Ascot: Gifted Master makes all for stylish Pavilion win


Gifted Master: has been cut to 6-1 (from 20) for the Commonwealth Cup

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker ( 

Report: Ascot, Wednesday

Merribelle Stable Pavilion Stakes (Group 3) 6f, 3yo

PURSUING Plan B may yet prove to be a very wise decision for trainer Hugo Palmer as Gifted Master won again and put himself firmly in contention for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Having nominated the 7f Jersey Stakes as Gifted Master’s target after his win at Newmarket last time, Palmer decided to see if he could make the most of the absence of Shalaa by sticking to sprinting with Gifted Master and he looked a cut above when making all to win this contest.

In trademark style, Gifted Master was soon leading under Pat Smullen and when push came to shove inside the final furlong-and-a-half it was Gifted Master that responded best leaving his rivals trailing in behind.

Dream Dubai made good progress from the rear to grab second at 16-1 with Gracious John, who had tracked the winner for much of the race, third at 25-1. Favourite Washington DC and the fancied C Note were never fully involved in the race.

Betfred cut the winner to 6-1 (from 20) for the Commonwealth Cup and Palmer said: “We came here to find out whether we can head to the Commonwealth Cup and unless Pat says he is a seven furlong horse, which I don’t think he will, that’s where we will go.”

Day of clues

Gifted Master was not the only Ascot runner to enhance his claims for the royal meeting, with Wesley Ward’s Create A Dream under consideration for the Queen Mary and Albany Stakes after making a good impression in the opening 5f conditions race for juveniles.

Her jockey Jose Valdivia Jnr said: “Wesley is a genius when it comes to two-year-olds and the ones that can make it over here. First time she is looking around but she was so good.

Create A Dream

Create A Dream (8): could go for the Queen Mary or the Albany

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

“I had to resort to the whip the last furlong because she was looking at the crowd, which surprised her, but she stayed on so well. She is a very nice filly.”

The card’s other conditions race went the way of the Roger Varian’s Dawn Of Hope, who won over 1m. Her trainer is hopeful she can develop into a Classic filly, with a step up in trip on the cards.

Varian said: “We would like to look at York, Newbury or Goodwood in terms of your ten furlongs Oaks trials. We would like to line up in one of them.”


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