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Royal Ascot half century up for John Gosden thanks to Frankly Darling




Frankly Darling was the very comfortable winner of the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes this afternoon, handing a 50th Royal Ascot success to Newmarket-based trainer John Gosden.

The Anthony Oppenheimer homebred daughter of Frankel, the 11/8 favourite, came home a length and three-quarters clear of Ennistymon (11/1).

Gosden said: "Any time you have a winner here – I can remember during this week scrambling one winner, one year having no winners, having six seconds and finally a winner one year.

Frankly Darling wins at Royal Ascot (36747270)
Frankly Darling wins at Royal Ascot (36747270)

"Frankly Darling is a lovely filly. She ran only once last year, at Chelmsford. She was a big, rangy girl and a bit unfurnished who needed time to develop.

"We got a run in and she ran well, and of course she would have gone to the April meeting at Newbury and run in a mile and a quarter fillies' maiden there and then gone to an Oaks trial, then maybe gone to the Oaks. Obviously that all changed.

"She luckily got in on the first day at Newcastle - they divided a maiden, so she got to run on June 1 and won well. She's still learning; as you can see, she was a little wild, there's a bit of Frankel about her - 'I want to run and it's my business if I want to run, not the jockey's' - but she showed an awful lot of class today."

Frankly Darling has since been made the 3/1 second favourite for next month's Investec Oaks Epsom, with Gosden commenting: "I don't think I am spoilt for choice for the Oaks. If I have an Oaks filly, it's her. Miss Yoda ran well, but she showed the affect - you are going to get some horses 'bounce' here.

"She had a hard race in the Lingfield Oaks and to come here, she's done nothing wrong but has run flat.

"She will be freshened up now, but she's a Listed winner, which is fantastic. I think we have one Oaks filly only and we don't have anything remotely related to a Derby horse. That is the way it is."