Who Dares Wins does Marquand proud at Ascot

First winner at the big meeting for Group One-winning rider.

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Jockey Tom Marquand emulated his partner Hollie Doyle by having his first ever winner at Royal Ascot as Who Dares Wins scored in the Queen Alexandra Stakes.

Doyle opened her account on the Alan King-trained Scarlet Dragon in the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday – and Marquand only had to wait 24 hours to equal that feat with victory for the same trainer and owner, Henry Ponsonby.

It was a third winner of the week for King, but it was a close call with Who Dares Wins (evens favourite) getting home by a neck following a thrilling duel with his main market rival The Grand Visir in the final furlong.

Marquand, who had a successful winter in Australia, said: “In all honesty, the week was beginning to feel tough. I was coming in with my best ever book of rides. I’ve been every year since I was an apprentice. I kept thinking this could be it. We didn’t have the rain for Addeybb earlier in the week, and Yazaman as well.

“All have been running massive races, but they weren’t winners. It’s ultra special to get one on the board for Henry Ponsonby and Alan King as well.

“This horse was one of the catalysts that got me on the big stage as an apprentice. He’s continued to do so for the past few years as well.

“Me and Hollie came down together today. Obviously we’ll enjoy it. It’s been a great week. It’s just a fantastic way to end Ascot.

“A Royal winner is where we want success. Equally, Group One winners is what we do the job for. I’m extremely fortunate to have done both in a relatively short space of time.”

Chiefofchiefs benefited from a drop in trip to land the Silver Wokingham Handicap and strike for the first time since January 2019.

Having been campaigned over seven furlongs and a mile, connections felt this consolation race for the Wokingham later on the card was the right race to try six furlongs.

They were proved right, as the seven-year-old came with a strong late run to hit the front in the closing stages and give trainer Charlie Fellowes his second winner of the week after Onassis in the Sandringham Stakes.

William Buick bided his time on Chiefofchiefs (20-1), as Vintage Brut set the pace. Nahaarr took over and set sail for home, but he was collared in the last 100 yards.

Chiefofchiefs was in control at the finish to score by a length and quarter, with Burmese Waltz second and Nahaarr a head away in third.

Fellowes said: “That’s the worst training performance you’ll see here all week. He’s a seven-year-old yet that is the first time I’ve run him over six furlongs.

“I’ve called him every name under the sun thinking he wasn’t putting everything in, yet actually it’s all been my fault. All’s well that ends well.

“I’m over the moon for his owner/breeders, who only have a couple of mares. I know how much this will mean to them – we need people like them in the game and I’m over the moon for the lads in the yard to have two winners as the last few months have been tough.

“We put a visor on him in Dubai and Richard Mullen told us we were running him over the wrong trip so we brought him back to six. Also, he has some good runs at Ascot to his name, the track suits him like it does a lot of mine.”

He added: “To have three winners here in two years – I feel very lucky.

“We came here thinking we had two decent chances with King Ottokar and First Prophet. Those two it didn’t fall right for, but I actually had a few quid on this lad as he was 50-1 last night which was a bit insulting.”

On immediate plans for the winner, Fellowes said: “I don’t know whether Goodwood and the July Course would really suit him as they are quite sharp. He loves this track here, it is tailor-made for him as he likes being held up and ridden patiently.

“Whether Goodwood is quite the right track, I don’t know, but they do go hard there. I’m not known for training sprinters, so I need to look at the calendar to see what to go for.”

Buick said: “It’s a stiff six furlongs and in the ground it takes a bit of getting. We went a good pace which suited, we got some nice cover and the race panned out perfectly.

“He had some smart form in the book if you looked back far enough. As long as he didn’t get outpaced early, I fancied him to run well.”

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