The decision of Coolmore partners Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Westerberg to keep last year’s dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin in training at four was vindicated when the son of Deep Impact captured the Group 1 Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot on Wednesday.

Despite two defeats in his first two runs this year, Auguste Rodin, who also claimed the Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2023, was sent off a warm favourite in the day two highlight.

With pacemakers Snobbish and Hans Andersen ensuring a fierce tempo in the ten-furlong contest, Ryan Moore secured a fabulous position on the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt, tracking the leading trio in fourth, as Kieran Shoemark anchored second favourite Inspiral at the back of the ten-runner field having fallen out of the stalls.

As the leading duo started to run out of petrol after turning for home, Moore asked Auguste Rodin to make his challenge, hitting the front with a furlong and a half to run. French duo Zarakem and Horizon Dore gave valiant pursuit inside the final furlong, but the leader was not for catching, taking the prize by three-quarters of a length from Zarakem.

Cheveley Park Stud’s Inspiral, winner of the Coronation Stakes at the 2022 Royal meeting, could manage only sixth, looking to be found out by the distance.

Connections celebrate Auguste Rodin’s victory in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes | Photo: Bill Selwyn

O’Brien said: “He’s a very special horse. When he gets to the front he waits and then he goes again. His blips were my fault. He’s happy to be ridden forward. Good horses have personality. Ryan gave him a very special ride.

“The lads will decide what to do with him, but he could do anything. Whether he goes to America or stays here, the lads will decide.”

The Coolmore-Aidan O’Brien team had earlier enjoyed a one-two – as did super-sire Galileo – in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase as favourite Illinois and Ryan Moore saw off stable companion Highbury in the 1m6f contest.

Insurance magnate David Howden is a major sponsor at Ascot and the owner and breeder saw his silks carried to victory in the Group 2 Duke of Cambridge Stakes by Running Lion and Oisin Murphy.

Taking a keen hold in the early stages, Running Lion was sent to the front by Murphy and that’s where she stayed in the mile event, running on strongly in the straight to see off Laurel by two lengths, providing a one-two for the training team of John and Thady Gosden.

Howden said: “I knew Running Lion had it in her and what a way to do it, fantastic! She gets her head down, she changes her legs and she digs in. Her sire Roaring Lion ran the same way, with his head down, and it’s wonderful to see.

“We are obviously a partner at Royal Ascot. I bred her, she’s by Roaring Lion who tragically died, so it just couldn’t be more special. For Oisin to do it on Roaring Lion’s filly is as good as it gets.”

Running Lion and Oisin Murphy take the Duke of Cambridge Stakes | Photo: Bill Selwyn

Having endured some near misses on the first day of Royal Ascot, big-spending owner Wathnan Racing hit the bulls-eye courtesy of Leovanni in the opening Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes, with retained rider James Doyle doing the steering in the five-furlong dash for fillies.

Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor got on the scoresheet in the Royal Hunt Cup (1m) with Wild Tiger, providing Oisin Murphy with his second winner of the afternoon, while Al Shaqab Racing’s Doha, trained by Ralph Beckett, took the Kensington Palace Handicap (1m) under Hector Crouch.

The closing contest, the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes (5f), saw the Kevin Ryan-trained Ain’t Nobody defeat 26 rivals under Jamie Spencer for owners J Blackburn and J Matthews.