Tag Archives: guineas

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Breeders" Cup: Flotilla storms to brilliant victory on opening day

Flotilla storms to brilliant victory on opening day of Breeders' Cup

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UPDATED:

00:53 GMT, 3 November 2012

French trainer Mikel Delzangles alone flew the European flag on day one of Breeders' Cup as Flotilla gave both him and jockey Christophe Lemaire a first Breeders’ Cup winner in the Juvenile Filly Turf.

But there was disappointment for both Richard Hannon’s eighth-placed Sky Lantern and John Gosden’s The Fugue, third to Zagora in the Filly & Mare Turf. Both got seriously blocked on the inside.

Sky Lantern cruised home under Richard Hughes after being blocked behind a wall of horses leaving, Richard Hannon jnr, assistant to his father to say: ‘Richard (Hughes) tried to get out but he got nailed in and never came off the bridle. It’s better than getting beaten on merit I suppose but very frustrating.’

Brilliant: Flotilla, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, crosses the finish line on Friday

Brilliant: Flotilla, ridden by Christophe Lemaire, crosses the finish line on Friday

It was Jeremy Noseda’s The Gold Cheongsam, who finished best of the Europeans in the Juvenile Filly Turf in fifth with Ralph Beckett’s Waterway Run, who was also slightly hampered, in sixth.

Flotilla, who had been an unlucky fourth in the Prix Marcel Boussac, started her winning run from behind Sky Lantern but had a clearer passage on the outside under Lemaire.

Victory was another feather in the cap of Delzangles, who also landed the 2010 2,000 Guineas with Makfi. He is now being supported by the new influx of Qatari owners in Europe, the nationality of the owners of Flotilla and Dunaden, the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner who attempts to defend his crown in Tuesday’s Melborne Cup.

Delzangles said: ‘We were hopeful today but Flotilla has won quite easily by a length.’

On the run: The field heads for the first turn during the Juvenile Fillies Turf race at Santa Anita

On the run: The field heads for the first turn during the Juvenile Fillies Turf race at Santa Anita

She is now likely to be aimed at a 1,000 Guineas next year – probably the French version.

It was not quite a repeat performance for Gosden’s The Fugue in the Filly And Mare Turf but it was equally painful viewing.

Events unfolded with an inevitable conclusion as jockey William Buick was stuck hard on the inside rail down the back stretch.

Gosden said: 'She was pinned down on the inside with nowhere to go. She was very unlucky. This is horse racing around here. These are tight tracks.'

Back in fourth was the Delzangles-trained Prix De L'Opera winner Ridasiyna with David Simcock’s I’m A Dreamer sixth, Aidan O’Brien’s Up seventh and Roger Varian’s Nahrain 10th of the 11 starters.

Happy days: Christophe Lemaire celebrates his win

Happy days: Christophe Lemaire celebrates his win

The mountain European horses have to climb in races on the US Dirt was underlined when our three runners to race on the surface failed to beat a horse home.

Tom Dascombe’s Ceiling Kitty at least showed early pace in the Juvenile Sprint won by D Wayne Lukas-trained maiden Hightail but Aidan O’Brien’s 2011 Ascot Gold Cup winner Fame And Glory and Dermot Weld's Sense of Purpose in the Marathon were hopelessly tailed off.

Fame And Glory’s jockey Jamie Spencer said: ‘You either act or you don’t on Dirt and you’d definitely say he didn’t.’

They have ripped up the Santa Anita Pro-Ride on which John Gosden’s Ravens Pass 2008 Classic. There is increasingly little incentive for the Euros to go for races on the Dirt which returned to replace it.

The concluding Ladies Classic on Dirt, without European involvement, was won by defending champion Royal Delta, trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Mike Smith.

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Breeders" Cup 2012: Slim Shadey runs for Simon Callaghan

Slim hopes for Callaghan as Breeders' countdown raises stakes

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UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 30 October 2012

They say America is the land of opportunity and Simon Callaghan has taken that ethos to heart.

In the 29-year-old's third year since switching his operation from Newmarket to the west coast, Callaghan will be represented at the Breeders' Cup for the second year running when Slim Shadey runs in Saturday's Turf over a mile and a half.

The four-year-old, who finished fourth to Frankel in the 2011 2,000 Guineas when starting as a 200-1 shot for his then trainer Stan Moore, may have a lot on his plate to cope with Aidan O’Brien's defending champion St Nicholas Abbey, French Yorkshire Oaks and Prix Vermeille winner Shareta plus top US hope Point of Entry but the improvement wrought in him by Callaghan has been eye catching.

