Rewilding relentless at Royal Ascot

Darley rewrote the record books in Australia this season and Sheikh Mohammed’s worldwide operation scored a famous victory at Royal Ascot when Rewilding defeated So You Think in the Prince Of Wales’ Stakes.

Rewilding (4c Tiger Hill – Darara by Top Ville) overhauled the $1.30 favourite in the final strides of a stamina-sapping contest over 2000 metres on Wednesday. Sheikh Mohammed and the Darley / Godolphin team savoured the moment as Frankie Dettori brought the winner back to scale.

“It was a tremendous battle with two great horses,” Dettori declared. “Rewilding is a very good horse and doesn’t get the recognition he deserves.”

Ballydoyle pacemaker Jan Vermeer sailed along in front and that played into the hands of Rewilding who relaxed behind a genuine gallop.

So You Think (High Chaparral) shot past his stablemate at the top of the straight but Rewilding was relentless in hot pursuit. He collared So You Think to notch a neck victory over the Coolmore champion.

Long-shot Sri Putra (Oasis Dream) was third home another six lengths away.

“They played into our hands because the pace was so strong and that’s what Rewilding needs,” Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford explained. “He takes a while to get into his rhythm and that’s why Frankie gets on so well with him.”

Rewilding’s sire Tiger Hill (Danzig) was a Group 1 winner of the 1998 German 2000 Guineas and Grosser Preis von Baden.

He stood in France and Germany prior to being recruited by Darley and shuttled to Australia with limited success for four years until 2008. He returned to stand at Gestut Fahrhof this year for a fee of 7,500 euros.

Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson paid 500,000gns for Rewiliding at Book 1 of the 2008 Tattersalls October yearling sale. He was bred by Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Watership Down Stud and is a half-brother to the G1 winners Dar Re Mi, Darazari and former NZ based sire Kilimanjaro.

Darazari was a G2 winner in France before transferring to Lindsay Park to add an Australian G1 in the STC Ranvet Stakes.

Rewilding won his maiden in November 2009 at Maisons-Laffitte. He returned last year for a four length win in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood in May and was third home to Workforce in the G1 English Derby in June.

He resumed for a four length victory in the G2 Great Voltigeur in August but disappointed as an even-money favourite in the G1 English St Leger in September.

Back in harness this term, he won the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan in March and stripped fit enough for a first-up battle at Royal Ascot.

Second-string Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni gave Sheikh Mohammed full credit for the victory. “His Highness decided to drop him back in trip. I am still learning and he has been racing in England for more than 30 years.”

Rewilding will be aimed at the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes back at Ascot next month.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien blamed himself for So You Think’s defeat. “He had a long blow after the race,” the Ballydoyle conditioner revealed. “I don’t think I had him fit enough.”

So You Think is likely to run in the Coral Eclipse (2000m) at Sandown next month.