The victory emphatically reversed the result of the Qatar Prix du Moulin (Fr-I) at Longchamp earlier this month, when Darjina trounced a classy field of older horses that included Ramonti. Darjina struggled over the soft turf at Ascot and was never a factor, finishing last.
Godolphin had entered a pacemaker for Ramonti in the form of Blue Ksar, but due to a bad break, that colt was never able to do his job. Duke of Marmalade, one of two Aidan O’Brien runners, took the initiative under Mick Kinane and set a good pace for the first six furlongs.
Frankie Dettori had Ramonti running in second, drafting directly behind Duke of Marmalade. The Godolphin star shot to the front with two furlongs left and quickly opened a two-length advantage on the field.
Favorite Excellent Art, who had been held up toward the back of the field by jockey Jamie Spencer, unleashed a furious run in the final furlong. The son of Pivotal had been left with too much to do, however, and came up a half-length short of catching Ramonti at the wire.
Duke of Marmalade refused to throw in the towel, and rallied again to save third, another half-length behind. Time for the mile was 1:42.45.
When asked about Ramonti’s future after the race, Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said, “He’s had a tough six months and probably has done enough. Sheikh Mohammed has the call, but Monmouth Park and the Breeders’ Cup probably would not suit him. There is Hong Kong, and he will stay in training next year.”
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