Shadey character: The four-year-old will race at the Breeders' Cup on Saturday

Shadey character: The four-year-old will race at the Breeders' Cup on Saturday

Before crossing Atlantic, Slim Shadey, who will be ridden by Garrett Gomez, had won only one of his 13 starts, a novice stakes as a two-year-old.

With Callaghan, he has won twice and finished second three times in seven starts.

Those victories both came at Santa Anita – the Grade Two San Marcos Stakes and John Henry Turf Championship Stakes.

Callaghan said: 'It is certainly better opposition than he has faced. I guess St Nicholas Abbey and the filly Shareta are coming off a slightly below par efforts in the Arc but if they bounce back they will be really tough to beat and Point of Entry from the East coast is an improving horse having won his last five.

'So it is going to be his toughest competition but has been improving and training really well so we are hopeful of a good run.

Final countdown: The showpiece event continues this weekend

Final countdown: The showpiece event continues this weekend

'He has definitely transformed since he
has come here and unleashed the potential that he had. He loves the
track which is his home territory so that is in his favour and if he
runs in the first three it will be a good result.'

Callaghan, whose father Neville
trained in Newmarket for 25 years, was doing well numerically in his two
UK season’s after he took over his family’s old stable with 33 and 34
winner in 2008 and 2009.

But from his California base, he has
managed three grade one wins, two with Dubawi Height, who he trained in
Britain, and, most recently, one with Belle Royale in the Gamely Stakes
at Hollywood Park in March.

A win which reads even better when you factor in that the filly once won a seller when trained in Britain by Mark Brisbourne and never won outside handicap company before being exported.

He added: 'It vindicates the decision coming here from England and the good thing is that we have quite a few horses competing at the top end whereas back home it is very hard to get those horses.

Grandstand finish: The event is being held at Santa Anita Park in California

Grandstand finish: The event is being held at Santa Anita Park in California

'I've been here three years now and certainly have no intention of coming back (to Britain). I'm pleased the way it is going. We are growing and getting some good clients. I feel settled and happy.'

Those clients already include Slim Shadey’s owner Phil Cunningham, whose Cockney Rebel landed the 2007 2,000 Guineas, the Coolmore Stud team, and new clients Qatar Racing and Sheik Fahad Al Thani.

He is responsible for Callaghan’s latest recruit, three-time group two winner Strong Suit, who knocked on the door in group one when trained by Richard Hannon.

Callaghan, who will also take over Tom Dascombe's Qatar Racing-owned Cheveley Park Stakes fourth Upward Spiral after it runs on the Santa Anita undercard on Saturday.

Callaghan said: 'Strong Suit arrives in a couple of days – we’ll be competing with him in group one races. You’d think he has the perfect form to do well here and being by (sire) Rahy, loving fast ground and the way he travels in his races. He looks taylor-made for the racing out here.'

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Camelot undergoes exploratory surgery after attack of colic

Dual Classic winner Camelot undergoes exploratory surgery after attack of colic

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UPDATED:

20:38 GMT, 11 October 2012

Derby and Guineas winner Camelot, who was seventh in last Sunday’s Arc, has undergone an operation after an attack of colic.

Invasive surgery can be a last option for the potentially fatal abdominal condition but the belief is that Camelot’s life was not in immediate danger.

Last time out: Camelot finished 7th in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe

Last time out: Camelot finished 7th in the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe

The son of Montjeu was taken the short distance from trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Co Tipperary stable to the Fethard Veterinary hospital.

Owners the Coolmore Stud, via Twitter, said: ‘Triple Classic winner Camelot was admitted to Fethard Veterinary Hospital this evening and underwent exploratory colic surgery. Obviously, it’s still very early days but a further bulletin will be issued in the morning.’

Operation: Camelot has received attention for colic

Operation: Camelot has received attention for colic

Colic is a major cause of early death in horses and can be caused by a gastrointestinal blockage or a displacement of the bowel.

Camelot has won the 2,000 Guineas and both English and Irish Derbys this year but lost his unbeaten record in the St Leger last month.

After his Arc defeat, O’Brien said he would race on next year but that might be in jeopardy even if he emerges successfully from the surgery.

