Warm Heart strikes Ribblesdale gold for O’Brien and Moore

Warm Heart brought up a hat-trick when storming to an impressive Ribblesdale Stakes success at Royal Ascot.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien, the daughter of Galileo arrived at the meeting having won her previous two outings, scooping Listed honours at Newbury last month. This time, she took her form to the next level in the hands of Ryan Moore as she won this Group Two in tremendous fashion.

Moore had Warm Heart close to the pace set by those on the front-end and found himself perfectly placed to strike in the home straight.

Although French raider Crown Princesse and the 5-6 hotpot Al Asifah briefly loomed up dangerously to mount a challenge after the two-furlong pole, there was no passing Warm Heart who just kept finding extra and soon put daylight between herself and her rivals in the closing stages to score at 13-2.

She returned a two-and-a-half-length-winning verdict over runner-up Lumiere Rock, with the mount of Frankie Dettori, Bluestocking, running on for third.

It was a fourth win in the Ribblesdale for both O’Brien and Moore, while it was also Moore’s fourth victory of the week following his treble on the opening day.

O’Brien said: “She’s lovely. She ran at Newbury over a mile and a quarter and we thought that maybe that was as far as she was going to get. We didn’t know when she got to the front whether she would run out of stamina or if she wouldn’t stay, but obviously we saw she probably doesn’t want to get to the front too early.

“She got the trip very well today, Ryan gave her a beautiful ride so I’m delighted. She’s out of a great mare and usually those fillies with good pedigrees do improve, physically she’s doing great.”

Paying tribute to Moore, O’Brien added: “Ryan is absolutely brilliant. What can I say? How long has he been riding for us? He’s an incredible fella, he’s nearly 40 but every year he’s got better and he’s still getting better. It’s incredible.

“He gets better because he puts so much into it, day in, day out. He makes himself better. He stays with us when he comes over and I think he runs six to 10 miles every morning before he sits on any horse.

“He is so committed, so fit, so focussed. You just ask him a question and everything comes out of him, all the information about the riders, the horse, the ground, everything.

“I think he’s an incredible horseman – he’s very cool under pressure and a total professional. We are so very lucky to have him.”

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