Royal Ascot: all you need as Love is all heart to defy layoff in Prince of Wales’s Stakes

By Nicholas Godfrey

So you know superstar filly Love overcame Breeders’ Cup heroine Audarya in a tremendous tussle for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes on the second day of Royal Ascot. Here are the details, plus some other stuff you might be interested in – quotes, videos and tweets.

What’s going on?


Royal Ascot (June 16): Prince of Wales’s Stakes G1 £700,000, 1m2f, turf, 4yo+
1 Love 11-10f
Led throughout before pushed along 2f out and tenaciously holding off all-comers; gritty rather than sensational after layoff but always holding runner-up
2 Audarya 10-1
Excellent effort on seasonal debut from Breeders’ Cup winner who gave winner a fright
3 Armory 5-2
Well fancied to beat stablemate but sweated up and unfavourable track position in rear behind moderate gallop; closed but never threatening
6 ran (Lord North nr). Margins: ¾l, ¾l, 1¼l
Time: 2m06.68s (good to firm)

About the winner

Pedigree: 4 ch f Galileo – Pikaboo (Pivotal)
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Owner: Michael Tabor/Derrick Smith/Sue Magnier
Breeder: Coolmore

Background: fifth G1 success for Coolmore’s homebred daughter of Galileo as she cuts back to 1m2f on first run since last year’s Yorkshire Oaks; dual Classic winner with Guineas/Oaks double (by combined 13¼ lengths) in 2020, and also won G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at two.

On the record

Love was a first winner at this year’s Royal Ascot for Aidan O’Brien, who now has 75 career winners at the meeting – only six behind all-time leader Sir Michael Stoute on 81. She was Ryan Moore’s 63rd winner at Royal Ascot.
O’Brien was winning the G1 highlight for the fourth time after Duke Of Marmalade (2008), So You Think (2012) and Highland Reel (2017). The race is a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ contest for the Longines-sponsored Turf at Del Mar on November 6.
Like O’Brien, Frankie Dettori moved on to the 75-winner mark at Royal Ascot when Indie Angel won the G2 Duke of Cambridge.

Horse Racing Love Royal Ascot
Love (Ryan Moore) holds Audarya in Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Photo: Megan Ridgwell

What’s next? Targets and betting

Love – King George looks first choice

Aidan O’Brien: “So I think everything is open to her, the King George, the Eclipse, whatever the lads decide and whatever they want to do. We would think hard about the King George at high summer and if the ground is nice. We’ll wait for 10 days before deciding. We’ll see how she comes out of it and she has to be in the reckoning for a King George.”

Paddy Power make Love their 9-4 favourite for the King George.

Arc clash with Snowfall?

Love was cut to 6-1 (from 7) for the Arc with Coral and Ladbrokes, who both have her second favourite behind fellow Oaks-winning stablemate Snowfall with the bookmaker.

Aidan O’Brien said the pair “could maybe meet” in the autumn. “Snowfall could go for the Irish Oaks next,” he added.

Arc betting (Coral): 5 Snowfall, 6 Love, 8 Mishriff, 9 Tarnawa, 10 Adayer, 16 Al Aasy, Chrono Genesis, In Swoop, Mare Australis.

Audarya – Prix Jean Romanet/Nassau

James Fanshawe mentioned both races as possibles for the Breeders’ Cup winner after her gallant effort in defeat against Love. People say keep against your own sex but we’ve been beaten by her own sex!” he said. Audarya won the Deauville contest as a four-year-old in 2020.

Lady Bowthorpe – Falmouth/Nassau

William Jarvis nominated G1 targets at the Newmarket July meeting and Glorious Goodwood after she was second to surprise winner Indie Angel in the G2 Duke of Cambridge.

Snap reaction

Aidan O’Brien: “She’s very genuine, very brave. She will come on a lot and we are over the moon.”
Ryan Moore: “It’s only about her – she’s a very honest filly with a lot of ability.”

