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What we learned from day three of Royal Ascot

Mohaafeth: looks more speed than stamina on Thursday's evidence
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David Loughnane heading to the top

How good is David Loughnane? The trainer has saddled just three runners at Royal Ascot this week, returning a winner and two seconds, which is a remarkable strike-rate by anyone's standards.

Loughnane enjoyed his first winner at Royal Ascot when Lola Showgirl led home a one-two for the stable in the Kensington Palace Stakes on Wednesday, and he went mighty close to doubling his tally when Go Bears Go was second in Thursday's Norfolk.

The fact is that Loughnane knows what he is dealing with. He likes to ride his horses at home to gauge their ability and punters can have confidence when he targets the bigger meetings and races that he is not tilting at windmills.

He has only been training since 2016 and enjoyed his first Group-race winner with Santosha at Ascot last July. With the momentum behind him, Loughnane is heading only in one direction.

His mantra is quality over quantity and he is determined for his stable not to get too big. He likes to give his horses individual attention and on the evidence of the results he is getting, it works.

His final runners of the week come on Friday, with both Dark Pine and Caroline Dale potentially overpriced based on results so far this week.

Speed could be Mohaafeth's greatest weapon

Not everyone agreed with William Haggas and his decision to withdraw Mohaafeth from the Derby earlier this month, but the manner of his Hampton Court Stakes win on Thursday seemed to vindicate the esteemed trainer.

Soft ground was the main concern at Epsom but there were signs that Mohaafeth wanted more pace to aim at and it must have been doubtful that he'd have settled and seen out the mile and a half at Epsom, especially with ease underfoot.

Of course there is only one Derby but Classics take time to recover from, and it was a brave but smart call from Haggas in the end.

Mohaafeth: has won all four of his starts this season

Mohaafeth, who drifted towards the rail in the closing stages, reminds me a little bit of Roaring Lion, who didn't get home in a Derby but came back in trip to win races like the Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Juddmonte International over 1m2f and the QEII staged over a mile.

He's not in that calibre yet but I'd love to see Mohaafeth in the Juddmonte down the line, where Jim Crowley can sit and wait to pounce down York's long home straight. Based on the way he travels, he could even do a Roaring Lion and come back to a mile at some stage.


Mohaafeth and Jim Crowley survive stewards' inquiry after late in-running drama


Gold Cup repeat awaits Subjectivist

It is easy to get caught up on what happened in behind but that should not detract from Subjectivist's demolition job in the Gold Cup and, providing he stays fit and healthy, there is no reason to think he won't be able to follow up next year.


It's four for Mark Johnston - not Stradivarius - as Subjectivist strikes gold


He has gone to the next level over staying trips and simply tanked through the race before quickening off the front. It was a similar story in the Dubai Gold Cup and being so uncomplicated, added to his growing penchant for extreme trips, is going to make him hard to beat in races of this nature.

Subjectivist: a dominant winner of the Ascot Gold Cup

He was not stopping at the line and is well equipped to emulate Royal Rebel, who won the Gold Cup in 2001 and 2002 for Subjectivist's trainer Mark Johnston. Who knows? Perhaps he can do a Stradivarius and win three.


Read more from day three at Royal Ascot:

Expert jury: Who would come out on top if Subjectivist and Stradivarius meet again?

Mohaafeth and Jim Crowley survive stewards' inquiry after late in-running drama

'I'm getting on so I can enjoy them a bit more now' – dream come true for Havlin

'I'm lucky to be here' – Perfect Power Norfolk win proves emotional for Hanagan

Hector Crouch enjoys Royal Ascot breakthrough with Surefire in King George V

Lee Mottershead: Hanagan is built of cement but needed to be even harder to make amazing comeback (Members’ Club)


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His final runners of the week come on Friday, with both Dark Pine and Caroline Dale potentially overpriced based on results so far this week
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