sport

Cards fall right for Baccarat

Richard Fahey landed Royal Ascot's big sprint handicap as Baccarat came home nicely clear in the Wokingham.

The 9/1 shot provided young jockey George Chaloner with one of the biggest winners of his career, coming away from Professor in the closing stages with Rivellino and another Fahey runner Alben Star filling out the frame.

Chaloner always had the consistent five-year-old well placed near the stands side with the field initially splitting into three fairly equal groups.

He pulled out to find some daylight after the two-furlong pole and hit the front with just over a furlong left, just as his stable companion came through on the rail.

But it was Baccarat who found the better turn of foot, quickly drawing a couple of lengths clear and holding on well in the closing stages as Professor (10/1) and Rivellino (25/1) came late down the middle of the track.

Alben Star made it a fine day for Fahey in fourth at 16/1 with a massive gamble on Absolutely So coming astray - he was backed all the way down to 4/1 favourite but trailed home well outside the first dozen.

"It feels amazing. I'm really grateful to the boss and Sir Robert Ogden (owner) for putting me on him," said Chaloner, who was riding his first Royal Ascot winner.

"He gave me a good ride the last day at York and he went one better this time."

Fahey said: "I always felt he could win one of these races. Everything's gone right, it's fantastic. He (George) is only a kid and needs big days like this.

"He's a horse that is probably capable of better but that is what you need to win races like this.

"He likes them to go flat-out and he showed so when he won the St Wilfrid (Ripon) and the last day in York he was unlucky.

"He'll take a step up in class now. He won't have too many more chances now of winning handicaps.

"Alben Star has run another blinder. He's been a star and has earned a holiday now."

The Ascot stewards held an inquiry into two possible incidents of interference in the race and found William Buick, rider of Rivellino, and Thomas Brown, who partnered Dungannon (21st), guilty of careless riding.

Buick was given a two-day (July 6-7) ban and Brown was suspended for three days (July 6-8).