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Diomed Stakes: Royal Scotsman romps to victory in spectacular fashion at Epsom

Royal Scotsman relished a change of tactics when romping home in the Group Three Betfred Diomed Stakes at Epsom.

Paul and Oliver Cole’s four-year-old is usually held up towards the rear, but Jamie Spencer settled him at the head of affairs this time and kicked clear entering the straight.

The result never looked in doubt from that point onwards and although Royal Dubai and Highland Avenue plugged on for minor honours, the 17-2 victor was still two and a quarter lengths clear at the line.

Royal Scotsman was winning for the first time since landing the Richmond Stakes as a juvenile and had his campaign cut short last term after following up a 2000 Guineas third with two below-par efforts.

He trailed in 25 lengths adrift of Audience when returning to action in last month’s Lockinge at Newbury but bounced back to his best form with a bang here.

“We’ve always thought a lot of this horse. He probably had a good chance in the Dewhurst and was unlucky, he probably had a very good chance in the Guineas and was unlucky,” said Oliver Cole.

“After that there were a couple of disappointing runs, he had bone bruising and then in the Lockinge he cocked his jaw when he came out the stalls.

“Since then we’ve done lots of stalls work as he was panicking, we put the Monty Roberts rug on him and I spoke to Jamie three times this week and told him just to hold the neck strap. I said it very respectfully as he’s a jockey and I’m not, but I just wanted to give him all the rein he could possibly give him and just jump and go forward.

“He’s done that very well and the plan was always to go forward today so he can relax in front. These Gleneagles horses are quite highly strung and if you get into a tussle early on, it costs you at the end. It proved that at the end of his two-year-old career and his three-year-old career, but he’s done that very well and I couldn’t be more happy.

“In the back of my mind I thought he might let us down again, but he really didn’t.”

On future plans, he said: “Maybe he will go to the Sussex Stakes now. He has an entry at Ascot, but I think that will come too quick. Now we’ve got the hang of him, hopefully there is fun to be had.

“We could even drop him back to seven furlongs or six, he’s such a good horse and it would not surprise me if he won a Group One over six furlongs. He’s so fast at home and the speed he gets up to and the ground he covers is amazing.

“It would be brilliant to take him back to Goodwood and see what he is made of, but what a relief today is.”

Paul Cole, meanwhile, said winning at Epsom was still special, 33 years on from Generous landing the Derby: “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.”

Marco Botti said of Royal Dubai: “I thought it was a great run, Oisin (Murphy) was delighted with him.

“The winner is obviously a good horse and Oisin just felt he got first run on him and we had quite a lot of ground to make up.

“He finished strongly, though, he handled the track and this is the ground he wants so we have to be pleased with that and there’s plenty to look forward to.

“It’s nice to see him back up what he did in Meydan. Last year his only bad run came on really soft ground and then we realised he wanted good to firm so in a way we were lucky the ground dried out today.

“He’s a really nice horse and he’s proven he is up to this level. I don’t think there’s anything at Ascot for him. The owner is keen to run in Group races so we’ll look at options, maybe at Goodwood.”

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