ASCOT (England) (AFP) Dual Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Dermot Weld targeted Australias premier flat race after Rite Of Passage smashed the course record in winning the Ascot Gold Cup here on Thursday. Weld, who has won top races in England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, the United States and his native Ireland, had never won Royal Ascots feature event before, despite trying to win the two-and-a-half mile Group One contest previously with Vinnie Roe and Vintage Crop. It was a case of third time lucky, said Weld. The Gold Cup is a race I have always wanted to win. Its one of the greatest races in the world. Rite Of Passage was given a dream ride by jockey Pat Smullen, who had not won at Ascot for seven years. As the field turned into the straight Smullen trailed through the pack Age Of Aquarius, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, but waited to pounce inside the final two furlongs. The two Irish jockeys then settled down to fight out the finish, straining every sinew for victory. It was an effort which resulted in both riders receiving bans; Murtagh for using his whip with excessive frequency, and Smullen for careless riding. Rite Of Passage held on to win by a neck, with Purple Moon in third. Spanish challenger Bannaby was fourth and French runner Kasbah Bliss finished sixth. Hes not an easy man to get into a battle with, said Smullen of Murtagh. Its a pleasure to beat him. It was a tremendous race. This is what Ascot is all about. When youve got horses in races like this for Dermot, youve always got a chance. I was gutted when I got beaten on Vinnie Roe, which makes it even sweeter when you come back and win it eight years on. This is a magical place. Its unbelievable, the 33-year-old added. Rite Of Passages victory sets up the possibility of a third triumph for Weld in the Melbourne Cup, run on the first Tuesday of November each year at Flemington racecourse. Weld first tasted success in the event billed as 'the race that stops a nation with Vintage Crop in 1993 before Media Puzzle won nine years later. He also has Profound Beauty housed in his stable, a six-year-old mare that beat Age Of Aquarius in May at Leopardstown in Ireland, which means he could be double handed down under. We have two very serious contenders for the Melbourne Cup, said Weld, the first overseas trainer to win the race. Earlier on the card, Godolphin struck for the second day running when Hibaayeb, ridden by Frankie Dettori, won the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes. Hibaayeb finished third to subsequent Prix de Diane victor Sarafina at Longchamp in the Prix Saint-Alary in May, but she made no mistake this time with a commanding three and three-quarter length victory over Eldalil. Gallic Star was third. Dettori had his first Royal Ascot winner on Mark Of Distinction 20 years ago, and he was jubilant in the winners enclosure afterwards. The Italian gave the crowd his customary flying dismount, and when it was put to him that he had executed the perfect race, he quipped: Well, I know my way around here a reference to when he rode all seven winners on an Ascot card in 1996. She was nice and relaxed, and she moved up to the leaders when I wanted her to. She gave me a fabulous ride. Im overjoyed.