Chris Hayes celebrated his first Royal Ascot winner as Tahiyra landed the odds in the Coronation Stakes.
Veteran trainer Dermot Weld has made no secret of the regard in which he holds the filly and having gone down narrowly in the Newmarket Guineas, she made amends in the Irish equivalent.
With her Newmarket conqueror Mawj absent on this occasion, it was left to Meditate to take the field along but Ryan Moore set only a steady pace with Tahiyra settled in last.
Not surprisingly the field bunched up two furlongs out, with Tahiyra needing to pass them all and while she came across the eventual second Remarquee when quickening up, the result was confirmed after a stewards’ inquiry.
Tahiyra (8-13 favourite) crossed the line a length clear of Remarquee, with Sounds Of Heaven a further head back in third.
Weld, who saddled his first Royal Ascot winner 50 years ago with Klairvimy in the 1973 King Edward VII Stakes, said: “I though she put in an excellent performance, I think she was a worthy winner.
“With a very small field I always knew it was going to be a tactical race and she has so much pace. She’s a very talented filly.
“She was very brave and she got a lovely ride from Chris the way the race turned out, he rode her hands and heels and she was a very deserving winner.
“The plan was always to give her a nice holiday, a nice break. She’s had a very busy spring and early summer and she needs a nice break now and we’ll look at a programme for her in the autumn.”
On stepping up in trip later in the season, he said: “It will be considered, it is a possibility.
“She is learning more about racing and getting more professional. I thought she won fair and square.
“Her sister (Tarnawa) was unbelievably tough and stayed really well, won the Breeders’ Cup Turf and won those two very good Group Ones in France for me and was just beat a neck in the Arc when the ground was too dead for her on the day. A brilliant racemare, her sister and this one is equally as good – but they are different. This one has more pace.
“I enjoy so much training these fillies. I know the families and do my best training them.
“I was a bit concerned in the early part of the race, but he did the right thing and reverted to Plan B, which came into action, just take your time – it is a long straight at Ascot. She has brilliant speed and he should hold on to her – and that’s what he did.
“She is a lovely tempered filly, a lovely animal to deal with. She has her moments, like all fillies – she is a very talented filly.”
Hayes said: “It wasn’t straightforward. She lost her hind leg coming out of the gate. I had to go to Plan B, because she got a little bit keen, which was unlike her.
“They were going very steady, so she had to be good to pick them up, running at a quickening pace. She idled a bit – I just can’t wait to ride her in a true-run race, it was so stop-start.
“The boss told me to ride her with confidence. She is the fastest filly in the race and I just rode her like she was the best.
“The stewards inquiry actually had nothing to do with me – the inside horses concertinaed.”
Asked what it meant to win a Group One at the Royal meeting, he added: “In these (Aga Khan) colours? It is the stuff of dreams. I still can’t believe it!”
Ralph Beckett was thrilled with the effort of Remarquee and said: “When she got rolling, the gap was closing.
“You don’t see many of ours in a sheepskin noseband, there’s a reason she’s wearing a sheepskin noseband – she’s still green.
“She’s run her legs off, she’s lost a lot of ground and she’s run on again. She made up a length in the last half-furlong at least.
“I’m very proud, I’m not disappointed with her in the slightest.
“The Guineas was a non-event, so she’s only had two starts, and she’s a slow learner.”
Remarquee’s rider Rob Hornby added: “It was a slowly-run race and it’s just nice to see that she’s stepped up, she’s put that run at Newmarket behind her. It probably came a little bit early in the season after a hard run in the Fred Darling.
“I’m delighted, she was a bit unlucky in running. She was aways finishing off her race slowly, we were quite far out as well.”