Royal Ascot gets its ‘hand of God’ moment 38 years to the day of Maradona’s infamous goal

RACING got its own ‘hand of God’ moment at Royal Ascot… 38 years on from the original.

Diego Maradona scored perhaps the most controversial goal in football history against England at the 1986 World Cup, using his hand to score past Peter Shilton.

GettyWilliam Buick and Hand Of God begin to shoot clear[/caption]

GettyDiego Maradona rises to the ball with his hand at the 1986 World Cup[/caption]

Obviously, the goal got its name because of Maradona using his hand, but he also famously quipped afterwards that it was “a little with the head of Maradona, and a little with the hand of God”.

38 years to the day later, Hand Of God was sent off favourite for the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot, and there was only going to be one result.

Trained by Harry Charlton, who crashed the woodwork with unlucky seconds for King’s Gambit and Kikkuli at Royal Ascot this week, certainly deserved to hit the back of the net with the William Buick-ridden favourite.

The pair had plenty to do turning for home, but the 9-4 poke surged down the outside and picked up the leaders at the furlong pole, shooting clear for a cosy success.

There was nothing illegal about the victory, that’s for sure, but the irony won’t have been lost on punters and his relieved trainer

Trainer Charlton said: “He didn’t have a great trip but had a clear run – unlike last time.

“He picked up really quickly and William [Buick] even thought he got there too soon.

“The owner has had a tough week and the owner thought he was unlucky with King’s Gambit. For him to get a winner is very important.”

Harry is the son of Group 1 and Derby-winning trainer Roger, who was also there to share in the celebrations.

Charlton snr said: “I’m so lucky to have had such a great life and I’m so pleased for Harry – he’s doing very well and trained this horse beautifully.”


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