Tote Win: £5.30 Tote Place: £2.20,1.20
Straight Forecast: £18.77 Exacta: £12.40
Jackpot: £20,072.29 carried forward to York, 18th Aug
Placepot: £426.40, Pool: £263574.12, 451.22 winning tickets
Quadpot: £46.00, Pool: £12228.33, 196.53 winning tickets
Much like the previous race, the pacemaking plan for Windsor Palace looked like it had been drawn in crayon by a child. He went off too quickly, meaning the bulk of the field ignored him, and therefore the race was not run at a strong tempo. Indeed the winning time was some seven seconds slower than standard, and although the ground looked sticky, it seems to emphasize the modest pace where it mattered. Ultimately this boiled down to a shoot-out between stablemates TWICE OVER and Midday, presumably with Prince Khalid Abdullah skipping for joy. The owner of both horses has sponsored this race for over 20 years and it was a fine sight to see him present the trophy to his racing manager Lord Grimthorpe, sling et al. Both horses were ridden patiently, happy to track the hot favourite Await The Dawn in the early stages. With four furlongs to run Tom Queally moved Midday closer to Aidan O'Brien's runner, and actually moved him into second momentarily. This was interesting as she has idled in the past, and one presumed that Queally would hold onto the mare for as long as possible. As Windsor Palace fell away, the three big guns raced in a line, and it was on the near side that Twice Over took the lead. Await The Dawn was the first to feel the whip, and the response was poor, showing no sign of the turn of foot that had been on display at both Chester and Ascot. And then there were two. Midday, with her head marginally in front of Twice Over by this point, ruined her chance by drifting to her left. She went all the way to the far rail, must have lost a length, and in doing so lost the race. Queally knows that she has a habit of doing this when in-front so presumably the jockey was more scared of Await The Dawn's turn of foot rather than this happening. A lot of credit must go to Twice Over, for while he had previously won three Group 1s, he was still considered a definite second string here. On the basis of his Duke Of York win that was fair enough, but the six-year-old was a real professional, staying straighter than the winner, and putting his head forward, and sticking it out, when needed most. He is likely to head for the Champion Stakes at its new Ascot home and the dual winner of the race will certainly be afforded more respect on that occasion. Midday may join him there, although connections will wait and see what the ground is like and also take into consideration a return to the Breeders' Cup. Whether a trip to Kentucky is on the agenda for Await The Dawn might well be in question now, although one swallow doesn't make a summer. O'Brien suggested that he had left the horse slightly short of fitness with America in mind, but it will be interesting to see the noises coming out of the camp following this run. All the hype suggested that he could be the next big thing, and he might still be, however all of his wins can have holes picked in the form and he now has something to prove, especially at the top level. Zafisio, who doesn't appear to have grown much since his excellent days as a juvenile, was held-up but when the big three went on he never looked like hanging onto their coat tails and was a soundly beaten fourth.