TRAINER Aidan O’Brien hailed Gleneagles as the best miler he has ever worked with after the three-year-old claimed his third Group One victory of the season on the opening day of Royal Ascot.
The dual Guineas winner justified his odds-on favouritism in the St James’s Palace Stakes, triumphing by two and a half lengths to help jockey Ryan Moore to a hat-trick yesterday.
It gave Ireland’s champion trainer a record seventh win in the race and left the Ballydoyle supremo purring at the form of Gleneagles, the son of Galileo, who remains unbeaten this season.
“I am delighted,” said O’Brien. “He is a horse who takes everything in his stride. For me, he is very like Giant’s Causeway but he has more speed than Giant’s Causeway. This horse will relax and quicken and that is what makes him a little bit different. I don’t think we have ever had a miler as good as him.”
Godolphin’s 25-1 outsider Latharnac was second, with French 2,000 Guineas winner Make Believe a distant last of the five runners.
Three-time champion jockey Moore, who also tasted success in the day’s last two races to complete a 54-1 treble, had Gleneagles fourth before urging him on through the field and past the Frankie Dettori-piloted Consort, who finished third.
“He’s a proper horse,” Moore said. “You want to ride the best horses and he’s about the best of his generation. He’s got a very good turn of foot. It was a muddling race, a bit messy early and Frankie got his own way in front but he made up three lengths there.
“He’s just a pleasure to ride and I think he’s getting better. He wasn’t stopping there. I wasn’t getting serious with him; it was hands and heels. I was delighted with him.”
Moore recorded his second win in as many races on the Willie Mullins-trained Clondaw Warrior – a horse part-owned by Gillian Walshm, the wife of leading jump jockey Ruby – in the Ascot Stakes.
He completed a trio of victories – and a double for O’Brien – on Washington DC in the Windsor Castle Stakes.
Earlier, 11-8 favourite Solow upstaged Hong Kong favourite Able Friend to win the Group One Queen Anne Stakes. Esoterique finished second in a French one-two. Solow could yet meet Gleneagles in next month’s Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.