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Racing: Solemia wins Prix de l"Arc de Triomphe

Camelot misses out as Solemia beats favourite Orfevre in thrilling Arc finish

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 7 October 2012

Solemia denied Japan a first victory in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as the filly got up in the last strides to beat Orfevre in a thrilling renewal at Longchamp.

Camelot, Aidan O'Brien's 2000 Guineas and dual Derby winner, was given every chance by Frankie Dettori and briefly threatened but emptied out close home.

Everything appeared to have gone to plan for Orfevre, who carried the weight of a nation's hopes.

Thrilling finale: Olivier Peslier steers Solemia (R) past pre-race favourite Orfevre (L) to win the Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp

Thrilling finale: Olivier Peslier steers Solemia (R) past pre-race favourite Orfevre (L) to win the Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp

Edged out: Olivier Peslier and Solemia (R) catch Orfevre and Christophe Soumillon (L)

Edged out: Olivier Peslier and Solemia (R) catch Orfevre and Christophe Soumillon (L)

Christophe Soumillon dropped the Far East challenger right out at the back, but he came cruising through in the straight and went at least two lengths clear of Solemia, even trading at 1-100 at one stage on the betting exchanges.

However, Carlos Laffon-Parias' four-year-old showed incredible guts under Olivier Peslier to give the rider his fourth win in the race. Masterstroke was third.

Neck and neck: Solemia makes up the ground on Orfevre to celebrate victory

Neck and neck: Solemia makes up the ground on Orfevre to celebrate victory

Solemia was last seen finishing third behind Shareta in the Prix Vermeille but that one never showed up at all in the testing ground.

Orfevre had broken from stall 18 and made up a tremendous amount of ground but became yet another agonising defeat for Japanese racing after El Condor Pasa, Deep Impact and Nakayama Festa.

Hat's something special: Female punters at Longchamp racecourse show off their costumes

Hat's something special: Female punters at Longchamp racecourse show off their costumes

Stunning setting: Racegoers enjoy the day at Longchamp racecourse in Paris

Stunning setting: Racegoers enjoy the day at Longchamp racecourse in Paris

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Sir Alex Ferguson has sights set of Derby glory with Telescope

Fergie has sights set on Derby glory with Telescope

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 27 September 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson can start dreaming
of a potential 2013 Derby challenge after Telescope earned quotes as
short as 12-1 following his promising Newmarket win.

Manchester United boss Ferguson,
whose colours were carried to victory in the 2002 2,000 Guineas by Rock
of Gibraltar, is one of 12 shareholders in the Highclere Thoroughbred
syndicate which own the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt.

Shareholder: Sir Alex Ferguson

Shareholder: Sir Alex Ferguson

Telescope, who had finished an eyecatching second on his Ascot debut, justified his reputation as one of the best juveniles in the Stoute stable as he eased two and a quarter lengths clear of Elkaayed.

Stoute said: 'That was nice and smooth. He is a big horse with a lot scope and he has run two very promising races. I don't know if you'll see him again this year and if you do it will only be once more.

'He is in the Racing Post Trophy but I would not commit myself to that.' Telescope, a son of Galileo, was the most expensive yearling ever bought by Highclere costing 220,000gn in a private sale after missing the sales with a temperature.

However, The Queen's bloodstock advisor John Warren, who buys the Highclere stock, was determined to secure the colt and the syndicate, which also has a two-year-old with William Haggas, were asked and were happy to pay more than the original advertised price of the Wavertree syndicate.

Stoute, who could not muster a runner vin either the 2,000 Guineas or Derby this season, was producing the Classic contender he desperately needed.

Impressive: Telescope ridden by Richard Hughes wins at Newmarket

Impressive: Telescope ridden by Richard Hughes wins at Newmarket

He also had news of The Queen's Carlton House, third in last year's Derby but not seen since finishing a disappointing fourth to Fanunalter in the Summer Mile at Ascot in July.

Stoute said: 'We're hoping to run him in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (at Ascot on Champions Day on Octber 20). He wasn't quite right when he came back from Ascot and we had to get him moving well again.'

Meanwhile, John Gosden is in to 5-4 with Coral to win his first trainer's title after a treble courtesy of Listed race winners Gallipot (Princess Royal Stakes)and Caucus (Jockey Club Bowl) plus Hezmah carried him into the lead for the first time this season.

With a couple of placed horses, Gosden won almost 50,000 and is over 40,000 clear of Aidan O'Brien, who is 4-9 favourite.

