the Norfolk.
Sent off 4-1, the son of US-based stallion Exchange Rate badly needed the stands rail to straighten him out when he drifted out wildly in the closing stages as he mounted a challenge in a race where the field split in two.
But he did enough to take the £75,000 event by about a length from Ballydoyle's 8-1 shot Gale Force Ten, who had taken control in the faster group on the opposite side of the track just before the furlong marker.
Ian's Dream shaded third from Morawij, while Ahern jumped poorly and did well to take fifth. However, favourite Cay Verde found himself marooned in the slower group side away from the pace while Mister Marc ran no sort of race and failed to frank the Dawn Approach form.
Reckless Abandon, who had made a winning debut at Doncaster last month, was a first victory at the meeting for jockey Adam Kirby.
"I thought he was coming here with a decent chance and now he's won I'm delighted," he said. "He's obviously given away a lot of ground but he's just a big baby and he'll be sorted - he's very, very special."
Kirby, who had also ridden Reckless Abandon at Doncaster, was prepared for him to wander about - though perhaps not to the extent that he actually did.
"I knew what he would do - I felt him going," he reported. "I just gave him a click him to bring him over to the right and keep him away from the crowd on the left but as soon as I went for him, he ran left straight away."
New Seeker provided both Lambourn trainer Clive Cox's previous Royal Ascot victories, landing the Britannia in 2003 and coming back two years later for the Royal Hunt Cup.
"I'm really thrilled," he said after Reckless Abandon's success. "He's still a green horse and ideally in a perfect world in a normal spring we would have had a couple of runs under our belts before coming here as most of ours improve with racing.
"I'm over the moon," added Cox. "It's been a great team effort to have the horse in this sort of order. He's very talented and Adam Kirby has done a great job."