Australia's Waipiro Takes The Hampton Court



One of the first runners to emerge out of the Derby, Siu Pak-Kwan's Waipiro (Ire) (Australia {GB}–London Plane {Ire}, by Danehill Dancer {Ire}) did the Blue Riband form no harm at all with an authoritative success in Royal Ascot's G3 Hampton Court S. on Thursday. Sixth and not disgraced at Epsom, having booked his ticket there with a runner-up finish in the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial, the Ed Walker trainee was able to maintain his season's progress and dominate this competitive race to suggest as bright a future as his high-class half-brother Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}).

Lit up by a bump leaving the stalls and keen throughout the early stages resisting the restraint applied by Tom Marquand, Waipiro was a little out of his ground but better nearer the back than the front with the early pace notably fast. Straightening for home with a wall of rivals to get by, the 7-1 shot's passage was cleared by the errant diagonal dive of Oviedo (Ire) (Lope De Vega {Ire}) up ahead which compromised the eventual runner-up Exoplanet (Fr) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) but given his relentless momentum to the line he could not be called anything other than clear best.

“In the Derby, I got caught too far back and he just didn't stay a mile and a half, it was as simple as that in my mind, and I know Ed thought so too,” Marquand said of the 2 1/4-length winner. “There was a nice tempo today and fortunately for me I was lucky. I got a couple of the splits that I needed to get that run and he showed an exceptional turn of foot to burst through as he did and put the race to bed in a matter of a few strides.”


“You'd like to think he is still an improver,” his rider added. “We were really pleased with the run in the Derby and back to a mile and a quarter today he showed his dominance and hopefully he can now go on a path and show his stamp as a top-class horse.”

Walker added, “The worry was the close proximity to the Derby, only 19 days, as not many horses back up from the Derby to Ascot successfully. If there was a brilliant alternative in a couple of weeks' time, we may have been tempted, but there wasn't and this was the perfect race for him. I have quite a long-standing team now at home and Charles Guet, my head lad who has been with me for 10 years, rides him every day and he was happy with him. He was well, so we rolled the dice and it paid off.”

“It's been an agonising wait between drinks and we've had quite a lot of seconds. Last year we had a second in the Kensington Palace, in the Wokingham and we were second yesterday in the Duke of Cambridge. It has been a bit frustrating, so I am really pleased to have kicked that one home. My great friend Tom Morley brought a filly [Cynane] over for the Queen Mary and I said, 'Tommy, listen, you're not going to win–just enjoy the ride, because it's so hard to win here!' We realise now the enormity of the challenge and it feels even better.”

Exoplanet's rider David Egan was not blaming the late interference for the runner-up's defeat. “We got a nice, smooth passage from a wide draw, had cover and relaxed well,” he said. “He got a little bit of a bump in the straight. He's a very classy individual, but take nothing away from the winner, he was good.”

Pedigree Notes
The aforementioned Waikuku made his name in Hong Kong, winning the G1 Stewards Cup twice, the G1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup and G2 Jockey Club Mile as well as finishing second in the G1 Hong Kong Mile and the Hong Kong Derby and third in the G1 Champions Mile. The dam London Plane is a daughter of the Listed Pinnacle S. runner-up Aunt Julia (GB) (In The Wings {GB}), who also produced the G3 La Coupe de Maisons-Laffitte and G3 Winter Hill S. runner-up Al Waab (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). Also related to the GI Turf Mile hero Grand Arch (Arch)her 2-year-old filly is by Acclamation (GB) while she also has a yearling colt by Lope De Vega (Ire) who was snapped up by Stroud Coleman Bloodstock for 185,000gns at the Tatts December Foal Sale.

Thursday, Royal Ascot, Britain
HAMPTON COURT S.-G3, £150,000, Ascot, 6-22, 3yo, 9f 212yT, 2:05.10, g/f.
1–WAIPIRO (IRE), 128, c, 3, by Australia (GB)
1st Dam: London Plane (Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire)
2nd Dam: Aunt Julia (GB), by In The Wings (GB)
3rd Dam: Original (GB), by Caerleon
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN; 1ST GROUP WIN. O-P K Siu; B-Shane Molan (IRE); T-Ed Walker; J-Tom Marquand. £85,065. Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-0, $157,866. *1/2 to Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}), MG1SW-HK, $5,891,141. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Exoplanet (Fr), 128, c, 3, Sea The Stars (Ire)–Gumriyah (GB), by Shamardal. 1ST BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (260,000gns Ylg '21 TATOCT). O-Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum; B-Rabbah Bloodstock Ltd (FR); T-Roger Varian. £32,250.
3–Bold Act (Ire), 128, g, 3, New Approach (Ire)–Dancing Sands (Ire), by Dubawi (Ire). 1ST BLACK-TYPE; 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. O/B-Godolphin (IRE); T-Charlie Appleby. £16,140.
Margins: 2 1/4, HF, NO. Odds: 7.00, 12.00, 9.00.
Also Ran: Torito (GB), Canberra Legend (Ire), Caernarfon (GB), Drumroll (Ire), Dancing Magic (Ire), Oviedo (Ire), Bolster (GB), Killybegs Warrior (Ire), Captain Winters (GB), Epictetus (Ire), Tony Montana (GB), Brave Emperor (Ire), Dear My Friend (GB).

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