Henrythenavigator strikes again at Ascot

Henrythenavigator added a third miling jewel to his CV with a decisive success in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Already the winner of the English and Irish 2000 Guineas, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Kingmambo colt preserved his unbeaten record this term with another top-notch performance under Johnny Murtagh.

O'Brien's star had too many speed for runner-up Raven's Pass, who finished well but was no match for the 4-7 favourite.

The Henry Cecil-trained Twice Over was third.

Murtagh was always exuding confidence on O'Brien's star but his supporters suffered a few nervous moments soon after the principals entered the straight, with no obvious gap available.

One soon appeared though and Henrythenavigator shot past Twice Over in the manner of a real top-notcher.

Raven's Pass, fourth in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, travelled very strongly for Jimmy Fortune and momentarily looked set to mount a challenge.

Although he plugged on gamely inside the final furlong, suggesting his stamina is more than sufficient for mile races, the 7-1 chance never looked like getting past O'Brien's winner.

Henrythenavigator held him off by a cosy three-quarters of a length, with Twice Over a further two and a half lengths away in third.

O'Brien said: "We are delighted - he's a really special horse.

"He has speed, stamina, class and he picks up - he has a great attitude and Johnny rode him with so much confidence.

"He's a great horse and I think it's very hard to say that we'll get a better miler than this lad."

Of Henrythenavigator's next port of call, the Ballydoyle handler added: "I think all things are open to him.

"He can go down a lot of routes, this horse.

"You could drop him back (in trip), step him up or leave him at a mile - it's a great decision to have to make."

Murtagh added: "He's a great horse and he's improving all the time.

"He settles down well, he loves fast ground, he travels and he has a super turn of foot.

"I went to change my hands and got them tangled up in his mane a bit but he's such a professional horse, he was gone.

"He's an easy ride and has a great turn of foot."

Trainer John Gosden was delighted with the effort of Raven's Pass, and said: "He ran a blinder.

"The 2000 Guineas was a messy race for us but he's right back to his best.

"The winner is a fabulous horse and they've broken the track record there, which says its all.

"The owners would like to run in the Breeders' Cup Mile at the end of the year and we'll look at a programme towards that."

Ted Durcan rode Twice Over in third and had no complaints about his run.

He said: "He's run a marvellous race and we've no hard luck stories, we've just finished behind two great horses."

Twice Over's trainer Henry Cecil echoed those sentiments, adding: "He's run a great race. They went very fast and the ground was a bit fast for him too.

"Even still, he is probably more of a 10-furlong horse and has run a great race.

"We'll leave our options open now and we'll see how he is tomorrow morning."

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