Queen wins in king’s shadow
After the sun king, the deluge. Those privileged to be here for the first day of the meeting will attest that the Knavesmire has rarely, if ever, taken the imprint of a greater thoroughbred than Frankel.
Yesterday, however, they experienced an obverse of the sport's glories. Both big races were run in a downpour, while darker clouds still extinguished the dazzling promise of Newfangled.
Runaway winner of her two previous starts, Newfangled started a hot favourite for the Jaguar Cars Lowther Stakes.
Barely a furlong after leaving the gate, however, her career could be presumed over.
Alarmed by a sudden loss of rhythm, William Buick desperately sought to arrest her momentum. The stricken filly, initially treated behind screens, was taken away for scans but the initial diagnosis was of a pelvic fracture.
The despondency of her connections was in poignant contrast to the delight of William Haggas, a proud Yorkshireman exiled in Newmarket, whose Rosdhu Queen filled the sad vacuum to extend her unbeaten record to three.
Rosdhu Queen was pressed by Baileys Jubilee inside the last but found extra to score by just under two lengths.
Haggas admitted this an unexpected gift on his 52nd birthday.
“That wasn't the plan,” he said. “We were going to ride her for third and hope we got lucky.”
Rosdhu Queen won her second race at Newbury only last Friday.
Haggas has given her an entry against older sprinters in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp on Arc day, though the Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster next month beckons first.
Shareta won the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, getting the better of favourite The Fugue.
The big race today is the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, in which Nocturnal Affair (3.40pm) looks value at 25-1.
Sadly, there is little evidence that connections of Frankel will heed a groundswell of interest in their champion venturing to either California or Longchamp, with Ascot in October remaining the favoured finale.
Meanwhile, Lady Wingshot bagged Group Three glory in the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary last night.