06/27/2008 11:00PM

Royal Oath wins long duel


Royal Oath, who was making just his second start in North America, wore down a stubborn Ice Bear to capture the $309,400 King Edward Gold Cup by a half-length over 1 1/8 miles of yielding going at Woodbine.

Ridden by Patrick Husbands and trained by Mark Casse, Royal Oath settled in sixth place and was behind horses early but moved up to engage Ice Bear about three-sixteenths of a mile out and prevailed while bumping with that rival through a long drive.

Ice Bear held for second, a half-length before third-place finisher Seaside Retreat, who also hails from the Casse barn.

French Beret ended another 3 1/4 lengths in fourth, while Society's Chairman, the 2-1 favorite, weakened to finish seventh after being put away by the front-running Ice Bear coming into the stretch.

Believeinmenow, who finished eighth in the nine-horse field, was vanned off following the race.

Royal Oath, who had raced in England and Dubai for trainer John Gosden, is owned by Will Farish and Bill Farish Jr., who shipped the horse here to Casse just more than a month ago.

In his first local appearance, Royal Oath was a non-threatening fifth as the 2-1 favorite in the Connaught Cup over 1 1/16 miles of turf.

"Last time, he had a nice trip, he just didn't fire down the lane," Husbands said. "He just wasn't happy.

"Right now, he's just a good horse."

Royal Oath returned $7.50 and combined with 19-1 Ice Bear for a $146.70 exactor.

The final time was 1:49.67, more than four seconds off the track record.