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Royal Ascot: Khaadem successfully defends QEII Jubilee crown

Oisin Murphy delivered an expert ride aboard Khaadem, which saw the horse land the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes for the second successive year. Swingalong was half a length back in second, whilst Mill Stream was third.

Khaadem wins the QEII Jubilee Stakes
Image: Khaadem wins the QEII Jubilee Stakes

Khaadem benefited from an ice-cool Oisin Murphy ride to land the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot for the second year in succession.

The Charlie Hills-trained speedster was a shock 80/1 winner of the Group One contest 12 months ago and while he had failed to trouble the judge in four starts since, he bounced right back to his best on his favoured fast ground to successfully defend his crown.

Royal Ascot - live on Sky Sports Racing!
Royal Ascot - live on Sky Sports Racing!

Watch every race from Royal Ascot, all live on Sky Sports Racing from Tuesday June 18 to Saturday June 22.

A relatively small field of 13 runners went to post and Karl Burke's Swingalong gave a bold sight in front for much of the six-furlong contest.

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However, Khaadem (14/1) was travelling noticeably strongly in behind under a motionless Murphy and picked up well once let loose to get up and beat Swingalong by half a length.

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Mill Stream was best of the rest in third, with 3/1 favourite Believing - fourth in the King Charles III Stakes - occupying the same finishing position four days later.

Hills said: "What a horse. Two win of of these plus a Palace House, a Stewards' Cup and a King George at Goodwood.

"He got a fantastic ride there, off the pace, and he never looked like he was going to get beat.

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"He loves this track, I think it's the first time he's had his ground since he won this last year. I think fast ground is key to him.

"He had a lovely pitch, they went a strong pace in front and he travels for fun. He's such a versatile horse, to think he was making the running over five (furlongs) two years ago.

"We then decided on a change of tack, ride him like a good horse over six and it seems to suit him really well."

Hills also had an update on his father, Barry, and said: "Barry has been in hospital but he's improving every day, that will be a good tonic for him."

Winning rider Murphy said: "He came alive as they slowed down, he was always going to win because he was the only one finishing, wasn't he?

"I didn't expect the race to happen how it did - I jumped better than he normally gets away, there were four of us in a line and none of us intended laying up with the front group and there was a bit of a scrum and the group to our right was five lengths in front of us.

"Fortunately I didn't rush up to them because there was no pressure, and as they slowed down, I crept. Listen, the horse loves Ascot and he was well prepared. It was a pretty easy ride."

Karl Burke has enjoyed a stellar week but had to settle for second with Swingalong.

"We're delighted with the run, gutted to be beaten. But she's run her heart out - can't complain. We thought we had it a furlong out. She loves this track, it plays to her strengths," said Burke.

"She's in at Newmarket, not sure that track plays to her strengths, but it might be a case where we have to go as she's kept in training to run in these Group Ones and try to win one. I thought we had pulled it off there!"

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