Long absence no issue for Fujaira Prince as he streaks home in Copper Horse
Fujaira Prince had not run since Royal Ascot last year but that did not stop him making a triumphant return to the meeting.
Third in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes in 2019, the six-year-old had been off the track for 362 days prior to his reappearance in the new Copper Horse Handicap.
But the 3-1 favourite showed no signs of rustiness in the 1m6f event as he bounded to a decisive success under Andrea Atzeni.
Trainer Roger Varian said: "Andrea gave him a great ride. It looked a tricky draw beforehand but he was intent on getting out and getting a position. From stall 16 if I'd thought we be one off the rail sat second coming out of that first bend I'd have been very happy and that's what he achieved.
"He got the horse in a no-excuse position and the rest of it was pretty straightforward. He travelled well and he quickened up nicely in the straight.
"Fujaira Prince is a challenge at home, not for any other reason than he's quite a delicate horse. He obviously hasn't raced much for a six-year-old and the team at home have been working hard on this horse for a few years now. To get him here and see him win like that is patience rewarded."
Sir Busker provides Knight with emotional first Royal winner
Day two at a behind-closed-doors Royal Ascot will be one trainer William Knight never forgets, after he saddled an emotional first winner at the meeting when Sir Busker landed the Silver Royal Hunt Cup.
The Kennet Valley Thoroughbreds-owned four-year-old powered home late under champion jockey Oisin Murphy to defeat the Roger Varian-trained Salayel by three-quarters of a length with the first four home racing on the stands’ side from stalls 18, 17, 21 and 19.
Knight, who recently moved bases from Sussex to Newmarket, said: “When Sir Busker won at Newcastle that was my first runner from the yard, which is important, but that morning my father died and he was a big supporter of mine.
“So the horse has a real emotional bond to me now and to enjoy a Royal Ascot win with him is fantastic. All credit has to go to my team.
"He's tailor-made for these big mile handicaps. We'll go where the money is but the Balmoral is a good target for him."
Sir Busker was a first winner of the week for Murphy and fourth at the meeting overall.
Murphy said: "It's a very important winner. I've had a luckless few days leading up to this and my confidence has been up and down.
“There wasn't the roar of the crowd that we love and dream about all year round but Royal Ascot is very important and to get on the scoresheet means a lot.”
Day two reaction
Hampton Court Stakes
Ryan Moore, jockey of winner Russian Emperor
He was very professional and straightforward and showed a good attitude. He's got a very good pedigree, his dam was exceptional in Australia. I think he'll be a nice horse for the rest of the year. Whether he runs in the Derby will be decided down the line but he's given himself a chance.
King George V Stakes
Jim Crowley, jockey of winner Hukum
He’s got a lovely pedigree and is bred to stay. He won his maiden at Kempton from a very uncompromising position and showed that day he had plenty of ability. He was in at the deep end today but he did it nicely. Owen has done a great job with him and it worked out great. It’s been a great week so far and I hope it continues.
Owen Burrows, winning trainer
We’ve always liked him. The worry coming into this was he lacked a run and a bit of experience but he did it well. He’d done plenty of work and pleased us at Kempton last week. He was originally entered in the Derby but Jim said he did lug a little left there and he got struck into on his right hind so we’ll have to see how he is.
Prince of Wales's Stakes
James Doyle, jockey of winner Lord North
He looked quite unexposed coming into this and has gone through the grades. The vibes were pretty good from Mr Gosden’s camp beforehand. The race panned out in his favour but it was certainly no fluke and he can be a strong force in these races. He feels like a solid mile-and-a-quarter horse and he’s versatile regarding ground. Frankie and Robert Havlin gave me some great advice about how to ride him and I felt well armed. Once the gap opened he surprised me at just how he quickened. He was a joy to ride.
John Gosden, winning trainer
He's a very progressive horse. They went a strong gallop, Bangkok was given his head and there was no hiding place. The favourite missed the break which muddled the race for him but this is a proper horse. He sat out the back and he won with great authority. He could have waited even longer
He has got that turn of foot but remember he's quickening and they were probably beginning to flatten out a little bit having gone that ferocious pace. This mile and a quarter takes some getting from Swinley Bottom, it rises many feet. He's had two quick races. Let's just freshen him up, see how we are over the next ten days then make a decision about the Eclipse.
Royal Hunt Cup
Mark Johnston, trainer of winner Dark Vision
He was a pretty easy winner at Goodwood at two but has been nothing but a frustration since he changed ownership, so it’s great for Sheikh Mohammed. It was a drop in class into top handicap company and he did it so well. They went hard all the way and it panned out well. He’d been working brilliantly at home. We’ll see what the handicapper does to decide for us whether he stays in handicaps or goes back into Group races.
William Buick, winning jockey
He travelled beautifully through the race and I was always happy with the position we were in. We were tracking the right horses and everything fell into place. He ran very well at Newcastle on his return and that suggested he was getting back towards his best.
Windsor Castle Stakes
Andrew Balding, trainer of winner Tactical
He was showing a fair bit at home before his debut and learned plenty at Newmarket. We were quite hopeful and the draw looked more of a help than a hindrance. He's very professional and it's a huge thrill for all of us to have a royal winner at the royal meeting. It's very special. I think he'll be better over six furlongs but we felt the Coventry would be a much stronger race.
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