Breakthrough win for emotional Stott as Hello Youmzain lands Diamond Jubilee
Kevin Stott wiped away tears of joy as he returned to the parade ring aboard Hello Youmzain, who provided the young jockey with a breakthrough top-level success in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Stott had ridden Hello Youmzain in last year's Commonwealth Cup but was replaced by James Doyle when he landed the Sprint Cup at Haydock last September when he was owned by Jaber Abdullah.
However, after it was announced in October that Hello Youmzain would remain in training as a four-year-old, his new owners, Haras d'Etreham and Cambridge Stud, decided to give Stott a chance.
Their faith was duly rewarded. The jockey produced a powerful finish from the Kevin Ryan-trained sprinter, who survived a late challenge to beat last year's runner-up Dream Of Dreams by a head following a photo-finish, with Sceptical taking third under Frankie Dettori.
"Getting jocked off for a higher-profile jockey happens and I feel blessed to be back on him after his change of ownership," said Stott, who could not contain his delight in the post-race press conference.
"I can't describe how thankful I am. It means everything. Kevin gave me a lot of confidence going out riding him. Fair play to the horse. He dug deep when I needed him and deserves all the credit, not me."
It was also a first Royal Ascot success for the 25-year-old, who was raised in Denmark and had once dreamed of becoming a professional footballer, spending two weeks on trial at Tottenham as a teenager. When that did not work out, Stott decided to join the family business and, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a jockey before becoming a trainer, he moved to the UK in 2012.
He began his new career at Ryan's Hambleton yard and, after moving to Newmarket, where he rode for the likes of Luca Cumani and Godolphin, returned to Yorkshire to be based with Ryan in 2016.
"He completed his apprenticeship with us," said Adam Ryan, son of trainer Kevin. "I'm delighted that he has ridden his first Group 1 for the yard.
"We've got the utmost faith in him and he's just proven how good he is on the biggest stage of all. Kevin just let Hello Youmzain find his rhythm and when it came to the end of the race he battled hard.
"He's done it the hard way but he was very impressive. He did well over the winter, matured again and his work's been good. We always thought he might be the finished article and it's great for the team.
"We'll see how he comes out the race and the July Cup is the obvious choice, but he's got a lot of natural speed and we wouldn't rule out dropping him down to five furlongs in a race such as the Nunthorpe."
Hello Youmzain, who hit an in-running price of 34 on the Betfair Exchange, was slashed to 6-1 (from 12-1) for the July Cup at Newmarket and is priced at 10-1 for the Nunthorpe with Sky Bet.
It was a landmark day for his sire Kodiac, who was also responsible for shock 150-1 Coventry winner Nando Parrado and Campanelle, who landed the Queen Mary for US-based trainer Wesley Ward.
There was a blow for Stott, who was handed a two-day ban by the stewards at Ascot for incorrectly using his whip down Hello Youmzain's shoulder inside the final furlong.
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