Ahorsewithnoname bows out in style with Ascot Stakes success
Ahorsewithnoname (7/1) brought the curtain down on her racing career in stunning fashion as she stayed on best of all under William Buick to land the Ascot Stakes for trainer Nicky Henderson.
Ridden for luck around the inside, Ahorsewithnoname, who is in foal to Cracksman, got the gaps when she needed them in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap and took full advantage to score by a length and three-quarters.
Calling The Wind, twice placed in the Queen Alexandra Stakes, hit the frame in another big staying race at the Royal Meeting under apprentice sensation Billy Loughnane.
Tritonic, also representing a trainer more associated with Jump racing in Alan King, came out on top in a blanket finish for third.
Henderson said: “There was less pressure today [compared to the Cheltenham Festival]. I don’t just say that because it’s a Flat race – after all it is Royal Ascot for goodness sake and a big day in anyone’s life – but it’s not the Champion Hurdle with the pressure you get in that. Any race at Cheltenham is very special and any race at Royal Ascot is the same. We love having a go here.
“I said to William [Buick] whatever you do don’t ask Ryan [Moore] how to ride her because he’ll tell you to drop her out the back! No, I’m sure they all help each other out.
“William gave her a beautiful ride. She had a dream run and the rain last night helped her. I’ve been saying Cracksman probably helped more than anyone. It definitely changed her – she’s much sharper. She was a laid-back filly but, since her visit to him in Newmarket at Dalham Hall Stud, it has woken her up a bit. It’s been a tried-and-tested route, but you can only do it once and you have just 90 days in which to do it. On some mares it might have the opposite effect and they go all dreamy and mummy, but not her.”
Buick said: “The filly gave me a beautiful ride and Nicky was very confident beforehand. She came here in great shape and throughout the race it was just a case of staying with them.
“I needed a bit of luck from where I was [on the rail] but, to be fair to her when I asked her to quicken, she picked up. Not many horses can do that over this trip. I got the gaps when I needed them and a bit of luck.
“It’s always nice to get a winner on the first day or early in the meeting. It’s a great week and I’m really looking forward to the rest of it.”
Richard Hughes said of Calling The Wind: “I’m very proud of him. Next year he’ll come back in his wheelchair! Billy [Loughnane] gave him a lovely ride – it’s a big occasion for a young fella and I don’t think any jockey could have ridden him any better.”
Asked if he was tempted to run Calling The Wind again on Saturday, Hughes replied: “We’ll see. There’s a race for him at Goodwood as well. He’s not getting any younger now. We’ll think about it, but it’s a long way round here going two and a half miles.
“I was just hoping he could get in front – and then one came up on his outside and he fought him off, too. He was very brave. I just wish Nicky Henderson would stick to his jumpers! It’s annoying, but he’s a super horse. We’ve had him four or five years now, and we bought him for cheap money and we’ve had great fun. He’s a real yard favourite and gets all the special treatment.”
Loughnane added: “Calling The Wind ran a great race. The wide draw  probably beat him and the winner got a nice run through up the rail. He had everything else covered apart from that. He’s a genuine little horse and hopefully he’ll get his day in the sun soon.”
5.00pm Ascot Stakes (Heritage Handicap)
1 Ahorsewithnoname (D Burke & P Alderson) Nicky Henderson 8-9-08 William Buick 7/1
2 Calling The Wind (Ms J Wakefield) Richard Hughes 7-9-11 Billy Loughnane (3) 15/2
3 Tritonic (McNeill Family & Ian Dale) Alan King 6-9-12 Rossa Ryan 20/1
4 Law Of The Sea (S Beetham & DPL Fab Ltd) 5-9-04 David Egan 8/1
19 ran 13/8F Bring On The Night (13th)
Nicky Henderson – 4th Royal Ascot winner
William Buick – 34th Royal Ascot winner
Sectional times: https://royalascot2023.racenewslive.co.uk/sectional-times/