Any other business

Love ‘will come on a lot’ – Aidan O’Brien

Having waited for fast ground for Love’s return to action, Aidan O’Brien said the dual Classic winner will come on for the run. Ryan Moore voiced similar sentiments.

Risky business

Aidan O’Brien: “It was a little bit of a risk coming here first time with her. We knew that she was ready to run, but not cherry ripe today, so we were delighted. It was lovely to start here and beautiful ground and where better to start? But when you’re doing that, you’re a little bit vulnerable.”

Lord North absent

Last year’s winner was a non-runner due to the ground, described as “too quick” by trainer John Gosden.

Horse Racing Indie Angel Royal Ascot
Indie Angel (Frankie Dettori) wins G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo: Megan Ridgwell

Duke of Cambridge: Indie Angel rides ‘golden highway’

After Tuesday’s double with Palace Pier and Amtiyaz, John & Thady Gosden recorded their third winner of the meeting as 22-1 shot Indie Angel made the most of the ‘golden highway’ under Frankie Dettori on the favoured stands side rail.

Softer ground would have suited Lady Bowthorpe

Lockinge runner-up did best of those in the middle of the track when beaten 2½ lengths by Indie Angel. Softer ground would have suited, said trainer William Jarvis.

Shall we talk about it?

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Love: “It is an unbelievable trait to be that tough and she has it in spadeloads and multiplied by 10. Whatever you want, she is there to answer it all the time.
“Obviously this was her first run of the year and we had to be very cautious. Ryan gave her a beautiful ride and we knew that she was going to come on a lot from the run. We’d obviously would have prefered to have a run, but that’s her first time over a mile and a quarter and we were over the moon with her.
“Love is very happy at a mile and a half and as we saw today she is very happy over a mile and a quarter and she will be more suited over this trip when not having to lead like she had to today.
“She is very versatile and is a 1000 Guineas winner. She’s not short of speed, is very versatile. She gets a mile and a half and that makes the King George a possible. This was her first run and it was the first time she was asked to stretch. Love hasn’t had the miles this year running on bad ground. She has had an ideal preparation going into the summer and autumn. She is so versatile and everything is possible. I’m delighted we didn’t run on the bad ground so we saved miles on her clock which is great.
“Looking at Ryan’s body language, he hadn’t went for everything. He was trying to let her win and give her as easy time as he could. She will come on a lot.”

Ryan Moore (Love’s jockey): “She’s a high-class filly. That’s her first run since last August and she’s beaten a Breeders’ Cup winner. It was great to get her back today, I’m sure she will come on for the run. She’s a very honest filly with a lot of ability and hopefully she will come on for it and be better as the year goes on.”

James Fanshawe (Audarya’s trainer): “We’re all absolutely thrilled with the way she’s run – she’s proved that she’s progressed again from last year and she’s a really exciting prospect for this year. Obviously she’s having her first run and we weren’t fully sure how she’d run and Love is a very good filly, and it looked like we were going to give her a race.”

Aidan O’Brien (Armory’s trainer): “We’re very happy with Armory. He will relish a strong pace and he is in a great place. A mile and a quarter on fast ground, he could probably travel the whole world I imagine.”

Frankie Dettori (Indie Angel’s jockey): “She’s always had ability, but things have got to fall right – she needs fast ground, she needs cover and needs plenty of room; she doesn’t like to be crowded, and we had all three things today. Things didn’t work out at Newmarket; she was too fresh and I couldn’t hold her, she saw plenty of daylight. I didn’t know what to expect, but she took off today. Today she reversed the form for the reasons I said. She shouldn’t have been 22-1, because some of her form is quite decent.”

William Jarvis (Lady Bowthorpe’s trainer): “She’s won a Group 2 and has been second in a Group 1 and now this Group 2 today. We might see if we go to the Falmouth or the Nassau. All credit to the winner. She beat us fair and square, but I think softer ground would have suited Lady Bowthorpe.”

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