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Tepin First U. S. Winner of Royal Ascot's Queen Anne S. (G1)

Tepin and Julian Leparoux Win Queen Anne at Royal AscotAmerican raider Tepin (11-2) landed the Queen Anne Stakes to open Royal Ascot 2016 in spectacular fashion.

Despite concerns that the unusually soft conditions the Mark Casse-trained five-year-old beat the 9-2 favourite Belardo by half a length under Julien Leparoux, with Lightning Spear (20-1) a further length a quarter back in third in the Group One contest.

US super mare Tepin, who had swept all before her in her homeland including a superb success in the Breeders' Cup Mile in Keeneland last October, was always travelling well as the field split into two groups behind Godolphin's pacemaker Barchan.

But when Barchan dropped out at the business end of the race, Kodi Bear initially went into the lead before Tepin came through in the final two furlongs alongside Godolphin's chief hope and the Roger Varian-trained Lockinge Stakes hero Belardo, under James Doyle.

The duo battled it out to the line but Tepin was always holding the challenger.

Jockey Leparoux was delighted to give himself and trainer Casse a first win at the Royal meeting on their first trip to the Berkshire course.

He said: "It's just amazing. It's a great feeling.

"She's a champion and she proved it today.

"She had to work hard, for sure, as the last 100 metres was a long way to go. It's awesome."

"There were a lot of things stacked against today but in the end her greatness prevailed. A lot of people in the United States will be delighted with this result. I have to tip my hat to Robert Masterson [owner], he was a true sportsman who encouraged us to come.

"We trained her without Lasix and all the things she was accustomed to and we felt that she handled that fine. She thought she was over here on vacation and then before the race she realised that she had to work. She will be fine, go back and relax. She is just a remarkable horse. Julien Leparoux hit her a couple of times which he usually doesn't have to so I was just waiting for the wire to come.

"Thanks to everybody. They have all been so kind and it has just been a first class experience. We truly appreciate it. Everyone has been just wonderful with us. It is something to remember. I couldn't even dream anything like this.

"To be here and run at the most remarkable place I have ever been and actually have a winner here with a great horse like Tepin, I mean what can I say, it is so special.

Casse added: "The plan would be to now go back for the Breeders' Cup Mile (in November) but at the moment I am not sure where she will go."

Tepin's owner Robert Masterson added: "The mare is the best thing in the world - she's fantastic.

"People say Americans have to have drugs in their horses. She had no drugs and no nasal strip, the things everyone was worried about.

"The biggest thing we were worried about was the ground. She'd won on soft but we didn't know how bad the ground was.

"She performed magnificently. She had a lot of things to overcome for the first time, but she just did it."

The other joint-favourite, French challenger Ervedya, never got into the race.

Belardo's trainer Varian is looking to Glorious Goodwood after his fine effort in defeat.

He said: "I'm so proud of the horse.

"I thought he might get her (Tepin) but she kept finding more, so I have to take my hat off to the winner.

"We can afford to give him a bit of a break and come back for either the Sussex (Goodwood) or the Prix Jacques le Marois (Deauville)."




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