Lord North secures Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot for John Gosden
The John Gosden-trained Lord North came of age this afternoon by landing the Group 1 Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The four-year-old Dubawi gelding won last year's Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket and followed that up with Listed and Group 3 triumphs.
Today's 10-furlong outing represented a significant step up, but the 5/1 shot showed an impressive turn of foot to come home comfortably by three and three quarters lengths from William Haggas' Addeybb.
Gosden, who yesterday celebrated his 50th victory at the meeting, said:"Lord North was gelded (after 2019 spring campaign), he needed to be. He was tormenting himself. Testosterone is the most dangerous drug in the world, and he is a lovely horse to be around now.
"Lord North has got better and better. He is very powerful and, for a gelding, he has a great body to him. I was looking at the race and talking to Peter (Shoemark, John Gosden's racing office manager) and I thought this race was winnable for Lord North, so at 9:55am we put him – it was very late.
"I was toying between this race and the Listed Wolferton under a penalty as you want to have a winner at Royal Ascot. I said no, let's go for this.
"I would say give him a week, 10 days and see how we are. He has had two very quick races. He blew up at Haydock. Rab (Havlin) said at the furlong pole, he went for his girths, so he did well to hang on there. He has had two hard races, so we'll freshen him up and then make decisions."
Meanwhile, triumphant jockey James Doyle added: "I think when John takes a horse into a race like this, you do have to prick your ears.
"Obviously, Lord North looked quite unexposed coming into it and he has gone through his grades. He won the Brigadier Gerard nicely up at Haydock but looked to get a bit tired, and John said he'd definitely improved a lot for that run. Going into this, the vibes were all pretty confident from Mr Gosden's camp."
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More by this authorLiam Apicella