Trainer Wesley Ward was awarded the 12th Royal Ascot victory of his career Friday when stewards promoted his filly Campanelle and disqualified first-place finisher Dragon Symbol after a wet running of the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup sprint for 3-year-olds.
After holding a tight rein early toward the grandstand side of the soft course, Frankie Dettori rode Campanelle (5-1) to the lead late in the straight six-furlong race. Ridden by Oisín Murphy, England-based colt Dragon Symbol (7-2) made it a two-horse race by engaging Campanelle in a stretch duel that separated them from the other 13 starters.
With left-handed urging from Murphy, Dragon Symbol made contact with Campanelle and forced her across the track at least six or seven paths before finishing first by a head.
Stewards interviewed Dettori and Murphy and scrutinized all angles of video before their decision was announced 20 minutes after the race.
“In the U.S. we already took our picture and drank our champagne,” Ward told Sky Sports before Campanelle’s promotion. “But we’re not there.”
The stewards’ decision kept Ward from being shut out during the Royal meeting. He had seven prior starters with Twilight Gleaming’s second-place result in Wednesday’s Queen Mary being his only other horse to finish in the money.
It was Campanelle’s second Royal Ascot victory. The first for the Irish-bred filly by Kodiak was in the 2020 Queen Mary (G2). Bought as a yearling for $244,100 by Stonestreet Stables, she won last year over good going. Her triumph Friday on turf drenched by more than an inch of rain in the past day was especially gratifying for Ward.
“She ran a really big race on heavy ground,” Ward said. “She really dug down deep in her soul. She was in front, lost the lead and came on. I wish we would have had a straight run at it. But it was a great effort. I’m really proud of her.”
Measure of Magic (12-1) finished five lengths behind in third. The favorite Suesa (2-1) was eighth.
Dragon Symbol’s time for crossing first was 1:16.67.