Spencer’s Royal Ascot victory helps to highlight HQ’s strength

BIG VICTORY: Richard Spencer had a winner at Royal Ascot
BIG VICTORY: Richard Spencer had a winner at Royal Ascot

As expected, Aidan O’Brien was the dominant force at last week’s Royal Ascot, overcoming a slow start to take the QIPCO Leading Trainer award.

But the Newmarket contingent were also in fine fettle throughout the five days, with Charlie Appleby and John Gosden making up what remained of the top three.

Michael Bell’s Big Orange won a compelling Gold Cup just ahead of O’Brien’s Order Of St George, while James Fanshawe, Saeed Bin Suroor and David Simcock also hit the target.

Another victory for HQ came courtesy of Richard Spencer, who saw Rajasinghe land the Group 2 Coventry Stakes on the opening day.

And the Rebel Racing trainer — based at Albert House Stables — believes events in Berkshire highlight the quality of work that is currently being carried out in the town.

“It was great to see so many winners from Newmarket,” he said.

“When the likes of Mr Simcock, Mr Fanshawe, Mr Appleby and Mr Gosden are getting winners, it reflects how hard it is.

“You only have to look at the trainers that had blank scorecards to see it is tough going.

“For Newmarket to pick up so many prizes is fantastic. Hopefully we can return with even more next year.”

Spencer’s triumph is all the more intriguing given that — aged just 28 — he is one of the youngest trainers to have ever had a winner at the Royal meeting.

But rather than rest on his laurels, the former assistant to Gold Cup-winning Bell has insisted Rajasinghe’s score has only served to whet the appetite for more of the same.

“It took a little while to sink in — I have only had my licence for 14 months after all,” added Spencer.

“Royal Ascot is one of the biggest stages, so to have a win there is a huge boost for everyone at the yard.

“It has given everyone a taste of what we can do going forward.

“The win was great, but the hard work has already started because we want to experience it again and again.”

As for Spencer’s victorious two-year-old, the next move is yet to have been officially mapped out.

Newmarket’s July Festival, a trip to Deauville and the Qatar Goodwood Festival are all potential options.