Coltrane gained Royal Ascot revenge on Courage Mon Ami as he delivered a decisive blow in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes.
A standing dish in the top staying contests, Andrew Balding’s Sagaro Stakes winner had to play second fiddle to John and Thady Gosden’s new staying star in the Gold Cup at Ascot, but came home strongest this time around to go one better than last year.
Both Coltrane and Courage Mon Ami had no answer to front-running Quickthorn in the Goodwood Cup most recently and the defending Lonsdale Cup champion found himself in his customary position at the head of affairs as the runners rounded the first bend.
Although Frankie Dettori had Courage Mon Ami anchored in rear, the field as a whole were keen not to give Hughie Morrison’s charge too much rope on this occasion and Oisin Murphy in particular took up a stalking position travelling smoothly in mid-division.
Tom Marquand upped the tempo aboard Quickthorn swinging the turn for home but the pack were wise to the move and soon a whole host of contenders emerged to lay down their challenge.
Murphy hit the front abroad Coltrane (11-4) passing the two-furlong pole and although Yorkshire Cup winner Giavellotto and Courage Mon Ami refused dug deep in the closing stages, Coltrane finished full of running to register a one-and-a-half-length success over the staying-on Gold Cup winner, who edged out Marco Botti’s four-year-old for the runner-up spot.
It was a bittersweet win for the Baldings who saw their other runner, Nate The Great, pull up sharply.
Balding’s wife, Anna Lisa, said: “Hopefully the other horse will be OK. They’ve put a compression boot on him and taken him back to the stables. The vets are there and they are doing what they can.
“That was fully deserved for Coltrane, though, he is adored by everyone.
“He’s been incredibly consistent. At Goodwood Tom gave Quickthorn such a great ride he fully deserved that, but it was his turn today and he’s done it in brilliant style.
“I’m thrilled to win another Group Two for Mick and Janice (Mariscotti) as they have been incredibly patient.
“He had surgery two years ago, he hasn’t looked back but that is why he doesn’t go to Australia.
“He’s like a pet, he’s adorable. I think it will be Ascot (Champions Day) next as he ran so well in the race last year.”
Dettori said of the second: “He wasn’t keen actually, it took him a while to warm up and then he came good.
“The penalty and the half a mile less made Coltrane a better horse than me.
“We didn’t let Quickthorn go today, that made a big difference. That was the right result today – Coltrane and my horse, first and second in the Gold Cup and first and second today.
“The Prix du Cadran over two and a half would be tailor-made for him and I guess he’ll come back for the Gold Cup next year without me!”
John Gosden added: “He just ran out of track a bit, but at the end of the day look at the form of the Gold Cup and he had a 3lb penalty.
“The 3lb over two miles looked the difference. All being well he will go for the Cadran now, over two and a half miles, his favourite (distance), then we’ll put him away and all being well we’ll bring him back for the Gold Cup next year.”