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Excelebration States Breeders’ Cup Mile Case Loud and Clear

Although most eyes were firmly set on the mighty Frankel’s final racecourse appearance on an emotion-filled day at Ascot on Saturday, there was still plenty of appreciation for a thoroughly outstanding win from Aidan O’Brien’s high-class miler Excelebration in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, a race he won in particularly convincing fashion from the smart Cityscape, writes Elliot Slater.

© Racehorse Photos


For the previous two season’s Excelebration had been vainly chasing Frankel’s shadow, always running extremely well but not managing to get within shouting distance of the horse hailed by many as the greatest of all-time.

With the decision by Frankel’s connections to step up from a mile to 10 furlongs having been taken earlier this term the way was left clear for Excelebration to prove himself.

He certainly hasn’t let supporters down in winning the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August before really turning on the style at Ascot, becoming one of the most popular punts according to the latest horse market movers.

Sent off the 10/11 favourite, Joseph O’Brien’s mount was noted travelling particularly well on the stands rail entering the final quarter mile on the very testing ground, but for a few strides it looked as though he may well be boxed in with nowhere to go. But a gap did appear and the son of Exceed and Excel did just that, as he took off and sprinted clear of a high-class field, leaving Cityscape some three lengths adrift, with the fine filly Elusive Kate back in third just ahead of The Queen’s slightly disappointing Carlton House.

O’Brien was quick to praise his winner and confirmed that as long as all is well with the four-year-old he will take his chance in a fortnight’s time at Santa Anita in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile, a race for which he has now been cut to 7/4 ante-post favourite in the Breeders Cup 2012 Betting with most British firms ahead of local star Wise Dan (3/1).

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