Gosden said: 'It's a long way to go and I'll tell you want is going to happens at five o'clock on Champions Day. Until then it is all up in the air.

'We've been top of the table but Stoutey came past us in the last furlong.'

With Great Heavens (Filly And Mare Turf) plus possibly Nathaniel taking on Frankel in the Champion Stakes, Gosden should have a strong hand on Champions Day.

O'Brien, who was yesterday having to cope with a the aftermath of a fire at his Irish home, will have a Champions day team headed by Excelebration in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Gosden holds the upper hand but Frankel's trainer Sir Henry Cecil cannot be completely ruled out with the Ascot showpiece fixture worth 3million.

Reiugning champion Richard Hannon, who won the Group Three Somerville Tattersalls Stakes with Richard Hughes-ridden Havana Gold, is just about in touch but would need his talented team mof two-year-olds to mop up prizes including the valuable sales-related races.

THE prospects of Folkestone ever re-opening after its closes its doors in December look remote after Shepway Council removed development at the track from its core strategy.

Building up to 800 houses and re-siting the track had looked the only way owners ARC would consider re-opening the course in the future.

An ARC spokesman said: 'The board of ARC, the owners of Folkestone Racecourse, are disappointed with the decision of Shepway Council to proceed with its Core Strategy Local Plan without the provision for the enhancement of the Racecourse with associated residential development on the Racecourse site.

'This decision has been made despite representations being made to the Council which included a suggested wording for the Core Strategy which would have, in the Board's view, enabled discussions to have continued with a larger degree of certainty about the future of the Racecourse.

'Nevertheless, we intend to continue discussing the future of the Racecourse with the Council who, we believe, remain committed to racing continuing at Folkestone, but a favourable outcome in the short term has been made more difficult to achieve.'

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Camelot will be out of comfort zone in St Leger

O'Brien admits Camelot's St Leger bid is step into the unknown

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UPDATED:

13:53 GMT, 10 September 2012

Aidan O'Brien admits Camelot will be taken out of his comfort zone when he tries to become the first Triple Crown winner for 42 years in the Ladbrokes St Leger on Saturday.

The sponsors make the colt, who has won the 2,000 Guineas over a mile and Derby over a mile a half, a 1-3 chance to follow in the footsteps of Nijinsky, whose 1970 exploits are celebrated in a statue at O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable in Co Tipperary.

Ten potential rivals have been left in the Doncaster race which O’Brien is trying to win for a fourth time.

Stable star: Aidan O'Brien (left) and his son Joseph with Camelot

Stable star: Aidan O'Brien (left) and his son Joseph with Camelot

They include three – Dartford, Michelangelo and Great Voltigeur winner Thought Worthy – for John Gosden, who has won the last two runnings of Britain’s oldest Classic, plus David Lanigan’s Main Sequence, who was second to Camelot in the Derby.

The one mile six furlongs and 132 yards of the Leger will be a new challenge for Camelot, who is ridden by O’Brien’s 19-year-old son Joseph.

O’Brien, who will become the first trainer to win all five British Classics in a season if Camelot delivers, said: ‘He is built more like a miler – he is round and strong, not lean and angular. That is a little thing that would be in your mind.

‘Everyone has to do what suits their horse. They will obviously try to expose his weaknesses but we do not know what they are.

‘I heard Lester (Piggott) saying the Leger was nearly two miles. You are asking a Guineas winner to run that far. You are going to pull him way beyond his comfort zone.

Raring to go: Camelot is taken through his paces ahead of the St Leger

Raring to go: Camelot is taken through his paces ahead of the St Leger

‘They nearly have to be Gold Cup horses to get that trip. When you go beyond that mile and a half, real stamina starts to kick in. They have to have that extra capacity.

‘Those extreme distances, if you are not up to it, can break the heart.

‘I was talking to Lester at The Curragh and he said Alleged got beat in the (1977) Leger but won two Arcs. It tells you how much of test it can be but Camelot is a brave horse and usually comes home.’

O’Brien has also declared two others for the race – Chamonix and Imperial Monarch – but is expected to only run Camelot.

Ursa Major, the 33-1 shot trained by Tommy Carmody, has a choice of running at Doncaster or in the Irish St Leger run at The Curragh on the same day.

