Prince of Johanne bagged another hugely competitive handicap contest as the Tom Tate-trained raider stormed to a cracking victory in the Royal Hunt Cup, as he beat Excellent Guest to add this crown to his Cambridgeshire title he won last season.
John Fahy was always travelling well on board the 16/1 shot and when he asked his gutsy horse to win his race he duly picked up and stormed clear up the near side to beat Excellent Guest by half-a-length to land Tate and Fahy their first Royal Ascot success.
Jamie Spence came late on board Field of Dream, but he failed to catch Don't Call Me in the dying strides and that duo completed the placings in a race that was a real test of resolve and will live long in the memory of team Tate.
2012 Royal Hunt Cup Result:
1. Prince of Johanne (J Fahy) 16/1
2. Excellent Guest (T Queally) 33/1
3. Don't Call Me (S Hitchcott) 50/1
4. Field of Dream (J Spencer) 66/1
The Royal Hunt Cup is a handicap race run at Royal Ascot over one mile for horses aged three years or older.
Established in 1843, it is widely regarded as one of the most difficult races to win over the five days of the Royal meeting and often attracts bumper fields as they look to etch their name in Ascot history.
With it a such a competitive heat, it was a fantastic achievement when 1947 winner Master Vote managed to return to the Berkshire track 12 months later to retain the title and he still remains as the only horse to have won the race on more than one occasion.
Having already bagged victory in the Britannia Stakes at the 2003 Royal Ascot meeting, Clive Cox's New Seeker managed to bag another success at the flat extravaganza as he stormed to success in the 2005 Royal Hunt Cup and put his name in a select group of dual Royal Ascot winners.
More recently, Jeremy Noseda's Forgotten Voice was a classy winning favourite in the 2009 renewal, whilst Godophin's Invisible Man grabbed a shock 28/1 victory before he went on to bigger and better things.
It may not have the amount of quality that most of the Ascot races provide, but this does certainly offer punters the chance to get stuck into a tricky handicap and is sure to be a competitive race for years to come.