Duke of Marmalade justified his heavy favoritism by powering to an emphatic four length victory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 18.
The 4-year-old son of Danehill has now captured three straight group I races in three different countries this year.
As expected, Red Rock Canyon went straight to the front under Seamus Heffernan. He quickly established a clear lead on the field, with stablemate Duke of Marmalade content to rate in fourth behind Petara Bay and Pressing.
As the field entered the home stretch, the Michael Jarvis-trained Pressing took command, with Duke of Marmalade hot on his heels. Once Johnny Murtagh got Duke of Marmalade switched to the outside the response was instant, and the pair drew off to win easily.
Phoenix Tower rallied strongly to just grab second in the final strides, nipping Pipedreamer by a short head.
Final time for the 10 furlongs was 2:05.35 over a turf course rated as good to firm.
An elated Aidan O’Brien told reporters after the race, “He’s an unbelievable horse, he’s the real deal.”
O’Brien continued, “He had pins in his legs last year, and he had bad fractures in his legs after Goodwood as a 2-year-old. Last year we were never really able to train him as he was semi-lame all the time.”
Murtagh added, “He’s up there with the best horses I’ve ever ridden, and today was the big target.”
Duke of Marmalade is owned by Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor, and was bred in Ireland by Southern Bloodstock. He is out of the Kingmambo mare, Love Me True, and hails from the female family of A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, and Lemon Drop Kid .