Across the Stars shines in King Edward VII Stakes
Edited Press Release
Sir Michael Stoute registered his 74th winner at Royal Ascot, one away from equaling Sir Henry Cecil's all-time record of 75 winners, courtesy of 7-1 shot Across the Stars in Friday’s King Edward VII Stakes (Eng-G2).
Having been settled on the inside rail by Frankie Dettori, the son of Sea the Stars was pulled out around the furlong pole by the Italian to launch his run. The three-year-old, unplaced in the Derby (Eng-G1) last out, responded to Dettori's urgings and pulled clear to record a comfortable 1 1/4-length victory.
"It was very pleasing. We always thought a lot of him,” Stoute said. "He is a big horse with plenty of ability and great scope but he just needs to grow up a bit more. We have always liked him and I liked the way he battled.
The colt gave Dettori his fourth victory of the week and his 56th Royal Ascot winner overall, a total which puts him equal with Willie Carson.
"I'd like to pass Willie Carson now! I've had a great meeting so far with four winners – happy days!” Dettori celebrated.
"I had a lovely pitch behind Ryan (Moore), (on) the (7-2) favorite (Beacon Rock), and I wanted to use his stride and see if he could come good and he did,” Dettori explained his ride. "We started quick and then Ryan slowed it up gradually. My arms were getting quite tired so I was pleased when we started picking the pace up at the three-furlong pole.
"In fairness, the horse came home good. I didn't expect to ride a winner today – I thought it was very difficult. It's nice to get one on the board though – I'm delighted. Michael told me he had this rangy, beautiful stride and to use it. As soon as I got clear, he came home well and ran all the way to the line.
Across the Stars was well-beaten in 10th behind Harzand in the Epsom Derby but put his Derby disappointment behind him in the King Edward VII.
"(Owner) Saeed Suhail was keen to go to Epsom and I could understand that. He won a Derby 12 years before (with Kris Kin in 2004) but I didn't think Epsom would suit him and it didn't,” Stoute said. "Full marks to (jockey) Kieren (Fallon) that day as he looked after him because he didn't come down the hill very well.
"This track suited him a lot better. He's a big long striding horse who is still a little impetuous. He has plenty of growing up to physically and mentally. I think he has a future.”
With just 13 days coming between the colt's run in the Derby and victory here, Stoute suggested a break would now be the immediate plan for the horse.
"I think we need to do a lot of thinking about the future,” he said. "I don't think he will stay the Leger (Eng-G1) trip and I don't think he is a Leger horse. He needs a bit of a break now as he has had two quick races but we will plan a bit of a program in a few weeks' time."
Aidan O'Brien trained both the second and fourth-placed horses, Beacon Rock and Housesofparliament. Beacon Rock made the majority of the running and held second by a head over the John Gosden-trained Muntahaa, who was stepping up from maiden company and started at odds of 10-1.
"He ran a blinder,” Gosden praised his charge. “He got shuffled back a little off no pace, and with Ryan controlling the pace in front and Frankie handy, he's run the best of all the horses coming from behind, so we're absolutely delighted with him."
Across the Stars photo courtesy Ascot Racecourse via Twitter