Aussies 'Blast' to Victory in King's Stand

Australia claimed the King’s Stand Stakes (Eng-I) for the fourth time in seven years as Scenic Blast produced a superb turn of foot and rocketed to a three-quarters length victory in the five-furlong contest at Royal Ascot June 16.

Breaking from post 15 on the far outside, Scenic Blast was held up toward the rear of the field by jockey Steven Arnold. The 5-year-old horse effortlessly moved into contention three furlongs out, while still traveling widest off all. Scenic Blast took command inside the final furlong, and won easily while being geared down.

Fleeting Spirit came with a late flourish but couldn’t get past the winner, settling for second in what was her first start of the year.  Anglezarke, a 3-year-old daughter of Acclamation, finished a surprising third, 2 3/4 lengths behind Fleeting Spirit.

The final time for the five furlongs was :59.54 over the turf rated ‘good to firm’.

Scenic Blast is trained by Daniel Morton, who has a stable of around 30 horses in Perth, Australia. The King’s Stand represented the first time racing in Britain for both trainer and jockey.

Scenic Blast landed the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, the Coolmore Lightning Stakes (Aus-I) at Flemington in January.  By winning the King’s Stand, he joined fellow Aussie runners Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006) and Miss Andretti (2007) in completing that racing double. 

The third race in the series is the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I), run on closing day at Royal Ascot. Morton has indicated that Scenic Blast will skip that race and point to the Darley July Cup (Eng-I) at Newmarket next month.

Arnold, who at 5’9” is one of the tallest jockey currently riding, will head back to Australia before returning for the July Cup. He told reporters after the race, “It is the highlight of my career at this stage, to come away from your comfortable surroundings at such a great event and get on such a good horse.

“It’s extraordinary. I know how tough it is to succeed here and to be lucky enough to get on a really good horse, to sit and steer him down the straight was pretty good.”

Scenic Blast is a 5-year-old dark bay/brown horse by Scenic, out of Daughter’s Charm, by Delgado. He was bred in Australia by Durham Lodge Thoroughbred Stud, and is owned by Elio Anthony Galante and partners.

Paco Boy Powers to Victory in Queen Anne

In the first of three group I races on the day, Paco Boy blew away some of the world’s best milers by capturing the Queen Anne Stakes (Eng-I) by a widening 1 1/2 lengths under Richard Hughes. The win was the first of three on the card for Hughes, who later added the Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) and the Ascot Stakes to his opening day haul.

Gladiatorus, making his first start since his impressive 3 1/4-length win in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-IT) in March, went right to the front and set a quick pace under regular rider Ahmed Ajtebi. Gladiatorus soon opened up a four-length lead on the field but never was able to relax, and threw in the towel with two furlongs left.

Paco Boy took command with just over a furlong to go, and had plenty left in the tank to hold off the late-running Cesare. Aqlaam got up for third, another half-length further back.

Final time for the eight furlongs run on the straight course was 1:39.31.

Trainer Richard Hannon indicated that Paco Boy will now be pointed to the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) at Glorious Goodwood for his next start, with a defense of his title in the Prix de la Foret (Fr-I) at Longchamp also on the agenda.

Paco Boy is a 4-year-old bay colt by Desert Style out of Tappen Zee, by Sandhurst Prince. He was bred in Ireland by Joan Browne and races for The Calvera Partnership.