Clive Cox hopes to have found Golden bullet and targets July Cup for Group One Commonwealth Cup winner
- Trainer Clive Cox hopes to have found his fastest rider yet at Royal Ascot
- Golden Horde won the Group One Commonwealth Cup on Friday afternoon
- Golden Horde has same box in Lambourn stable previously home to Lethal Force
Trainer Clive Cox deals in speed and he might have found his fastest bullet yet in Group One Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde.
The Adam Kirby-ridden 5-1 shot cruised into the lead at half-way in the six-furlong race and while Frankie Dettori tried to reel him in on Wesley Ward’s US challenger Kimari they were always being held by the length-and-a-half winner.
Golden Horde occupies the same box in Cox’s Lambourn stable previously home to his sire Lethal Force and the equally speedy Harry Angel. Lethal Force won the Group One July Cup at Newmarket in 2013 and Harry Angel in 2017 and that race will be the next step for Golden Horde.
Adam Kirby and Golden Horde (right) win the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot
Coral make him 4-1 joint favourite with this afternoon’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes favourite Sceptical.
Cox, who trained Golden Horde to win last season’s Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood as well as being placed in the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes, added: ‘We always trained him last year with the knowledge that with the right sort of behaviour he would be a better horse this year.
‘I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s ahead of where Lethal Force was at this stage in his career.’
Kirby added: ‘I kept it uncomplicated. He has a very high cruising speed and is quite a special horse.’
Aidan O’Brien’s Lope Y Fernandez, the 100-30 favourite, was unable to strike a blow, perhaps finding the task too arduous coming a week after his Irish 2,000 Guineas third.
An even bigger disappointment was Roger Varian-trained Pierre Lapin, who was eased down last of 16.
On a day of speed tests there was more frustration for Ward as Golden Pal was caught in the final strides of the Albany Stakes by Michael Bell-trained The Lir Jet.
The win was a feather in the cap of champion jockey Oisin Murphy, who had recommended to his boss Sheik Fahad Al Thani that he buy the colt after it won on its Yarmouth debut.
The Group One Prix Morny could be a target for The Lir Jet and that might mean a clash with Karl Burke’s six-length Albany Stakes winner Dandalla.
The filly gave jockey Ben Curtis his first Royal Ascot winner and drew favourable comparisons from Burke with his six-time Group One winning filly Laurens.
Tim Easterby’s Art Power, clear-cut winner of the Palace of Holywoodhouse Handicap under Silvestre de Sousa, could have a mighty rival in his sights in Battaash if he lines up in the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and the Nunthorpe Stakes.
But Easterby is not daunted. He said: ‘He might meet Battaash but I’m not too worried actually. He is a machine.’
Frankie Dettori made it three wins for the week and 70 royal meeting winners in total when bringing John Gosden’s Fanny Logan from last to first in the Hardwicke Stakes. Only Lester Piggott (116) and the late Pat Eddery (73) have ridden more.
Fanny Logan could return to Ascot next month for the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes and a potential clash with stablemate Enable.