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2010 Royal Ascot: Day 3 Results


Race

Winner

UK Odds

NA Odds

G2 Norfolk Stakes

Approve

16/1

25/1

G2 Ribblesdale Stakes

Hibaayeb

4/1

2/1

G1 Gold Cup

Rite of Passage

20/1

22/1

Britannia Stakes

Ransom Note

9/1

8/1

Hampton Court Stakes

Afsare

9/4

5/2

King George V Stakes

Dandino

7/1

7/1

-Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II wore a purple hat today. 

-I've read commentary from people in the past that long, marathon-type races are dull and don't pack the excitement of races where speed is at a premium.  The logic always seems to be "it's just a field that jogs around the track and then tries to sprint home for the last couple of furlongs!".  I'm not sure how anybody could still hold that belief if they saw today's Group 1 Gold Cup because that was both an absolutely thrilling race and a brilliant display of stamina by the top two finishers.

Aiden O'Brien's Age of Aquarius pulled a couple of lengths away from the Gold Cup field with a little over a quarter mile to go and looked like he might take home the top prize.  But that move was likely just a bit premature as Rite of Passage, who had sat just inside of Age of Aquarius in 3rd for much of the race, came off the rail and began a long charge to towards the front.  He pulled alongside Age of Aquarius with about a furlong to go and the two dueled all the way to the wire where Rite of Passage prevailed by a short neck.  A huge win for a horse that has spent most of his career racing in hurdles.

-Both the UK and North American players pegged Rite of Passage at about the same odds, with the North American pool sending him off at a slightly higher 22/1.   

-In the Norfolk Stakes, Excel Bolt was the only horse to run along the stand side of the course while the other eleven in the field all stayed on the far side.  Approve came through to take the top spot but Excel Bolt held on for third, a solid effort considering he was running in a spot where no one else wanted to be.

- I thought Hibaayeb was ultra-impressive in winning the Ribblesdale.  After sitting mid-pack for the first mile, Dettori moved Hibaayeb off the rail once the field was around three furlongs out.  He commenced a run inside of two furlongs and by the time he hit the final furlong he had left the rest of the field behind.  Hibaayeb coasted home under a hand ride for the final half furlong. 

North American players hammered the Goldolphin/Dettori colt, sending him off at 2/1 odds.

-The Gold Cup wasn't the only race with a thrilling finish as Afsare nosed out the Queen's horse, Quadrille, at the wire of the Hampton Court Stakes.  

There was a stewards inquiry following the race as Afsare, ridden by Kieren Fallon, appeared to come over into Quadrille which then caused that one to come into Critical Moment.  The results were left to stand but Fallon was handed a two-day ban for careless riding.