#UK RACING: Asfoora Wins For Australia at Royal Ascot

Asfoora - Oisin Murphy
Asfoora - Oisin Murphy

Australian trainer Henry Dwyer's "audacious plan" paid off as Asfoora stormed home to land the Group One King Charles III Stakes on Tuesday, the first day of Royal Ascot.

It was the only one of the three Group One prizes on offer to be won by a foreign raider -- Rosallion and Charyn winning the St James's Palace and Queen Anne Stakes respectively.

Asfoora's jockey Oisin Murphy's joy at winning knew no bounds.

The 28-year-old stood up in the saddle and waved his whip at the stands as top-hatted men and women, dressed in the latest fashions, cheered and applauded the popular Irishman.

Dwyer had studied accountancy at university and said he would do something else if he failed to make it as a trainer -- Tuesday's victory ensures he will not need to give up the day job.

"We've come a long way from Ballarat," said Dwyer.

"It was a bit of an audacious plan. We got a bit of stick at home for bringing her over because she wasn't seen as one of our better sprinters."

Dwyer said his other owners would be keen to have a go next year.

"There is another group of 40 or 50 of my owners from home that would saw their left leg off to have a runner at Royal Ascot," he said.

Asfoora's owner and breeder Akram El-Fahkri has had quite a journey to receiving the tophy from King Charles III -- the taxi firm owner traces his love of racing back to growing up on his parents farm in Lebanon.

The St James's Palace Stakes brought together the winners of the English, Irish and French 2000 Guineas.

It was to be Rosallion, the winner of the Irish 2000 Guineas who won in impressive fashion, beating Henry Longfellow with French Guineas victor Metropolitan third.

English 2000 Guineas champion Notable Speech -- who had Rosallion back in second at Newmarket -- never fired and finished well beaten.

"Probably the most satisfactory win of my career," said a tearful winning trainer Richard Hannon Junior, recording his ninth Royal Ascot winner and second in the race.

Winning jockey Sean Levey, triumphing only for the second time at the meeting, said Rosallion is the 'Declan Rice' (England midfielder) of racing.

"Boy was he good," said Levey.

"It means the world to me. I always wanted to ride a horse that was that good that people would associate my name with his."




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *