Nyquist's Crimson Advocate Holds On In The Queen Mary

Crimson AdvocateMegan Ridgwell


After an agonising pause following Wednesday's G2 Queen Mary S., it was a case of USA off the mark at Royal Ascot 2023 with Crimson Advocate (Nyquist–Citizen Advocate, by Proud Citizen) nosing out Relief Rally (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in a head-bobbing finish. Using the speed that had seen her book her transatlantic ticket in Gulfstream Park's Royal Palm Juvenile Fillies S. last month, the George Weaver-trained chestnut kept finding for Johnny Velazquez as the Haggas filly bore down on her with the line approaching. Relief Rally was in front a stride before and after the line, but when the photo was taken it was the 9-1 shot who had her noseband inches ahead. The 11-4 favourite Beautiful Diamond (GB) (Twilight Son {GB}) was a further two lengths away in third.

“We came here eight years ago with a horse that wasn't good enough and wanted to come back with one that was, so it feels terrific and very gratifying,” Weaver said. “My wife is a tremendous horsewoman, she knows more about horses than I'll ever know. She took a fall a year ago, she had a dramatic brain injury and it was a very scary time, so it's been a tough year for all of us. It's a miracle. At some points we didn't know if she'd live or have any quality of life. This is her first trip away from home since. I had a lot of help getting to where we got and I appreciate it all.”


“I have so much respect for the horses over here. It always seems like the European horses are better grass horses than what we have, but I knew our filly was very talented and I was hoping that she would be able to get the job done,” Weaver added. “You can feel the electricity when you're here and how special it is and it's a beautiful feather for us to have in our cap. I've had some great moments, but this ranks right up there.”

Building on a debut third over 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in April to put Wesley Ward's Ocean Mermaid (GB) (Kingman {GB}) in the shade at Gulfstream, Crimson Advocate had registered a time over a second faster than stablemate No Nay Mets (Ire) (No Nay Never) in the colts' division on the card. Providing an instant boost to the Gulfstream initiative, which guarantees an automatic start in one of this meeting's 2-year-old races and a $25,000 travel stipend, she had the right man on board here with Velazquez proving key. Registering the fastest opening furlong of 13.63, she was able to ease off a touch at the head of the stand's side group until winning it with the field's joint-fastest split of 10.81 from the three to the two. Although she was paying for that late as the runner-up closed the gap, the winner had been subject to a masterclass from her rider who was making it Royal winner number four.

“I knew she was going to be fast, it was all about if she handled the turf here,” he said. “It's a little bit better than yesterday, it was a bit soft for the Americans yesterday, but she handled it very well and held on. It's very hard when they come from America, there's also the second hill close home they have to handle. She's so nice, she handled everything nicely, in fact she was so calm I had to take her away from the others to wake her up a bit! She was a little too quiet, but behind the gates she was very nice.”

“She was going so well and in hindsight I almost messed up the race by going too soon. I should have waited longer with the second hill in mind, but she handled it. That's the first time I've ridden her, I knew she'd be pretty fast. Every year I try to come back here to get another winner, now I've got one it feels great and I'll be coming for as long as I can.”

William Haggas, who was in the Royal carriage for the pre-racing procession, was fighting the disappointment of so narrowly missing out on an ideal winner on one of his finest days. “We were in front before and after the line, but not on. There you go, that's the way it is, she's run a great race and made up a lot of ground in the last furlong,” he said.

Karl Burke said of the beaten favourite, “Beautiful Diamond had her prep for the breeze-up all winter, she came to us, we ran her only two weeks ago. She comes to a meeting like this and has run a huge race, but she is a weak filly and has had a hard race today. We will back off her for a month now and hopefully we can get her ready for the Lowther or something like that.”

Pedigree Notes

Crimson Advocate, a $100,000 purchase at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. October Yearling Sale, is out of Citizen Advocate who captured three stakes races and was runner-up in the GIII Azalea S. She is a half-sister to the dam of the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies-winning champion 2-year-old filly Caledonia Road (Quality Road) and the GIII Prairie Meadows Cornhusker H., GIII Tom Fool H. and GIII Mr. Prospector S. scorer Officiating (Blame). The family features the GII Wood Memorial winner Lord Miles (Curlin), the GI Donn H. hero Hymn Book (Arch) and GI Maker's Mile S. winner Data Link (War Front). The dam also has a colt foal by Leinster.

Wednesday, Royal Ascot, Britain
QUEEN MARY S.-G2, £115,000, Ascot, 6-21, 2yo, f, 5fT, :59.96, gd.
1–CRIMSON ADVOCATE, 128, f, 2, by Nyquist
1st Dam: Citizen Advocate (MSW & GSP-US, $327,450), by Proud Citizen
2nd Dam: Twilight Service, by Horse Chestnut (SAf)
3rd Dam: Sunset Service, by Deputy Minister
1ST GROUP WIN. ($100,000 Ylg '22 OBSOCT). O-R A Hill, Swinbank, Black Ridge, Black Type; B-Whitehall Lane Farm (KY); T-George Weaver; J-John Velazquez. £65,217. Lifetime Record: SW-US, 3-2-0-1, $138,047. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Relief Rally (Ire), 128, f, 2, Kodiac (GB)–Kathoe (Ire), by Fayruz (GB). 1ST BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (58,000gns Ylg '22 TATSOM). O-Simon Munir & Isaac Souede; B-C M Farrell (IRE); T-William Haggas. £24,725.
3–Beautiful Diamond (GB), 128, f, 2, Twilight Son (GB)–Babylon Lane (GB), by Lethal Force (Ire). 1ST BLACK TYPE; 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (30,000gns Ylg '22 TATSOM; £360,000 2yo '23 GOUKB). O-Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum; B-Rosyground Stud (GB); T-Karl Burke. £12,374.
Margins: NO, 2, 2. Odds: 9.00, 5.00, 2.75.
Also Ran: Juniper Berries (GB), Got To Love A Grey (GB), Flora Of Bermuda (Ire), Lady Pink Rose (GB), Balsam (Fr), Midnight Affair (Ire), Cynane, Thanksbutnothanks (Ire), Geologist (GB), Graceful Thunder (GB), Launch, Betties Bay (GB), Gaiden (Ire), Mariamne (GB), Princess Chizara (Ire), Callianassa (Ire), Tallulabelle (Ire), Bated Moon (Ire), Bundchen, Out Of The Stars (GB), Onigiri (GB), Hot Front (Ire), Cotai Vision (Ire). Scratched: Born To Rock (Ire), Tiger Belle (Ire).


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