O’Meara 500 up with So Beloved
David O’Meara was celebrating his 500th winner and first at Goodwood after 10/1 chance So Beloved ran out a decisive winner of the Betfred Mile under stable jockey Danny Tudhope.
O’Meara, who started training in 2010, said: “I think it’s my 500th winner. A good owner of ours who has been with us since the start, Michael Binns, said that our winner at Redcar the other day was 499, so he is probably right.”
So Beloved travelled well behind the leaders and quickened up smartly to beat Belgian Bill by three quarters of a length, with two and a half lengths further back to the Rectifier in third.
O’Meara added: “So Beloved has any amount ability. He showed that a couple of starts back at York when he won really well from a bad position. “He settled well today and was given a great ride by Danny.”
Tudhope, also enjoying his first winner at the course, commented: “I was more concerned before racing, because So Beloved got himself really worked up and I thought he had boiled over going to the start. I knew there wasn’t much pace in the race – we didn’t go very quick – so it paid off to be handy.
“We had a nice position the whole way round and he is a horse with a tremendous amount of ability. I just didn’t want to get to the front too soon, he travelled so well. He is tricky and quirky but, when things fall right for him, he could definitely win a Group race somewhere.”
Wiltshire trainer George Baker was bubbling with praise for his grand campaigner Belgian Bill after the seven-year-old had finished second.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave sent Belgian Bill, a 20/1 chance, to the lead inside the final furlong and it looked like a winning move for a few strides, but then So Beloved engaged top gear and swooped past for victory by three-quarters of a length.
A further two and a half lengths back was third-placed The Rectifier for Seamus Durack’s yard, while the 5/1 favourite Basem was a further half a length back, fourth of the 18 runners.
Basem’s jockey, James Doyle, who wore the blue of Godolphin, rued his luck in running, and said: “We got into a pocket – they were trotting and I couldn’t get out. We were very unlucky.”
Belgian Bill has been a stalwart for Baker, who said: “He’s the horse of a lifetime – I know it’s a cliché, but he came to me when we first started and no one else wanted to buy him when I picked him up at the sales. He’s taken me to all the right places and never ever lets me down.
“I’ve given him a stupid entry in the Arlington Million and I just feel that ‘have horse will travel’. We have the massive advantage that while some horses will boil over travelling from Manton to Newbury, you could take him around the world five times and he would be fine. Sometimes the Million cuts up to six or seven runners, and while I’m not saying we will win it we could finish fourth or fifth and pick up some money – and the organisers help to pay your way.
“He had a stupid, minor farriery problem with him just before Royal Ascot which is why he didn’t run in the Royal Hunt Cup, but he runs well fresh as he proved today. “We just didn’t get carried quite far enough in today’s race – Pat had to put him in front a furlong out and I was worried something would come and get him, but he was well clear of the third. We’re very proud of him.”
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