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Three key lessons learned from day four of Royal Ascot

Golden Horde: another sprinting star for Clive Cox
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Cox and sprinting stars a perfect pairing

Clive Cox and sprinters is a match made in heaven, as is his enduring partnership with Adam Kirby.

All of the above was showcased once again in the Commonwealth Cup when Golden Horde won a Group 1 on his first race at three in fine style.

Plenty of trainers are a dab hand with speedy youngsters, but not all trainers have the skill, and one proven time and time again, to get young sprinters to progress with age.

Clive Cox knows how to develop a sprinter into a Group 1 star

Lethal Force and Harry Angel set a high standard to reach, but Golden Horde is well on the way to entering a scrap for the title of Cox's greatest sprinter.

Not impossible to win from far side

It has been an intriguing week on the straight track, with a general consensus that those berthed in stalls towards the stands' side were handed an advantage on the opening two days of the meeting, although any perceived draw bias did not play out in the same manner on day three, with Molatham and Onassis winning from low draws.

With the final day's bumper eight-race card featuring five sprints up the straight of more than six furlongs or less, it is important to look at events on the straight track on day four.

The Lir Jet won the Norfolk Stakes from stall one

Although three of the four winners were drawn in double figure stalls, including Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde, who ended up racing towards the stands' rail from stall ten, The Lir Jet burst out of stall one to win the Norfolk (followed by stall six and stall two), with the second and third in the Albany coming from stalls six and five.

Overall, the picture had a slightly more even look, so connections should perhaps not be completely disheartened if they are drawn low.

O'Brien comments telling about Santiago

Aidan O'Brien does not appear to have his strongest ever Derby team this year, despite Russian Emperor impressing in the Hampton Court Stakes this week.

It was therefore rather telling that, although not entirely ruling the Derby out, he largely kept the discussion of Santiago's future prospects to staying races, instead focusing on his potential for the Leger and as a Cup horse for next season.

The Queen's Vase to the St Leger is already a tried-and-tested route for O'Brien, with Kew Gardens (2018) and Leading Light (2013) winning both races for the Ballydoyle trainer. Few would bet against Santiago being able to join the pair down that familiar path.


Read more:

Golden success for Cox as Horde registers clean-sweep of royal sprints

Frankie Dettori rides 70th Royal Ascot winner as Fanny Logan swoops in Hardwicke

The Lir Jet swoops late to deny Wesley Ward's Golden Pal in Norfolk


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Not all trainers have the skill, and one proven time and time again, to get young sprinters to progress with age
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