There was a fairytale result for connections of one horse running at Royal Ascot today (15 June).
Oxted, who is known as Fenton at home, named after the famous runaway dog in Richmond Park who was captured on video and went viral 10 years ago, trounced his rivals to win the Group One King’s Stand Stakes by one and three quarter lengths under 23-year-old jockey Cieren Fallon. The win was a first at Royal Ascot for both jockey and trainer, Roger Teal.
“It’s a dream come true to win a Group One at Royal Ascot,” Cieren, son of former top Flat jockey Kieren Fallon, told ITV after the race. “All credit goes to Roger, his son Harry and all of the team at home. I’m very lucky to be able to sit on a horse like this – Harry does all of the hard work on him behind the scenes.
“We got a lovely trip through the race – they went a solid gallop, so I let Oxted relax and got him into a rhythm and then we were able to pick them off. It means a lot to show everyone what I can do, but I’m blessed to have all the people around me who are so supportive.”
Oxted, who won the July Cup in Newmarket last summer, was led up by Harry Teal, who was understandably delighted with the result.
“It means the world to win this – I didn’t think days could get any better than the one we had when he won the July Cup,” he said after the race. “It’s a real family affair at home – we all work hard and we all deserve this result.”
The result is even more impressive given that Oxted, owned by S Piper, T Hirschfeld, D Fish and J Collins, underwent surgery to remove an ulcer on his epiglottis last year.
“This is unbelievable, I’m speechless,” Roger said afterwards. “We’ve dreamt about these days for so long – to land a Royal Ascot Group One for a yard of our size is just amazing. I have amazing staff at home, who put in so much hard work and I’d like to thank Oxted’s owners, for supporting me too.
“We call Oxted Fenton at home as when I saw the funny video of the dog in Richmond Park, I said ‘the next horse that comes into the yard will be called Fenton, and that’s exactly what happened.”
“This horse means the world to us – he’s a star,” said Sue Teal, wife of Roger and mother of Harry. “I look after Oxted and Harry rides him every day – it’s a real team effort.”
In winning this race, Oxted overturned the mighty sprinter Battaash, who finished in fourth, behind Arecibo in second and American raider Extravagant Kid in third. Battaash, trained by Charles Hills and ridden by Jim Crowley, was returning to the racetrack for the first time since winning the Nunthorpe Stakes at York last August as he sustained a fetlock injury, which needed surgery, while wintering at Shadwell Stud.
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“He wasn’t as sharp as he has been in the past and he probably wanted the run after such a long lay off,” Jim said afterwards.
Visit Horseandhound.co.uk on Wednesday for betting tips ahead of the second day of Royal Ascot, plus read the full Royal Ascot report in the 24 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine.
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