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'Special' Berkshire Shadow lands long-running gamble for ecstatic connections

Berkshire Shadow wins the Coventry Stakes
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A childhood dream and a substantial gamble were realised for owner Paul Spickett after Berkshire Shadow burst through late to land the Coventry Stakes under Oisin Murphy.

Spickett confirmed he had been putting £1 each-way at 22-1 on Berkshire Shadow – who cost just 40,000gns at Tattersalls in October – in the two months running up to Royal Ascot following the son of Dark Angel's debut victory at Newbury in April.

"We got 22s for a long time," he said. "So I think we will be able to buy a cheap bottle of champagne or two later on today no doubt.


Watch the Coventry Stakes replay


"As the years go by I’m getting a little bit more careful about what I think because every time I get a winner I think it’s going to win every race, but I thought he was something special after Newbury.

Berkshire Shadow and Oisin Murphy win the Coventry Stakes

"I work hard with all my guys and we work on the shop floor, so to speak, but when I get the odd hour off at night I’ve been putting my little wager on at nice odds so it’s been good.

"This is amazing. From 12-years-old I've wanted to own horses and this is just a brilliant, brilliant day. To be told seven years ago that I'd even have an Ascot runner would be more than enough but to have a winner is unbelievable."


Coventry Stakes expert jury: 'He would have gone close with a better draw and is one to take out the race'


Spickett was on hand to savour the victory in the company of his wife, 12 months after the pair had watched Berkshire Rocco, their first Royal Ascot contender, finish runner-up to Santiago in the Queen's Vase.

"We had our first Royal Ascot runners last year, so we decided to get all dressed up at home with nowhere to go and we had a second in the Queen’s Vase," Spickett added. 

"That was amazing but to win this is just phenomenal. Andrew [Balding, trainer] and I found him at Tattersalls and we were worried he was too cheap. It turns out that too cheap is good enough." 

Berkshire Shadow: Oisin Murphy is all smiles after Coventry success

For Murphy, the success must have tasted all the sweeter after he was removed from the ride aboard subsequent Derby winner Adayar at Epsom earlier this month. 

"I'm so thrilled for everyone involved," the jockey told ITV Racing. "This is a special horse. He's a star. That's an incredible performance for a second start. He's got to have a big future.

"He's big and immature to look at but he has a very big future ahead of him after what he's just done at Royal Ascot."

The winner was given a quote of 25-1 for next season's 2,000 Guineas by Paddy Power, and Murphy added: "One step at a time but his dam stayed a mile. This is a great result for Kingsclere."

The 11-1 winner was played late by Murphy, making a move up the stands' rail inside the final furlong before holding on for victory by a length and a quarter from 66-1 shot Eldrickjones, whose jockey Danny Tudhope was not as shocked as many bookmakers to see his mount run so well.

"Eldrickjones is a horse that we liked a lot at home, so this performance was no surprise," he said. "I'm delighted with him, he's still a baby, is raw and green. There's still lots of improvement in him."

Vintage Clarets rounded out a big-priced tricast at 25-1 for Richard Fahey, with the Donnacha O'Brien-trained Masseto a further neck  back in fourth.


Read more from day one of Royal Ascot 2021

Palace Pier gets Frankie Dettori off to a flyer with Queen Anne success

Late plunge pays off as Cieren Fallon and Oxted lower colours of Battaash

'Exactly what I was expecting' - Bolger delight as Poetic Flare runs riot

Reshoun causes 66-1 surprise for Ian Williams and William Buick


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To be told seven years ago that I'd even have an Ascot runner would be more than enough but to have a winner is unbelievable
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