SIR Michael Stoute is seeking a record 76th winner at Royal Ascot on Wednesday afternoon and with a bit of luck the South African-owned Smart Call could be the one that lifts the Newmarket trainer to racing immortality.
From their respective stables, Stoute and the late Sir Henry Cecil almost seemed to have a monopoly on the British trainers’ championship through the 1980s and 1990s. Sir Henry, who died in 2013, claimed the title on no less than 10 occasions – a tally matched in 2009 by Stoute.
Another record the pair share is that they have both recorded 75 Royal Ascot winners, an extraordinary feat given the ruthlessly competitive nature of racing at the globally renowned five-day meeting.
While Ulysses (Gr1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, 3-1 favourite) is considered Stoute’s best chance of a winner today, there are a few touts around Ascot who are tipping Smart Call (8-1) to accomplish the feat in the Gr2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes over the straight mile.
Steven Jell, who will accompany owner Jessica Slack to Royal Ascot today, reported last night: “We are here for the occasion and to cheer Smart Call home every yard of the way. She is well, ready for the race and Ryan (Moore) is happy to be riding her.”
Same Jurisdiction, another South African interest, will line up for Ed Dunlop and Gavin Lerena in the same contest. She has been priced up at 66-1 for the race, off at 16:40.
-extracts from Racing UK.
Photo: Smart Call in training at Newmarket. (Steven Jell).