Japan Strikes in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot 2019


It was the Frankie Dettori show on Thursday of Royal Ascot 2019, with the Italian pulling off a four-timer on Day Three and coming within a whisker of striking five consecutive winners.

However, it was Ryan Moore who took centre stage on Friday afternoon, with Japan firing home in the King Edward VII Stakes and the race favourite never looked to be in any trouble in-running.

While Moore had to bring his charge out wide as the horse went for home, the Aidan O’Brien-trained runner was clearly the best in the field and accelerated away from the pack with the minimum of fuss.

Bangkok chose to take the inner route in the race and was duly rewarded by finishing second at odds of 10/1, while Eagles By Day ran a blinder to end up in third at odds of 25/1.

O'Brien, recording his 70th winner at the Royal meeting, said: "We were delighted with that. He had a lovely run in the Dante - he was just ready to go there and came forward for the Derby, where Wayne (Lordan) was delighted with him. Everything has been right with him and he's been progressing all the time."

He added: "He won't go for the Irish Derby. It's next week. The two main horses will be Broome and Anthony Van Dyck. This horse could come here for the King George or go to France (for the Grand Prix de Paris). There are a lot of options for him."

Moore said: "He's a very good horse. We think a lot of him and hopefully he will continue in this way now."

Andrew Balding said of Bangkok the runner-up: "He had no excuses, we were beaten by a very good horse. It was just a relief to see him perform better. We have got lots of options for him.

"He always looked like a very talented horse. There was no explanation for the Derby run, perhaps it was just the track. He was beaten by a very good horse, but he finished a lot closer to that one than he did at Epsom. We will look at all options and he could be a horse to look at the American turf races with. You never know if they will handle the travelling until you try it and see."

Earlier that day, it was another favourite that won the Albany Stakes, with Daahyeh obliging for jolly backers at 4/1.

David Egan pushed the horse down the centre of the Royal Ascot track and it looked as though the favourite would find one too good for it, although Daahyeh showed his class to push past Celtic Beauty and win the race.

It meant trainer Roger Varian was back in the winners’ enclosure, while Celtic Beauty was a 25/1 shot in second place and Aroha came home in third at an astonishing 100/1.

The Commonwealth Cup saw Ten Sovereigns bidding to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Japan, with Ryan Moore once again riding for O’Brien and there was plenty of money for the 5/4 shot before the off.

The big dangers in the betting market appeared to come from Jash and Khaadem, with Advertise and Hello Youzmain the other runners considered to have a lively chance of victory.

Ten Sovereigns was punted down to even money before the off and that was partly due to the success of Japan the previous day, although Ryan Moore was unable to catch the eventual winner who was Advertise.

Frankie Dettori never takes too long to ride a Royal Ascot winner and it was a perfectly-run race from the Italian who made some decent ground with four furlongs left and the horse was able to front run with no other horse able to catch him.

Ten Sovereigns failed to make the frame for trainer Aidan O’Brien, with Forever In Dreams finishing a creditable second and the horse ran a blinder over six furlongs.

Hello Youzmain was trading at odds of 6/1 and finished third despite missing the break from the stalls, with everyone then considering the Coronation Stakes.