Asfoora conquers Royal Ascot with King Charles III Stakes triumph

Royal Ascot winner Asfoora. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

Asfoora delivered trainer Henry Dwyer the pinnacle win of his career by claiming the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot.

This victory marked Australia’s sixth triumph in this prestigious race, following in the footsteps of sprinting legends such as Choisir (2003), Takeover Target (2006), Miss Andretti (2007), Scenic Blast (2009), and Nature Strip (2022).

“I’m really struggling for words,” Dwyer admitted.

“We’ve come a long way from Ballarat.

“Just an amazing experience from start to finish. It was a bit of an audacious plan – we copped a bit of stick back home for bringing her over because she wasn’t seen as one of our better sprinters, but we were just so confident she was really, really textbook, wheelhouse, five furlongs, and she’s proven that today.

“She’s no Black Caviar or Nature Strip, but she’s a very good sprinter in her own right, and she’s proved she’s up to it.”

2024 Group 1 King Charles III Stakes (UK) Replay – Asfoora

Asfoora burst from gate one, trailing Regional as they led a group of six runners up the stand side. Meanwhile, race favourite Big Evs took charge of the 11 runners on the inside rail.

In the final 400m, Asfoora began to drift towards the centre of the track, challenging Big Evs with a furlong to run before surging ahead in the latter stages. Asfoora paying +500 with horse racing bookmakers triumphed over Regional (+600) by a length, with Big Evs (+275 favourite) finishing half a length behind in third.

“Thrilled for connections,” exclaimed winning jockey Oisin Murphy.

“It’s very brave to come from Australia with a very good horse. She performed on the day.

“How good was she? Regional gave me the perfect tow to halfway, he gave me a nice lead.

“She lugged a little bit right under pressure, but how good was she at the line?

“It’s hard to win Group 1’s, the King Charles III Stakes is a massive race.

“I’m delighted. Royal Ascot day one, to win a Group 1, brilliant.”

This victory, Asfoora’s ninth from 20 starts, pushed her earnings beyond $2 million and marked Dwyer’s third Group 1 success.

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