Jockey Ben Curtis had his first Royal Ascot win this afternoon as Dandalla made it two wins from as many starts when powering to victory in the Group 3 Albany Stakes over six furlongs.

Danadalla (13/2), a daughter of Dandy Man, took up the running well over a furlong from home and never looked in any danger after that point, as the 11/4f Sethare stayed on to take second, six lengths adrift.

Ben Curtis said of his first Royal Ascot success:

“It is on every jockey’s to-do list. I have been coming down to Royal Ascot for a good while now and not really getting involved, so finally to get a winner is unbelievable.”

Curtis was quick to praise others involved with Danadalla, stating:

“Karl’s daughter Lucy rides Dandalla every day and does all the hard work at home. I remember her coming down from the gallops one day, and she mentioned her in the same sentence as Laurens, and said she gave her that kind of feel. When she said that, it gave me all the hope in the world. When Dandalla went to the racetrack the first time and did what she did [she won on her debut by two lengths at Newcastle on June 2], we knew she’d improve a ton, and everything went perfectly today and she’s demolished them. She has shown her class and it is brilliant. I ride for Karl all the time, so to be able to ride him a winner at Royal Ascot is unbelievable.”

The winning Irish rider continued:

“It is funny, it was a surreal feeling. I came there are the two [furlong pole] travelling very well, and I just popped her between a couple just inside the two, and she came alive. I knew when we accelerated that nothing else would be able to pick up the way I did, because she picked up very well. In the last furlong I said, ‘We’re out on our own’, and it was a brilliant feeling and a great performance by the filly. I don’t care, crowd or no crowd! I have had two Group Three winners and now a Royal Ascot winner. I think I am just going to go in and pinch myself now in a second.”

When discussing his career, Curtis mentions that he had two aims:

“I had two things on my agenda. One was to ride a Group 1 winner, and I am still looking for that, and the other was to ride a Royal Ascot winner, and that is one off the list. Those two things were at the very top of my list. Every jockey would like to have a stab at being champion and being able to hold that title, so if I ever got in a position to go for the title, I would give it 120%.”

1:50pm Albany Stakes (Group 3)

1 Dandalla Karl Burke 2-9-00 Ben Curtis 13/2
2 Setarhe Roger Varian 2-9-00 Andrea Atzeni 11/4 Fav
3 Mother Earth Aidan O’Brien 2-9-00 Ryan Moore 100/30

13 ran
Non-Runner: Ventura Vision (withdrawn at start)
Time: 1m 16.38s
Distances: 6, nk

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here