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Royal Ascot Review

There was no success at Royal Ascot for the Welsh jockeys and trainers but there was one Welshman celebrating during the week.

That was owner Steve Bishop, who enjoyed a mixed day of emotions. South Wales-based Bishop is a Newport County AFC fanatic, so much so, his horses runs in specially designed amber and black silks of the club colours.

On Thursday, his beloved County had some shock news with the departure of manager Graham Coughlan – the man who guided them to a dream FA Cup tie against Manchester United – while club captain Ryan Delaney also left to join rivals Swindon.

Yet later that evening his silks were in the Lingfield winner’s enclosure as Gilt Edge ended a near four-year wait for victory when winning the 7f handicap under Gina Mangan.

His trainer Caewent-based Christopher Mason was celebrating a second winner of the season. He had to wait until June 10 for a first but only ten days more to double his tally. Last year was a joint-best on record with 11 winners.

Mason told the Dragonbet blog: “Mr Steve Bishop is a Newport County fanatic. When he registered his colours about six years ago he used the black and amber. He’s a big fan.

“It was nice for her to get her head in front. She’s a homebred and that was her seventh race. She’d been in the doldrums a little bit and as these horses get older they get a few little niggles and problems which we’ve nursed her through. 

“It gave us great pleasure to win and it’ll almost certainly be her last season and she’ll go off to the paddocks then.”

Probert goes close

The closest top Welsh jockey David Probert got to victory at Royal Ascot was a fifth-place finish in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes with See The Fire while Metal Merchant was three and a quarter lengths away in the Royal Hunt Cup.

He did, however, finish the week on a high by riding a double at Ffos Las aboard Sarah’s Verse and Kalama Sunrise.

Muscutt rides Guineas favourite

Danny Muscutt, the South African-born rider but adopted Welshman, also was not too far away riding a fourth-place finisher in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup aboard Kind Of Blue.

The following day he did enjoy a notable winner aboard Ancient Truth for Godolphin at Newmarket. He got the ride with William Buick and James Doyle competing on the final day of Royal Ascot but delivered the smart talent to perfection.

He looked so good when making it 2-2, Ancient Truth is already Dragonbet’s 14-1 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas next May.

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