THERE was a strong Cork connection as last year's runner-up Lord Glitters just prevailed in a blanket finish to the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
David O'Meara's grey, who disappointed badly last time out in the Lockinge Stakes, was winning at the highest level for the first time in his career. O'Meara, who is now a trainer in York, is a Fermoy native who progressed from being a jockey to success as a trainer.
Lord Glitters' fortunes could not have contrasted more with last year's winner Accidental Agent, who refused to come out of the stalls.
The popular Laurens made a bold bid for home and hit the front two furlongs out, but she could never put much daylight between her pursuers.
William Haggas' One Master came swooping through, showing the pace that won her the Prix de la Foret last season, and certainly hit the front, before her run she faltered inside the final 100 yards.
That left Beat The Bank, another who ran poorly in the Lockinge, and Lord Glitters (14-1) to fight it out, with Danny Tudhope managing to get his grey head in front by a neck.
O'Meara said: "He always runs well here, he loves the track.
"In the Lockinge he had no cover and over-raced a touch, but I thought today Danny gave him a perfect ride from the word go.
"Watching the race it was one of the easiest Royal Ascot runners we've ever had to watch because there was never a moment I thought he was in trouble.
"He had a programme last year and he'll follow something similar this season, I would have thought."
The North Yorkshire based-trainer added: "I suppose it is deserved. He ran a stormer in Dubai (Dubai Turf). I would have thought if he'd had a good run in the Lockinge he would have been half the price today. He ran with no cover, which he doesn't like to do. He likes to sit last and attack late.
"When he won the Balmoral here he had 17 horses in front of him in the last furlong and that is what he likes. He is a solid horse when he gets the right conditions. I think on Champions Day last year it was the first time he was out of the first two at Ascot. He loves the track.
"We did think he could get a Group One, as he hasn't regressed at all. His Dubai run was as good as anything. I saw a few remarks that maybe knocked Almond Eye because of Lord Glitters' close proximity to her, but had it been one of the younger more progressive horses like Without Parole, everybody would have been saying, 'what a great run'.
"He is a very solid horse. He ran well at Goodwood last year and that (Sussex Stakes) is another race you could say he was a touch unlucky in. He will do a very similar thing to last year. I must give a mention to Jason Kelly, my assistant, who bought him in France, as he will be delighted."
Beat The Bank's trainer Andrew Balding said: "Delighted with the run, obviously. I don't know what went wrong at Newbury, but that was more like him. These good horses, there's not much between them and they set a good standard.
"We are keen to try him at a mile and a quarter, so we might look at the Eclipse if he's all right."
Silvestre de Sousa was given a seven-day ban for his use of the whip on Beat The Bank, and also fined £1,050.
Haggas said of One Master: "I'm not sure she quite got home. That's what the jockey thought. She ran a great race, travelled well. She came to win and just flattened out the last bit.
"I think she stays a mile, but in this competition it's hard to wait any longer with her. She ran a very commendable race.
"I knew she had come forward from her last run."
He added: "There's only one Group One race over seven and she won it (Foret). While she's got her Group One penalty it's difficult. That will come off at one stage."