Impressive Royal Ascot winner Claymore heads to the Sky Bet York Stakes next month as he targets Group Two glory.
The son of New Bay, trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam, upset the odds by taking a length and three-quarter success in the Hampton Court Stakes, toppling Reach For The Moon, which was on the verge of giving the Queen a winner at the royal meeting.
Claymore previously chased home the Irish 2000 Guineas Native Trail winner in the Craven at Newmarket to start his three-year campaign, before being beaten by a wide draw in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp.
Still, the Newmarket-based Australian trainer’s faith in the Mary Slack-owned colt was unwavering and he answered every question under Adam Kirby to claim the Group Three award and a royal scalp.
“I’m glad to know my horse,” Chapple-Hyam said. “We knew what he was capable of. We knew he could do it and it was no surprise.
“If you knocked out Claymore, Reach For The Moon was still a good winner.”
She joked: “I still have my head – there were no Beefeaters knocking on the door!
“But seriously, I’m all for the Queen. I love the Queen.”
Claymore will step up in class while remaining on the same 10 stadia trip to York, although plans thereafter remain fluid.
“Claymore will be competing in the York Stakes on July 23,” she added. “With him, we’ll take every step as it comes.”
Chapple-Hyam claimed Group 2 success with Saffron Beach in the Duke of Cambridge Stakes – with his success over three and a half lengths visually one of the most impressive of the encounter.
Last season’s Sun Chariot winner will now look to add a second Group 1 win of her career at Deauville next month, where she could meet Australian star Verry Elleegant.
She added: “The plan is the same. Saffron Beach is heading for the Rothschild Prize on August 2. She has taken her run well. There are no problems, no problems, all is well with her.”
Chapple-Hyam nearly made it a hat-trick of victories at Royal Ascot, where Intellogent was just hit by Dark Shift in the Royal Hunt Cup at odds of 40-1.
He was hard to load into the stalls before the mile handicap and eventually fell half a length.
“Smart needs to pass a stall test,” said the trainer, who enlisted specialist help from Marlborough-based Gary and Craig Witheford, who specialize in equine behavioral issues.
“The Withefords worked on him today (Thursday) and if he passes that test he will race the John Smith’s Cup, over a mile and a quarter, in York on Saturday week.
“I think he’ll be fine. He may have been impressed with the day.”