Golden Horn Bows To Queen
David Elsworth and Silvestre De Sousa rewarded a superbly sporting entry from connections of Arabian Queen to land a thrilling finish to the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York this afternoon at 50/1!
Set up as the battle between Gleneagles and Golden Horn, two of the powerhouse star colts of the season the race was reduced to what the betting suggested was penalty kick status for Gosden and Dettori’s Golden Horn when Gleneagles was confirmed a non runner early in the day. That left Golden Horn a prohibitive 2/5f to continue a breathtaking season and remain unbeaten but fresh and keen in the early stages he was left flat footed when push came to the finish under Dettori and had to settle for second behind the remarkable De Sousa and the hugely tough and improved Arabian Queen.
Elsworth said afterwards “She’s a filly of the highest class. She’s tenacious and loves to battle. If we hadn’t turned up today, they would be hailing the favourite as the best horse since Frankel. She’s certain to stay further, it took me three years to work out her best trip, but I worked this one out a bit quicker.”
Setting the pace in the jockeys title De Sousa was over the moon.
“She’s not an easy filly to deal with, she can be a bit of a madam at home. She has her own ideas about the game, but is obviously very talented. I had a clear run, picked the pacemaker up two furlongs out and I always felt I had a bit left. I couldn’t say I was confident coming here but she had been third in a Group One on her last run, she’s bred to get further and ran right to the line.”
Owner Jeff Smith is not new to top level success and alwasy had belief in his charge and his team for Arabian Queen.
“She’s a filly on an upward curve. In the Nassau she finally got a mile and a quarter and today she got a mile and a quarter with a slight bit of cut and you’ve seen her to best effect. I think underneath all that, I’ve been boring people with the basic observation that before this race, no one knew whether the three-year-old fillies were as good, better or whatever than the three-year-old colts as they’d never met. We’re right up there with the fillies, improving, so why not run.
“We’ve had Lochsong and Persian Punch win big races here, but don’t forget I’ve had a third and a second in the Juddmonte. I’ll have a chat to David. She’s bred for a mile and a half so we are in the Fillies And Mares at Ascot, so that would probably be it for the year and next year possibly train her for the Arc.”
Gosden was looking for excuses and things didn’t go to plan from the start.
“The pacemaker missed the kick and then he ended up too far clear. Golden Horn was too fresh and keen and he did too much, too early. Frankie found it hard to settle him for the first six furlongs and he gassed himself out. He got in front, but I think we know now he’s definitely better on faster ground and the filly just outstayed him. It was a real pity it rained and a real pity Gleneagles didn’t run, either.
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