Royal Ascot: Leovanni storms to Queen Mary Stakes victory for Wathnan Racing, Karl Burke and James Doyle | Racing News

Wathnan Racing, James Doyle and Karl Burke struck in the opener at Royal Ascot on the second day of the meeting as Leovanni charged to victory in the Queen Mary Stakes.

The daughter of Kodi Bear, who started at 22/1 for the five-furlong Group Two contest, was always prominent down the centre of the track and stretched clear in the closing stages to prevail by a length and three-quarters.

In another finish of big prices, Mighty Eriu claimed second place, just ahead of Hollie Doyle on Maw Lam, with both those two starting at 50/1, while Burke also saddled the fourth Miss Lamai.

Kassaya was sent off the well-backed 7/2 favourite but was never a factor in the stands’ side group.

Doyle was quick to share the credit after booting home Leovanni.

“It’s been a lot of work from everyone behind the scenes, it’s easy for me just riding them, but a lot of work has been put in by Richard Brown (racing adviser to Wathnan) and his whole team,” he said.

Jockey James Doyle celebrates on Leovanni after winning the Queen Mary Stakes during day two of Royal Ascot
James Doyle celebrates his victory on Leovanni

“I was pleased with her on debut, she won like a potentially smart filly, but it’s so hard to tell. Look at yesterday, I had the choice of three in the Coventry Stakes and the one I picked finished out the back. The other two just got beat. It’s very difficult to make choices, thankfully I didn’t have to choose between two in this race!”

He added tellingly: “I won this race before on a filly called Rizeena for Clive Britain (2013) and I would say this filly has all the class that she had. The raw speed, the ability to relax, the temperament, being versatile with the ground. There is a lot to look forward to with her.”

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