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Article 1st June 2024 Epsom Downs

Royal Scotsman (17-2), who finished third in last season’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas, came back to something like his best when coming home the clear winner of the Group Three Betfred Diomed Stakes on Derby Day.

Partnered by Jamie Spencer and in a change of tactics, the four-year-old Gleneagles colt went straight into a clear lead and from that point onwards never saw another rival as he came home two and a quarter lengths to the good over Royal Dubai in the extended mile prize.

Oliver Cole, who trains the winner jointly with his father Paul, said: “He had a very good chance in the Dewhurst and was unlucky. He was very unlucky in the Guineas. Then last year, a couple of disappointing runs - he had bone bruising - then his last run, the Lockinge,, he cocked his jaw when he came out, and we’ve done a lot of stalls work.

“We’ve used a Monty Roberts blanket on him, and I spoke to Jamie three times this week, telling him just to hold the neckstrap - I told him very respectfully because he’s a jockey and I’m not - give him all the rein he can possibly give him and just go forward. He’s done that very well, and I think if you latch on to his bit in the stalls, he just cocks his head. He’s done it very well and the plan was always to go forward today so he can relax in front. We won three Group races from the front last year, and it just settles them down, especially these Gleneagles, who are quite highly strung. If you get in a tussle early on, it costs you at the end and he proved that at the end of his two-year-old career and as a three-year-old. He’s done it very well and we couldn’t be happier.”

Paul Cole, on today’s success at Epsom 33 years after Generous won The Derby, said: “Nothing has changed except me, I’ve got 80 more wrinkles!”

Asked if he is still loving it as much as ever, he said: “Yes of course, who wouldn’t love that? What a treat, what a fantastic thing to happen. He’s a very good horse – just we hadn’t got the best out of him.”

Jamie Spencer said: “When you get to King’s Cross Station, you board as a passenger – and that’s exactly what I was! Ground is important. He got his toe in today.

“I was dubious, but [Mr Cole] said just let him jump well. He said if you can just get him to prick his ears – but he didn’t, basically for half a mile, he had a run on me, and told me not to restrain him. Then he pricked his ears just before the turn in and, so I thought when they do that, they are actually taking a breath. It’s handy to have those screens the whole way down the straight, I kept having a peep and thought ‘oh lovely, I’m still a few lengths clear.

"He's always been a good horse but he's quite a difficult ride as he's quite strong and aggressive. We decided to let him go today, let him use his stride, and it's worked. He's got an entry in the July Cup, and I think he'd go well in a sprint race on soft ground - on proper soft where you need to stay.”

Marco Botti, trainer of runner-up Royal Dubai, said: "I thought it was a great run and Oisin was delighted with him. The winner is obviously a good horse and he probably had first run, so we had quite a lot of ground to make up. He finished strongly and handled the track, so we have to be pleased with that. He's a really nice horse and he's proven he's up to this level, so there's plenty to look forward to with him. Maybe Goodwood.

"Last year the only bad run came on soft ground. He wants good to firm, so we've been lucky it dried out today."


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