ROSALLION  (Ire) wore down Henry Longfellow in the final strides to win the prestigious St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) on the first day of the 2024 Royal Ascot meeting. The three-year-old colt by Blue Point (Ire) from Rosaline (Ire) by New Approach (Ire) is trained by Richard Hannon for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

The colt could meet Queen Anne Stakes (G1) winner CHARYN, who won the opening big race on the Royal Ascot card, in the upcoming Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood.

Dubbed as ‘the race of the week,’ the field contained no less than three 2000 Guineas winners, with British winner Notable Speech heading the field. He looked well positioned to take the race as William pulled him wide to challenge, but it never materialised.

It was Aidan O’Brien’s Henry Longfellow who looked likely to take the spoils, with Rosallion caught in the pack behind, but Levey found space and his mount duly responded to kick on and run down the Coolmore colt.

Levey said, “I knew it was going to be a bit tactical. He had to be good today and I just knew the stiff track would suit me and boy, was he good.”

“I’m hoping one day they go a really good gallop and he gets to show his true potential because at the moment he’s shown how versatile he is.”

An emotional Richard Hannon said, “We’ve always thought he was an extremely good horse, and he’s proved it before this. I’m just delighted. I always thought he was going very well and we gave Sean a blank canvas to do what he thought was right. I love being a part of these races but winning them is very hard.

“Quite often you call these horses something that they’re not because you want them to be the best horse you’ve trained, and you’re disappointed. He’s never let me down.”

Akram El-Fakhri’s ASFOORA, trained by Hemry Dwyer, becomes the latest Australian raider to win the King Charles III Stakes, previously named the King’s Stand.

There’s no less than 10,000 miles between Ascot and his stable, but it was well worth the journey as Asfoora showed a serious turn of pace to defeat his rivals in style. Ridden by Oisin Murphy, Asfoora settled early, with Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner, Big Evs, taking lead. A patient Murphy stayed prominent before swooping late in style.
They finished a length ahead of Regional who were in turn half-a-length clear of Big Evs.

A jubilant Murphy said, “I’m thrilled for connections, it’s brave to come from Australia with all the travel and how good was she? I was focusing on Regional, who gave me the perfect tow to half way. She lugged right for company late on, but how good was she at the line? I’m delighted, to win a Group 1 on day one, I’m over the moon.”

Her victory was a huge moment for owner Akram El-Fahkri, who was visiting Europe for the first time to see his star mare run. Asfoora becomes the sixth Australian horse to win the race, following Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006), Mis Andretti (2007), Scenic Blast (2009) and Nature Strip (2022).

ASFOORA is an Aussie bred by Aussie sire Flying Artie, a son of Artie Schiller.

His Majesty King Charles was in attendance at Royal Ascot.

RASHABAR won the Coventry Stakes (G2) at 80-to-1 under 18-year-old jockey Billy Loughmane. It was the first Royal Ascot win for the young rider. Trained by Brian Meehan for Manton Thoroughbreds, the Irish-bred two-year-old is by Holy Roman Emperor.