A mighty performance by the Tally-Ho-bred Campanelle on her return to Ascot on Friday saw the daughter of Kodiac lift the Commonwealth Cup for Wesley Ward, her second Group 1 success after last year's Prix Morny.
It was the second win of the royal meeting for a Tally-Ho-bred after Perfect Power's success in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes.
Brilliantly fast, Campanelle cruised on the front end of the pace under Frankie Dettori, making light of the heavy ground to help dictate matters. She was still travelling well as Dragon Symbol came to challenge and in a show of real determination, continued to duel with the colt despite being carried right across the track.
At the line, there was only a head in it, with the pair having pulled five lengths clear of the third Measure Of Magic, herself a daughter of Kodiac's son Kodi Bear. Given the interference, the placings were reversed and Campanelle awarded the race.
It was an incredible performance by Barbara Banke's filly considering she had not raced since early November. She now boasts four wins in five starts, her other significant success having come in last year's Queen Mary Stakes.
“We are elated," said Wesley Ward, celebrating his 12th Royal Ascot success. "Both horses ran fantastic, they dug down deep and there were only inches apart. I think it was a validated result - in the United States terms, he has taken her across the track.
"This was Campanelle's first run since the Breeders' Cup. It was a gritty performance on heavy ground and, to come back from that, it is a true testament of how good this filly is.
"I actually thought the ground boded well for her chances. We weren't sure about heavy ground, but we knew she liked soft ground.
"Winning at Royal Ascot is so special, especially with my children here from the onset in 2009, it has been so special. To have Campanelle ponied down by my first winner Strike The Tiger too means a lot.
"Royal Ascot has changed my life. If it wasn't for Royal Ascot, my kids would be going to community college and instead my eldest son is going to law school in August.
"We'll sit down with the owners. Campanelle worked well on the July Course, but the July Cup could come a bit quick. I have run horses in the Prix Maurice De Gheest in the past and I think she'll do well whatever ground comes on the day. I think it would suit.
"Campanelle is going up the pecking order. Lady Aurelia was very special, but if she keeps delivering, she'll keep going up!"
Dettori said: “It is never nice winning a race in the stewards’ room. I feel sorry for Dragon Symbol’s connections that I took it off them. But in these conditions, when you are taken across about eight lanes, I got nudged three times, lost my momentum and got beaten a head, so the stewards felt they gave me the benefit of the doubt.
“I was coming back on the line, and it was a good effort by Campanelle and by the original winner, but I’m glad that we’ve got it. I feel very sad that I got it, but I had reason to believe that my filly was still the best on the day.
“Campanelle won the Queen Mary, she won the Prix Morny, and now she has won the Commonwealth. They keep on bringing horses here and I’m always delighted to ride winners for Wesley.”
Campanelle was purchased out of our draft at Book 1 of the 2019 Tattersalls October Sale for 190,000gns by Ben McElroy on behalf of Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables.
She is a daughter of Listed winner Janina, a very fast daughter of Namid and the high-class sprinter Lady Dominatrix.
Campanelle's victory capped a good Royal Ascot for her sire Kodiac. Responsible for five Group 1 winners overall, his place as a leading sire of sires was further underlined by the win of Perfect Power - by his son Ardad - in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes and Group-placed efforts of Go Bears Go and Measure Of Magic - both by Kodi Bear.