David Marnane & Billy Lee win £175,000 Royal Hunt Cup with Settle For Bay

Credit: Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM)

Irish trainer David Marnane struggled to contain his emotions on winning his second Royal Ascot race after Settle For Bay (16/1) won the £175,000 Royal Hunt Cup by two and a quarter lengths from Afaak (10/1), who was a head and a neck in front of Circus Couture (100/1) and What’s The Story (33/1).

A thrilled David Marnane said of his winner:

“We knew all the way through last year that he was this sort of class; he progressed all along. It’s one thing to have it [class], another to get him here. He broke his pelvis last year, taking a step out of the stalls on his second run as a three-year-old, so it is a remarkable recovery. Thankfully the vets have done a great job.”

Marnane, whose first winner at Royal Ascot was Dandy Boy in the 2012 Wokingham Handicap, continued:

“We knew he was a Group horse. You might have 10lb [in hand] but sometimes you need more.We’ve had this race in mind for a long time, and it’s come off. He’s won and we are delighted. When you train 20 horses, and you’ve won a Wokingham and now a Royal Hunt Cup, it’s very special.”

Jockey Billy Lee, whose first success came in the 2013 Britannia Handicap on the Joanna Morgan-trained Roca Tuma, said of the Rio De La Plata four-year-old winner:

“They went a lovely gallop and my horse settled into a rhythm very quickly. He was asleep for the first half of the race, and I had to just give him a little squeeze three furlongs out to get him into stride and onto the bridle.”

The Ballingarry, Co. Limerick, rider added:

“David always had a lot of faith in him, and I was delighted when I got the call to ride him because I knew he was a horse who looked to have plenty of potential. He looked like he could step up to Listed and Group races, and he showed there that he most likely will.”

5.00pm Royal Hunt Cup (Heritage Handicap)

1 Settle For Bay (Mcgettigans Management Jlt/M Casey) David Marnane & Billy Lee 16/1

2 Afaak (Hamdan Al Maktoum) Charles Hill & Jim Crowley 10/1

3 Circus Couture (Jane Chapple-Hyam & Bryan Hurst) Jane Chapple-Hyam & John Egan 100/1

4 What’s The Story (Weldspec Glasgow Ltd) Keith Dalgleish & Fran Berry 33/1

7/1 fav Seniority (8th)

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