Royal Ascot 2023

Triple Time proves instant hit at top level with Queen Anne win

Triple Time made a sensational debut at G1 level by causing a 33/1 shock in the Queen Anne Stakes for Kevin Ryan and Neil Callan.

Making his first start of the campaign after being forced to miss the Lockinge Stakes, Triple Time was always to the fore in a steadily-run contest.

The Frankel colt led with two furlongs remaining and was soon challenged by Inspiral under Frankie Dettori. Inspiral looked the more likely winner entering the final furlong but her effort flattened out close home, with Triple Time running on gamely to prevail by a neck.

Light Infantry (14/1) finished two and a half lengths back in third, just ahead of 7/4 favourite Modern Games, who could never land a blow.

It was a third Royal Ascot winner for Triple Time’s dam Reem Three, following 2018 Britannia winner Ostilio and 2019 Wokingham victor Cape Byron, also for owner-breeder Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

Ryan said: “Triple Time was in great shape coming into the race. We’ve always had great faith in the horse; Sheikh Mohammed Obaid has been very patient. Unfortunately, he got a bit of stomach cramp just before the Lockinge and we had to take him out, and he’s only had one ordinary run; that was in France in October on deep ground. Now hopefully we will have a full season with him, and he’s got his Group One, which is great.

“I am delighted for all my team, and my family. Umar, who looks after him, has done a magnificent job, and Sheikh Mohammed Obaid has been a big, big supporter of ours. He’s so patient, and I’m delighted to have a big one for him, especially here.

“Triple Time is up there with the best I’ve had – he’s very good. He’s not a keen horse but he’s got a massive stride, and he’s not the type of horse you can break that stride. He’s very tough. We knew we had him as good as we could get him without a run and it’s paid off.

Reflecting on his late withdrawal at Newbury, Ryan said: “He was alright within half an hour at Newbury – the vets didn’t take any chances and took him to the hospital. In case it was proper colic the vet had to give him a sedative straightaway, which was absolutely the right thing to do. Horses give you grey hairs sometimes!

“We’ve still got some very important horses to run, but it’s lovely to get it on the first day and we can enjoy the rest of the week. It shows the wellbeing of the horses, as well, which is always a good sign.”

Callan said: “I am speechless for once and a bit emotional as well. The one thing Kevin has always said is that this is the best horse he has ever trained. That’s quite a big call to make, because he’s had a lot of good horses, but he believed in this horse. And Umar, who rides him every day, said to me going out of the chute, just ride him like his dad [Frankel].

“He wasn’t really keen today, he’s just a bit sensitive in his mouth. He was throwing his head up a bit. The more rein I was giving him, the more he was racing on his own because I didn’t anticipate them going like that, so I just stayed on my own and let him relax. Once he relaxed into his rhythm, we went over and joined them for a bit of company. When I got to the two-and-a-half, I let him roll and I really thought it was going to have to be a good one to get past him, because he was fighting to the line for me.

“I am obviously very happy. I wear my heart on my sleeve. It’s just me, the way I am. But look at this [gesturing to the crowd] – it’s just amazing. When I came back from riding in Hong Kong, I didn’t really know what to expect. I rode very competitively there, as I did here before I left. But you are not guaranteed anything in this game and you have to work for what you get. I was lucky that when I came back Kevin Ryan gave me some support.”

John Gosden said of Inspiral: “She switched off and did everything right. She just hit the front and the other one came back, but they are two very nice ones and there’s a lot of nice horses behind them. We would look at races like the Sussex or the Jacques Le Marois that she won in Deauville last year, but she’s back on song – that’s the main thing.”

When asked if she has a habit of starting slowly, Gosden added: “A little bit, but that’s her style – she doesn’t want to break on the lead, she’s not one of those. But she did everything right, came to win her race, got in front and just got caught on the line. But a very nice run for the first run back this year. She will come on for the race again, it’s not often you come to a Group One and say they’ll come on for the race. She’s back to her best and ran a lovely race, I couldn’t be more pleased with her.”

2.30pm Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

1 Triple Time (Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum) Kevin Ryan 4-9-02 Neil Callan 33/1

2 Inspiral (Cheveley Park Stud) John & Thady Gosden 4-8-13 Frankie Dettori 11/4

3 Light Infantry (Neversaydie & Light Infantry Partnership) David Simcock 4-9-02 Jamie Spencer 14/1

12 ran              Modern Games 7/4F (4th)

Kevin Ryan – 9th Royal Ascot winner

Neil Callan – 6th Royal Ascot winner

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