Glory days: Camelot won the Derby at Epsom earlier this summer

Glory days: Camelot won the Derby at Epsom earlier this summer

Sir Henry Cecil has confirmed his Royal Ascot winner Thomas Chippendale while William Haggas-trained Guarantee, the winner of the Melrose Stakes at York, represents a Highclere syndicate which includes Michael Howard, the former Conservative Home Secretary.

They face a horse O’Brien describes as like no other he has trained that is trying to carve his name in history.

Sue Magnier, wife of the Coolmore Stud supremo John Magnier who co-owns Camelot, had had the name reserved for 10 years before a horse regarded as good enough to carry its name came along.

O’Brien added: ‘It’s a mystical name and everything about this horse has not been normal.’

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Frankel is not as good as Brigadier Gerard – Joe Mercer

Exclusive: Frankel's a major star… but he's no Brigadier

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 21 August 2012

It’s some admission from a man whose opinion should be respected — if Frankel can win the Juddmonte International Stakes at York on his first race over 10 furlongs, he can justifiably be rated the equal of the great Brigadier Gerard.

Equal, mind. Not better.

In truth, nothing on four legs will ever rate higher with former jockey Joe Mercer than the 1970s icon he still calls the ‘Big Fella’, who galloped into racing folklore by carrying him to victory in 17 of his 18 races.

Stunning: The unbeaten Frankel is rated the best racehorse of all time

Stunning: The unbeaten Frankel is rated the best racehorse of all time

‘You earned your plaudits more in the old days,’ says Mercer, whose career brought him close to 3,000 winners and eight British Classics.

‘Maybe Frankel is the greatest at the present and the best for 20 years, but not the best ever. He has not proved it yet. He’s as good as The Brigadier but not the greatest ever as they classify him. That’s OTT.

‘Everybody asks how Brigadier Gerard and Frankel compare and last year, for a bit of fun, I said he would have made a good lead horse for The Brigadier, who achieved so much in his lifetime it was amazing.

‘He had ability and courage and a lot of both. He was a big, handsome horse and his racing weight never changed from two to three to four years old. He was a perfect physical specimen and his attitude was that he knew it.

‘It’s the horses who finish behind you that count. Frankel has had the same horse (Excelebration) behind him four times. He’s a fabulous horse, who would have probably been the best miler in the world if Frankel hadn’t been around.

One of the best: Brigadier Gerard won the 2000 Guineas in 1971

One of the best: Brigadier Gerard won the 2000 Guineas in 1971

‘The ones that Brigadier Gerard beat
came out and won everything — they were horses like Mill Reef, who went
on to be a champion; Faraway Sun, who was a good French horse he beat
five lengths in the Sussex Stakes, wasn’t beaten again that season.’

A shoulder problem might be hindering his golf swing, but at 77, Mercer still cuts the same dapper figure as in 1979 when, as stable jockey to Frankel’s trainer Sir Henry Cecil, he was champion jockey. The pipe, which earned his nickname Smokin’ Joe, is by his side and Mercer’s admiration of Cecil’s colt is genuine, not grudging.

But looking at The Brigadier’s record, even the fully paid-up members of the Frankel fan club must respect his verdict.

Timeform rate Frankel — who is estimated to be worth 100million and who may run only once more after Wednesday’s race — the best horse they have ever assessed, three pounds better than Dick Hern-trained Brigadier Gerard, who is equal third-best on their all-time chart.

In the know: Joe Mercer

In the know: Joe Mercer

There are close parallels between the two. Frankel was a devastating six-length winner of last year’s 2,000 Guineas and The Brigadier emerged on top in one of the best runnings of the race in 1971, beating subsequent Arc and Derby hero Mill Reef, plus outstanding French colt My Swallow. Both were career-defining victories.

‘I had never been so confident before a race, particularly when Duration won the apprentice race beforehand,’ says Mercer.

‘He was one of the horses Brigadier Gerard had been working with and he’d been slaughtering him.

‘We knew we had a good horse the
first time he ever ran, at Newbury. He was last with two furlongs to go
and finished 10 lengths in front of them.’

Both
horses also had scares in Royal Ascot’s St James’s Palace Stakes,
Frankel hanging on by three-quarters of a length from Zoffany after an
injudicious mid-race move by his jockey Tom Queally; Mercer blamed
himself for Brigadier Gerard’s narrow success from Sparkler.

Mercer said: ‘At Ascot last year, my
heart was in my mouth. I could have killed the jockey — he went three
furlongs from home. Frankel lasted out but only just. That’s guts.

