Pearl divinely bright in Coronation

Royal Ascot: The Irish take the biggest prize but lend an air of Cheltenham exuberance to the Flat's more staid premier Festival; GREG WOOD reports from Ascot

For a few exhilarating minutes yesterday, Ascot was in Gloucestershire. Ridgewood Pearl had won the Coronation Stakes for Ireland, and the winner's enclosure was seized by a delight rarely seen outside Cheltenham, an exuberance so strong that even Sean Coughlan's tightly-buttoned waistcoat could not contain it.

Coughlan, Ridgewood Pearl's owner and breeder, has now brought a horse to the Royal meeting four times and left as a winner on every occasion, so it was little surprise to find joy bubbling out of him so rapidly that no one else could keep up.

"I'm the luckiest man on earth," Coughlan said with little danger of contradiction, "and I'm very lucky to be mixed up with John Oxx [the filly's trainer]. He said this morning that the going was perfect for us, and she's proved that by beating the course record."

The going was the reason that Ridgewood Pearl started at 9-2, despite her convincing defeat of Harayir, the 15-8 favourite yesterday, in the Irish 1,000 Guineas on a soft surface at The Curragh last month. From the off, though, both Ridgewood Pearl and her rider, John Murtagh, were clearly as satisfied with the fast going as the rest of her connections, and the race was over the instant Murtagh kicked on two furlongs out. Smolensk ran on into second, with Harayir a forlorn and well-beaten third.

Next it was cue Coughlan, and he did not disappoint. There was the story of his yellow and white silks, chosen to match the colours of the Pope, and of his arrival in Britain 38 years ago without even the money to buy a beer. There was fulsome praise, too, for John Oxx, and gratitude to an even higher influence.

"I always talk to God," Coughlan said. "Before I get up I talk to God, when I'm in bed I talk to God and in the middle of the night I talk to God. It has always worked very well for me."

On a more secular note, Cilldara Golf Club, near The Curragh, is the only place to be this weekend. "On Sunday we'll be having the biggest party there ever was," Coughlan said, and you felt sure that the whole world was invited.

Oxx was saddling his first winner at the Royal meeting, and he was not alone. David Loder, too, was enjoying the moment after Blue Duster's success in the Queen Mary Stakes, and the relaxed manner of her victory suggested that we will see few better juveniles fillies this season, even if the quotes of 14-1 for the 1996 1,000 Guineas are a little extreme.

Loder's strike-rate with two-year-olds this year is now 12 winners from 16 runners, but the trainer seemed sure that Blue Duster is the best of his juveniles. "There's one or two nice ones to come, but for me this filly has always been the star," he said. "She's just so laid-back and you don't know how much is in the tank."

The ease of Michael Kinane's victory on Blue Duster was matched only, surprisingly, by his later success on Realities in the Royal Hunt Cup. After following Chickawicka's lead down the far side, Michael Kinane sent Realities past Darnay, the top weight, with a minimum of fuss to win easing up by a length and a quarter.

Kinane had to work much harder on Stelvio in the Queen's Vase, but he eventually coaxed (some might say forced) Henry Cecil's runner past Double Eclipse in the final strides, having looked a lost cause three out. The treble left Kinane the hot favourite to be the meeting's leading rider, with four winners to his credit already, ahead of Willie Carson on two, and half a dozen with a single success.

One of that number is Richard Hughes, who steered Sergeyev to victory in the Jersey Stakes and started a sequence which saw an Irish jockey aboard every one of the afternoon's winners. Ireland dominated the Royal meeting in every way yesterday, and Ascot was immeasurably the better for it.

Results, page 27

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manager - (communications, testing, DM)

£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Apprenticeships

£10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an outstanding opportunity for 1...

Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum