Anthem gives Smullen a quick double
Pat Smullen continued a fantastic start to Day 2 of Royal Ascot when steering home the well supported Anthem Alexander in the Queen Mary Stakes. Smullen had earlier given his boss Dermot Weld’s charge Mustajeeb a winning ride in the Jersey Stakes and was again seen to full effect in this Group 2 contest, this time for Ed Lynam.
Lynam’s Starspangledbanner filly had come into the race off of an impressive victory at Tipperary on fast ground and the market, as is so often the case with the 2yo races at this meeting, got it spot on again, as the money kept coming before hand for the eventual winner.
Sent off the 9/4 favourite, Anthem Alexander looked all over the winner when Smullen sent her to the head of affairs before the furlong marker. She seemed to be travelling better than any of her rivals entering the final stages but was made to dig deep by the fast finishing Twiggy Wiggy, who would eventually finish just a neck down, with Newsletter a further 1/2 length back in third.
A delighted Smullen said: “She’s bred for it and she’s very, very quick. Today she was a little bit sluggish away from the gates, just through lack of experience.
“The gap was closing in front of me a furlong and a half down, I had to take it and I was probably there too soon, but she’s a very fast filly.
“She’s still a little bit green and there’s a lot of improvement in her. She could have given up if she was weak-minded, but she’s genuine and tough and stuck it out well to the line. She’s another good Eddie Lynam sprinter.”
A very impressed Lynam added: “She’s the real deal and she’ll get better.
“We haven’t had her an awful long time. Noel O’Callaghan (owner) was very kind to give her to me and he was very brave as everyone was trying to buy her. I’m delighted, as when you refuse money for a horse you need a bit of luck.
“I think she’s a very good filly and she’ll probably go for the Cherry Hinton (at Newmarket), but I’ll talk to Noel.”
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
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