Dubai: Ryan Moore rode an absolute blinder aboard The Queen’s Dartmouth to win an electrifying renewal of the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, a 2,600-metre contest that signals the start of the major long distance contests on the British flat.
A winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last year, Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old prevailed by the narrowest margins in a tight five-horse finish rarely seen on racecourses anywhere in the world.
The margins separating the first four horses across the line were a neck, neck, head and ¾ lengths in favour of Moore’s Dartmouth, 2015 St Leger heroine Simple Verse (Oisin Murphy), High Jimx (David Alan), having his first run for 747 days, Godolphin’s Endless Time (William Buick) and Marmelo (Andrea Atzeni).
Dartmouth was providing Stoute with a fourth victory in the race following Snow Sky (2015), Gospel Choir (2014) and Ask (2009), and Moore a third after Snow Sky and Ask.
John Warren, The Queen’s Racing Manager, admitted that he had endured some anxious moments before the result was announced.
“I didn’t think he was going to get there, but Ryan had decided to come this side and although I don’t think he anticipated they would be as far away as they were it was another masterful ride,” he told ITV Racing.
“He’s an exceptionally brave, tough and genuine horse and it is rare to have a horse of this calibre.
“You can always depend on him to overcome adverse conditions and I suspect Sir Michael will look at the Hardwicke again. It’s always nice for the queen to have a runner at Ascot.
“I would be very surprised if he didn’t, as that’s his race,” he added.
“He’s an interesting horse because this [an extended mile and five furlongs] is as far as he’s gone. It will be interesting to see how the remainder of the season unfolds after Ascot.
“We will have to look at the opportunities. Hopefully he goes to Ascot with a real big shout.”
“He’s an interesting horse at this kind of trip and although you can ask horses that try and they give it, you can’t exploit them too much,” he added in reference to Dartmouth travelling to Australia for the Melbourne Cup later this year.
“Dubai was the plan after Canada, where it went wrong, but he had a setback which meant he couldn’t go which was a shame as it would have been nice to have a runner at the Carnival. We’ve always regarded him as nearly a Group One horse but abroad, sometimes that is enough to win a Group One.”
Moore, ever the stoic winner, said: “He felt very easy the whole way, he’s got mile-and-a-half pace, he was just doing a little too much in stages.
“He travelled beautifully and is such an honest horse, but it didn’t help that I was apart from them and he’s done very well.
“That’s his fourth Group race now, we know what he is, he’s a very honest horse.