There was more top class racing from Ascot today as the second favourite in the Prince of Wales stakes romped home to a comfortable win
Rakti stayed true to form in the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes at Ascot this afternoon.
The Michael Jarvis-trained horse demolished the rest of the field in the 10furlong race. The five-year-old, who set off second-favourite, was beaten on only two occasions last season, and his vanquishers on both occasions, Falbrav and Nayev have now been retired to stud, leaving the slot of champion older horse vacant.
Rakti stayed true to form today, his seasonal debut: he has won on all three of his previous seasonal reappearances. He was second in this race last year to Nayev, and he lived up to the hope that he would be able to go one better without such competition.
Jarvis was delighted with the horse’s performance, telling BBC Sport: “As he’s got older, he’s got stronger and he’s got the most wonderful turn of foot on this fast ground.”
Powerscourt kept up his form following victory in the Tattersall’s Gold Cup in Ireland last month. The four-year-old colt raced prominently throughout, but powered home under in the final furlong to take second.
Third place went to Ikhtyar, who came from well behind to get his best Group 1 result to date. The Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt was expected to perform well on the faster ground, and produced a tidy run to give jockey Richard Hills another good result.
Godolphin suffered yet another disappointment in what has been a season of up and downs. Favourite Sulamani looked flat throughout the race and failed to make any kind of a challenge.
His training preparation has been somewhat interrupted since his last outing in October last year, when he came home a disappointing fifth in the Breeder’s Cup Turf, not least due to a pastern infection last month which prevented him racing in Ireland as planned.
But trainer Saeed Bin Suroor is adamant that the five-year-old is a different horse to last season, and said yesterday that he thought the horse could win Ascot’s richest race even if he were not at his best. He will have to remain content with the experience Sulamani gleans from this outing, and perhaps consider returning to a step-up in distance.
Prince of Wales’ Stakes results:
1. Rakti (Philip Robinson)
2. Powerscourt (Jamie Spencer)
3. Ikhtyar (Richard Hills)