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Henrythenavigator On Course in BGC Sussex Stakes
30/07/08

1st 4 Henrythenavigator 4/11 FAV
2nd 5 Raven's Pass 4/1
Non Runner 3 Dream Eater

Aidan O’Brien saddled an amazing 16th Group 1 winner of the year when Henrythenavigator became responsible for a quarter of that tally after capturing the BGC Sussex Stakes by a head from Raven’s Pass.

The O’Brien-trained Windsor Palace had been expected to set a strong pace for his stablemate but the searching early gallop did not materialise.

“I was very worried because it was a very slow race and David (McCabe) did his best on the pacemaker but he was flat out and couldn't extend. We just needed a better pacemaker. He was going as fast as he was able to but when that happens it makes thing a bit complicated.” said O’Brien.

"Henry’s a special horse. He did nothing wrong today and picked up and sprinted. He's a horse that has speed but gets a mile as well so he's a very special horse. We thought before he ran at Gowran last year that he was very special and then when he won the Coventry Stakes we always thought he was impressive.

“He’s had his break and is in all those races including the ones in France (Prix Jacques Le Marois) and England (Juddmonte International). We know how hard it is to win each of these Group 1s.”

Henrythenavigator is 7/2 favourite with Ladbrokes for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on an artificial surface at Santa Anita in October and the winner’s owner John Magnier admitted the 10-furlong event was on the agenda.

“We’re going to try and stretch him out (in distance). If he’d have got his ground he’d have run in the Derby and we had to come here because we wanted to take on the older horses,” said Magnier.

“I won’t say that he won’t run in mile races again but we’re thinking 10 furlongs for his next start.

“All options are open and at the moment we’d be thinking about the Breeders’ Cup Classic, although we don’t need to decide now and it could be that we do go for the Mile. It’s on a new surface, which is somewhere between turf and dirt, so it would easier to go from the grass to run on that.

“We have done it before in the Classic with Giant’s Causeway (when second in 2000) and also unsuccessfully tried with Galileo and Hawk Wing.”

Murtagh added: “The good ones have everything and this lad has it when the battle is put to him. We probably didn’t go fast enough for him today. He’s a horse who would go better off a fast pace.

“I had a nice position - I was following Hughesy (Richard Hughes). When I quickened up, I’d say the time over the last two furlongs was exceptional – he really quickened well.

“He got to the front and was a bit idle but he won snug. When he hit the line, he was still full of running. I don’t think the second would ever have got to him.

“All of the races here today, the winner seems to be coming up the middle of the track but when I went by the others, I went over to the rail. I was in front probably soon enough on him but he sensed Jimmy (Fortune) coming and he was still up for the battle.

“He is a great horse and he won very easily at the line. He won’t be beaten this year.”

 

RAVEN’S PASS SECOND AGAIN

Raven’s Pass, the 4/1 second favourite, chased home the mighty Henrythnavigator for the second time this season, getting closer than he did at Royal Ascot. Raven’s Pass had also come fourth to the same horse in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.

Trainer John Gosden was delighted with his colt’s effort in going down by a head in a thrilling finish to the BGC Sussex Stakes, but felt that the Elusive Quality three-year-old’s chance of victory was compromised by being drawn six of the seven runners.

The Newmarket handler said: “Our slight problem was being drawn on the rail. I didn’t think Aidan’s pacemaker was up to his usual standard and we even considered making it ourselves but if you jump and commit, the pacemaker is still going to come and annoy you.

“We decided we had no choice but to get off the rail. We didn’t want to get stuck on the rail and penned in, so we had to come round. You can’t give Henrythenavigator a length and a half start but that’s what we had to do. We had to track him and try to come round him.

“The winner is exceptional and it was a great performance from both horses. We are thrilled with our horse, it's a great run and made it a proper race. Thank God we turned up he would have won by four lengths otherwise! He ran great and we are very proud of him."

Gosden has no intention of shirking another encounter with this season’s star miler.

He said: “I wouldn’t mind meeting the winner again. We have to consider freshening our horse up. We’ll look at the Breeders’ Cup later in the year but do we go to the Prix Jacques Le Marois (at Deauville in August)? If we go to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (at Ascot in September), what will the ground be like? This is a summer ground horse. We’ll think long and hard.”

Major Cadeaux, a 14/1 shot, took third for trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes, a further three and a quarter lengths back.