‘The
Brigadier only beat Sparkler a head in the St James’s Palace and I
blamed myself because I used to ride him in all his work and I don’t
think I did enough with him.’

Catch me if you can: Frankel ridden by Tom Queally wins the Lockinge Stakes

Catch me if you can: Frankel ridden by Tom Queally wins the Lockinge Stakes

Frankel and The Brigadier have also been successful in the Lockinge, Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

But whereas Frankel victories range from seven furlongs to a mile, Brigadier Gerard won at five furlongs, took in two Champion Stakes and an Eclipse over 10 furlongs and his stamina was eked out to land the 1972 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes over Ascot’s mile and a half.

That is why the International Stakes
is, arguably, the most significant race in Frankel’s career since he
blasted his way up Newmarket’s Rowley Mile in the 2,000 Guineas.

We’ve
been reminded in six races since of his brilliance and Usain Bolt-like
acceleration. But a victory at a longer distance would add significant
lustre to a glittering record.

In front: Brigadier Gerard (left) ridden by Joe Mercer wins the King George VI

In front: Brigadier Gerard (left) ridden by Joe Mercer wins the King George VI

That opportunity comes in the one race that eluded Brigadier Gerard 40 years ago.

In 1972 the three-length defeat by Vincent O’Brien’s Derby winner Roberto, brilliantly ridden from the front by South American jockey Braulio Baeza in the inaugural running of a race then known as the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup, silenced the Knavesmire crowd.

Mercer is adamant that the real Brigadier, who started 1-3 favourite, did not turn up that day, despite Roberto breaking the course record.

‘Everything to look at was perfect and his work was as good as ever but the stable was under a very big cloud,’ he recalled. ‘Two and a half out, he was hacking behind them, but he never picked up and I accepted it half a furlong out. I wasn’t going to knock the c**p out of him.

‘I wasn’t concerned about the crowd
reaction — it’s not in your mind, just in your heart, and that felt
horrible. Dick Hern’s face was just blank.

‘When
he came back after the race dear old Buster Haslam, who was our
travelling head man, said, “Don’t let him put his head down, keep it
up”.

Brigadier Gerard and Frankel comparison

‘They let him after he had left the winner’s enclosure and the mucus just ran out of him. You could have filled a bucket. But he came back and won both his races afterwards.’

Mercer sees little prospect of Frankel’s exalted status being dented at York.

‘I’ve been to see Frankel run and seen his development. He’s some racehorse, no doubt about it. I’d love to ride him. I’d give my right leg to do it. I bet Lester Piggott would say the same.

‘He’ll stay a mile and a quarter on a flat, galloping track like York, but he’ll never race over a mile and a half.’

The unspoken words to finish the sentence are, of course, like the Big Fella.

‘No-one can ever beat The Brigadier in my heart and we can’t have a re-match,’ Mercer smiles.

That’s one race Smokin’ Joe could never imagine losing. It would be some match-up, though.

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Homecoming Queen slaughters 1,000 Qipco Guineas rivals at Newmarket

Homecoming Queen slaughters rivals to cause 1,000 Guineas shock at Newmarket

By
Simon Milham

PUBLISHED:

14:52 GMT, 6 May 2012

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UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 6 May 2012

Homecoming Queen caused something of a shock when landing the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at a rain-sodden Newmarket.

The 25-1 was given a peach of a ride by Ryan Moore and took the fillies' mile Classic easily from Starscope (33-1). Favourite Maybe was third.

There was drama at the start when the Charlie Hills-trained Grey Pearl went under the stalls and after a lengthy delay of around 25 minutes, she was withdrawn.

Guineas victory: Trainer Aidan O'Brien with Doreen Tabor

Guineas victory: Trainer Aidan O'Brien with Doreen Tabor

It was a second Classic of the weekend for trainer Aiden O'Brien.

All the pre-race talk surrounded the Joseph O'Brien-ridden Maybe (13-8 favourite), but once her stablemate Homecoming Queen set off at a blistering gallop from an early stage she never looked to be too happy.

Moore kicked on again going into the dip aboard Ballydoyle's alleged second string, and the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor stretched nine lengths clear.

Oh, what can it mean: Moore powers Homecoming Queen (left) to a wide-margin success in the 1,000 Guineas

Oh, what can it mean: Moore powers Homecoming Queen (left) to a wide-margin success in the 1,000 Guineas

The John Gosden-trained Starscope ran out for second, with Maybe plugging on for third.

