State of Rest robs the Prince of Wales wire by wire
Shane Crosse shines as State Of Rest upsets Bay Bridge in Prince Of Wales’s Stakes
Bay Bridge looked to have exceptional claims for the G1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, but supporters of favorite trained by Sir Michael Stoute were undone by a masterful run from Shane Crosse aboard State Of Rest.
It was a fitting win for State Of Rest, who provided coach Joseph O’Brien with his first Royal Ascot victory as a trainer, a decade after winning the high point of 10 furlongs as a jockey on So You Think.
Lacrosse, riding his first Royal Ascot winner, was allowed to dictate the showpiece to five riders and it proved fatal to his opponents as there were still plenty in the State Of Rest tank when the boy of four years kicked home passing the two-furlong pole.
Bay Bridge, sent off 10/11 favorites after a brilliant reappearance victory in the G3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes, loomed as they approached the final stage, but Ryan Moore’s mount couldn’t deliver a decisive blow in the final stages and there was a length separating the pair at the line.
Japanese raider Shahryar sat on the leader’s heels, but his challenge ran out of steam on the straight and he was passed for third place by Grand Glory on the closing strides.
This is a fourth G1 success for the globe-trotting State Of Rest, after victories in the American Saratoga Derby, the Australian Cox Plate and the French Prix Ganay.
Joseph O’Brien, who has ridden six Royal Ascot winners as a jockey, said: “It was a brilliant ride from Shane. State Of Rest is a very tough horse. We had a good chat with Shane and decided to race. It couldn’t have worked better. He got perfect fractions.
“It’s very special. It’s been coming for a long time [first Royal Ascot win as a trainer]. Lots of horses have run well here. It’s special to have a winner here and not just a winner, but to win a race like the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes is extremely special. We have a great team of owners and a special horse.
“He has proven himself to be a classy horse. It’s very versatile and I blame myself for not using it enough last time, but it was a great race. We knew coming here today that we had a real shot at winning the race and I’m just glad the horse proved himself.
“Shane gave him a wonderful race and has only been in a handful of races here. He’s grabbed the race by the scruff of his neck. It’s a great day and I’m very proud of everyone. We have a huge team at home and I’m so proud of them.
“It’s very special. That’s what we’re talking about. We love the game, we were born and raised in the game. That’s all we know. Having a big winner here, that’s what we’re doing it for.
Part winner Paul Cashman of Rathbarry Stud said: “It’s a dream come true. Things didn’t go to plan in the Tattersalls Gold Cup – the pitch was not on our side that day.
“Against Shane he was brilliant today, absolutely brilliant. It was Joseph’s plan going forward. He knew through and through what he wanted and that’s that’s how it happened. It doesn’t always work that way, but they had the confidence and the horsepower to do it.
“When the horse won the Cox Plate last year we just said look this is a horse that could be a real international horse [to invest in]. He had won the Saratoga Derby and then the Cox Plate, one of Australia’s most prestigious races.
“He had the ability to travel and Joseph said he was unlucky in the spring of his three-year career. He tore a muscle in the spring and didn’t have a Guineas campaign, just like a horse from the second half of the season. So for me he had been under the radar for a race like this. I thought he should have been half the price he was.
“Joseph believed in horses so much. Everything is linked to Joseph and his first winner of Royal Ascot among many others!
“There are a lot of Australians here, a big team of 16 is there, and Teo Ah Khing [China Horse Club] is involved on the southern hemisphere side.
Shane Crosse said: “The plan before we spoke to Joseph was to simplify things from our draw  in a small field.
“Fair play at State Of Rest. In the last 12 months, this horse has done a lot. He did it all and I’m just over the moon.
“It’s a dream. To come here and participate is a huge thing. To ride a horse like this in top level races is a dream. You can’t describe it.
Sir Michael Stoute said of Bay Bridge: “The race didn’t go very well for him, but he ran a really big race and we are absolutely delighted. We’ve never run it on fast terrain before, but it didn’t bother it; there was no problem there. Whether we stick to 10 stadia or go to 12 stadia, no decision will be made for a while.
Shahryar driver Cristian Demuro said: “When I asked to go he didn’t have the same acceleration as last time.”
Photo: State Of Rest wins the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (credit: Megan Ridgwell)