H&H at Royal Ascot: Duke Of Marmalade outruns the wind

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  • The really smart money-making move on the second day of Royal Ascot would have been to go and bulk-buy hat pins and sell them on the gate. You could have charged what you liked — we all would have shelled out gratefully.

    Every lady in the place under the age of 55 had her hand clamped to her head holding her hat on for most of the day as the wind tore through the course. And try reading your racecard, especially if there are lots of runners and the race extends over the page, one-handed in the wind.

    Champagne sales must have been down, except among those lucky enough to have three hands. Older women, hats securely pinned, looked on smugly.

    But no wind could blunt the force of Duke Of Marmalade, who was magnificent in winning the Group One Prince of Wales’s Stakes by four lengths. That’s three Group Ones — out of four runs — in two days for jockey Johnny Murtagh and trainer Aidan O’Brien, and Yeats is likely to give them a fourth in tomorrow’s Gold Cup.

    Alain de Royer Dupre proved again what a master trainer of fillies he is by taking the Windsor Forest Stakes with Sabana Perdida for France, while William Haggas’s tremendous form continued in the opening Jersey Stakes with the son of Oasis Dream, Aqlaam.

    But his favourite in the Queen Mary Stakes, Danehill Destiny, couldn’t get close to Mick Quinlan’s winner, Langs Lash, under Alan Munro. And John Dunlop trained his 34th Royal Ascot winner in Festivale, who took the Sandringham Handicap Stakes.

    Stay in touch with all the action from Royal Ascot on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s full report in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 26 June

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