Hannon said: “It was a messy race with no gallop. The O’Brien pacemaker jumped and then pulled up, which left us there too soon. I think we’d have always been third but we’d have been a much closer third with a proper pace and he took a bump as well.

“We’ll have a look at the Group Three Hungerford Stakes over seven furlongs at Newbury and then consider the Jacques Le Marois in which he could well meet those two again.

“He stayed on well there to take third - he’s a very good horse.”

 

3.30pm BGC SUSSEX STAKES
Group 1, Class 1, £300,000 guaranteed. For 3yo+, 1m. Weights: 3yo colts & geldings 8st 13lb; 3yo fillies 8st 10lb; 4yo+ colts & Geldings 9st 7lb; 4yo+ filles & mares 9st 4lb. Weight for age: 3yo from 4yo+ 8lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £170,310; 2nd: £64,560; 3rd: £32,310; 4th: £16,110; 5th: £8,070; 6th: £4,050

1) HENRYTHENAVIGATOR (Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-8-13 Johnny Murtagh [3] 4/11 Fav
2) RAVEN'S PASS (Stonerside Stable LLC) John Gosden 3-8-13 Jimmy Fortune [6] 4/1
3) MAJOR CADEAUX (N A Woodcock, A C Pickford & David Mort) Richard Hannon 4-9-07 Richard Hughes [2]
4) WINKER WATSON (The Comic Strip Heroes & Joy Trotter) Peter Chapple-Hyam 3-8-13 Ryan Moore [4]
5) TARIQ (Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar) Peter Chapple-Hyam 4-9-07 Seb Sanders [5]
6) WINDSOR PALACE (Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier, Michael Tabor) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-8-13 David McCabe [1]

6 ran Non-Runner: Dream Eater
Breeder: Western Bloodstock Breeding: b or br c Kingmambo (USA) - Sequoyah (IRE) (Sadler’s Wells (USA))
Time: 1m 38.46s Distances: hd, 3¼, sh, 6, 15
Tote: Win: £1.40 Places: £1.10; £1.90 Exacta: £2.30

 

THE WINNER HENRYTHENAVIGATOR (USA)

3 b c Kingmambo(USA) - Sequoyah(IRE) (Sadler's Wells (USA))
Form: 1123-1111 Owner: Sue Magnier Trainer: Aidan O’Brien IRE Jockey: Johnny Murtagh Breeder: Western Bloodstock

Henrythenavigator
Out of Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Sequoyah, Henrythenavigator took little time to make his mark as a juvenile, scoring on his debut against eight rivals in a seven-furlong maiden on fast ground at Gowran Park on May 6, 2007. Ridden by Seamus Heffernan, the Kingmambo colt was soon in command and announced himself as one of Ballydoyle’s most promising prospects with an impressive seven-length victory. Reappearing at Royal Ascot, Henrythenavigator was sent off a warm 11/4 favourite for the first race of the meeting, the Group Two Coventry Stakes over six furlongs. With Michael Kinane in the saddle, Henrythenavigator took a keen hold on his way to the start but was towards the front of the 20-runner field before taking up the running entering the final furlong to record a workmanlike three quarters of a length victory over Swiss Franc. Having encountered good to firm going on both his starts, he experiencedd testing conditions in the first Group One two-year-old race of the season, the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 12. Taking up the running with a furlong left under Kieren Fallon, Henrythenavigator stayed on in the closing stages but was unable to repel the challenge of the filly Saoirse Abu in the closing stages, and eventually finished a length behind the Jim Bolger-trained runner on the tacky ground. Another Bolger-trained runner took the honours on Henrythenavigator’s final juvenile appearance in the Group Two Futurity Stakes at the Curragh two weeks later. New Approach, fresh from success in the Group Three Tyros Stakes the previous month, made all of the running and recorded a comprehensive three-length success over subsequent Group Two Beresford Stakes victor Curtain Call, with Henrythenavigator, again racing on ground softer than ideal, a neck further back in third. He won the Classic stanjamesuk.com 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in early May by a nose from New Approach on his seasonal debut and then went to the Curragh for the Irish equivalent in which he increased his advantage over New Approach to a length and a half. His next start was at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes in which he beat Raven’s Pass by three quarters of a length. He confirmed his superiority over that colt at Goodwood today, winning the BGC Sussex Stakes by a head. Race Record: Starts: 8; 1st 6; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1 Win & Place Prize Money: £807,724

 

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