The Ridler at 50/1 secured a shock win in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on day three as Paul Hanagan battled his way ahead of the favourite and the chasing pack. There was a slight level of controversy and a steward’s enquiry after The Ridler seemingly cut across the path of a few horses on his way to the post.
Brave Nation was the most affected but all eyes were on 7/4 favourite Walbank as the punters heavily backed the favourite all day to get them off to a flyer in the opener. The son of Kodiac cost over half a million and won by seven lengths at the Knavesmire on his second start so looked like the one to beat, but he was outfought in the closing stages by the 50/1 shot.
Trainer Richard Fahey actually won this race last year with Perfect Power and returned with aplomb as Hanagan got the job done under pressure for his second consecutive win. The steward's enquiry amounted to nothing and he got to keep the race win, although the fall-out from this race could continue over the afternoon. Hours later, he was handed a ten-day riding ban for interference.
“He pricked his ears in front, but I always felt I was clear. I don’t think they had to stop riding, that is the impression I got. So I think he will be fine. I put my stick down and tried to get him straight so I don’t think we could have done much more. There’s a lot of emotions going through me at the minute but I’m just delighted to ride Rich a winner.”
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