Of all the virtues needed by a racehorse trainer, patience is arguably the most desirable. Time and time again Sir Michael Stoute has shown he has it in spades, with the latest demonstration at Royal Ascot yesterday as Telescope produced a solo tour de force to take the Hardwicke Stakes by seven lengths.
It was the most impressive middle-distance performance posted by an older horse so far this season, and the four-year-old will now try to emulate a former inmate of Stoute’s Newmarket stables, Harbinger, in using the 12-furlong Group Two contest as a springboard to top-level glory in next month’s King George VI Stakes back at the Berkshire track.
Telescope (pictured) was much fancied for last year’s Derby before a minor setback ruled him out, and after a softly-softly autumn campaign and two creditable runs in defeat this year on unsuitably soft ground, he was able to show his true, still-developing talent on the fast summer ground that suits his powerful, fluid action so well.
In the saddle, Ryan Moore kept it simple; always close to the pace set by Ektihaam and Eye Of The Storm, he went for home early in the straight and drew further and further clear. Second spot went to the 7-4 favourite’s stablemate Hillstar, who caught Pether’s Moon in the last stride.
“It probably wasn’t the strongest of Hardwickes,” said the always realistic Moore, “but I’m delighted with the way he did everything through the race. He has a real good attitude – he’s growing up all the time – and sees out this distance really well. It was a career best and he should push on from here.”
The Galileo colt, who carries the same Highclere syndicate colours as the 2010 star Harbinger, gave Stoute an eighth Hardwicke Stakes and a fourth success of the week. “If he puts up this performance again,” said Stoute, “he’ll be in the shake-up in any big race.”
Telescope and Arab Spring yesterday, plus Cannock Chase and Integral, gave Stoute the week’s trainers’ title. Moore was leading jockey, notching his sixth win on Pique Sous in the finale, the marathon Queen Alexandra Stakes. Sadly, Tiger Cliff collapsed and died after the race.
Though the five-day meeting produced 14 winning favourites, one bookmaker went home happy. Dublin-based Paddy Power, whose family own Tuesday’s King’s Stand Stakes winner Sole Power, made it a Group One sprint double when Slade Power took yesterday’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes, both horses trained by Eddie Lynam in Co Meath.