Naval Crown had to settle for second-best behind his Charlie Appleby-trained stablemate Creative Force in last season’s Jersey Stakes – but he avenged that defeat in style as he powered up the stands rail at odds of 33-1 to claim the Platinum Jubilee Stakes.
Separated by the width of the Ascot track, James Doyle’s mount, who had been running over further than the six furlongs throughout his career until a fourth-placed effort in the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan, got the better of the William Buick-ridden Creative Force (12-1) by a neck, despite losing his off-hind shoe.
While free-going Australian raider Home Affairs was sent off the 5-2 favourite, he had run his race by the furlong pole and the Godolphin pair were followed home by a blanket of horses, with America’s Campanelle sticking to her guns to dead-heat with Australia’s Artorius.
Appleby said: “There wasn’t a lot between them at home. Will rode the winner in a gallop the other day and said there wasn’t much between them. Both were in great nick, but Naval Crown is still learning about the sprint division and he was all at sea in Saudi.
“But he finished fourth in the Guineas and is a rock solid horse, and over that stiff six furlongs we saw his natural pace.
“James said he just needed to get to the rail, but the ground was quick enough for Creative. They are two Dubawis and as tough as teak.
“The July Cup is the obvious race for them, and I see no reason not to go for it.”
He added: “I’m just lucky to be in the position for these horses to come through my door.
“2022 has gone well so far, but there is still a long way to go.”
Doyle said: “I would be lying if I said I expected him to win today. We were certainly hopeful dropping him back in trip. He seems to be pretty quick. He was a hot favourite for a race in Saudi Arabia, but we had a sticky draw and he just ran off with me.
“Myself and Charlie had a chat about dropping him back and Naval Crown ran well in the Al Quoz when he was fourth. He’s not short on speed, he was travelling nicely behind Home Affairs and he saw it out well. It’s brilliant.”
Artorius could take on the Godolphin pair again at Newmarket, with Henry Field, managing director of part-owners Newgate Stud, eager for a rematch.
He said: “He was huge, that is the style of the horse that he is. He didn’t quite get there, but the trip away has done him the world of good.
“Sam Freedman is one of the most astute young trainers I have ever come across. Anthony (Freedman, joint trainer) and Sam have done a wonderful job with him.
“So as long as he comes through the race well, there is no doubt we will run in the July Cup in a few weeks.
“He could not have run any better, he has made us very proud, we would love for Australia for him to have won, but there is no question it was the run of the race.
“He is an elite talent and for all the owners, myself and Mr Teo it is a great thrill and just happy to be here.”
Campanelle was running at the meeting for the third successive year, having won the Queen Mary in 2020 and the Commonwealth Cup last year.
Trainer Wesley Ward said: “I was watching from the box. It was tough to tell with all those horses. I was just elated it was such a big performance. I am very proud of her.
“The race went just as we hoped. She jumped well, and the speed has been doing well because of the weather conditions here. She would have preferred the going a little softer. She was out in front, she ran a beautiful race, there are no excuses.”