Danny Tudhope delivered Rogue Millennium with a perfectly-timed challenge to secure a popular success in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial last season, Tom Clover’s stable star (10-1) had since been placed three times at Group-race level, most recently going down by half a length to Free Wind in the Middleton Stakes at York.
Despite having never previously run over a mile, members of The Rogues Gallery syndicate boldly supplemented her for this Group Two last week – as they had the Oaks at Epsom after her Lingfield success – and were handsomely rewarded in the Berkshire sunshine.
Rogue Millennium travelled strongly in midfield for much of the way before being unleashed inside the final furlong, where she picked up well to get up and beat long-time leader Random Harvest by a neck. Prosperous Voyage and Jumbly finished third and fourth respectively.
Pinching himself at recording a first career win at the meeting, Clover said: “It takes some explaining and it hasn’t sunk in to be honest. You dream about this all year round. She cost 35 grand so it’s unbelievable and it’s what we all do it for. I love the filly and I love training for the Rogues – it’s the most wonderful feeling.
“I brought her back in trip because she’s been travelling so strong, look at the Middleton at York, she got outstayed there. In her work at home she’d been travelling really well behind six- and seven-furlong horses. Going back to a mile helps with the broodmare hat on too with black type in mind.
“I backed her today, I was quietly confident, she was in great form and while we hadn’t had a great year – we’ve had too many seconds – luckily a bit of luck went our way today.
“We now have a Group One filly on our hands. I’d say we’d keep her against fillies. I didn’t put her in the Falmouth as that is a sharp mile so we may to go to Deauville.
“(The) Rogues were very sporting about supplementing her. We either came here or went for the Hoppings which she was second in last year so this would look a lot better on her page.
“Danny got it spot on, he’s a class jockey and his record here speaks for itself.
“This place makes careers – I can now say I’m a Royal Ascot-winning trainer.”
Ed Walker was proud of Random Harvest and her rider Saffie Osborne in defeat.
“I’m gutted, but I’m very proud of her. This time last year she was just touched off, off 82, in the Kensington Palace, so she’s come a long way since then,” he said.
“I’m gutted, but very proud of her. Saffie is class, she’s gutted but gave her a very good run. We all absolutely knew that she would run better than her odds (22-1). She ran so well at Epsom. She never runs well first time out and the Dahlia was a disaster, but she’s not done much wrong since then.
“I reckon we will go to the Falmouth, why not? There’s nothing to lose, even if she gets placed in a Falmouth, that’s massive and she’s getting better with every run, barring her seasonal reappearance.
“These races are very valuable for fillies, she’ll make a lovely broodmare for Lady Bamford.”
Osborne added: “It was an unbelievable run. It’s just testament to Lady Bamford for leaving her in training after what she did last year. She keeps getting better and better and after that performance, she’s shown that she’s plenty capable of competing at this level and hopefully another level up.
“Ed has done an amazing job with her, he’s been so patient and hopefully he is going to reap the rewards of that this year.”