John Gosden was full of praise for both Frankie Dettori and new St Leger favourite Gregory, after the magical Italian secured the first winner of his final week at the showpiece meeting courtesy of the heavily-backed Queen’s Vase victor.
Just for a moment it looked like Gregory could be picked off by Saint George when challenged in the closing stages, but the son of Golden Horn found more for pressure and was ultimately well on top as he passed the post with a length and a half in hand, giving his rider a 78th Royal Ascot success.
Gosden said of his completely unexposed winner: “That was a dominant display, he broke well, Frankie got a good position and then he was able to control the pace. When the second came to him he’s gone away again.
“He’s a class horse, we’re aiming for the St Leger and I told the owners before. All being well, touch wood, he might be a Cup horse next season.
“He’ll need to run somewhere before the Leger, so he’ll go in one of the trials. I trained the father (Golden Horn) and the mother (Gretchen), so I know the family very well.”
He added: “It’s absolutely great, Frankie won it in the first furlong because he got him out and got the position. That bend comes very quickly.
“The owners, Wathnan Racing, are new to the yard and that is only their second ever runner at Royal Ascot, so it’s not a bad way to start.”
Thady Gosden said: “He’s a horse who has only ever run twice in his life. He is still very inexperienced as we know. He has improved with every start, it was a bit uncertain today as with the one-mile-six start you’re straight into the bend and whether the horse broke well and would have the nouse to get a good position.
“But obviously he got up there and took the lead, Frankie rode the fractions perfectly, he picked up very well in the straight and kept on finding.
“He obviously never ran last year at two, but he always looked a nice staying colt for this year. He’s by Golden Horn, out of Gretchen, a very good family for this sort of distance and possibly further. He’s also a horse who likes top of the ground as well, so it’s all worked out.”
On where the horse will go next, he said: “We shall have to see, and see how he comes out of it. The ultimate target we are looking at is the St Leger and we will see where we go before that – possibly drop him back in trip.”