Ahorsewithnoname gives Henderson a Royal Ascot winner

Nicky Henderson and William Buick teamed up to win the Ascot Stakes with talented dual-purpose mare Ahorsewithnoname.

Runner-up at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, the eight-year-old successfully reverted to the Flat to win at Newbury and York last season before finishing fifth as favourite for the Cesarewitch.

She disappointed in her next couple of races over hurdles, but bounced back to winning ways at Cheltenham in April and was a 7-1 shot switching back to the level at Royal Ascot.

Always travelling well in midfield, Ahorsewithnoname got a dream run up the far rail in the latter stages of the two-and-a-half-mile contest and picked up under strong driving from the champion jockey to score by a length and three-quarters from Calling The Wind.

Bring On The Night, all the rage to go one better than when second in last year’s renewal at 13-8 for Willie Mullins and Ryan Moore, suffered interference and was ultimately well beaten.

Henderson, better known as one of the sport’s leading National Hunt trainers, was winning his second Ascot Stakes having previously struck gold with Veiled in 2011.

“It’s lovely, that’s her last run. I don’t know when her time runs out, she’s in foal to Cracksman and that was always the plan. We had 90 days to run her and it seems to have done her a bit of good!” said the master of Seven Barrows.

“I couldn’t run her on the ground last year, but that rain helped. The first year she was going to go on to hurdling and I didn’t want to risk her whereas now this was going to be her last race anyway. We had nothing to lose.

“This is her last race unless the Galway Hurdle comes into her 90 days, which it doesn’t.”

He added: “There was less pressure today, and I don’t just say that because it’s a Flat race – after all it’s Royal Ascot for goodness sake and a big day in anyone’s life. But it’s not the Champion Hurdle with the pressure you get in that.

“Any race at Cheltenham is very special and any race at Royal Ascot is the same. We love having a go here.

“William gave her a beautiful ride, she had a dream run and the rain last night helped her.”

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