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Heartache for Happy Like A Fool as Cox spoils party for Ward

Heartache storms clear of Happy Like A Fool to win the Queen Mary Stakes
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Wesley Ward believed he had found another speed machine in Happy Like A Fool who could deliver him a Queen Mary Stakes hat-trick, but all he got was Heartache.

On the eve of the fixture, the Coolmore partners secured a stake in the filly for what was likely to have been an significant sum.

But as fast as Happy Like A Fool was, she was no match for Heartache, who, as one of seven horses leased from Whitsbury Manor Stud by the 75-member Hot To Trot Syndicate, was a comparative bargain.

The syndicate was set up by Sam Hoskins and Luke Lillingston with 'affordable ownership' in mind, and while there have been winners with every horse they have run, there had been nothing of the calibre of Heartache.

Clive Cox: was worried about Happy Like A Fool before the race

The Clive Cox-trained filly made a winning debut at Bath in a fast time three weeks earlier and on her second start ran right away from the 10-11 favourite Happy Like A Fool in the last furlong to win by two and a half lengths under Adam Kirby.

"I was a bit worried when I saw the American filly," said Cox. "She looked pretty awesome walking round the paddock.

"When Adam was taking her on as early as he did I was a little bit concerned. He rode her with confidence, as we discussed, and he's a pretty good fellow in the saddle.

"Two-year-olds are my passion. These are the stars of the future and she certainly is. Her mother [Place In My Heart] was very quick."

Kirby said: "Heartache is good, isn't she? She's got loads of class and when she won first time out I knew she was classy, but she has come on again from there.

"She has got a big future, she's very special."

Heartache received a 14-1 quote from Betfair Sportsbook for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, in which she would meet top older sprinters, and perhaps even last year's Queen Mary winner Lady Aurelia.

"I think she could be that good but we'll see," Cox said.

Royal Ascot Tues 20 June 2017 Picture: Caroline Norris Wesley Ward gives Lady Aurelia a drink of water after she had won The King's Stand Stakes
Having won the Queen Mary last year, and with Acapulco in 2015 and Jealous Again in 2009, Ward was seeking a fourth victory in all and though defeated he was not giving up on Happy Like A Fool's career in Britain.

"We got beaten by a better filly," he said. "Our filly was up there, like all our previous runners in the race. She went to win but the winner was too strong.

"Happy Like A Fool is a big filly who's going to mature. This race should push her forward, and hopefully it won't push the winner forward. The Molecomb is the plan."

Result and analysis

She's got a big future and she's very special
E.W. Terms