Raffle Prize lands top prize in Queen Mary Stakes


Raffle Prize lands top prize in Queen Mary Stakes
Raffle Prize rides home to win the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes on Wednesday. - Reuters

Dubai - The two-year-old filly owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai

By James Jose

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Published: Wed 19 Jun 2019, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Wed 19 Jun 2019, 11:29 PM

The UAE and Dubai had another stellar day for the second consecutive day at Royal Ascot with Raffle Prize landing the top prize on Wednesday.
Raffle Prize, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, won the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, in thrilling fashion on day two of the races at the soggy Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire.
There was drama in the final furlong with Raffle Prize, saddled by Mark Johnston, and the American raider Kimari, trained by Wesley Ward, involved in a fine duel. The presence of Godolphin's Final Song, saddled by Emirati handler Saeed bin Suroor, too added spice to the contest.
But famed Italian jockey Frankie Dettori asked for more from Raffle Prize and the two-year-old filly from Slade Power, obliged, nudging Kimari by a head, in the five-furlong affair, contested by a whopping field of 28 runners.
Earlier on Tuesday, the opening day of the races saw Blue Point go into retirement in some style with the Godolphin five-year-old defending the King's Stand Stakes.
"Of course, you come here to win," Dettori said of Ascot being an inspiration.
"My filly was very brave. She jumped good and I knew she had won over six furlongs, so when I saw Wesley's filly I decided to take her on early. I knew that if it was a test of stamina she would give in sooner or later and in the final 200 metres I saw her stride start to shorten. I knew I had her," added the 48-year-old, who celebrated his 61st winner with his trademark and flamboyant 'Flying Dismount.'
Meanwhile, Johnston said that it was a tough race.
"People always ask you in the build-up to Royal Ascot about what your chances are at the Royal Meeting. However, you can never know your chance, particularly in these two-year-old races where most of the field are effectively maiden winners. There is nothing in the race with a great deal of form to go on," said Johnston, who saddled his 44th winner at Ascot.
"All you can do is run your best horses at the right time. Coming into Royal Ascot, we thought she deserved to be here, but you don't know how good your horses are going to be in relation to the others. We thought we had a great chance and I'm delighted she has won," he added.
Final Song, the mount of two-time Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Christophe Soumillon, finished a brave third, a length behind.
Meanwhile, Charlie Appleby's Moonlight Spirit, the ride of Kerrin McEvoy, finished fourth in the Group 2 Queen's Vase. The race was won by Dashing Willoughby, saddled by Andrew Balding and ridden by Oisin Murphy.

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