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Circus Maximus and Aidan O'Brien celebrate record win at Royal Ascot

Ryan Moore guided the the 10-1 shot to a battling victory over Too Darn Hot and King Of Comedy.

CIRCUS MAXIMUS GAVE Aidan O’Brien a record eighth win in the St James’s Palace Stakes as he first out-battled Too Darn Hot before holding the late lunge of King Of Comedy.

Royal Ascot - Day One - Ascot Racecourse Circus Maximus ridden by jockey Ryan Moore on his way to winning St James's Palace Stakes during day one of Royal Ascot. Source: Mike Egerton

Supplemented after finishing sixth in the Derby, Circus Maximus was the beneficiary of a fine ride from Ryan Moore, who kicked at the perfect time on the winner to secure a second success in the race after Gleneagles in 2015.

Sent off at 10-1, Circus Maximus had previously come up short at Group level but he relished the drop back to a mile to come out on top in the colours of Niarchos family’s Flaxman Stables and the Coolmore partners.

Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain was the first to tackle the leader in the straight but as he struggled to get on top, Moore and Circus Maximus swept through to lead.

From the pursuers came Too Darn Hot, who looked like he might be about to regain his magical juvenile form but, try as he might, he could never quite get on terms as Circus Maximus knuckled down.

Having fended one John Gosden-trained runner off, another appeared on the outside, King Of Comedy coming from an impossible position to chase down the winner. His challenge ultimately came too late as he failed by a neck with 2-1 favourite Too Darn Hot a further three-quarters of a length away in third.

O’Brien also extended his record as the most successful trainer in the Coventry Stakes when Arizona gave him a ninth victory in the most prestigious two-year-old race at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.

The son of No Nay Never, who won the Norfolk at the 2013 royal meeting, was an impressive winner at the Curragh last month and showed guts and heart to prevail, picking up well for Ryan Moore to reward those who had sent him off the 15-8 favourite.

Threat, held in high regard by Richard Hannon, ran a fine race to finish second at 4-1, while the Archie Watson-trained Guildsman was third at 6-1.

Running in the navy silks of Coolmore supremo John Magnier’s wife Sue, Arizona seemed to be away from the main action up the stands side rail, but was good and tough enough to strike, earning a quote of 14-1 (from 25) from Paddy Power for next year’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

- David Jennings, for more visit the Racing Post

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