Royal Ascot 2022: Willie Mullins delight at Stratum claims the lucky last


Eight Irish wins at the meeting completed with victory in the Queen Alexandra Stakes

Saturday, June 18, 2022
Stratum wins the Queen Alexandra Stakes, Royal Ascot's final race, for the second straight year for trainer Willie Mullins

Stratum wins the Queen Alexandra Stakes, Royal Ascot's final race, for the second straight year for trainer Willie Mullins


What is it about Willie Mullins in the lucky last, writes James Toney.

Festival fans have long been backing him blind in the Champion Bumper - not bad logic when he's won four of the last five at Cheltenham.

And it seems the crowd at Royal Ascot follow that logic too, as Mullin's Stratum won the Queen Alexandra Stakes, the longest race at the five day meeting, for the second straight year.

It was quite the training performance for the Master of Closutton - and a brilliant ride from William Buick as well.

Last year he won on soft ground, this year, despite the heavens opening after five baking hot days as they left the stalls, it was a rattling good to firm track.

"It is was a terrific ride from William Buick," said Mullins.

"I was watching thinking this is good.. aim for sixth place where there is prize money and work your way up.

"Will just needed to wait and wait as long as he could. He put Stratum in a nice pocket and stayed there until the turn for home. He then weaved his way through and Stratum loves to be ridden like that.

"He hadn't worked well, but when we were saddling him we thought he has turned himself inside out in the last week. He just got a magic ride on top and a man riding at the top of his game."

Buick's bid for top jockey honours at Royal Ascot fell just short again - but he was pleased to end it in style and deliver Mullins his eighth career win at the meeting and his fourth in this race.

"This was my first win in this race and my first win for Willie Mullins too," said Buick.

"It means a lot and Stratum did it well. It is a long way and i just wanted to get him relaxed. A couple of times he got hold of the bit and then dropped it. Once I dropped him inside, he came alive and horses were coming back at him and he loves that.

"He won this race last year and this is his game."

This was my first win in this race and my first win for Willie Mullins too. "It means a lot and Stratum did it well. Once I dropped him inside, he came alive and horses were coming back at him and he loves that. He won this race last year and this is his game.
- William Buick on Stratum

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