Ryan Moore Gets 80th Royal Ascot Winner on Illinois

Illinois | Megan Coggin


Franking the form of the Listed Lingfield Derby Trial, Ballydoyle's Illinois (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}–Danedrop {Ire}, by Danehill) relished the extra trip of Wednesday's G2 Queen's Vase to justify Ryan Moore's faith and reward him by bringing up his 80th Royal Ascot. Always content on the front end, Ballydoyle's 7-4 favourite veered left in the straight when in command but found the line 1 1/4 lengths ahead of stablemate Highbury (Fr) (Galileo {Ire}), with compatriot Birdman (Ire) (Free Eagle {Ire}) 3/4 of a length away in third.

Aidan O'Brien, who was equalling Sir Henry Cecil's record of eight Queen's Vase wins, was at a loss to provide a fitting tribute to the peerless jockey. “What can I say about Ryan that hasn't already been said? He is an unbelievable man,” he said. “We felt any three of them could win, but Ryan made the decision on this one. He's obviously a Leger-type horse and is going to improve from three to four.”

Illinois, who followed his Curragh maiden win with a third in the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud last term, had been third in Leopardstown's G3 Ballysax S. in April before chasing home Ambiente Friendly (Ire) (Gleneagles {Ire}) at Lingfield. This was more in his comfort zone, taking on hybrid stayers of a lesser level of ability than that Derby runner-up and despite his errant tendencies late on, it was as straightforward as it gets for the rider.

“He's a middle-distance, mile-and-six type horse and he's going to get better from three to four,” O'Brien added. “He might have a bit of a rest now and go to York on the way to the St Leger, something like that. When he went to the front he flattened out and he thought the race was over and then he asked him to come again and he did.”

Of the runner-up Highbury, who was on a much steeper experience curve than the winner, he said, “He's only a baby and we didn't know what to expect, but he's obviously a good horse. Wayne [Lordan] said he was babyish through the race, but will come on as well. He is probably a Leger-type horse as well. He could go to Goodwood and then back to York.”


Pedigree Notes
Illinois's dam Danedrop produced the five-times group 1-winning German champion Danedream (Ger) (Lomitas {GB}), whose exploits include victories in the G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and G1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She is also responsible for Galileo's G3 Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud S. winner Broadway (Ire) and G3 Chester Vase winner and G1 Grand Prix de Paris-placed Venice Beach (Ire), while she is also the second dam of this year's G3 Prix Vanteaux winner Dare To Dream (Fr) (Camelot {GB}).

Illinois's third dam Lady Berry (Fr) (Violon d'Ingres {Fr}) produced three group 1 winners in the Prix Vermeille heroine Indian Rose (Fr) (General Holme), the Prix Ganay-winning sire Vert Amande (Fr) and the Grand Prix de Paris-winning sire Le Nain Jaune (Fr) and is the ancestress of the likes of Groom Dancer, Plumania (GB) (Anabaa) and Left Hand (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}). Danedrop's as-yet unnamed 2-year-old colt is by Churchill (Ire).

Wednesday, Royal Ascot, Britain
QUEEN'S VASE-G2, £265,000, Ascot, 6-19, 3yo, 14f 34yT, 3:00.57, g/f.
1–ILLINOIS (IRE), 128, c, 3, by Galileo (Ire)
     1st Dam: Danedrop (Ire) (Broodmare Of The Year-Ger), by Danehill
     2nd Dam: Rose Bonbon (Fr), by High Top (Ire)
     3rd Dam: Lady Berry (Fr), by Violon d'Ingres (Fr)
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GROUP WIN. O-Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Coolmore (IRE); T-Aidan O'Brien; J-Ryan Moore. £150,282. Lifetime Record: G1SP-Fr & GSP-Ire, 5-2-1-2, $252,839. *Full to Venice Beach (Ire), GSW-Eng, G1SP-Fr, $216,579; Full to Broadway (Ire), GSW-Ire; 1/2 to Danedream (Ger) (Lomitas {GB}), Horse Of The Year-Ger, Champion 3-year-old Filly-Eur, G1SW-Eng, MG1SW-Ger, G1SW-Fr, GSW-Ity, $5,044,792. Werk Nick Rating: A. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree, or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–Highbury (Fr), 128, c, 3, Galileo (Ire)–High Celebrity (Fr), by Invincible Spirit (Ire).
1ST BLACK TYPE, 1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. (€650,000 Ylg '22 ARAUG). O-Westerberg, Coolmore, Brant, Dubois; B-Jean-Philippe Dubois (FR); T-Aidan O'Brien. £56,975.
3–Birdman (Ire), 128, g, 3, Free Eagle (Ire)–Carol (Ire), by Acclamation (GB).
1ST GROUP BLACK TYPE. O-Anamoine Ltd; B-Windflower Overseas Holdings Inc (IRE); T-Jessica Harrington. £28,514.
Margins: 1 1/4, 3/4, 4 1/4. Odds: 1.75, 3.00, 6.50.
Also Ran: Meydaan (Ire), The Equator (Ire), Imperial Sovereign (Ire), Lavender Hill Mob (GB), Pappano (GB), Mina Rashid (GB), Mr Hampstead, See The Green (GB). Scratched: Grosvenor Square (Ire).

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