(Reuters) - Richard Hughes took the big-race riding honours on the first day of Royal Ascot on Tuesday with a brace of Group 1 winners in the Queen Anne and then King’s Stand Stakes.
But he failed to make it a treble when Kingman swept past his mount Night of Thunder to take the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Kingman had been beaten by Night of Thunder in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May, but gained some compensation with victory in the Irish equivalent.
Compensation turned to revenge over Ascot’s round mile as James Doyle delivered the John Gosden-trained colt with a withering run after Hughes had tried to win the race from the front.
“They can’t go quick enough for him,“ said Doyle. ”He has such a good cruising speed and a potent turn of foot. Despite losing at Newmarket, I always took the opinion he was a better horse.”
The Queen Anne Stakes opened the meeting and hot favourite Tornado did not disappoint, beating Verrazano by three-quarters of a length with French raider, Anodin third.
“He is every bit as good a horse as we’ve ever had” said trainer Richard Hannon Jnr. “He is the real deal and has shown a massive turn of foot today.”
Sole Power, trained in Ireland by Edward Lynam, won the King’s Stand Stakes for the second successive year - the first horse in 80 years to win it back–to-back.
“He was the best horse in the race” said Lynam. “I’m very proud of him and he will run again on Saturday in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.”
Reporting by Andrew Nutting, editing by Tony Goodson