Royal Ascot 2023

Big Evs brilliant in Windsor Castle Stakes

Big Evs (20/1) showed his rivals a clean pair of heels to land the concluding Windsor Castle Stakes in fine style for Mick Appleby and Jason Hart.

Big Evs was beaten into second at Redcar on his debut, but the son of first-season sire Blue Point left that form behind as he streaked clear on the stands’ side to win the five-furlong contest by an emphatic three lengths.

It was a first Royal Ascot winner for the multiple all-weather champion trainer, and a perfect fillip for Hart, who was narrowly denied on Highfield Princess in the G1 King’s Stand Stakes on Tuesday.

The 10/3 favourite Johannes Brahms was best of the rest, three-quarters of a length in front of Inquisitively in third for Ollie Sangster.

Appleby said: “Big Evs worked with Annaf earlier in the week and I thought this has got to have a great chance at Royal Ascot, because Annaf is a machine. I knew he’d get the job done.

“We really fancied him at Redcar, but the draw did us. We’ve been trying for a long time to get a winner here. It’s everything to have a winner at Royal Ascot – it makes training worth it.

“Well done to all the team at home who are working hard all week while I’m enjoying it here. It’s a great team effort and thanks to Paul [Teasdale, owner] for sending him to me.

“He’s got so much speed – I’ve never had a horse as quick as him. I’m not sure what we’ll do next. There are some big targets to come for him now, so we’ll see where we go with him.”

Hart said: “Mick was quietly confident and said this horse had done an excellent bit of work. He has taken a big step forward from his Redcar run and put up a good performance.

“I was massively hopeful we could reverse the placings [with Hala Emaraaty, 7th], because as people know there is a massive track bias at Redcar at the moment and I was drawn on the stands’ side. If you don’t get on the far side, you’ve not really got much chance and I had to use a lot of horse to get a good position. That told in the final 100 yards, but the horse has come on a lot for that run.

“I’ve not had many rides for Mick but, when I have, they are always in the right races. It’s great for him and his team.”

Winning owner Paul Teasdale said: “I named Big Evs after someone very special, a man who I knew for 40 years, but he died in November. He was Paul Evans – we called him Evs and he was a big guy. We went racing together for 25 years and so to win this means so much.”

6.10pm Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed)

1 Big Evs (RP Racing Ltd) Mick Appleby 2-9-05 Jason Hart 20/1

2 Johannes Brahms (Tabor, Smith, Magnier, Westerberg, Brant) Aidan O’Brien IRE 2-9-05 Ryan Moore 10/3F

3 Inquisitively (Justin Casse & Partners) Ollie Sangster 2-9-05 Jamie Spencer 18/1

23 ran

Mick Appleby – 1st Royal Ascot winner

Jason Hart – 2nd Royal Ascot winner

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