Aidan and Joseph O'Brien were successful 24 hours earlier when Camelot won the 2000 Guineas.

Moore, who was securing his first victory in the Newmarket fillies' Classic, said: 'Aidan said she was very fit and very well.

'I thought I was going a stride too quick, but she just kept going. There's not much of her, but she tries very hard. She's very tough.'

O'Brien, who was was claiming his second 1000 Guineas victory after Virginia Waters struck in 2005, said: 'It's incredible. She's a very good filly.'

There was, however, a 30-minute delay to the race as Gray Pearl, trained by Charlie Hills, became lodged beneath her starting gate.

The horse remained on the turf for some time before being taken away in a horse ambulance.

Course officials later confirmed she had been put down.

Moore went straight for the jugular aboard the half-sister to Dylan Thomas, who won a Leopardstown Guineas Trial last time out.

By halfway the partnership were around four lengths clear, with the likes of Lightening Pearl, Alla Speranza and Maybe close up.

However, Moore kicked on again approaching the dip and it was soon obvious that nothing was coming out of the pack to chase her down.

The rest finished in a heap, with Starscope and The Fugue, also trained by Gosden, separated by Maybe.

O'Brien added: 'She's a hardy, tough filly with a great pedigree. In the last couple of weeks she's gone into a different zone.

'When Seamus (Heffernan) won on her last year he said she could be very smart.

'Joseph [O'Brien] won a Listed race on her at the Curragh and said she had a massive engine.

'We went to the Breeders' Cup with her after that but she was entitled to be tired there.

'She ran first time up at the Curragh when she got a little bit tired, but won nicely at Leopardstown.

'It was an incredible performance and Joseph said she was the filly he was most worried about as she would be going off in front and it was Maybe's first run.

'I was delighted with Maybe, too.'

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Frankel gallops at Newmarket

Frankel on course for Lockinge after racecourse gallop at Newmarket

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UPDATED:

20:03 GMT, 5 May 2012

Frankel, the world's highest-rated thoroughbred, confirmed his well-being with a racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Saturday.

Sir Henry Cecil colt's future had been in jeopardy after he suffered a leg injury on April 11, but he received the all-clear to race on following a positive scan a week later.

The unbeaten four-year-old this weekend moved up the gears in his preperation for the JLT Lockinge Stakes at Newbury on May 19 with a most positive piece of work under Tom Queally.

In fine shape: Frankel enjoyed a racecourse gallop at Newmarket

In fine shape: Frankel enjoyed a racecourse gallop at Newmarket

Frankel, owned by Khalid Abdullah, was put through his paces up the Rowley Mile alongside regular lead-horse Bullet Train and Jet Away.

The son of Galileo took a keen hold for Queally and soon burst clear of his stable companions in his customary exuberant fashion, stretching clear in tremendous style.

Frankel was returning to the scene of one of his finest days on a racecourse when he turned in a simply breathtaking performance in last season's 2000 Guineas.

Cecil's inmate went on to claim the St James's Palace Stakes, the Sussex Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes during an unforgettable campaign which elevated him to the summit of the world thoroughbred rankings.

Cecil said: 'He really enjoyed
himself and was very relaxed. Going down to the start he was switched
off and after the work he had a little bit of a blow – you can't be
anything but pleased.

'He's grown a bit, he's stronger and
he's getting much more sensible. That was the worry, but now he is
settling and maybe there will be more improvement to come.

Report: Frankel with jockey Tom Queally and trainer Henry Cecil (second right)

Report: Frankel with jockey Tom Queally and trainer Henry Cecil (second right)

'I think everything looks good for the Lockinge, before which he will need another two to three bits of work, but at the moment everything is fine.

'If the ground is soft (at Newbury) I don't think that will worry him at all, and we know he gets a mile really well.'

Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: 'That's a pleasing start to the process, and I hope it will do him a lot of good. He enjoyed it and strode out well.

'He was a little bit keen early on, but then got into his rhythm and showed us that beautiful flowing action.

'The main idea is to get him to Newbury, we are heading that way. He only missed a week and he is catching up nicely. You would have to be very pleased after that.'

Queally said: 'He seems in very good order and it was a nice piece of work.

'It was just a stepping stone to get him to Newbury, you have to remember he is much better than the two horses that went with him, but he did it very nicely.'