'The world is his oyster' - Bradsell gives Hollie Doyle a third royal winner

Bradsell (Hollie Doyle) wins the Coventry StakesRoyal Ascot 14.6.22 Pic: Edward Whitaker
Bradsell and Hollie Doyle win the Coventry Stakes on day one at Royal AscotCredit: Edward Whitaker

Tuesday: Coventry Stakes, Royal Ascot

We knew Bradsell must be good, you can't win at York on debut by nine lengths and not be good, but it turns out he's a lot better than just good judging by this stellar Coventry show.

It supplied Hollie Doyle with her third Royal Ascot victory and made her the most successful female rider at the meeting, although it brought her a two-day ban for using her whip above the permitted level from approaching the final furlong.

Doyle partnered Scarlet Dragon to victory in 2020 and Amtiyaz last year, but this was her first royal victory in front of packed grandstands. There will, no doubt, be many more to come.

Sold by former jump jockey Mark Grant at the Goffs breeze-up sale in April for £47,000, Bradsell came out of stall one and ended up towards the near side, yet still won comfortably.

In fact, the outcome was never really in doubt from halfway. He must be very, very good and he even caught Doyle by surprise.

"His instant response surprised me because he can be a little bit lazy," Doyle said.

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Hollie Doyle after riding Bradsell to win The Coventry Stakes during Royal Ascot 2022 at Ascot Racecourse on June 14, 2022 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Hollie Doyle: will ride Celtic EmpressCredit: Alan Crowhurst (Getty Images)

"He turns it on at the track. I gave him a squeeze two down and he responded really, really well. From most of his work, the further he goes the better, so I wasn't too worried when I committed a long way from home as I knew he would keep galloping to the line."

He did indeed gallop all the way to the line and was always keeping the previously unbeaten Brocklesby winner Persian Force at bay, doing so by a length and a half with a neck further back to Royal Scotsman in third.

The favourite Blackbeard was unable to provide Aidan O'Brien with a tenth Coventry, finishing fifth, and neither was the late gamble Age Of Kings, backed into 3-1 at the off but was only seventh under Frankie Dettori.

Doyle was worried she was on the wrong side, but she need not have been so concerned.

She said: "I was ever so worried throughout that I was on the wrong side to be honest. However, once I got into a handy position on the girths of them, I knew the further I went, the better I would go.

"He hit the line hard and I struggled to pull him up afterwards. Off the back of that performance, the world is his oyster."

It was a second Royal Ascot winner for Archie Watson, for whom Soldier's Call won the 2018 Windsor Castle, but he also suffered the agony of having Dragon Symbol demoted from first in the Commonwealth Cup last year.

There was no doubt whatsoever about this one.

Watson said: "It's the place where all of us want to have winners. I had a third in this race, beaten less than three-quarters of a length and it is just incredible to win it now. He is a very, very good horse."

He added: "I thought the win was full of merit. Early on it looked like the near side was well ahead, I was a bit worried we were out on the wing with nothing to lead us there.

"I said to my fiancé Brodie last night whatever wins this by daylight will be a superstar, I am delighted it is us!"

'He's still a special horse in my eyes'

Persian Force surrendered his unbeaten record but confirmed himself to be a very classy juvenile.

Richard Hannon said of the runner-up: "He's run a super race. He ran around a little bit which didn't help. We came here to see if he was a good horse and he's still a special horse in my eyes, but it's always up to the horse to prove that. He's run an extremely good race and I'm proud of him."

Impressive Goodwood winner Royal Scotsman was third with joint-trainer Ollie Cole chuffed with the display.

He said: "He ran really well. He did a bit too much in front and the winner's just come past him after we've used our two-length burst. He has that in him and we had to use it a bit earlier than ideal. It's just the way it goes sometimes, but he's a very good horse."

Bradsell was just that bit better on the day. There could prove to be no shame in that.

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David JenningsDeputy Ireland editor