Father Time strikes Ascot gold for Cecil

Father Time gave Henry Cecil his 71st Royal Ascot winner when streaking away with the King Edward VII Stakes today.

Father Time gave Henry Cecil his 71st Royal Ascot winner when streaking away with the King Edward VII Stakes today.

Always travelling sweetly for Eddie Ahern, who came in for the ride as stable jockey Tom Queally picked Native Ruler, the 9-1 chance quickened up in the style of a really smart colt.

Jeremy Noseda's Your Old Pal and Dante winner Black Bear Island gave chase but Father Time was four lengths clear at the line.

John Gosden's Debussy set a really stiff early gallop, which was pursued by Hail Caesar and Native Ruler.

However, Ahern was spotted from some way out as travelling best of all.

After kicking clear two furlongs out, the race was essentially over as a contest.

While the placed horses emerged with credit, especially Black Bear Island, who had a penalty, there was only one horse in it at the end.

Father Time was given a 6-1 quote by Ladbrokes for the St Leger at Doncaster.

Cecil revealed that the Doncaster Classic will now come under consideration.

"I thought both horses had a good chance, and I thought this was my best chance of winning a race," said the trainer.

"He wants a trip and is a full brother to Passage Of Time, who didn't really get a mile and a half, but it looks as though he (Father Time) gets it really well.

"I hadn't really thought about the Leger, but we can think about it.

"It's always good to win at Ascot. I've had a few lean years, but they've ran well this week."

Ahern added: "They went a good gallop, he had a good draw and we have come off the rail like Mr Cecil wanted us to do.

"Then it was just a matter of straightening out, getting the right lead, and off we go.

"The horse wasn't stopping going to the line and after the line he galloped on really well so I'm sure a mile and six furlongs (the Leger trip) would be no problem."

Jeremy Noseda said of Your Old Pal: "That was a solid run, and I have no complaints.

"I came here thinking if he stayed the trip he'd be third or fourth, but he's finished second so I'm delighted.

"He's run the best race of his life and has done all I could have asked.

"The Gordon Stakes is an obvious race to look at, but I have the Arlington Million and Secretariat Stakes at the back of my mind, so we'll sit down with the lads who own him and make a plan."

Aidan O'Brien was thrilled with the performance of Black Bear Island, but ruled out a tilt at the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July.

He said: "We might give a little bit off time off after two quick runs, and the Eclipse is too soon for him."

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