Lover makes it a memorable day for Eustace in Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap
Latin Lover (5/1) gave trainer Harry Eustace his first Royal Ascot success since taking over the licence from his father last year, staying on strongly to plunder the concluding Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap under Hayley Turner.
Latin Lover, who sat close to the pace throughout, responded gamely to Turner’s urgings and hit the front in the final strides of the five-furlong contest for three-year-olds. Nymphadora (25/1) was second under Harry Davies, with the minor places filled by Peggy Sioux (33/1) and Bond Chairman (40/1).
Eustace, whose father James sent out Refuse To Lose to win the 1998 Royal Hunt Cup, said: “You dream about things like this. You watch a lot of people do it, but it’s hard, and to get a horse who can get his head in front is unbelievable. I’ve got some owners who it really means a lot to and, when they enjoy it, it means 10 times more to me.
“It will take a while for me to stop smiling! We have seen a lot of good horses get beat this week, and you come hoping to be competitive, and anything more than that is a bonus. To get his head in front, we did dare let ourselves dream it, to be honest. To pull it off is fantastic. You can only be so confident at Ascot – it’s as hard a place to come as anywhere in the world. We hoped, but we didn’t do much more than that.
“It’s a fantastic thing for us. Last year we tipped away, had a few winners, didn’t set the world alight, but we were confident we had three-year-old types, and thank the Lord we do.
“Full credit to the horse – he’s very tough and very genuine, and he really gutsed it out today. A furlong out, it looked hard work for him, but he just didn’t want to get beat. I must mention George Wood – we are here because he won on Latin Lover last week, and he is his ride.”
It was a third Royal Ascot triumph for Turner, who said: “The stiff five furlongs is ideal for Latin Lover. He has a lot of gate speed and is quite straightforward. Harry has taken his time with him and he has really matured this year. It’s a bit unfortunate for George Wood, but he can’t do the weight, so it went in my favour. It means so much. Royal Ascot is the place to be!”
6.10pm Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap
1 Latin Lover (Candour House And Partner) Harry Eustace 3-8-02 Hayley Turner 5/1
2 Nymphadora (St Albans Bloodstock) Andrew Balding 3-9-00 Harry Davies (5) 25/1
3 Peggy Sioux (Guy Reed Racing) Kevin Ryan 3-8-02 Josephine Gordon 33/1
4 Bond Chairman (Bond Thoroughbred Limited) Bryan Smart 3-8-11 Graham Lee 40/1
27 ran 16/5F Ladies Church (10th)
Harry Eustace – 1st Royal Ascot winner
Hayley Turner – 3rd Royal Ascot winner