Shaquille, the rising star of three-year-old sprinters, overcame a challenging start to secure a stunning victory in the prestigious G1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 23, 2023
Guided by jockey Oisin Murphy and trained by Julie Camacho, Shaquille’s remarkable performance impressed all.
Despite a setback at the beginning when Shaquille reared and lost ground, Murphy’s skillful riding allowed the Charm Spirit colt to gradually make up for the lost distance. With a powerful surge of speed, Shaquille overtook Little Big Bear and triumphed by a length and a quarter.
Little Big Bear, the highly favored 10/11 contender, had gained attention after a strong showing in the G2 Sandy Lane Stakes, but couldn’t match Shaquille’s outstanding display. Swingalong, the filly, finished a commendable third.
Camacho celebrated her first-ever Royal Ascot victory, expressing surprise and delight at Shaquille’s impressive recovery. The slow start had initially seemed detrimental, but Shaquille’s determined performance surpassed all expectations.
Murphy commended Shaquille’s resilience, acknowledging the difficulty of recovering from a poor start in a 1,200-meter race. He praised the colt’s exceptional abilities and expressed his joy at securing a Group One win.
Aidan O’Brien, trainer of Little Big Bear, expressed satisfaction with his horse’s performance and revealed future plans, including targeting the July Cup. Karl Burke, trainer of Swingalong, lauded her fantastic run and hinted at considering the Prix Maurice de Gheest, highlighting her versatility as both a Group Two winner and a Group One placed horse.
The victory marked a significant milestone for Camacho and owner Martin Hughes, who bred Shaquille. Their dedication and the colt’s extraordinary talent resulted in an unforgettable moment at Royal Ascot.