Sioux Nation just denies Santry in juvenile speed test
Everyone knew Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore were in for another good Royal Ascot, but with three defeats and a 2-11 success at Cork in the form book not many had Sioux Nation on their shortlist.
Whether the 14-1 chance was at an advantage racing in a group of only four up the far side is a moot point, and while Moore insisted he would have won on either side Jim Crowley on half-length second Santry was equally adamant he would have won if he'd had Sioux Nation to race against.
Success for Santry on Flat racing's biggest stage would have been a career-changer for Yorkshire trainer Declan Carroll, for whom he had looked a rare talent in wins at Doncaster and York. It might have meant less to jockey Jim Crowley, the reigning champion and a regular big-race winner but it did not seem so.
Crowley said: "That's desperate. I'm so hacked off. If the other horse had been my side we would have won.
"Santry just gets to the front and thinks he's done enough. He always had everything beat on the stands' side, but he had nothing to battle with. He's a very good horse and he handled the ground, but that's the way it goes."
Carroll took defeat in his stride and there might be consolation if one of the big owners comes knocking. "I did think we had it won but then I looked across and saw the other horse just in front," he said. "We've been a bit unlucky, as he doesn't do much in front, but we're still very proud.
"He might get an entry in the Nunthorpe but he will get further. He isn't just a five-furlong horse so he might get a Middle Park entry as well."
O'Brien and Moore were winning their second Norfolk in three years following Waterloo Bridge's success in 2015, who also went off at double figures.
O'Brien said: "Sioux Nation is a big, powerful, fast horse so dropping him back to five furlongs suited him well. Ryan rode him at the Curragh and said he had raw pace.
"He was a little bit worried about the draw. He wanted a bit of cover and Ryan thought they were going to split and ended up in a small bunch, but he did a brilliant job. Scat Daddy puts a lot of pace into his horses. Pure speed is what they have."
Moore added: "Sioux Nation would have won on either side and I'd have been better off on the other side as I'd have had more horses to race against and had a lead for longer."