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Royal Ascot

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Diamond Jubilee Stakes Result 2018: Merchant Navy wins thriller

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Posted in: Royal Ascot News

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Merchant Navy held off the late charge of City Light to seal Aidan O'Brian's first win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes since Starspangledbanner in 2010.

The race quickly became a dramatic one when favourite Harry Angel got caught in the stalls at the start, missing the start and losing all chance in the race, and reportedly returning to the stables with a puncture wound to a hind leg. 


The pace was a frenetic one thanks to American raider Bound For Nowhere, and Merchant Navy, who was having just his second run in Europe following his switch from Australia, took up the lead in the closing stages before holding off the late challenges of City Light and The Tin Man to come home in front.


Aidan O'Brien, who picked up his first win in this race since 2010, explained how Merchant Navy had exceeded all expectations in scoring. He said: “We thought that this was an impossible task for him. We knew that he was meeting the field 12 pound wrong than he was in Australia and it was a big worry for him. He was only a three-year-old being treated as a four-year-old.


"Merchant Navy was travelling very well and we knew looking at him that Ryan was very happy. I think he was hoping he would not have to get there too early on him. He got a little bit of a bump and Ryan said it took a bit of time to rebalance. We are over the moon with him."


Winning jockey Ryan Moore was delighted with the result. He said: "Merchant Navy is a remarkable horse.


"He hasn't been up here long. He has had two starts here and won them both, beating high-class fields, and he is only a young horse.


"I sat third and I didn't really want to be third. I had to go sooner than I would have liked. The race didn't really go to script for anybody I would have thought.


"I thought I would have won easier, but Bound For Nowhere leaned into me and we got very tight, so he lost his rhythm for a second.


"If I had got beat, I would have been very unlucky, but I'm delighted and it's a pleasure to be riding these sort of horses."


Merchant Navy is 3/1 from 7/1 for the July Cup at Newmarket on July 14.



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