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Fairy Godmother wins the Albany Stakes with a brilliant turn of foot

Fairy Godmother produced a Houdini act to get out from behind a wall of horses and win the opening race on day four of Royal Ascot on Friday, the Group 3 Albany Stakes (1200m). 

Jockey Ryan Moore admitted the filly (15/8f) had defied what looked a Herculean task, and trainer Aidan O’Brien blew out his cheeks in relief as she crossed the line, three-quarters of a length ahead of Ollie Sangster’s Simmering. Heavens Gate, a stable-mate of the winner, was a neck further behind in third. 

At halfway Fairy Godmother was racing in the centre of the track but, after repeated attempts to find a gap through rivals, Moore switched her towards the stands’ rail. Once in the clear, she produced a blistering turn of foot to cut down the placed horses.

O’Brien and Moore have now combined for five wins at this year’s meeting, with O’Brien moving on to a career total of 90 Royal Ascot successes.

Fairy Godmother and Ryan Moore arrive from the rear of the field to claim victory, picture Liesl King

O’Brien said: “Ryan gave Fairy Godmother an incredible ride. She’s an incredible filly, isn’t she? We thought she couldn’t get beat the first day, and couldn’t believe she got beat. Ryan said he was just going to teach her and educate her the next day, and take his time on her, and she did the same thing – he came from an impossible position and won well on the line [at Naas on 19th May]. What she did there today is incredible, and she’s only going to get better with every race. She will get stronger and will stay. She’s very exciting.

“Ryan was super-cool on her. He was worried where he was drawn [6] that he had no cover, which is why he was going to take his time, come over and come back, which is easier said than done, but he did it. It’s difficult to do that, and with everything not going right, still have her when you want her. He was brilliant.

“We knew Ryan was going to produce her late and we knew she had a devastating turn of foot because she showed it the last day – what she did then was very rare, but to come up another level and do it here is unbelievable.

“Ryan said he thought she was going to be a Moyglare filly, so seven would be no problem for her this year. She’s obviously exceptional. Our other filly, Heaven’s Gate, ran a stormer. We thought she was a good filly.”

Moore said: “I gave Fairy Godmother an impossible task and she got me out of a hole.

"It’s incredible that she was able to win from that position, so all credit to her. She is a very good filly.

"Down at the start she looked different class. She suggested that before she ran, and when she won last time. Today, that was a big performance."

Winning co-owner Michael Tabor: “I saw Fairy Godmother run last time and I said to Aidan, when you see that turn of foot, which she obviously has, you know she's a good animal. Today, she just showed how good she is.

"I want to mention the breeder, Paul McCartan, thanks to him. He knows how to breed, let's put it that way.

"It makes the adrenaline really high. That's what you look forward to. We have many horses, we've had some good horses, and some fantastic horses. Hopefully, she's in the category of a fantastic horse, because they are the things you look forward to.

"When you have champions, with Aidan producing them like he does, then it's very exciting. Once it becomes not exciting, then it's over."

Ollie Sangster said of Simmering: “I am delighted. Naturally, it’s tough to come so close. We were hopeful coming here. I’ve got a really good team at home and we were hopeful – she’d done really well from her debut to here, and that’s all you can do.”

Asked whether he thought for a moment that she had the race in the bag, he said: “A little bit. It always looked like she was going to get to Wayne’s filly [Heavens Gate], and obviously Ryan was in a bit of trouble and had to switch around, so it was just whether he was going to get to us or not. I am delighted and hopefully she can be a nice flag bearer for us this season.

“Jamie said that she has a lot of speed. He got off and he said you could think she’s tailor-made for something like the Lowther. I suppose we’ll just see how she comes out of this. She’s by Too Darn Hot, and I think she will stay seven, but she has got a lot of speed.”


2.30pm Albany Stakes (Group 3)
1 Fairy Godmother (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 2-9-02 Ryan Moore 15/8F
2 Simmering (Mrs Bv Sangster, Justin Casse & Dr J Berk) Ollie Sangster 2-9-02 Jamie Spencer 9/1
3 Heavens Gate (Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith & Sue Magnier) Aidan O’Brien IRE 2-9-02 Wayne Lordan 8/1
16 ran

Aidan O’Brien – 90th Royal Ascot winner  
Ryan Moore – 84th Royal Ascot winner

 

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