Dream day for Danny Tudhope at Royal Ascot with Lord Glitters caps memorable month
The biggest win in the North Yorkshire jockey’s career, it came just three weeks after he recorded a milestone 1,000th victory at Thirsk.
Tudhope’s dream day ended when his mount Addeybb, trained by Yorkshire-born William Haggas, was a runaway winner of the concluding Wolfreton Stakes.
Yet, while this win was more than pleasing, it did not come close to the prestige of winning the Queen Anne on Lord Glitters for Upper Helmsley trainer David O’Meara, his long-term supporter.
The victory offered recompense for the six-year-old gelding’s narrow defeat in last year’s renewal of this celebrated Group One mile race.
That race was won by Accidental Agent who, 12 months on, refused to race when the starting stalls burst open for this £600,000 contest.
It saw Laurens, the reigning Yorkshire horse of the year, in front with two furlongs to go and hold every chance under jockey PJ McDonald.
Yet she would ultimately finish sixth as the pursuers fought out the denouement to a historic race won previously by turf legends like Frankel, with Lord Glitters having just a neck in hand over the runner-up Beat The Bank.
It also provided the modest Tudhope, 33, with ample reward for his consistency – he is now a genuine contender to be champion jockey this year – and the partnership that he has forged with the aforementioned O’Meara, one of the most ambitious men in racing.
And the victory vindicated the faith that owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull have shown in Tudhope, O’Meara and course specialist Lord Glitters, who came to prominence when winning the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions Day in 2017.
“Lord Glitters deserved to land a big one like this. He is a super horse, and when things fall right for him, he is very good,” reflected Tudhope.
“David told me to ride him as cold as I can and to be brave. If there is anywhere you can do it, it is this track because that last furlong is a long, long way as others tire. I got a lovely split and the race just panned out perfectly.
“We had a lot of faith in this horse. We knew he was very talented; things just need to fall right for him. That’s the way he needs to be ridden so you need luck on him. Three years in a row now I’ve had a Royal Ascot winner.”
He added: “David O’Meara has had a lot of faith in me. I’ve been there a good few years and we’ve had some big winners. He’s stood by me through thick and thin.”
O’Meara, recording his fourth and most notable Royal Ascot success, was quick to praise the jockey’s horsemanship.
“He is not that easy a horse, he can be quite strong and keen. That’s what happened in the Lockinge at Newbury, when he over-raced with no cover,” eulogised the trainer, a one-time journeyman jump jockey.
“Today, as soon as he jumped, Danny got him across and got cover. From there on, it all looked like it went pretty well. I thought Danny gave him a lovely ride this afternoon and it was brilliant from the word go.
“Watching the race, it was one of the easiest Royal Ascot runners we’ve had to watch as he never looked in trouble. My assistant Jason Kelly bought this horse and he deserves a mention too. We will follow a pretty similar path with him to last year and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood is probably next up.
“It’s super for the yard, not just me. I am just a small cog in what I do – I haven’t even ridden out for the last six or seven weeks. The lads have done a great job and it has all come together nicely today.”
Meanwhile, Tudhope did have to settle for third on Soldier’s Call in the King’s Stand Stakes sprint for Yorkshire owner Steve Parkin. The race was won for a second successive year by Blue Point for trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey James Doyle – with Mabs Cross back in fourth for trainer Michael Dods.
Yet it won’t detract from a day, and a month, that Tudhope will never forget – 1,000 winners and an elite Group One success at Royal Ascot.