Tom Marquand wins on Candleford in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) Royal Ascot 17.6.2022 ©Mark Cranhamphoto.com

Candleford victorious in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes

Candleford (Kingman) surged clearer in the closing stages by an impressive six lengths.

Taken from Thoroughbred Daily News, Saturday 18th June 2022

Not seen since annexing a 12-furlong Kempton handicap by three lengths in November, broke well from an outer gate and was set on snooze mode towards the rear during the first half of this seasonal reappearance. Fanning to the outside off the home turn and powering into contention passing the quarter-mile marker, the well-backed 11-2 chance seized control approaching the final furlong and surged clear in the closing stages to usurp Ajero (Ire) (Red Jazz) by an impressive six lengths. "Candleford likes going right-handed, he improved quite a lot during the autumn last year and a right-handed mile-and-a-half was right up his street," said William Haggas after claiming a second Royal success of the week, and 14th overall. "He won well, but a bit too well. I thought all winter we'd win the Duke of Edinburgh, but not with him as I didn't think he'd ever get in. A lot of them may not have handled the [good-to-firm] ground, but he handles it. I would like to mention Alison Samuel, who rides him every day and tells everyone about him every day, and she will be in tears for a week."

Barnane Stud's Craig Kieswetter, a former England cricketer, added, "It's always good fun and to have a runner, never mind a winner, at Royal Ascot runner is an incredible achievement."He added, "We are delighted, Candleford is our first homebred winner and our first homebred Royal Ascot winner. It is very cool."

Tom Marquand matched his wife Hollie Doyle's achievement of earlier in the week and bagged his first winner at this year's fixture. "William brought Candleford here without having a run this year, it was a bold thing to do, but he clearly knew where this chap was," the rider explained. "That was unbelievable, Candleford has trounced them and it's great to get one on the board and well done to everyone at home. They had Baaeed earlier in the week, but it's great to keep the Royal Ascot winners flowing. I could've been a little nicer to him at the two furlong pole, but I thought I had to go and put the race to bed. I didn't expect him to do it in that fashion. That was a really good performance, he is a horse that is improving and there is no reason why he can't step up again."

Candleford is the third of six foals and one of two winners out of stakes-winning Gr.2 Ribblesdale S., Gr.2 Lancashire Oaks and Gr.3 Prix de Psyche third Dorcas Lane (GB) (Norse Dancer {Ire}), herself out of a half-sister to Gr.1 1000 Guineas heroine Harayir (Gulch). The February-foaled homebred bay is a half-brother to Listed Copa de Oro de San Sebastian third Atty Persse (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) who annexed the King George V H. at this fixture in 2017--the unraced 2-year-old filly Maman Joon (Ire) (Sea The Stars {Ire}) and a yearling colt by Night of Thunder (Ire).