The Grand Visir wins the Ascot Stakes

The classy The Grand Visir defied the inclement weather and top weight to win the Ascot Stakes under Richard Kingscote to give the yard a first ever Royal Ascot winner.

Given a confident ride by Richard, he took his time and didn't make a serious move until turning for home.

Hitting the front a furlong out, he stayed on strongly to hold the challenge of Buildmeupbuttercup to win by a length and a quarter, with our Time To Study back in third.







ELLIOTT'S GRAND VISION FOR VISIR GOES FLAT
 
Bloodstock agent Alex Elliott had a race at Cheltenham in mind for The Grand Visir when he bought him for 170,000gns at Tattersalls' Horses In Training Sale in Newmarket last year.
 
Elliott, who became part of the team who own the horse, was therefore shocked and emotional after the five-year-old son of Royal Ascot legend Frankel, grabbed a race at Royal Ascot, namely the Ascot Handicap over two and a half miles. The Grand Visir (12/1) stayed on strongly to hold off Buildmeupbuttercup (7/1), Time To Study (16/1) and Fun Mac (11/1) by one and a quarter lengths, three and a half lengths and two and a quarter lengths.
 
Ian Williams trains the winner - who was the mount of Richard Kingscote - and also third home, Time To Study. 
 
Elliott said of the day he bought The Grand Visir: "I thought he was the best horse in the sale and a half-a-million pound horse, but he failed the scope [veterinary inspection of the horse's airways], despite having won a race the week before.
 
"We just had to ask ourselves how much the scope could stop him - we thought he was a Supreme Novices' Hurdle or even Champion Hurdle horse. That didn't quite go to plan [the horse unseated once and was then unplaced over hurdles] and here we are now. Quite unbelievable.
 
"Ian is the master of this type of horse - the best in the country if not the world, which is why I and two friends, my best friends who have done a lot for me, chose Ian to do the training." Other partners in the syndicate include Sky Sport Racing television presenter Gina Bryce.
 
Williams said: "The hurdling career is not finished, but it is open to interpretation. We ran him back on the Flat at Newbury last month and fortunately he dropped a pound in the handicap which enabled him to get in here, albeit carrying top weight.
 
"We weren't sure he would stay the trip, but Richard gave him a lovely patient ride which enabled him to get into the race. Turning for home I thought there was only two who were travelling well, The Grand Visir and Time To Study. The winner stayed all the way to the line, but Time To Study probably didn't quite get the trip.
 
"It's great for Alex who bought him and also has a good share in him, and it's wonderful to have a winner at Royal Ascot. For a son of Frankel to win a race over this distance is pretty unusual, but if anyone can make his progeny slow it's me!"
 
Williams was then congratulated by his old boss, Martin Pipe, and during a selfie session with the former master of Jump racing, he declared: "When I worked for him he always said I was deaf."
 
Williams hopes to pull off a stamina-laden, Royal Ascot double this week, for he will saddle Dr Marwan Koukash's Magic Circle in Thursday's G1 Gold Cup.


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