Aidan O'Brien had a good day at Royal Ascot today

Aidan O'Brien had a good day at Royal Ascot today

Drawing a blank on the first day of Royal Ascot is just a distant memory for trainer Aidan O'Brien after Caravaggio and Winter provided him with a magnificent Group One double today.

Having suffered an uncharacteristically slow start to the meeting, underlined by the shock defeat of dual 2000 Guineas winner Churchill in the St James's Palace Stakes, normal service was resumed thanks to two of his latest high-profile performers.

After leaving his rivals toiling in the Coventry Stakes 12 months ago, Caravaggio made his return visit a successful one when initiating a big-race double for O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore in claiming his second top-level success in the Commonwealth Cup.

Billed as the race of the week, the outcome did not disappoint and while it looked like the finish would be fought out by the front-running Harry Angel and the strong-travelling Blue Point, it was to fall the way of the odds-on favourite, who waited in the wings until pouncing late on.

Having sat well off the pace the 5-6 market leader motored past the battling Godolphin-owned pair, before moving on to claim victory by three-quarters of a length from Harry Angel, with Blue Point half a length away in third.

The still-unbeaten Caravaggio was cut from 9-4 into 11-10 by Paddy Power for the Darley July Cup, while Betway went 6-4 for the same race. RaceBets make him 4-1 favourite for the inaugural running of the Everest, the world's richest turf race, to be held in Australia in October.

O'Brien said: "We were treating it as a second-stage race. He had a lovely easy race at Naas and we knew today he would be racing against three-year-olds again and after today that he would be stepping up again against older horses. He is a very exciting horse, really.

"He was just ready to come for the next step. The lads had in their mind that they might come here and then meet older horses in something like the July Cup and then somewhere after that.

"The lads have a plan in their mind he might have a little rest, then he might go to Australia for that new race, the Everest. We had to be very conscious training him now if we want him to last for the autumn.

"I was very nervous today. I am delighted it all went well. I'd say I was worried all the way until he passed the line. Ryan was super confident on him, he put him to sleep. He had a look at halfway and saw where everybody was and what he did was a big thing.

"At halfway the two in front were good horses and he had plenty to do. He only really raced for two and a half furlongs.

"Ryan was very confident in him, he said he was just going to pop him out and let it happen and that's exactly what he did, he said he'd come there very late and that's exactly what he did.

"He's very quick - I don't think we've ever had a quicker horse."

Aidan O'Brien had a good day at Royal Ascot today

It was expected coming into the season that Winter would play a supporting role behind Fillies' Mile heroine Rhododendron. However, her position as the leading three-year-old filly was cemented in style when leading home a 1-2-3 for the trainer in the Coronation Stakes.

With victory in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas already in the locker, the former David Wachman inmate added a major success in as many races when claiming the mile prize by two and quarter lengths from Roly Poly, with Hydrangea a neck away in third.

The victory saw the daughter of Galileo become the first filly since the Mark Johnston-trained Attraction in 2004 to win all three races.

O'Brien said of the 4-9 favourite: "She's a filly who is thriving from race-to-race, she travelled well, Ryan had her in a lovely position and she's won very well.

"She's a grand, big mare and she relaxed. She was a little bit lazy early in the race, but she galloped out very strong. She's doing very well and is big and powerful.

"All roads lead to Del Mar (Breeders' Cup), but first there's a race in three weeks' time, the Falmouth, so we'll see how she is and how her training keeps going.

"She's had four races quick enough,. But she's doing well and enjoying it. She'll get further later on so we might look at races like the Nassau.

"I thought her best furlong was the last."

There were stings in the tails for Seamie Heffernan, rider of Roly Poly, who received a five-day ban for careless riding, while Derby-winning jockey Padraig Beggy, who was aboard Hydrangea, picked up a two-day suspension for using the whip above the permitted level.

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