Bridge too far for Norfolk rivals
Ryan Moore continued his domination at Royal Ascot after clinching a topical success aboard Waterloo Bridge in the Norfolk Stakes.
In a race which was expected to be fought out between the Richard Hannon-trained pair of favourite King Of Rooks and his chief market rival Log Out Island, Moore stole the limelight once more aboard the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt.
It was his sixth winner at the meeting on the day commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
Both Log Out Island and King Of Rooks were smartly away with the former holding the early initiative from his stablemate, with Moore content to adopt a more patient approach on the 12-1 shot, anchoring him closer to the rear of the field.
As the race developed it looked to be turning into the battle that everyone expected, with little from in behind picking up except the eventual winner.
Having sat waiting in the wings Moore pushed his mount past the duelling duo deep inside the final furlong before going on to score by half a length from Log Out Island, with King Of Rooks the same distance away in third.
O'Brien said: "He was always a very fast horse at home and always travelled very strong in his work.
"He used to get there (the front) and swerve a little bit. The last day in Tipperary he came through and won very easily and I had a hood on him and Joseph (O'Brien) said he was ready to have the hood off.
"He wanted a fast pace and like all those Zoffanys he has a lot of natural speed and he travelled very strong.
"Ryan gave him a great ride. He came with a lovely clear run and got there late on him, we're delighted.
"He's a fast horse and fast horses usually want fast ground.
"We could go to Goodwood or somewhere like that."
Moore, who matched his tally at the meeting from 12 months ago, said: "The strong pace suited us, but to be fair to this horse, he'd probably never run on quick ground and it's brought about improvement. He's been running on soft ground and not enjoying it.
"This horse looked magnificent, every one of Aidan's this week has run great and you can never discount them.
"He's a good horse and gave me a great feel the whole way. He had a little look when he got to the front, but he's been produced in terrific shape. He travelled like the best horse in the race and when I asked him to win it he went."
As for the Hannon, he felt his pair may have gone too hard out in front.
He said: "They both ran good races. Log Out Island will get six furlongs.
"They might have gone a bit quick and set it up for the winner."
Harry Herbert, racing manager to Al Shaqab Racing, owners of 11-8 market leader King Of Rooks, shared a similar opinion.
He said: "Sadly they cut each other's throats.
"Frankie (Dettori), wonderfully honest, said 'sorry'. They took each other on and went too quick."