Fame And Glory Strikes Long Distance Gold
1 Fame And Glory 3/1
Fame And Glory (3/1) kicked off the inaugural QIPCO British Champions' Day with a gutsy run under an inspired Jamie Spencer that brought an inspiring victory in the Group Three QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup over two miles.
Fame And Glory, victorious over Opinion Poll in the Group One Gold Cup over a further half-mile at Royal Ascot in June, could well be back at the course for that contest next June, with Stan James shortening him to 5/2 favourite from 7/2.
The Montjeu entire headed to QIPCO British Champions Day with questions to answer after failing to win in two starts since his Gold Cup triumph, most recently when a disappointing fourth in the Group One Irish St Leger over a mile and three quarters at the Curragh in September.
"He had his two lovely runs after but we left a little bit for today. He has so much class and when he needed it to day it was there - Jamie gave him a marvellous ride. It's great to be back here, it's a great meeting and it's great timing.
"He is a horse that had a mile and a quarter class - Group One winner - and he's a two and a half-mile Gold Cup winner, so stamina is not a bother for him as he showed in the Gold Cup and class isn't either. Jamie just got him into a rhythm and the rest is history, he gave him a great ride.
"After winning the Gold Cup here, you would imagine that he was on such a level of fitness for that that he probably wasn't at that Gold Cup level today. We were hoping that he wouldn't have to be.
"It would be great to come back for the Gold Cup in June. That's a decision for the boys, Dr Hay and everybody. We are just privileged to be part of the team."
"You have got to hand it to Jamie, it was a great ride. There is no better man than him on his day."
SPENCER OVERJOYED AFTER FAME AND GLORY WIN
Jockey Jamie Spencer had the honour of riding the first QIPCO British Champions Day winner after scoring on the aptly-named Fame And Glory.
Spencer said: "We were always going to be relatively positive - I didn't know whether Darley Sun was in the race as a pacemaker for Opinion Poll because he needs pace, and Jimmy [Fortune on Chiberta King] said he would go a good one so I followed him, but once we turned to go by the stands his horse was very idle and reluctant to race. At that point I slipped by him and let my fellow use his stride."
Fame And Glory was well beaten in the Irish St Leger on his previous run, and Spencer said: "Without wishing to sound patronising, how could Aidan O'Brien achieve that turnaround in form? I was so gutted at the Curragh because he was odds-on favourite and expected to win and nothing happened.
"He was electric today and every time another runner came to me it was like they carried a buzzer that was setting him alight and he was shooting on ahead again. He was entitled to idle a bit once he got into the shadow of the last 100 yards.
"It's a great day's racing and I hope everybody grasps it. We owe
QIPCO a lot of thanks and should praise them because without them we wouldn't have such an exciting day. Apart from Royal Ascot I cannot remember being so excited about a forthcoming meeting. You need the horses, but it's an amazing day."
Of Fame And Glory's reception by the crowd, Spencer said: "Everybody appreciated the horse today - it was a Group 1 race run under a Group 3 banner. These horses have been running against each other all year and that performance should see my horse as leading stayer. I'm delighted to be part of it.
"Somebody had to ride the first [QIPCO] Champions Day winner and I'm thrilled to have done it."
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