Trainer Andrew Balding gave way to emotion after Donjuan Triumphant won the G1 £583,130 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes.
It was a first Group One for the Dream Ahead six-year-old's owners, King Power Racing Co Ltd, and came almost exactly a year after King Power's chairman and CEO, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was killed in a helicopter crash (October 27, 2018).
Donjuan Triumphant, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, beat One Master by a length at odds of 33/1.
"He was the first horse the Chairman ever bought, the first horse we had for him, and he would have been so proud of him right now," said Balding. "There were a couple of anxious moments today, but Silvestre managed to get himself out. I am just so thrilled for the horse.
"Historically, Donjuan Triumphant has always come good in the autumn, and I thought he ran a really good race last time out behind Cape Byron because he fluffed the start and things didn't go according to plan.
"For a horse like him who has been knocking on the door, this is special. When he gets the ground at this time of year he's really good.
"He is due to go to stud in France now; this was always going to be his last run. I hope he has a very long, happy life. He might get some better-looking brides now as well! He doesn't have the best joints in the world and the staff that look after him have done an amazing job.
"I am just so pleased to get a G1 for King Power."
DE SOUSA TRIUMPHANT
Silvestre de Sousa completed his first season as retained jockey to King Power Racing in style when winning the £583,130 QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes on the organisation's Donjuan Triumphant.
There was a hint of pathos about the occasion, for a year ago next Saturday the chairman of King Power Racing, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, died in a helicopter crash. Donjuan Triumphant, who is now a six-year-old, was the first horse he bought, and today's race was his last before he goes to stud in France.
De Sousa's mount, a 33/1 shot, won by a length and a neck from One Master (4/1f) and Brando (66/1).
The winning jockey said: "I wish the chairman could be here - he loved Ascot and having winners here. I hope that wherever he is he can see this win.
"I've had injuries this season and it was tough to watch other people riding horses I should have been on. Pain wise and mentally it was hard. I was champion jockey last year and while I'm concentrating on my job [with King Power Racing] I would love to get the title back.
"It's been a tough year, and an emotional year, but I've been knocking on the door and it's good to get a big win on the final day. It means everything to get one for King Power Racing because that's my job, especially a big one. They went a good gallop in the ground and I was happy just to wait and pick them up near the end.
"Andrew loves this horse and has always said that when he gets his ground he can win a big race. Well done to all the Balding team."
1:35 pm QIPCO British Champions Sprint Stakes (Group 1) 6f - Result
1 (4) Donjuan Triumphant (IRE) 6 9 2 Andrew Balding King Power Racing Co Ltd Silvestre de Sousa 33/1
2 (10) One Master 5 8 13 William Haggas Lael Stable Pierre-Charles Boudot 4/1 Jt Fav
3 (7) Forever In Dreams (IRE) 3 8 12 A. F. Fogarty Ireland Phoenix Ladies Syndicate Jamie Spencer 66/1
4/ Jt Fav Advertise (7th)
Time: 1m 16.43s
Distances: 1, Neck
Bet With Ascot returns - Win: £48.90 Places: £8.40; £2.10; £15.40 First Two: £285.60
1st QIPCO British Champions Day success for Andrew Balding
2nd QIPCO British Champions Day success for Silvestre de Sousa