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Poignant victory for the Queen as all roads lead to Royal Ascot for Tactical

Tactical (near): stayed on best to win the European Free Handicap
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Five days after the death of her husband Prince Philip, the Duke Of Edinburgh, the Queen registered a poignant win when Tactical landed the Listed European Free Handicap.

Winner of the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, the Andrew Balding-trained colt is now on his way back to the royal fixture after a convincing win under Oisin Murphy.

The Queen's racing manager John Warren said: "Lets hope that this gives the Queen something to take her mind off things. It's nice to have alternative things to think about and a nice way to start the season. It was never the intention to stop having runners but there won't be any on the day of the funeral [on Saturday]."

After last year's Group 2 July Stakes winner had swept out of the Dip to sink favourite Naval Crown, Warren added: "Andrew Balding and I had been discussing with the Queen whether or not we should experiment today what his trip is going to be.

"Having won over five and six furlongs last year this was to see if he was going to be a Jersey Stakes horse, a St James's Palace horse or a Commonwealth Cup candidate for Royal Ascot.

"He's proven today that seven furlongs is no problem for him so I think it's now all roads to Royal Ascot for the Jersey."

Oberon kicks off Haggas treble

My Oberon was cut to 6-1 (from 20) with Paddy Power for next month's Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury after a convincing win on his seasonal return in the Group 3 bet365 Earl Of Sefton Stakes.

The four-year-old, who was kicking off a treble on the card for William Haggas that included Sacred's win in the Nell Gwyn, looked to be on an upward curve when coming from off the pace to put Marie's Diamond in the shade under James Doyle. 

Outsider of the four-runner field at 7-1, My Oberon will now drop back in trip for a clash with Palace Pier in the Lockinge.

My Oberon lands Wednesday's Earl Of Sefton Stakes at Newmarket

Maureen Haggas, the trainer's wife, said: "He's a lovely horse who's had plenty of work but he's a big horse so takes a bit of getting ready. Hopefully he'll have a good season as he's not many miles on the clock."

Mohaafeth later completed the treble for Haggas when winning the 1m2f handicap under Jim Crowley, who secured a double of his own having also landed the 6f handicap on Count Otto.

Williams breaks new ground

Stuart Williams broke new ground when celebrating his first ever two-year-old winner on the Rowley Mile with Desert Dreamer in the 5f maiden for fillies.

The winner carries the colours of the winning trainer's late father-in-law David Shekells which are now registered in the name of his mother Carol and Jonathan Parry.

Desert Dreamer: a surprise juvenile winner for Stuart Williams
Williams said: "I thought we'd be finishing mid-div when I arrived and heard about all the fancied ones in the race but she's done it well. It's nice to get that one on the board as I kept being reminded that we'd not had a two-year-old winner here in over 130 goes."

He added: "You'd hope she would be a Royal Ascot filly after that and we could look at something like the National Stakes or the Marygate at York as a prep."


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Tactical has proven today that seven furlongs is no problem for him so I think it's now all roads to Royal Ascot for the Jersey Stakes
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